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Clutch Opinion/Input

Hi our 2005 Legacy GT 5mt with 115k has encountered a throw out bearing failure based on a squeaking/whirring/chirping sound. Apparently its a common failure to this particular car (turbo Legacy).

Of course the $50 part requires a decent amount of labor to access inside transmission. The clutch actually works really well as my wife is really gentle on them even with the squeak. She keeps cars to 200k-300k and never changed a clutch out.

The mechanic thinks without looking the existing flywheel can likely be cleaned up and reused based his previous experience. He will change the balance of clutch parts including labor for around $1000. The flywheel is an additional $500+ part.

My question is it not prudent to spend 50% more and change the flywheel out? Opinions?


I would have the pressure plate and clutch disc changed out while they have it apart. Preventative maintenance at 115k is a wise move.

The mechanic is correct. With this mileage and a properly-working clutch, the flywheel should be perfect. No need to replace it.

I have changed clutch friction disks several times on our cars over the years and have not yet changed a pressure plate or flywheel. At 115k miles it is doubtful that the friction disk was worn to where attachment rivets could score the pressure plate and/or flywheel. I am guessing as is your mechanic but it is a reasoned guess.

A proper repair calls for replacement of the presure plate and servicing of the flywheel if needed. Servicing the flywheel means inspecting it for scoring, burn marks, flatness, and machining or replacing as necessary.
(Machining can be done at any local auto machine shop; about 30 bucks around here.)

Often overlooked is the pilot bearing in the flywheel. The pilot bearing should always be replaced whenever a clutch kit is installed even if the flywheel is left intact.

I wouldn’t consider throw out bearing failure to be a common problem. It could be due to driving habits; e.g. repeated use of the clutch due to mostly city driving, driving with the foot resting on the clutch pedal, etc.

Last time I had a clutch replaced…They used Wagner parts. And in order for Wagner to warranty their clutch parts…the flywheel had to be machined…or they wouldn’t warranty the part. Cost only an extra $20 so it wasn’t a problem.