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Based on a recent question I asked, I'm looking to have a shop replace the clutch in my 2008 Mazda 3i manual transmission with ~130000 miles on it.

Before I do, is there anything else I should / could check on the car, that would be an indication it is a bad idea to repair the car at all? Essentially, I don't want to replace the clutch only to have another big ticket item fail in 4 months, so if an inspection could see signs of that item about to fail, that'd be great to know. But I don't know what to inspect.

At the same time, is there anything that might be good to replace at the same time as the clutch, given what will already be taken apart for the clutch job?

  • What has your regular servicing shown? – Solar Mike Sep 17 at 6:11
  • @SolarMike I had the car in in January and they didn't note anything unusual - said the car was in good shape. But they don't normally dig too deeply when doing the state inspection or an oil change - it's usually checking the normal consumables like tires and brakes. – mmathis Sep 17 at 13:18
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When replacing the clutch, there are several related items which should be replaced with it. These items should include:

  • Pressure plate **
  • Friction disk **
  • Flywheel ** (should be inspected; old one may be reused, but may need to be resurfaced)
  • Throwout bearing
  • Pilot bearing
  • Hydraulic slave cylinder (should at a minimum be inspected)

** These items make up the clutch itself.

These are, for the most part, parts which are internal to the transmission bellhousing. In order to get to them for replacement, the transmission and engine need to be separated. This is all labor and usually the biggest cost of the job you're having done. Most of the parts come in a clutch kit, so should just replaced as new without a second thought. Most anything else associated with a clutch swap can be replaced without going into the bellhousing.

The thing you don't want to do is give the shop carte blanche, as you know they'll find something, which ultimately will cost you more money. Believe me when I say, they will inspect other items when doing the work, so have no fear of that. Many mechanics get higher labor rates paid to them if they bring work to the service counter, which ultimately gets done. Because of this, if they find something wrong, they'll let the service manager know.

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Additionally to the full clutch package (friction disk, actuator and, if present, dual mass flywheel) I'd ask the shop to replace the oil seals (Crankshaft on transmission side, and the one on the input shaft on the transmission).

Since they certainly remove the subframe it would be a good time to replace the now accessible bushings (stabilizer bushings perhaps, depending on budget, state of the car and your future plans even the subframe bushings and the engine mountings)

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