View Full Version : Standard transmission drivers: How often do you change your clutch?

02-18-2004, 07:00 PM
I have 107 thou on my car and never changed the clutch. My old Honday at 153 when I junked it with the original clutch. My boss thinks this is amazing, and claims that in the UK (where he is from) the average life span of a clutch is 60 thou.

Am I atypical or is he hard on clutches?

02-18-2004, 07:06 PM
The only clutch-change I've heard of was past 100k.

02-18-2004, 07:06 PM
I think mine may have been replace once, but I'm not sure. I bought it in '96, my brother drove it from 10/98-9/2001 (it had around 40k when he got it from me), and I've had it back since (got it back with around 96k). He may have replaced it then, but I've never had it done.

Currently around 120k in mileage.

02-18-2004, 07:44 PM
172,000 miles on a 1993 Pathfinder.

Original clutch.

Most of my miles are highway, but those miles are over mountain passes with lots of switch backs.

02-18-2004, 10:03 PM
He must be hard on clutches. I put over 125,000 miles on my 1990 Jeep YJ, and never needed a new clutch.

No idea how far it would have gone with the original, by the way. I sold it before the clutch wore out.

02-18-2004, 10:26 PM
The only car (BMW 320i) for which I've had to replace a clutch I bought with 77K miles and the inspecting mechanic told me at the time that the clutch was nearly gone. That helped with the sales price negotiation, but sure enough, I had to replace it at about 85K miles.

Then I drove it for another decade and, when it lost 2nd and 3rd gears, I drove it for another couple of weeks before I gave it to a friend's nephew who was just starting at Ole Miss'. I didn't see him again until four years later when he'd just graduated, was still driving the car and had never either fixed the transmission or replaced the clutch.

So, I think a lot of it's in the foot.

02-18-2004, 10:39 PM
My mother is hard on clutches. When my father and her first married she would go throught a clutch every 20,000 km (12,427 miles) or about 1 a year.

My parents also purchased a use 93 nissian sentra with 40,000 km (24,855 miles) on it and had to repalce the clutch one month later ( the first owner was disable and finding increasingly diffcult to drive a standard).

The best my parents have been able to do is about 150,000 km or about 90,000 miles a clutch. But again, my mother is hard on clutches.

There is no reason a clutch can't last the life of a car if you treat it right, but my uncle saw some one kill a perfectly good clutch in less then a hour because they didn't know what they were doing.

02-18-2004, 11:16 PM
Used to own an '84 Toyota pickup. Clutch change at 185,000; I eventually sold it at 214,000. Still in use on a farm.

My '94 Suzuki Sidekick only has 90,000 but not clutch problems.

02-18-2004, 11:38 PM
I just replaced the clutch on my '97 VW Cabrio at 125K miles, which seemed early to me, but then again, someone else drove the first 60K of those, and I taught Gingy to drive a stick with it, which can be hard on a clutch. She had a tendency to ride the clutch a bit at first which has mostly disappeared.

02-18-2004, 11:50 PM
Two cars (88 Honda Accord and 97 Saturn SW2) sold both at around 130K with the original clutches.

02-19-2004, 12:23 AM
My 1991 Mazda 323 finally gave up the ghost about 3 weeks ago and at 202,000 miles it still had the original clutch. Actually, it probably would still be going but I decided it was too risky to drive it any distance, so I didn't get it repaired.

02-19-2004, 05:36 AM
In a standard econobox I would expect over 150,000 miles if it is driven correctly. If you live in San Francisco that might be a little different. You'll slip the clutch more on hills. Iíve seen kids wear out a clutch in less than 25,000 miles (thatís when you let them replace the clutch as a learning experience).

Skill would certainly add to the longevity of a clutch. I got in the habit of shifting without it if I'm cruising around town. I wouldn't recommend it because of potential wear on the synchronizers but it is an indication of how well you can match shifts with engine rpm.

02-19-2004, 07:43 AM
AFAIK, there's two factors - the Mrs Pergau style of driving - where the manufacturers kindly allow the clutch pedal to double as a foot rest, or just bad gear changing, with lots of slipping going on as you take your foot off of the clutch.

Also there is the type of driving - When I lived in England, I got about 80K miles on a clutch but almost all of this was in very heavy traffic - all stop-start stuff. I sold my last car at 98K with it's original clutch (but one of the reasons for selling was that it was about to go)

In the UK and Ireland, I would think that 80-100K is about right if you drive properly.

Gary T
02-19-2004, 08:28 AM
I would say the average I've seen on modern cars is in the 130-150K miles range. Some wear out before 100K, some last past 200K.

Twenty years ago, the average seemed to be in the 70-80K range. The majority didn't make it past 100K.

Technique makes all the difference in the world. Every story related in this thread is quite believable.

One other factor that applies to some cars is clutch adjustment. While most cars today have self-adjusting clutches, there are a fair number of cars on the road with adjustable clutches (mostly some Hondas, also a few models of Toyota, Nissan, Subaru, etc.). On those designs, the most common cause of premature clutch wear is long-term misadjustment. I strongly advise you to find out if your clutch is adjustable, and if it is, keep it properly adjusted.

02-19-2004, 11:12 AM
Sorry to hear about your 323 suezeekay.

Mine 1987 323 is still on its original clutch after 211k. I attribute that to it being a cheapo clutch that easily slips, so I've been very careful with it from day 1.

02-19-2004, 11:18 AM
I got my current car, a 93 Subaru Legacy, two years ago with ~125k miles. It needed a new clutch a month after I got it. I was driving down the highway and noticed that I needed to push the gas pedal down twice as far as usual to go ata nice speed. Once I got off the highway, every time I shifted the problem got worse, till I figured out that basically the clutch wasn't releasing all the way. I was stuck a mile away from my house at the bottom of a VERY large hill. If there were less stoplights and no hill, I could have made it back without calling a tow truck. Thankfully, a guy in the car wit me had AAA, and the dealership igot it from backs up their cars and not only drove the 200 miles to get the car, but also fixed the $900 worth of damage for free.

Montgomery Burns
02-19-2004, 11:57 AM
We have a 1983 Toyota Celica with 140,000 miles on it and a 1990 Honda Accord with 152,000 miles and both still have their original clutches. Both have had their clutch slave cylinders replaced though.

02-19-2004, 12:35 PM
My 1995 Mazda Protege has 233,000 miles (373,000 km) on it and I have never replaced the clutch. Do I win a prize? :cool:

I drive in Northern VA/Washington DC traffic daily, and when the car had 180K miles I spent three months in San Francisco, where I was sure those unbelievable hills would kill the clutch.

02-19-2004, 01:00 PM
Never did it.

Most miles I've put on a car was 165k, no problems with the clutch yet...but My engine croaked & ditched the car.

John Carter of Mars
02-19-2004, 03:05 PM
I replaced the clutch on my 1996 Chevy S-10 pickup this year at 153K miles. This truck is used to haul loads rather frequently, and that probably had something to do with the clutch failure.

02-19-2004, 05:30 PM
Every two years when I trade in the car.

02-19-2004, 09:46 PM
Clutches are like brake shoes/linings. They will wear out eventually.

It all depends on how you use them and the kind of traffic you drive in. Long haul steady laying the rubber down and they last longer.
In town start, stop, speed up, slow down, repeatedly will bring on an early demise of brakes usually first and clutch second.

Carpooled with a lady one time who either had her foot on the gas or on the break. Wasn't too long finding another car pool. Replaced brakes and clustch about 15 K. mi.

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