Clutch and transmission


We recently had our clutch and transmission replaced on our 1997 Maxima. We took the car to the dealership to have the work done.

Before the work, the car ran smoothly and though the clutch was a little spongy, it worked fine–slightly easing up on it would be enough to send the car forward (or backward) with little or no gas needed.

Now, the clutch needs to be let out very slowly, and lots of gas needs to accompany this. We took it back to the dealer, and he said, “Oh, it will take a while to break in the new parts. We didn’t replace the fly wheel, so there may be some coordination problems, but they will work themselves out in 500-700 miles. Bring it back then if it’s not any better.”

Wow. $3000 later, and now we need to break it in for 500 miles? Does this sound reasonable to anyone?




A new clutch will likely need some wearing in to bed in the new friction lining, though 500 miles sounds a little excessive.

But why did they replace the transmission ?


Give it a few weeks in stop and go traffic and see if the surfaces break in a bit. A used flywheel mixed with a fresh clutch sometimes provides mixed results.


Sounds like BS to me. A new clutch should be the same as a new clutch from the factory, as in when your car was new. You shouldn’t have to do anything “special” to break in a new clutch. It should work perfectly, as you would expect a new clutch to, from day one.

If it doesn’t, something is wrong.


A agree with McP on this one, the clutch should work like new. During a clutch job it’s the responsibility of the shop to evaluate the surface of the flywheel as to whether it needs to be resurfaced. If they elect not to and it them creates problems between the frictional surfaces, it then becomes their responsibility to correct the problem at their cost. Most shops will not take this risk if there is any question. They’ll resurface.

Having said that, nobody could fault you for giving it a few weeks rather than wanting to go through the grief of going back to fight with them. The work should be guaranteed for longer than that.

One option you have is to get it written up, get their response in writing as to how long to give it, and then go back with the documentation containing their response if it doesn’t settle down. That should reinforce the workmanship warranty that’s already in effect.