The clutch is one of the most important parts of your car – without it, you wouldn’t be able to drive. Unfortunately, it is one of the most expensive pieces to repair. We understand how confusing things can get.
In this article, you will learn the clutch replacement cost, as well as:
- Why the average clutch replacement cost is so high
- How to change a clutch
- How to spot a failing clutch
- What a clutch is
- How long the average clutch lasts
The average UK clutch replacement cost is around £500 - £600, but it can range from £450 to £1,000+. It's a complex repair because all the parts are buried deep within the engine, including the flywheel which often needs replacing at the same time.
As a result, you should only attempt a clutch replacement if you're a confident mechanic.
Your clutch should last around 60,000 miles but, if you notice a burning smell, difficulty changing gear, a higher biting point than usual or a horrible sound when changing gear, you should book a clutch replacement as soon as possible. Without the clutch, you can't regulate your speed and will struggle to move anywhere. This makes your car very unsafe to drive, so you should never ignore a problem.
How Much Does a Clutch Replacement Cost?
The clutch replacement cost in the UK can range from £450 to more than £1,000! However, the average is between £500 and £620.
A new clutch kit costs £325, on average, and a clutch replacement takes 3-5 hours to complete. The average hourly labour cost in the UK is £58.66, according to data from thousands of UK garages on our online comparison site. That means you pay £175.98 - £293.30 in labour alone, on average!
When you factor in a flywheel replacement or longer repair time, your clutch replacement can cost £1,500 or more!
However, it's easy to save money on your clutch replacement when you compare instant prices from local garages through BookMyGarage. You can also filter by distance, availability and reviews and ratings to find the perfect garage for you. Once you've made your booking, you deal with the garage directly and you won't pay a penny until after all the work has been done.
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How Much Does a Flywheel Replacement Cost?
The average UK flywheel replacement cost is between £750 to £800. However, much of this can be avoided if a mechanic replaces the flywheel at the same time as the clutch. The flywheel helps you change gear, so it is highly recommended to change it at the same time as the clutch if necessary.
Both parts are buried deep within the engine, so it takes time to replace. Replacing them separately doubles down on the cost.
You rarely need to replace the flywheel, but you should always resurface and thoroughly inspect it whenever you replace the clutch. It should be treated as a ‘high wear and tear item’, especially in a car with a high mileage. If the clutch has worn out, there's a strong chance that the flywheel is approaching the end of its life, too.
What is the Clutch?
The clutch is made up of the following parts: the pressure plate, the driven or friction plate, the diaphragm springs, the cover plate, and the release bearing. These pieces are known collectively as a clutch plate, which is bolted to the flywheel.
The flywheel is connected to the engine shaft and the shaft, which turns the wheel. It can lock these shafts together, so they spin at the same speed, or decouple them, so they spin at different speeds. The clutch plate and flywheel help drive the car forwards – both need to be in working order for your car to drive smoothly.
Every car has a clutch of some form - in manual cars, it's a pedal and in an automatic, it's an electronic system controlled by the onboard computer.
What Does the Clutch Do?
While your car is moving, the clutch is engaged. The pressure plate keeps the clutch plate pressed against the driven plate. This allows power from the engine to flow freely and keep the wheels moving. When you depress the pedal, you cut that power supply and disengage the clutch. The wheels keep moving only through their own momentum while you change gear.
Depressing the pedal pulls the plates apart, releasing the clamping pressure. When you release the pedal and re-engage the power, the friction lining on the driven plate takes up the drive smoothly. This helps you regulate your speed and create a fluid drive which, in turn, keeps you safe and in control of your car. An automatic clutch does the same job, but instead of you, your car does it for you.
If your clutch doesn't work properly, your car becomes unsafe to drive. It's so important to replace your clutch as soon as you notice a problem.
How To Tell If You Need A New Clutch
Here are some of the most common warning signs of clutch failure. If you notice any of these, you should book to see a mechanic at a garage near you. An expert will be able to diagnose your problem and present the best solution.
You Struggle to Change Gear
If you find it difficult to select a particular gear, or changing gear feels difficult, your clutch may have slipped and is struggling to cut the power from the flywheel to the wheels.
Your Car Won't Move
If you switch the engine on, engage gear but fail to move away, the clutch is likely stuck with the plates pulled apart. This means that the power can't reach the wheels. Contact your recovery provider and get them to tow you to the nearest garage for an inspection.
The Clutch Makes a Horrible Noise
If your clutch grinds, squeals, shrieks, or makes any other sort of unpleasant noise, it might have slipped. This causes the different plates within the assembly to rub together and create the noise you hear when you change gear. Book an inspection as soon as possible.
There's a Burning Smell
Your clutch creates heat and friction when you change gear as the plates slide against each other. When it is worn or damaged, it generates even more heat and you might smell burning. Pull over if you notice a burning smell - it could even be something more serious than a slipped clutch.
Your Car Has a Higher Biting Point Than Usual
Some cars, usually small city cars, have a naturally high biting point. This is where you have to bring the clutch nearly all the way up before feeling the power from the engine kick in. However, if you think that your biting point is higher than it used to be, a slipping clutch could be to blame.
If you’re noticing any of these signs, it’s best to get booked in with a local mechanic who can check and repair your clutch if necessary.
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How Long Does A Clutch Last?
A clutch assembly lasts around 60,000 miles, on average.
However, it's difficult to predict the exact lifespan because it is affected by a number of factors. Things such as road conditions, your driving style, and the climate in which the car is driven can affect how long the clutch will last.
Certain makes and models have been known to get up to 100,000 miles out of a clutch!
As it is different for every car, there is no straightforward answer. Listen to your car and feel the way it drives – it will let you know when it is time to replace the clutch.
How Can I Make My Clutch Last Longer?
There are a few things you can do to help extend your clutch’s lifespan.
- Avoid riding the clutch. This is when the driver leaves their foot on the clutch after the car is in gear. It can be a bad habit picked up after spending a lot of time in traffic - sometimes it can’t be helped but try and pay attention to yourself doing it so you can try to avoid it.
- Avoid overloading your car with excessive weight. This will cause unnecessary strain on a number of elements of the vehicle, the clutch included.
- Watch your driving – do not skip gears whilst shifting down or use unnecessary gear changes. Try to avoid taking your foot off the clutch when accelerating, and don’t let the clutch slip for too long whilst changing the gear.
- Don’t use your clutch to stop you from rolling down a hill when stationary – use the handbrake for this.
- Avoid unnecessary revving and remember there is no need to pull away from a stop light at high speeds.
Your clutch is not a job you can take chances with. If you believe your clutch is reaching the end of its life, book in with a local garage today to ensure your safety. Join five million happy drivers who got the best deal on their repairs by using Book My Garage!
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