The national cost for a clutch pilot bearing replacement with CarAdvise in 2024 is between $11 and $162 with an average of $25.

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What is a clutch pilot bearing and how does it work?

A clutch pilot bearing is a component of a manual transmission system. In order to switch gears in a manual transmission, it is necessary to momentarily disengage the transmission from the engine. That is the responsibility of the clutch. The clutch is located between the engine and the transmission and connects the engine crankshaft to the transmission input shaft. The clutch pilot bearing supports the transmission input shaft and allows it to spin freely of the engine when the clutch is disengaged.


How is a a Clutch Pilot Bearing Replacement done?

Most technicians will advise that all of the components of a clutch assembly should be replaced at the same time. This is for a couple of reasons. First, the time that it takes to replace one of the components is essentially the same for replacement of the entire assembly. It is also likely that, if one component is worn, the other components are in a similar condition. Therefore, it is common to replace the clutch disc, pressure plate, and release bearing along with the pilot bearing.

To replace a clutch pilot bearing, a technician must first safely lift and support your vehicle in the air for access. From there, a typical clutch assembly replacement consists of the following:

  • Removal of the driveshaft(s) and transfer case (if so equipped)
  • Removal of the clutch slave cylinder and/or clutch linkage
  • Unbolting and removing the transmission from the vehicle
  • Disassembly of the clutch assembly to remove and replace the pilot bearing and other components
  • Reinstallation of the transmission, linkage, slave cylinder, and other components
  • In the case of a hydraulic clutch, the hydraulic fluid must be replaced and the system may need to be bled of any air in the fluid. Special alignment tools and procedures may also be required to properly reassemble and install the clutch assembly into the transmission.

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National average cost of a a Clutch Pilot Bearing Replacement
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How do I know if my vehicle needs a new clutch pilot bearing?

A clutch pilot bearing is typically replaced whenever the clutch assembly is replaced. The bearing is self lubricated and sometimes runs dry, causing the needle bearing rollers inside the bearing to come apart. When this happens, the input shaft and clutch disc can wander and prevent the clutch from disengaging or allow the transmission to pop out of gear while driving. Still, even if the pilot bearing is intact, if your clutch needs replacement for other reasons, the bearing should be replaced as well. Other signs that it is time to replace the clutch assembly include:

A howling or grinding noise when the clutch pedal is pressed

Vibrations that are exaggerated when the clutch pedal is actuated

Your engine seems to “run away” or rev up when you press the accelerator pedal without an increase in vehicle speed

You experience difficulty shifting between gears or from neutral into a selected gear

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Other questions customers ask

Should you replace a pilot bearing when doing the clutch?
Due to the amount of time involved and the fact that the transmission must be removed in order to replace the clutch assembly, most technicians will recommend replacing all of the components of the clutch assembly - the clutch disc, pressure plate, release bearing, and pilot bearing - at the same time. Many clutch assembly kits include a new pilot bearing.
Can I drive with a worn pilot bearing?
While it may be possible to drive with a bad or worn clutch pilot bearing, sometimes for a long while, it is not advised that you do so. The clutch assembly is the connection between your engine and your manual transmission. The pilot bearing allows the crankshaft to spin independently of the transmission input shaft when the clutch is disengaged. It also keeps the shaft centered properly. If the bearing fails, your clutch will not work as it should and damage can occur to your transmission.
Is a pilot bearing and a throwout bearing the same?
The pilot bearing and the throwout bearing are both components in a clutch assembly, but they are not the same component. The pilot bearing connects the engine crankshaft and the transmission input shaft, allowing them to rotate independently of one another when the clutch is disengaged. The throwout bearing, more formally known as the “release bearing”, is used to help disengage the clutch.

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