Creaking clutch

I have a 2004 Honda CRV with 99,000 miles. It is a standard and the clutch recently started creaking like an old screen door when depressed. I thought it might just need greasing somewhere but then I think I remembered one of your shows with a similarly described problem and you diagnosed it as a worn throw-out bearing or something equally serious

If it only happens when the engine is on, then you need more than grease.

Actually, Chunky has a point.

If it creaks with the engine off, then it’s porbably one of the articulated joints in the lever or linkage that either pushes the piston in at the master cylinder or slides the throwout bearing at the slave cylibder end. A drop of lube will stop the noise. I had an old truck that did this.

If it only happens when the engine is running, it’s probably the throwout bearing and you need a clutch job.

The throwout bearing is a “thrust bearing”. It’s loaded axially (through its center) by the radially arranged spring loaded levers that pull the pressure plate away from the clutchplate. It’s splined onto the tranny input shaft. Its outside is spinning at the same speed as the engine and its inside the same speed as the tranny input shaft. As long as the clutch is engaged, those speeds are the same, but when you disengage the clutch those speeds bacome different and the release bearings innards begin to spin to accomodate the difference as well as becoming loaded as it pushes the pressure plate levers.

At 99,000 miles I would not be at all surprised if you needed a clutch job.

My 99 Civic was doing this a couple years ago. When clutch is pressed, it moves a lever arm that goes into the clutch housing through a rubber boot. The noise was coming from somewhere in past the boot. I pried the boot loose and rigged up some way to spray some lubricant in there. It has been fine ever since. Be careful - I don’t know, but maybe overdoing it will get oil onto friction surfaces of the clutch.

My 1998 Civic has been doing the same thing for more than 6 years. It only happens when I press the clutch to start the car, and for a few minutes after. After that, it goes away. I wouldn’t (and don’t) worry about it.