Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Chevy S-10 Clutch Problems

95 Chevy S-10 4.3L 4x4 188,000 miles. I had the clutch replaced a year ago for the 1st time. This was due to the throwout bearing disintegrating.

Clutch worked good for about 6 months, then began making a chirping noise with the pedal out.

Last couple of months the clutch is increasingly difficult to engage from a stop. It shudders and shakes trying to get going. I have to let the pedal up fast to get going, once it’s moving, the clutch works and shifts fine.

I don’t have much confidence in the shop that did the repair, even though they were recommended to me. Not long after picking it up, I noticed some of the bell housing bolts weren’t tightened. The warranty was only for 3 months.

It was mentioned that the transmission input shaft could have been scored by the broken bearing, although the shop didn’t mention anything when picking it up. I’ve been driving a stick for 25 years and I’ve never needed one repaired, so I have no experience with symptoms of clutch problems.

I’d like to have it repaired again properly. Is it possible that a damaged input shaft would cause this? I’m worried about having the thing taken apart and find out I need a new transmission now. Any way to diagnose this without too much expense?


You need to see a good transmission mechanic. There are several possibilities including another bad throw-out bearing. It sounds like the “recommended shop” botched the clutch job. Loose bolts is a sure sign of an unprofessional in my opinion. The entire clutch system needs to be checked out. The tranny will have to come out anyway to be inspected.

You obviously need the clutch repaired and when all the pieces are pulled and inspected you should have some insight into the problem. And it may well be that the disintegrated throw out bearing damaged the input shaft housing but that would likely have been evident from the first time you drove after the reapair. But from your description I would guess that the pressure plate diaphram has sprung.

Have you checked the fluid level in the transmission? I am wondering if you might have gear oil leaking from the input shaft seal onto the clutch disc. It is unlikely to be damage to the input shaft bearing retainer on which the throw out bearing slides.

Anyway check the transmission fluid level and see if there is any gear oil showing up at the bell housing fluid drip hole.

I checked the trans fluid and it’s full. There’s no signs of fluid around the bell housing hole. I have a little oil leakage somewhere above where the cooler line comes out of the engine, but that was leaking long before the clutch job. The receipt says they rebuilt the transmission nose cone.

The shop I had the repair done was an established independent transmission specialist. They obviously did a sloppy job, but not much I can do about it now. I only noticed the loose bolts because I had to re-align the exhaust because they left it crammed against the frame, and my 4wd indicator didn’t work afterwards. 2 of the bell housing bolts were just threaded on, not tightened at all.

Does anyone know a competent mechanic I can take it to? I live in southwestern CT and I travel to southern NH regularly also. I read this forum occasionally and I know there’s some good mechanics here. I don’t really find the mechanic’s files section all that helpful.
Thanks for the responses.

You got more miles out of this thing than some folks have done, for instance I replaced a clutch on a twd s-10 for a buddy of mine and the new clutch failed the next day. The pivot ring on the pressure plate broke. so I did the job again, and this time it lasted a year before the clutch burned out while pulling another car up a hill. Sure you got a dingbat for a mechanic, but personally I cant say much for chevy S-10s either.

Mine has had plenty of problems for sure. I’m not going to give up on an otherwise good truck over a clutch though. I got 178k miles out of the original clutch.

I looked into doing this myself, but the 4x4 clutch replacement sounds like a nightmare to do in your driveway. I understand why the labor cost is so high. I’d love some suggestions on finding a good mechanic, I can’t afford to just roll the dice again.