What is Involved in a Clutch Replacement?

Replacing a clutch is a tricky job, one that requires a lot of car know-how and that can take hours to do correctly. If you are someone who understands cars, how they work, and how to repair and/or replace parts, then you may be able to tackle a clutch replacement job yourself. If, however, you have any doubt about your ability to do this, then it’s usually in your best interest (and your car’s!) to take your vehicle to a knowledgeable mechanic instead. A few wrong moves can actually make the problem with your vehicle much worse and could even damage other parts of your car.

Remember that every car is different and, if you’re doing the job yourself, you’ll need to make sure you understand how it needs to be done according to the vehicle that you own. Just because you have replaced a clutch before on a different vehicle doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to do it on this one, so keep that in mind. Also understand that this job is really made up of a few small jobs—removing the old clutch and then inserting and installing the new one correctly.

Removing your vehicle’s old clutch is usually fairly straightforward and, if you pay careful attention during the removal process, you’ll have a better idea of just how the new clutch will need to be installed. Start by unhooking the positive cable that goes to your battery and, dependent on your particular vehicle, either the cable connected to the clutch or the hydraulic slave cylinder. Then, you will need to raise the front end of your vehicle, stabilize the engine, undo some or all of the engine mounts dependent upon your vehicle, and then remove the flywheel bell bolts to distinguish the engine and the transaxle. All that’s left to do after that is to remove the bolts around the pressure plate, remove the plate and the clutch disc, and check on the bushing to ensure there are no problems.

When you’ve removed all of the necessary parts, make sure that there is no leakage, especially from the input shaft of the transaxle. If you notice any leaking, then you may have to replace the input shaft, the entire transaxle, and/or other parts of your vehicle in addition to the clutch. Regardless, you’ll need to install a new seal before doing anything else.

From there, it’s important to clean the crankshaft flange, insert the flywheel, and then use a torque to bolt it into place. Next, you’ll want to put in the clutch disc, followed by the pressure plate, and the release bearing. After that, simply move the transaxle into position, making sure that the input shaft goes into the appropriate opening on the clutch disc. All that’s left to do is to reinstall all of the bolts you removed and then perform a test to ensure that the new clutch is working properly. And, if you found any of this information confusing or didn’t understand what to do, that’s a fairly good indication that a mechanic might be your best option.

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