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Clutch Replacement

My RPMs are starting to jump, so I believe a clutch replacement may be in line soon. However, I’m not a huge car guy, and I don’t have much experience in regards to replacing clutches. So, if someone could answer the below questions, it would be greatly appreciated!

(1) The RPMs are jumping occasionally at higher gears (not every time). How long do you think I could go before the clutch dies completely? I’m not a “racer”, and I just use my car for daily driving.

(2) Do mechanics replace clutches based on symptoms alone, or can they actually visually inspect the clutch and determine that it needs to be replaced?

(3) When replacing a clutch, what parts need to be replaced besides the actual clutch itself? Also, I’ve read about flywheels needing to be resurfaced, but is that necessary?

(4) What manufacturer makes good clutches? As mentioned, I’m not a hard driver or anything. Just need something that is good quality and affordable.

(5) Is the best way to save money (I’m a graduate student) to buy an aftermarket clutch and have the clutch installed by a local mechanic?

(6) At what mileages do clutches typically need to be replaced? I know it depends on how you drive. Let’s say you’re a casual driver and simply use your car to get to work, school, etc.

Thanks in advance!

(1) When the clutch starts slipping while climbing hills replace it ASAP.

(2) Mechanics determine if the clutch requires replacement by symtoms reported.

(3) When a clutch is replaced, it comes as a kit. This includes the clutch disk, the pressure plate, and the clutch release bearing, and in some cases the pilot bearing.

The flywheel is inspected for damage and hot spots. If there’s damage to the flywheel such as grooves from the rivets from the clutch disk the flywheel is replaced. If there’s blue discoloration on the flywheel these are hot spots. The flywheel is then machined to remove these hot spots. If there’s no damage or hot spots on the flywheel, the flywheel surface can be resurfaced on the vehicle with an abrasive disk. Then there are dual mass flywheels. Most machine shops don’t have the proper equipment to machine a dual mass flywheel so it’s usually replaced.

(4) Auto parts stores that have little trucks running around town delivering parts, ie NAPA, CarQuest… will sell quality clutch kits.

(5) Call local auto service centers/garages and ask what their policy is on installing parts provided by the customer.

(6) I had a clutch last to 249,994 miles before it required replacement.


Always replace the little pilot bearing in the flywheel. This is an inexpensive item that is often overlooked and can be a real headache if it fails.

(The pilot bearing is what supports the nose of the transmission mainshaft.)

So, what’s considered a reasonable price for clutch replacement (parts + labor)? Would approximately $1200 be considered reasonable?

Also, if the local mechanic doesn’t installed provided parts, can one be assured that the clutch that the mechanic is ordering and installing is of good quality?

Lastly, is there anything one can do to keep clutches lasting longer? This car was my first one driving stick, and I’m assuming my early years of driving it may have led to it starting to wear out now. But, like, is 90,000 miles too early for clutch replacement?

It would help to know the vehicle info, brand, year, model, motor, etc. A clutch job on a front wheel drive car is a bit more difficult than on a RWD car. $1,200 might be reasonable on a BMW, but high for a Honda Civic.

It’s a 2003 Mazda6, 3.0 liter, 6 cylinder, FWD.

In some FWD cars, the transmission can be separated from the engine with the engine in place…But with most FWD especially V-6 models, the engine and transmission are removed as a unit and then separated on the shop floor in order to replace the clutch…Either way, it’s quite a job so $1200 is in the ball park…You would have to check a shop manual to review the procedure for your make and model… Or just ask the mechanic that’s going to do the work…