The national cost for a clutch release bearing replacement with CarAdvise in 2024 is between $53 and $222 with an average of $94.

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

A clutch release bearing, popularly known as a “throwout bearing”, is a component of the clutch assembly in a manual transmission system.

In order to effectively switch between gears in your manual transmission, it is necessary to momentarily disengage the transmission from the engine. That is the job of the clutch. The clutch is located between the engine and the transmission and connects the engine crankshaft to the transmission input shaft.

When the clutch is disengaged (when you press the clutch pedal), the engine and transmission operate independently of one another. But when you let out the pedal and the clutch is engaged, friction between the clutch pressure plate and the clutch disc allows the crankshaft and transmission input shaft to be connected and spin at the same speed.

The clutch release bearing reacts to force from the clutch slave cylinder when you press the pedal to disengage the clutch.


How is a a Clutch Release 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 of all, the time that it takes to replace one of the components of a clutch 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 pilot bearing along with the release bearing.

To replace a clutch release 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 release 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. If the condition of the release bearing is poor, the clutch slave cylinder may also need to be replaced.

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

A clutch release bearing (throwout bearing) is usually replaced whenever the clutch assembly is replaced. When the bearing itself goes bad, you might notice an unusual noise when you press the clutch pedal. Still, even if the release bearing is intact, it should be replaced as part of the clutch assembly whenever the clutch needs to be replaced. Other signs that the service may be needed include:

Howling or grinding noise when the vehicle's clutch pedal is depressed

Abnormal vibration felt in the clutch pedal

Chattering or clanging noise heard from the transmission that changes pitch or volume when the clutch pedal is pressed

Difficulty shifting gears or getting the transmission into a gear

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Other questions customers ask

Can you drive with a noisy clutch release bearing?
Driving with a clutch release bearing that is making unusual noises can be risky. If the release bearing becomes significantly worn or damaged, it can cause damage to the clutch pressure plate as well as the clutch slave cylinder, adding significant cost to your repair bill. Of course, your clutch will also not engage and disengage properly.
Can you lubricate a clutch release bearing?
Most clutch release bearings are not able to be lubricated without completely removing the transmission and disassembling the bearing itself. Clutch release bearings are designed to be lifetime lubricated and do not require periodic maintenance aside from replacement if they fail or when the clutch assembly otherwise needs replacement.
Where is the clutch release bearing located?
The clutch release bearing is located between the engine and the transmission as part of the clutch assembly. The transmission input shaft runs through the circular bearing like a ring on your finger. The bearing is not really something you can see without removing the transmission, or at least removing an inspection cover underneath the transmission.

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