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If you own a car with a manual transmission, you’ll need to have its clutch replaced at some point. Some cars need a clutch replacement at around the 100,000-mile mark, while others have clutches that last up to around 200,000 miles. It all depends on how much gets used and what kind of driving it’s put through. Either way, the cost to change a clutch isn’t cheap.

How much does a total clutch replacement cost?

A replacement clutch kit
A replacement clutch kit | Wikimedia Commons

According to Repair Pal, the total cost to replace a clutch, which includes the parts and labor, can range from $1,253 to $1,428. This cost varies depending on the make and model since the labor for the job can differ between a front or rear-wheel drive car. Also, four-wheel drive models can cost more than two-wheel drive models, and the part costs can vary.

The typical parts needed for a clutch job include:

  • Clutch disc replacement
  • Release bearing
  • Pilot bearing
  • Flywheel

Most shops will resurface the car’s flywheel to ensure a smooth operation. However, a new one can be installed if needed. As a price example, we called around to find out how much a clutch replacement job would cost in a 2008 Honda S2000, which is a rear-drive Japanese sports car.

One shop quoted us $1,200 for the parts and labor, while another quoted us $1,500. We suggest calling various shops to get a few different quotes. Remember that the cheapest quote isn’t always the best, so be sure to research the shop before handing them the keys to your car.

How is a clutch replaced?

A mechanic will disassemble and detach the manual transmission housing from the engine to replace your car’s clutch. Once disconnected, the mechanic can then remove the old clutch parts and flywheel from the engine and replace them with new parts. This is the time when the flywheel is resurfaced or replaced as well.

Most of the time, a mechanic will put the car on jack stands with a jack or use a car lift since it’s easier. Some special tools, like a torque wrench, are needed.

What are the symptoms of a failing clutch?

If the clutch has been ridden hard, which means that the driver has pressed the clutch pedal excessively while driving for many years, the smell of burnt toast may come into the cabin. Also, if the clutch engagement point gets higher up in the pedal travel, the clutch could be wearing out. Lastly, if the clutch starts to slip altogether and it’s hard to accelerate the car, a replacement is most likely needed.

How long does it take to replace a clutch?

A car's clutch, gas, and brake pedals
The three pedals in a manual transmission car | Getty Images

Depending on the mechanic’s workload, it takes a few hours to replace a clutch. Sometimes, it could take the whole day, so be prepared to have a ride home if needed.