I have a Vauxhall zafira which I bought a year ago. I was told upon buying the vehicle that its pads and discs would need replacing soon so I changed them straight away (with genuine Vauxhall ones, not cheap ones).

Unfortunately there is always a horrible grinding type sound when I come to a stop, using my clutch. This only happens once the car has warmed up (not first thing in the morning). The brakes seem to be performing well, so I have no concerns there, however my mechanic has confirmed that the noise has nothing to do with the brakes, and is actually the flywheel making that sound, something to do with the grease? He's told me that it's nothing to worry about, and that changing the flywheel would be expensive and unnecessary. His conclusion was to just put up with the noise as it is nothing serious, but I am still worrying. Does anybody understand what the problem could be and if it is serious or not? My mechanic is a trusted friend, however my head is telling me not to ignore the noise.

  • 3
    By "come to a stop, using my clutch", do you mean compression braking, and then disengage the clutch right before stopping? Is the grinding noise occuring while the clutch is engaged (pedal up) or disengaged (pedal down?) What model year and how many miles/km does the vehicle have? BTW you are correct not to ignore the noise. A worn clutch is cheaper to replace than a clutch plus a flywheel.
    – kmarsh
    Jan 7, 2016 at 15:11
  • The sound is when the clutch is disengaged. It's a zafira B model (2007) with roughly 80,000 miles.
    – Dawn
    Jan 7, 2016 at 17:22

3 Answers 3


A grinding noise when the clutch is disengaged/engine running is usually the "throw-out bearing" or just "clutch bearing". It might also indicate insufficient clearance between the clutch and the clutchplate, which could become very costly.


There is also a bearing that goes on the end of the gearbox main drive shaft where it does into the rear of the engine crank shaft (I can't remember what it called, someone can remind me). This only turns when the clutch is pressed and can cause a loud vibrating noise when failing. These bearings can show symptoms for years without major problems - unless someone can tell a story of the bearing causing failure of the shaft.


To answer your question about the bearing on the trans. input shaft. The bearing is called a PILOT bearing and although they rarely fail, when they do they usually make a grinding\squeeling sound.

When a pilot bearing fails it can cause severe damage to the transmission input shaft or if it spins with the shaft can cause damage to the engines crankshaft. The most common failure for the noise described is the throw-out or clutch bearing which is more of a rumbly, grinding sound. Both bearing failures are usually only heard when the clutch pedal is depressed.

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