Clutch Repair Cost

My mechanic recently told me that the clutch on my 2000 Subaru Forester needs to be replaced. The need for the repair didn’t come as any surprise, since the clutch has been slipping for several months. The price, however, was a shock. The mechanic told me that the parts alone will cost nearly $1,500. That seems insanely expensive to me. Am I being cheap/paranoid, or does that cost seem right?

maybe that’s the whole job price ?
I see an AutoZone clutch set that would retail for 350.
Are they buying Subaru OE parts ? Does it need other parts like master/slave cylinders or motor mounts ?

He said that was just for parts. I’ll check to see what other parts it might need, but if I remember correctly, he quoted the clutch kit at $1480 “from the manufacturer.”

Obviously you have search engines to check the kit prices, but the dealer cost for my Accord’s clutch replacement is $1600. So that seems reasonable for the entire job.

FWIW I would not consider installing an AutoZone clutch in any car that I was planning on keeping.

With the amount of work we’re talking about here, I would want to install the very best quality parts. After all, you wouldn’t want to do the job again for several years.

Visit a Subaru dealship parts dept and ask them how much the clutch replacement kit costs. Then you’ll have something to go by. As mentioned above, I’d go with the Subaru OEM kit if you plan to keep this car for a while.

The price on a clutch kit sounds awful high to me unless it was OEM Subaru parts. An aftermarket clutch kit even with a new flywheel should not be that much even with a decent markup.

Maybe the shop is buying an aftermarket kit and pricing them out as OEM Subaru parts.

The mechanic will undoubtedly charge you retail for the parts which he can buy wholesale. That’s how it works. If you are dealing with the Subaru dealer, phone their parts department and ask exactly what the parts cost. If you are dealing with an independent shop, you will at least know whether he is being up front with you as to the cost of the parts. Since he SAYS he’s getting them directly from the manufacturer, I’m also curious who he is calling the manufacturer. Is he qouting genuine Subaru parts, or parts made elsewhere?

Not that I’m excusing this, but most shops do mark up the parts they sell.

Even most of my colleagues (not me) mark up parts for their weekend sidejobs.

I prefer there to not be any question about my “honesty” . . . because some of my sidejob customers actually check on the price of parts, and I hand them all the receipts for the parts purchased for the repair.

I don’t have a problem with markups as it takes that to support a shop and procuring those parts does eat up a valuable asset; time.
Granted, the OP is told up the price up front so no one is being robbed but the price seems awfully high if aftermarket parts are being used and it would be interesting to know how that parts total is arrived at.


“FWIW I would not consider installing an AutoZone clutch in any car that I was planning on keeping.”

I’d like to point out that neither Subaru or Autozone makes clutches. They both use suppliers. The trick to finding a good deal on OEM parts is a little bit of research to find the OEM supplier, then find anothrr vendor that sells that part under the supplier’s name. My cousin needed an O2 sensor for here Volvo. The dealer parts counter wanted $325 for it. A bit of research, and a Volvo forum revealed the OEM part was Bosch, and gave the Bosch part number. We found it at for $125, and was delivered in 2 days. It was the exact same part, complete with proper connector and wire length, compared to the old OEM part we pulled out.

You might want to ask what parts the repair people intend to use and if all are needed. I have replaced clutch friction disks at home on two rear drivers and two front drivers so far and have not resurfaced or replaced a flywheel or pressure plate. The only parts I have ever replaced when doing a clutch were the friction disk and the throwout bearing. I should have replaced a rough pilot shaft ball bearing but skipped it and so far it’s still working. If your clutch is hydraulic and exchanging the slave cylinder requires major work, then you might want to replace that too. otherwise if it works and does not leak, leave it as is.

It seems likely that the repair people will attempt to convince you that you need all of the clutch parts and that you will get dire warnings if you don’t do as they say. Ask here before you proceed if you can, after the car is apart for clutch work. You need to know if the flywheel and clutch plate surfaces are scored from using the friction disk down to the rivets. There is no way to know this until the clutch is disassembled. Light scoring is harmless but heavy scoring will require a resurfaced or a new flywheel and pressure plate.

I have good results with buying whatever they have at the car parts store; never buy dealer clutch parts; too expensive. My present friction disk from the car parts store has 183k miles; works fine.

@BustedKnuckles I do the same thing on my my Mom’s Benz. I find out who the OEM was, then I buy those parts, at a significantly lower price. One time I bought a Bosch O2 sensor. The box said Bosch, but the sensor inside WAS the Benz part, with both Benz and Bosch numbers on it.

Thanks for all the advice/info folks! It sounds like I might do well to “shop around” a bit for a better deal on repairs. I’d like to go with my usual mechanic, but it seems that his quote might be rather high.