The clutch release bearing is what you’ll need to concern yourself with if you drive a manual transmission vehicle. You probably already know that the clutch is the link between the vehicle’s engine and its wheels.
When you step on the clutch pedal, it cuts away the link with the engine and allows the wheels to roll freely. That way, you can make engine turns no matter what speed you’re going.
If you’re approaching a stop sign and you want the engine to continuously turn, then the clutch comes in handy for this. As for the clutch release bearing, this is the component that allows the engine to be disconnected after the clutch pedal is pressed because the bearing separates from the pressure plate. You want the bearing to be in good shape in order to let this release happen.
Top 4 Bad Clutch Release Bearing Symptoms
If you have a bad clutch release bearing, then there will be some obvious symptoms that you will recognize. Below are four of the most common signs to look for.
1) Stuck Clutch
For a clutch release bearing to work smoothly, it needs to retain its lubrication properties for as long as possible. These properties will eventually diminish as the clutch release bearing becomes more worn out over time.
Once that happens, the bearing is going to become stiffer which will make it harder for the clutch to be disengaged. Your vehicle will be virtually impossible to drive at this point, so you should have it looked at by a mechanic right away.
2) Difficult Shifting Gears
If you find that it is difficult to shift gears in your manual transmission vehicle, then it is likely due to a bad clutch release bearing. This symptom is often a continuation of the previous symptom where you have a stuck clutch.
Anytime this happens, you are bound to have a rough time shifting gears because of all the grinding that takes place when the clutch is stuck.
3) Strange Sounds
A clutch release bearing has rollers which cannot have too much space in between them. But if the bearing gets worn out, then it will have more clearances in this area. This will cause the bearing to rattle around more and start making lots of strange sounds.
The types of sounds you will hear are growling sounds, rattling sounds, and maybe even squealing sounds. All these noises can be pinpointed to the transmission area. You will hear these sounds the most when you press down on the clutch pedal.
4) Vibrating Pedal
If you press down on the clutch pedal and feel vibrations going onto your foot, this is likely due to a bad clutch release bearing. The reason these vibrations form is that the bearing cannot connect to the pressure plate evenly.
This generates a pulsation effect that will come out of the pedal and be felt in your foot.
Clutch Release Bearing Replacement Cost
The replacement cost of a clutch release bearing will not be cheap. For just the average economy car, you can expect to pay anywhere from $800 to $1,200 for replacing the clutch release bearing in it. This average parts cost will be anywhere from $90 to $500 and the labor costs will be from $350 to $700.
You might notice the labor costs are more expensive but that’s because it will take the mechanic a long time to access the transmission and replace the old clutch release bearing with the new one. If you know how to do this job yourself, then you could save over 50% on these costs by just worrying about the parts cost.