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Cruise control problem on '08 Altima needs new clutch?

Hello All,

I have a 2008 Altima coupe SE V6 with a manual transmission and approximately 45,000 miles. Recently, I have been having an issue with cruise control when going uphill. It started that I could not accelerate using the cruise control button going uphill without the cruise control cancelling. If I hit the “resume” button, the cruise control would try and accelerate again and cancel out again. Since I took it in earlier this week, the cruise control has been cancelling whenever going up even a relatively modest hill whether I’m accelerating or not, so, whatever the issue is, it appears to be getting worse.

Assuming it was a problem with the cruise control itself (which would presumably be covered under warranty) I took the car to a Nissan dealer. They said that the clutch was wearing out and so the gear was slipping (or something) when the cruise control was trying to accelerate, causing the cruise control to cancel.

I was pretty shocked given that the car only has 45,000 miles on it and I don’t grind the gears or ride the clutch. I spend a good bit of time in D.C. area traffic, but even considering that, 45,000 miles?? I did buy the car used, so it’s possible that the previous owner did a number on the car in the first 10,000 miles or so, but it still seemed unlikely. I haven’t noticed any other symptoms of the clutch dying except that recently, when I accelerate in 1st gear and am around the engagement point, occasionally there is sort of a metal-on-metal sound; almost like when breaks need new pads or something, but not as high pitched or loud.

I was even more shocked when they quoted nearly $2,000 (total, including parts, labor, etc.) to replace it. I have since called a few other repair places and have gotten similarly high quotes.

Any thoughts on: a) if the issue is really the clutch, and b) if so, why it would cost so much to replace?

Thanks very much for your help!


It sounds like a clutch that is slipping. The metal on metal noise means you should not delay in getting this fixed. The metal sound could be the rivets in the clutch plate contacting the pressure plate, or flywheel, or both. Delay could mean more expense if more parts need to be replaced. A flywheel is very pricey.

When you go uphill and the clutch slips, the revs go up (you can see that on the tach) and the cruise calls for more gas and the rev’s go up more and at some point the cruise cuts off since the speed isn’t increasing.

Agree that 45K miles is not good mileage from a clutch but this is highly variable driver to driver and car to car. A lot of city stop and go driving doesn’t help.

Thanks for your quick reply!

Regarding: “When you go uphill and the clutch slips, the revs go up (you can see that on the tach) and the cruise calls for more gas and the rev’s go up more and at some point the cruise cuts off since the speed isn’t increasing.” I will have to pay close attention next time it happens, but I don’t feel like the car is even trying to accelerate up the hill.

I may be wrong, but I don’t know if that changes anything. Any idea why they would try to charge me $2k to get it done?

Thanks again

I doesn’t matter what it “feels” like to you, your clutch is shot and probably your flywheel too. They have to remove either the engine or transxle to do the job.

Make mine a third “your clutch is slipping” reply. You can price shop to get this work done, you do not need a dealer. $2000 sounds high to me but I could be wrong. Transverse engines can be a pain to get to the clutch on.

You said you’re in the DC area…probably the most expensive area to get the work done in. You could try heading to Baltimore or another of the surrounding areas for a cheaper price. There’s also a new type of service I see around here occasionally, a “bring your own parts” place where you take the car in, with parts, and they do the work. The only real problem here is you don’t know the state of your flywheel.

If the flywheel damage isn’t too bad, you can get it machined. Your parts list isn’t too bad, really…clutch, pressure plate, throw-out bearing and pilot bearing. That should be it…except for that flywheel…

Good luck,

Edit: By “try heading to” I meant with the phone, of course…