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Clutch going out?

I’m driving my first manual car (Nissan Xterra, XE, 2003, 4L), and it’s starting to make a sort of grinding noise when I put it in first. The noise goes away as soon as you get going, but it’s there if you’re idling in gear. Otherwise, the car’s driving fine. It’s not having any problems getting into gear, or staying in gear…Is this a sign my clutch is going out? Or something with the transmission? Any ideas would be appreciated - thanks!!

If you just hold the clutch pedal down and it grinds, it is the the trust bearing that is failing. If it grinds when you put it in gear, and you feel the grind on the stick, then it’s the clutch.

If it is the bearing, the tranny hasto come out anyway so you might as well replace the clutch at the same time.

That was what I was afraid of. Actually, sometimes it grinds when I just have the clutch pedal down (before I put it in gear), but it does it more consistently when I have the clutch in & I put it in first. So maybe both are going out anyway? Is 6 years a pretty good life on a clutch (my 1st manual too)? If you had to ballpark it, how much would it be for a) the bearing and b) the clutch? And since I’m doing this on an intern budget, is this something I have to get fixed asap, before it ruins something else in the engine, or can I wait until there’s actually a problem driving it? Thanks so much for your answer! I appreciate the help!

$400 to $700. Again, you should replace both the bearing and clutch. The bulk of the cost is to remove and reinstall the transmission. So once you’re inside, you may as well replace anything that can go bad.

It isn’t likely to hurt anything else. At worst, you can’t disengage the clutch so you can’t get in gear. Just accept it and don’t strong-arm the stick to get in gear, or you’ll shred the transmission.

Thanks CA! So far it hasn’t been any harder to get into gear, but I won’t try to force it. Don’t need to add a new transmission on top of clutch & bearing…