How Long Does a Clutch Last?

It’s a fact of life that a car clutch will almost certainly wear out before your car does. That’s because, even under normal use, they’re going to take quite a lot of wear and tear with constant gear changes when you’re shifting your car. So how long will your clutch last in your manual transmission?

The fact is, it’s practically impossible to say, because there are so many variables. You’ve probably heard people say that their clutch wore out in under 30,000 miles. You might also talk with people who will tell you that their car clutch is still working just fine at 100,000.

What causes premature clutch failure?

As we’ve said, there are a lot of variables. You might be surprised to learn that even your geographic location can have an effect on your clutch life. If you live in a hot climate, your transmission fluid is going to heat up, and put more of a strain on your clutch components. If you live in a mountainous area, gravity is going to take its toll on your manual transmission and your clutch will wear out more quickly.

One thing is for sure, the less you demand of your clutch, the longer it’s going to last. So if you like to pretend that your last name is Andretti, and you just love grabbing the stick shift and putting your car through all manner of gear changes, you shouldn’t expect your clutch to last.

Preventing clutch failure

Usually, the worst enemy of the car clutch is the driver. Of course no one deliberately seeks to damage the clutch, but people often do so without intending to, most of the time by using the clutch when it’s not necessary. If you’re at a traffic light, and you’re going to be there for more than ten seconds, don’t use the clutch to hold the car in place. Take the car out of gear, apply your foot to the brake, and leave the transmission in neutral.

More importantly, don’t use the clutch to regulate your speed. You can, of course, modulate the pedal between full depression and full release, but it’s very hard on the clutch. Besides, that’s what the gas pedal and brakes are for. You don’t want to leave the clutch at the mid-point any longer than you have to. This is called “riding the clutch,” and it’s not a good thing.

If you follow these few simple suggestions, you can reasonably expect at least 50,000 miles out of your clutch. Some drivers have even gotten up to 175,000 miles before experiencing a bad car clutch. It just takes a bit of common sense and proper driving techniques.


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Scott

34 years of experience
546 reviews
Scott
34 years of experience
GMC K1500 V8-5.0L - Clutch is not working - Broomfield, Colorado
I ask for Scott because of his knowledge. He doesn't just plug a car into a computer and say "I'm not sure." He can actually look at what has been known to happen from past experiences. I will always ask for his assistance.
Subaru Outback - Clutch is not working - Denver, Colorado
Scott was very thorough with his work on my Subaru, communicated effectively to coordinate my appointment, and provided excellent recommendations for further services to resolve my problem (which ended up being more of a problem than initially anticipated). Very helpful and friendly, and I would highly recommend!

Travis

13 years of experience
579 reviews
Travis
13 years of experience
Mazda Miata L4-1.8L - Clutch is not working - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Travis showed up on time. He was professional and very nice. He checked the car out, did what was necessary and finished the job. I would definitely have him fix any auto problems I have.

Augustine

12 years of experience
129 reviews
Augustine
12 years of experience
Mazda B2200 L4-2.2L - Clutch is not working - Albuquerque, New Mexico
Augustine was on time, friendly, and was mindful of COVID safe practices. He was very knowledgeable about my old truck and was able to fix it right away. Thanks so much Augustine!!!

Juan

9 years of experience
301 reviews
Juan
9 years of experience
Mazda MX-5 Miata L4-2.0L - Clutch is not working - Orlando, Florida
Juan was professional, nice, and good at explaining what he was doing and why. He helped me understand the issues with my car and my obtions to resolve them.

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