How long does your car clutch last?

Article by Christian A., on September 19, 2018

In a car with a manual transmission, the clutch is a very important component as it connects and disconnects the drive shafts. Even under normal use, the lifespan of the clutch is typically shorter than the car. When you change gears, the clutch also suffers wear and tear. How long can a clutch in a manual transmission last?

Some cars owners may see their car clutches fail at 30,000 miles or below. This usually happens to drivers who are typically rough in changing gears. There are car owners who may see their clutch start malfunctioning at around 50,000 miles. Drivers who are usually smooth with their gear changes may see their car clutches live until 100,000. In an environment where frequent gear changes aren’t needed – along drivers who are efficient in gear shifting – can see some clutches reach a lifespan of more than 100,000 miles. Thus, there is really no exact number with regards to the lifespan of a car clutch.

While nothing is really sure on the specific lifespan of a car clutch, there is one thing that is certain – clutches are really susceptible to wear and tear, even more than the car itself. Thus, a clutch usually fails even before the car dies. This means a clutch may have to be replaced at one point of a car’s life. The actual lifespan of a clutch depends of many variables.

There are some variables that may affect the lifespan of a car clutch:

Gear shifting roughness or smoothness: If a driver is too rough in changing gears, the clutch of his or her car may fail early. This is because when a driver is rough is shifting gears, the timing of the clutch release is messed up. On the other hand, if a driver is smooth in shifting gears, a better timing for clutch release is achieved, thereby minimizing wear and prolonging the life of the clutch.

Timing of clutch engagement (or disengagement): If a driver only engage or disengage the clutch when needed, he can save the clutch from needless wear and tear.

Climate or weather: Warm temperature of the surroundings can cause the transmission fluid to heat up, straining clutch components in the process. This is why those driving in colder or cooler areas may see their car clutch live longer than those in hotter or warmer places.

Terrain and geography: Driving in mountainous areas and winding roads require more frequent clutch work and gear shifts. On the other, clutch work and gear shifts is less required on flat areas and straight-aways.

Furthermore, a driver can avoid unnecessary wear and tear of the clutch to help prolong its life. Things that a driver should avoid to prevent needless wear and tear of the clutch include: driving with the handbrake engaged; starting the car at higher gear; riding the clutch; and use the clutch pedal as a footrest.

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Topics: tips, transmission

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