Manual gearboxes are relatively trouble-free and long-lived, provided that they are not abused too severely. The clutch, however, is a wear component. With every shift, the clutch must be disengaged and engaged. Stop-and-go driving in heavy traffic is especially hard on a clutch because the driver is always riding the clutch pedal. After millions of
Clutch replacement has always been a steady source of business in the transmission repair shop. More and more general repair facilities are swapping clutches to add to their cash flow. There are a number of OEM quality clutch replacement sets available in the marketplace from LuK, Daikin/Exedy, Valeo, Sachs, etc. that provide OEM parts at reasonable prices. No matter how good the parts are that you are using, the installer has the responsibility for a thorough, proper installation. Anytime a manual trans is removed from the vehicle, the clutch also should be removed and inspected. A few more minutes of labor can produce added revenue from the job, decrease the chances of warranty problems, and ensure that the clutch was not the cause of the transmission failure. It is very important to make sure that the clutch is capable of transferring all of the engine torque to the transmission, and that when the clutch is disengaged there is a complete disconnect of the transmission from the engine torque. A slipping clutch will damage the clutch friction components, a clutch that does not release completely causes notchy, grinding shifts and does immediate damage to the synchronizer and speed gear components in the transmission.
One of the most-common repairs performed by transmission and general-repair shops is clutch replacement. The clutch is a high-wear item that must engage and disengage hundreds of times a day. It is subject to a lot of driver abuse; vehicle overloading; wear and failure of linkage, hydraulics and powertrain mounts; and contamination from oil leaks in the engine or transmission.
If you are in the transmission-repair business, you will work on a percentage of stick transmissions. This will inevitably lead to replacing worn-out or damaged clutches, since a large percentage of transmission damage starts with a worn or improperly adjusted clutch. There is good money to be made in clutch repair, and any time you remove a stick transmission, make sure you remove and inspect the clutch.