Replacing Clutch and Timing Belt

I own a 2001 Honda Civic manual transmission. The car has about 111K miles on it. Does anyone have an opinion on how to decide it is time to get a new clutch? What should I be looking for?

Also, the car manual recommends getting the timing belt replaced at 110K miles. Is this something I should follow blindly or is there some leeway in delaying it?


The belt you can’t mess with. It NEEDS to be replaced. This is a interference engine. If the belt breaks it’ll cost you THOUSANDS for a new engine.

As for the clutch…It depends on how your drive…the weight of the vehicle…they type of driving…A good way to check is…put vehicle in 5th gear…put the parking brake on…or park the car against a wall…release clutch slowly. If the car stalls the clutch is fine. If not…you need a new clutch.

Clutches are replaced when they’re worn out. When they’re worn out depends on the user, not on time or miles. Some people can make a clutch last forever, others wear them out like socks.

As for your timing belt, delaying the replacement is gambling with the engine’s life and well-being. If you lose the bet, it’ll damage the engine to the tune of thousands of dollars.

You decide.

Don’t change the clutch unless it has a problem. A grinding throwout bearing or clutch slippage are two problems.

Thanks for all the tips. I am going to get the timing belt replaced ASAP.

What is a “grinding throwout bearing”? Once in a while, I hear a grinding noise and the stick pops out of the second gear (happens only in the second gear). I have been assuming that it happens because I did not engage the gear properly; because, after it pops out, when I put it in the second gear again, it behaves normally and does not pop out again. Is this because my imperfect driving technique or is something mechanically wrong (eg. worn out clutch)?

Here is the scoop on timing belts. You can stretch them but it may be 2 miles or 50k miles. A close friend completely neglected changing a timing belt on a 2000 VW Golf which is now headed for the crusher or junkyard in otherwise exceptional shape. At 150k miles it snapped and requires $3000 in top end of engine repairs including the $300 timing belt replacement.

Clutch can last another 100k or 200k, it all depends on how it has been driven. There is no interval.

The timing belt is critical. If it breaks the engine will be damaged. Make an appointment with a mechanic to have the timing belt, and the water pump, replaced soon. There is no “leeway” on this.

If there’s nothing wrong with the clutch, forget it and keep driving. Unless it’s slipping, and you didn’t say it was, there’s nothing to worry about.

Don’t Let It Pop Out Of Gear Any More

This just isn’t right. Be sure you are putting it in gear all the way. You probably are already doing that or this problem would have been noticed a long while back. If you don’t have any internal transmission damage causing this, you may have, as a result. I would have the shift linkage / cables checked for wear and proper adjustment. Do this when the timing belt gets renewed since you are doing that ASAP.