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Old 07-28-2008, 01:07 PM   #1
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How do I know when I need a new clutch?

Hi guys.

I just had a mechanic tell me that I need a new clutch, while I was getting my front brakes done.

And while the clutch is definitely toward the later part of it's life, and it is engaging towards the top of the pedal range and softening a bit, I don't feel anything slipping. It still seems to grip really well.

On the one hand, I want to go ahead and change it to avoid possibly doing any damage to that very expensive fly wheel.

On the other hand, I feel like I'm wasting money if it still has a fair amount of life left in it.

Any expert opinions to help me decide what to do?

How do I REALLY know? (Any road tests I can do, or visual checks?)

Much thanks!

2003 Boxster S

Oh, and I'm at 49K and the clutch was changed once already at 22K by the PO according to records. I have to do mostly stop and start city driving unfortunately, but I do generally shift gingerly and treat the clutch and tranny well.

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Old 07-28-2008, 01:32 PM   #2
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I don't think there's any visual check you can do because the entire unit is between the tranny and the flywheel.

You would need to drop the tranny to inspect it. If you're already paying for that labor, it would make sense to drop in the new clutch too.

From what I know, these clutch can wear out very quickly depending on your driving style. Normally, they last around 40k.

You can tell that your engine 'slips' a bit when you gas and doesn't give you the power you ask for when you hit the throttle. There'll be a delay, and it gets longer the worse the clutch gets until it doesn't grab at all anymore and you need a tow. At least it was that way for me.
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Old 07-28-2008, 01:42 PM   #3
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you'll know when it's really going. Like nefarious said, it will slip more and more until it will no longer grab. You should have enough warning.

After getting an alignment last year the tech wrote the same thing, "clutch needs replacement soon" I think our clutches just have a longer throw, because mine still grabs just fine thought it is very near the top of the peddle travel.

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Old 07-29-2008, 10:00 AM   #4
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My '03 Boxster has about 37k miles on it and I have been thinking that it is getting close to new clutch time as well. It engages towards the top and the pedal is feeling soft.
Any idea how much a clutch job runs? I just wonder if it will last long enough for me to save up.
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Old 07-29-2008, 02:43 PM   #5
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Slippage is detected first in low gears when the tach goes up faster than the speed you are headed for. As it wears further it will slip in the higher gears. Eventually you'll be able to rev the engine in top gear with no acceleration.

Replace all the clutch components when you open it up. You don't want to have to go back in to replace the throw-out bearing later.
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Old 07-30-2008, 04:03 PM   #6
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Is the pedal very hard to press to engage the clutch?
This is the first sign of a worn clutch disk.

If you had a new clutch at 22K you should not need one this soon.

Have you flushed or blead the clutch system?
This may help with the pedal 'feel'.

If you wait for the clutch to actually slip then you are too late to save the flywheel because the rivets will be into the flywheel causing the slipping.

I would bleed the brakes and clutch and see what changes.

Take care,


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