How to Replace a Car’s Clutch

If a car’s clutch is not functioning properly, then there will be grinding noises complaining that the time has come to install a new clutch. If you want to save money and you don’t want to take your car to the auto mechanic and you want to do the task in a DIY style, then article will serve as a guide dealing with replacing the clutch in a rear-wheel-drive vehicle. The procedure may differ in a front-wheel-drive car but the basics are same. Follow the simple directions.

Things Needed

  • New clutch disk & pressure plate
  • Clutch replacement kit
  • Soft cloths
  • Scraper
  • Screwdrivers
  • Various size wrenches
  • Throwout bearing
  • Pilot bearing

Cars Clutch


Step 1:

First, the vehicle has to be raised and mounted securely on jack stands. It is very dangerous to work under vehicles supported only by jacks or under vehicles supported by makeshift stands like blocks or milk crates. It will be fatal if the vehicle falls when you are under it.

Step 2:

The driveshaft has to be removed, it is the marking where it is attached to the rear axle.

Step 3:

The clutch linkage or hydraulics, speedometer cable, shift linkage or any other electrical cables attached to the transmission should be removed.

Step 4:

The transmission should be drained because an empty transmission will be lighter.

Step 5:

The mounting bolts between the engine and the transmission should be unscrewed. It may require the use of extension or universal joints to unbolt as some of them might be difficult to get at.

Step 6:

The transmission has to be supported on a transmission jack. In case a transmission jack is not available, approach a local supplier to rent one. A transmission can be removed with only a floor jack. The task will get much easier by using a transmission jack.

Step 7:

Now the transmission mount or crossmember has to be unbolted and the transmission has to be removed. A transmission will be generally mounted on the engine block with locating dowels. Before lowering it, the transmission has to be pulled back.

Step 8:

Lower the transmission and leave it under the car, you can roll it out of the way for making more working space.

Step 9:

The clutch disk and pressure plate has to be now removed from the crank. A new clutch disk and plate will be generally used. There are options to resurface the flywheel if it is not badly worn, replace the flywheel or just scuff it for a cheaper re-build. However there will be hot spots after scuffing.

Step 10:

The pilot bearing or bushing has to be replaced at the end of the crank.

Step 11:

The throwout bearing also has to be replaced. The shop manual can be consulted for directions.

Step 12:

The inside of the bellhousing with brake cleaner has to be cleaned. The resurfaced or new flywheel has to be bolted to the crank. The clutch disc has to be bolted up using a pilot tool. Bolting should be done in a criss-cross pattern similar to tightening a car wheel. A thread locker should be used on every bolt.

Step 13:

Be very careful not to foul the pressure plate, clutch disc or the flywheel with dirt or grease. Brake cleaner and Rubber gloves will be of a great help in this step.

Step 14:

The transmission has to be raised back up and the input shaft has to be fed into the clutch. The transmission has to be rotated a bit to get it to the line up and mating the dowels. It has to be kept surrounded by jack at all times and it should not be left hanged by input shaft.

Cars Clutch

Step 15:

Bolt the transmission back to the engine when it is mounted. The clutch linkage, speedometer cable, transmission mount or crossmember and anything else that was removed when pulling the transmission has to be removed. Now fill the transmission again.

Step 16:

The drive-shaft can be replaced, adjusted or the clutch can be bled according to the instruction manual. Properly check all the bolts. Now take the car out for a test drive.

Tips and Precautions

  • Consult the owner’s manual for specific instructions regarding the replacement of the car’s clutch.
  • The trans-axle should not dangle unsupported from the vehicle’s engine. It can damage the pilot bearings and other instruments.