2005 RAV4 clutch


#1

I drive a standard shift 2005 RAV4, all-wheel drive. Until Friday, I have really enjoyed driving this car. However, my clutch bit the dust, and the car had to be flat-bedded into the dealershp for an expensive clutch replacement. I have been driving standard shift cars for three decades and have only had to replace one clutch at over 120,000 miles. I was taught to drive standard by someone who drilled me on good clutch use, and I consider myself very careful with the clutch, so the clutch wearing out at 48,000 miles really shocked me.



This is my question: have I suddenly lost my ability to drive a standard shift car without destroying the clutch, or is there something that I am doing wrong? Is there something special about the clutch on an all-wheel drive car that no one told me to be careful of? Should I count on replacing the clutch every 48,000 miles?


#2

It’s unusual for a clutch to fail without warning. Usually when a clutch nears the end of its life it starts to slip and you have some time to get it fixed.

This is not normal clutch life for a Honda, and I don’t think you are the cause of this.

What, exactly happened that made the vehicle undriveable?


#3

Thanks for answering, but the RAV4 is a Toyota.
The clutch failure was pretty sudden. On Wednesday, I noticed that I was having trouble getting up to speed, but once I hit highway speed, everything seemed fine. I made a mental note to call the Toyota dealership on Friday to make an appt. On Thursday, I was taking a brief trip to the grocery when I smelled a strong burning odor, followed immediately by the car’s inability to go over 20 mph. Luckily, I was a mile from home when this happened. I got it home and called the dealership immediately. They sent a flatbed.


#4

Sorry. CRV, RAV, after a while they all sound the same.

Short clutch life is not normal for Toyota vehicles, either. The last Toyota I owned still had its original clutch at 180K miles. There is no special clutch technique for driving AWD vehicles.

The burning smell and the lack of acceleration point to a slipping clutch, but I can’t explain why it would do this at so few miles. Also, with care it’s possible to nurse a slipping clutch for a while. They don’t usually fail in just two days, which makes me think something broke, as opposed to wearing out.

There’s no way to know exactly what happened until the clutch is removed from the vehicle and inspected.

You can try to make a case with Toyota, but if the warranty has expired you may not get too far.

Good luck.


#5

Thanks for the encouragement. The warranty is in effect but the clutch, like brakes, is considered a “wearable item” so is not covered by the warranty. I plan to contact Toyota directly, but I wanted to make sure that I was on solid ground before I contacted them.