2013 Honda Accord 6sp Manual Clutch Out!

I have 2013 Honda Accord 6 sp manual with 25k miles on, its clutch was completed gone last week, got new replacement, local Honda customer rep. told me I should watch my driving pattern, should using more break, instead transmission slow down, particular from high speed/high gears. I told them, we have 2008 Civic 5 speed Manual, I taught my two daughters how to drive it, and the car is still running without any problem… And, this is manual transmission car, tell a driver can not using/changing gears slowing down car is a joke… but maybe I am wrong… I am looking for advice:

  1. Is there a possibility Accord has design problem with inferior clutch materials used on their new 6 speeds manual Accord?
  2. Since car has new clutch, should I keep it for a while? Or, sale it immediately? I just can’t not see I am going to come up another $2,000 for 3rd replacement on clutch before the car get into 60K miles.

Lets try 3

  1. learn to use brakes as using engine/transmission to primarily slow a car is wasteful in drivetrain wear and MPG. Brakes are pocket change and far easier to replace as wear items. I will relearn my driving habits. Use more brakes than engine/transmission and all will be well.

I would have liked to see what the old clutch looked like. Did the clutch pad totally wear out, or did the diaphram spring on the pressure plate give up early? The wear pattern on the flywheel, pressure plate, and clutch disc can tell you alot about what exactly happened. 25,000 miles on a clutch with an experienced driver is way too early and warrants a further look. Also, how much clutch material is on the new clutch disk?

Using your clutch to slow down the vehicle is never a good idea…that’s what brakes were designed for. It’s not a joke…it’s just good driving habits. The clutch in your Civic is probably a heavier unit than the one in your Accord so you probably lucked out there. I have a cousin who drove for years by downshifting her automatic vehicles to slow down. A couple of transmission replacements later and she now uses her brakes full time. You can learn as well.

There’s not a thing wrong with downshifting a manual to slow down, and it sometimes is a very good idea. Ask any trucker.

However, it is true that it will wear the clutch faster and brakes are way cheaper. So if you want to say that’s what makes it “never a good idea” fine, but I’d not agree at all. Not doing it regularly will prolong the life of the clutch and that is all.

Like @BustedKnuckles, whether using engine braking or not, 25K is way to short a life for an experienced driver. Something is up with it.

“Did the clutch pad totally wear out, or did the diaphram spring on the pressure plate give up early? The wear pattern on the flywheel, pressure plate, and clutch disc can tell you alot about what exactly happened…”

I thought these things as well, I was worried Honda is not sale a lot manual transmission car in US and Canada, they may sourced out parts from China, I asked local Honda dealer show me where was the original clutch kids made, told them explicit I would like to manufacture origin…unfortunately, at time I pick up the car, was told, they already return “parts” to Honda.

I find it downright strange that used parts were returned to Honda; especially if this job was customer pay and you had to foot the bill. Take that return parts comment they gave you with a grain of salt.

Return parts (called cores) involves parts obtained from regular parts houses such as AutoZone, Advance Auto, NAPA, etc.
I agree with bustedknuckles about wanting to see what the old clutch looked like as that could provide a definitive answer as to what happened.

Odd. 1 yr old car and worn clutch. You would think service manager might say something about driving habits as you were dropping off car? As in, maybe WE could inspect parts together? But zip, parts are gone before you even pick up car from repair? Job got done at 4pm. U show up at 6pm and parts are gone?

@cigroller…you certainly have a right to your opinion but using the clutch to slow down is still a bad idea. Brakes were designed to do that. I know that in an emergency, downshifting to slow down will work but that’s an exception to the rule. Today’s brakes can stop a vehicle very quickly and if they couldn’t…there would be no automatic transmissions in vehicles. Truckers have bad habits just like everyone else and I see it as nothing more than a bad habit like downshifting an automatic transmission.

@missileman, you certainly have a right to your opinion, but no it’s not a “bad” idea nor a “bad habit.” It’s a way of driving a car. It will wear a clutch disk faster - that’s true. But if that’s your only basis for saying its a “bad idea” then that leaves it at your opinion not a “fact” that it’s “bad.”

All I’m saying is that when you wrote “Using your clutch to slow down the vehicle is never a good idea” it was an overstatement.

And trucks downshift for many reasons well beyond “bad habits.”

There was a recent thread that talked about using engine braking on long downhill stretches to prevent brake overheating.
I consider that a good habit.

Yes…downshifting on a hill to prevent brake overheating is a “good idea” and a “good habit.” I still maintain that downshifting to slow down a vehicle is a bad idea. If it wasn’t then we have to assume it’s a “good idea” which it is definitely not.

It depends on how you do it. If you downshift and just slip the clutch out then yeah, you’re wearing on the clutch. if you rev-match, which is the proper way to do it, you’re really not.

It’s just a way of driving. It has some uses. It has some disadvantages.

Here - I’ll give you a little bio. My dad grew up often hauling heavy stuff around on trucks and in snowy winters - not semis, but pickups and flatbeds and stuff with all manner of things on them. These were the days with drum brakes on all four corners, and also during his time a clutch would often outlast an engine. So to him routine engine braking was the “right” way to drive. And given that set of stuff I wouldn’t disagree.

So, of course, he taught me to drive a manual and that’s what he taught. But by this time the more routine thing was disc brakes on the front and engines that would outlast clutches. But I drove like that for a long time out of “habit” - just never thought about it. It’s like telling a fish to get out of the water. Huh? What’s water?

Eventually it did occur to me that engines were not routinely near-dead by 100K and that using brakes more than the clutch would save me money in the long run. So in the last manual I owned I changed my driving style and stopped downshifting thorough deceleration. But in my mind it’s not that I went to the “right” way. Its a different way and probably a little cheaper over time.

However, I can tell you that to this day my dad would probably still say to downshift through deceleration - so that the car is always in the appropriate gear and ready to go if that’s what you need it to do. If you have a sudden need to hammer it and you’re at 15mph in 5th gear then you’re in trouble. If you’re in neutral and miss 1st or 2nd - same thing.

Back in the day before engine brakes and better materials you had to do everything possible to enhance brake life,I 've watched my friends boil the brake fluid on old hydraulic brake vehicles and watched the cowboys smoke the linings on the air brakes,if you are driving something heavy you learn not to be too dependent on service brakes,the old" pre engine brake "diesel engines would scarcely retard a load at all due to “air spring” an old gas engine would actually retard better then an early Diesel(the only exception I can think of was a Detroit diesel engine ,because the Rootes blower consumed so much power compressing air,the primary reason to gear down in the old trucks was to simply keep the speed down enough to the point were the brakes could dissiapate the Kinetic energy as heat,I do believe in downshifting on grades but I think its foolhardy to downshift a car everytime you come to stop,I never downshifted my 92 Nissan pickup and the front brakes were 90% at 114K miles and yes I hauled loads on the little beast and did a lot of stoplight driving(never had any clutch trouble either) my RD 690Mack had over 200K on it and the brakes were in extremely good shape and it was overloaded most of the time,speed kills brakes and improper driving technique kills clutches,the short clutch life on your Honda was not a design flaw-Kevin

@ Missileman most people dont know how to revmatch(most people cant doubleclutch) I listen to people gearing down when the engine suddenly over revs and the back wheels almostslide you know its not being done right-Kevin

@kmccune…I agree. We have a group of “riceburner” racers around here who do nothing more than make a lot of noise and over-rev their engines while downshifting to show off. Luckily…our police keep them out of residential areas for the most part.

@Missileman,praise the Lord! That racket is horrible-Kevin

I have a 20 year old Corolla with 200K miles with the original clutch & manual transmission still going strong, and have always since the car was new routinely used the clutch/transmission to slow the car. I do tend to double clutch, that might help explain to some degree why it hasn’t seemed to abnormally wear the clutch. I don’t drive that way b/c I’m trying to save money on brake pads. I feel I have better control of the car when the clutch is engaged., especially during turns.

If someone told me they were having an abnormal clutch wear problem, and it wasn’t just a bad clutch or install that caused it, my first suspect would be they are riding the clutch or taking off on jack rabbit pop-the-clutch starts all the time. I wouldn’t think of them slowing down using the clutch as the most likely cause.

@JZ27513 I could be entirely wrong but I detect the odor of a big fat dealership rat. Typically the only part of a clutch assembly not covered under warranty is the friction disc which like brake pads/shoes, and tires is considered a normal wear item beyond control of the manufacturer unless a design or manufacturing defect can be proven. As an example my 1991 Jeep Cherokee with less than 5,000 miles had a brake caliper freeze. It was not applying enough brake to be noticeable but generated enough heat to warp the rotor and wear the pads. The rotor and caliper were replaced under warranty. Of course they attempted to charge me $80 for a set of pads (that I could purchase in their parts department for$20) as they were a normal wear item not covered under warranty. I explained to the service manager that the non warranted parts were damaged by a defective warranted part and were therefore covered. I also let them know I had corporate’s toll free number if needed. They immediately went to the usual song and dance. "Oh! That’s right! Sorry about that. I’m not familiar with late model Honda clutches but I assume they are hydraulically actuated. If your Accord came from the factory with slightly leaky slave cylinder seals which when stopped for short periods of time at stop signs, red lights, or stop and go traffic with the clutch disengaged could slightly engage the clutch so little it would not be noticeable. This would have the same end result as riding the clutch (worn clutch disc.) Although the dealership could not fix a worn clutch disc by replacing a defective slave cylinder I am still suspicious of the missing original parts. When replacing a worn clutch disc it is standard procedure to also replace the pressure plate and release bearing as the parts cost is very small compared to the labor cost on transverse engine transaxle vehicles. At 25,000 miles your pressure plate and release bearing were probably in excellent condition and not replaced but charged for. Also a defective slave cylinder in the old parts box could have turned the entire job into a warranty claim. I don’t know what the deal is now but when I was busting knuckles at a GM dealership in the mid 1970s the dealer hated warranty work. There was no profit on parts and they were reimbursed 70% of their shop labor rate. On your $2,000 job the dealer could have lost at least $600. I would want the slave cylinder checked by a trusted independent shop just for the peace of mind. I would certainly not want an encore at 50,000 miles. I would also file a complaint wit Honda corporate concerning the disappearing used parts especially the shipping them to the factory BS.