Though only a small car component, the clutch is a very important piece. If you hear some grinding noises when you shift gears, it is time for a clutch replacement. Because this is classified as a major car repair, you are recommended to bring the car to a professional mechanic. With the right steps, however, you can work on replacing the clutch yourself.
For you to be successful in clutch replacement, you should have some background in mechanic work. If this is the first time that you will conduct a clutch replacement, expect a completion time of around 8 to 12 hours. Within this period of time, you need to perform the following steps:
- Gather all the parts that you need for the replacement. The kit usually includes a new pressure plate, clutch discs, clutch release bearings, pilot bearings, and an oil seal.
- Disconnect all the electrical wirings such as battery cable, clutch cable, as well as the hydraulic slave cylinder.
- Bring the car to a safe place. It can be a garage or an unused side of your house. Jack the car’s front end as high as you can. This will give you more space to work on for the clutch replacement.
- Take out the transaxle. You can do this by displacing one of the engine mounts. Afterwards, separate the transaxle from the car engine. Do this by removing all the bolts, which are around the flywheel housing.
- Push the transaxle from its engine until the pressure plate is visible. Remove the bolts in the pressure plate. Remove the clutch disc afterwards.
- Once everything is removed, you are now ready to replace the new clutch. You can check out your car's manual for the right ways of replacing the clutch.
- Before reinstalling the flywheel, make sure that its crankshaft flange is clean. Afterwards, get the flywheel that is on top of the flange and then secure the bolts with the specific torque measurement for each bolt.
- Install the the pressure plate and the clutch disc.
- Bring the transaxle into its proper position and push it until the input shaft is able to slide into the disc hole. Be sure to do this gently, without applying unnecessary force.
- Reinstall all the other bolts and mounts which were removed earlier.
- More often than not, you should replace the clutch cable as well. However, if you will not replace it, adjust the cable with the correct number of free-play.
- Lower your vehicle by releasing the jack.
- Test your car to make sure that the replacement is done correctly.
If you need to replace an important component in your vehicle such as the clutch, it is crucial that you conduct the operation correctly. Always keep in mind that this process may vary depending on the car model. Check your car manual before conducting clutch replacement.