Just like brakes, it's easy for drivers to tell when the clutch is wearing out and needing a replacement. A worn out, or wearing out, clutch can be harder to handle. You might notice that the pedals seem to ‘stick' more, and that pushing the clutch in requires more force than normal. A clutch in need of repair can also lose the smoothness of a clutch in good condition; you might notice a ‘shakiness' or jerking motion when the clutch moves from gear to gear, or even total loss of control at times, as the clutch slips out of gear entirely.
The clutch doesn't usually last the lifespan of the car. Depending on the vehicle's make and model, and how well the clutch is treated, the clutch may or may not last more than 50,000 miles. Even the climate of where you live and drive, and your commute-type can affect the clutch. A driver that sits in city traffic all day, inching along, uses the clutch a lot more than a driver that coasts down the highway. Hot weather also affects the usage of clutch fluid, and can cause the fluid to run thin much faster than in a cold climate.
If you haven't noticed a gradual wearing-down of your clutch, and find yourself in a sudden clutch crisis – the clutch stops working entirely or you notice smoke or the smell of electrical fire underneath your hood, you're likely in for a surprise clutch replacement.
This type of replacement is something that controls your daily driving experience, so it's important to take this repair seriously. Locate a good mechanic shop, one that you trust. Since the cost of clutch replacement varies so widely, you want to make sure you're getting the best deal, while getting the repair done right. Depending on the make and model, a clutch replacement can run anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. Small sedans like the Honda Civic can run on the less expensive end of the spectrum, while more “driving-focused” cars like many BMW models can run into the thousands to replace the clutch. It's best to have a relationship with a mechanic before you find yourself suddenly in need of their services. If you do find yourself in a bad clutch replacement situation, you can contact Amtech AutoCare Center to get more information and even a quote on the repair costs. We're ASE certified mechanics and NAPA-endorsed automotive repair establishments.