4 Symptoms of a Bad Throw-Out Bearing (& Replacement Cost)

Last Updated on April 30, 2020

If your vehicle has a manual transmission (a rarity these days), you need to be able to operate a clutch pedal in addition to the brake and gas pedals.

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The clutch assembly (consisting of the pressure plate, clutch plate, flywheel, and throw-out bearing), connects the wheels to the engine of the vehicle. The clutch pedal gives you the ability to temporarily disconnect the wheels from the engine which is needed when shifting gears.

The throw-out bearing, sometimes called a “clutch release bearing”, is a simple yet important component that’s only in use when the clutch pedal is depressed. When you have a bad throw-out bearing, it will affect shifting and can lead to failure of other clutch and transmission components.

How a Throw-Out Bearing Works

symptoms of bad clutch release bearing

In short, a throw-out bearing is the component of the clutch which temporarily disengages a car’s engine from the transmission during gear shifts. When you push the clutch pedal with your foot, the clutch release bearing gets closer to the flywheel.

This causes the release fingers of the pressure plate to get pushed in. Once that happens, the fingers of the pressure plate push against the force of its spring. This causes the disconnect between the engine and wheels and allows you to shift into a different gear.

When the clutch pedal is released, the throw-out bearing returns to its original position where power from the vehicle’s engine once again is transferred through the transmission into the drive wheels of a car.

Common Bad Throw-Out Bearing Symptoms

All the components of the clutch and transmission system are important for the safety and functionality of the vehicle. If your throw-out bearing is unable to do its job properly, you’re going to notice some signs of it starting to go bad or complete failure.

The bearing may go bad after years of wear and tear or maybe even from damage due to an accident. In any case, you need to get the clutch release bearing replaced as soon as you notice it’s having problems.

Below are the top 4 symptoms of a bad clutch release bearing.

#1 – Strange Noises

clutch pedal vibrations

The most common sign of a bad throw-out bearing is when you hear various noises when you depress the clutch pedal. The rollers within the bearing have a tight tolerance and are supposed to be close together.

But if there is too much space between the rollers, then different types of noises will start to be heard. These can include rattling, grinding, squealing, growling, or whirling sounds.

This is simply due to the rollers in the bearing wearing out over time and losing small amounts of material. The noise will sound like it’s coming from the transmission area.

The sound will be most noticeable with the clutch pedal fully depressed and go away when you take your foot off the pedal.

#2 – Clutch Pedal Vibrations

When you press down on the clutch pedal, it should move down smoothly. But if you start to feel vibrations coming from the pedal, then it’s very likely that your clutch release bearing is defective or has failed.

More specifically, the vibrations are the result of the throw-out bearing being unable to properly line up with the pressure plate. Your foot will feel pulsations as this happens.

The vibrating pedal is similar to how a brake pedal would feel if the disc brakes or brake pads were unevenly worn.

#3 – Gear Shifting Issues

manual transmission hard to shift

Gear shifts should be smooth without much resistance. If you notice you’re starting to have some difficulty shifting or even grinding gears, it’s possible the throw-out bearing has gone bad.

The problem is that your clutch is not fully engaging. This shouldn’t be the first symptom you experience from this problem, though.

You should hear those strange noises first. If you continue to let that issue go unfixed, then you can expect gear shifting issues to follow.

#4 – Clutch is Too Stiff

clutch pedal stiff

Like most components of the transmission system, the clutch release bearing is manufactured with special lubrication properties to keep it working smoothly for a long time. Unfortunately, the lubrication properties will wear down as the bearing itself wears down.

The more worn down the bearing is, the harder it will become to depress the clutch pedal. It will soon get to a point where you cannot disengage the clutch. Then you won’t be able to drive your vehicle at all since you won’t be able to shift gears.

Throw-Out Bearing Replacement Cost

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throwout bearing replacement cost

Since it is a simple part, a throw-out bearing itself is relatively inexpensive. The problem is the amount of labor it takes to get to it since the entire transmission needs to be removed.

Because of that, it’s usually recommended to also replace the clutch (and sometimes flywheel) while in there.

A throw-out bearing will cost you anywhere from $30-$100. The price of a new clutch can vary greatly depending on the vehicle but most cost somewhere in the range of $300 to $800. A new flywheel (if needed) will set you back another $50 to $200.

As mentioned, labor costs when replacing the throw-out bearing is where you’ll spend the most money. Your mechanic will need 4 to 6 hours to replace the throw-out bearing and clutch so at an average $85/hour labor rate, you’re looking at about $340-$510 just in labor.

All told, the total cost to replace just your throw-out bearing would be $370 to $610. But you will likely want to replace your clutch at the same time so the total replacement cost would be more along the lines of $670 to $1410.


24 thoughts on “4 Symptoms of a Bad Throw-Out Bearing (& Replacement Cost)”

    • Assuming you’re not holding down the clutch pedal for more than 1-2 seconds at a time when needed, it’s likely some type of alignment issue. Make sure the pedal itself doesn’t need adjusting. Otherwise, something off/bent on the pressure plate could be the issue.

  1. My jetta 3 vw got problem with clutch wen I press down clutch pedal it doesn’t come back BT I change clutch cable and clutch place BT still the same 0726715590

    • Hi this will be your slave cylinder starting to fail. It’s the hydraulic part if the clutch and unfortunately when it goes you will need to replace the whole clutch as most cylinders are located inside bell housing.

  2. I had a ahm clutch fitted on my aston martin vantage 2006 3000 miles ago shortly after i had problems with the pedal sticking down it is now in the garage & been stripped i inspected the clutch and the bearing has excessive wear on one edge & the plate fingers on the pressure plate show that it had been running at an angle what could cause this.

    • Almost sounds like the clutch was not aligned correctly during the install. Or was the old clutch the original? I’m sure the labor costs to replace the clutch on an Aston Martin are crazy high so I feel for you.

  3. I fitted Toyota 4y engine with 5 speed gear box in Isuzu, KB260 body, prop shaft was machined, at times wen I engage in gear 2 wen starting to move the Bakkie drugs wen releasing the clutch , what could be the cause ?

  4. my 2007 Dodge Nitro throw out bearing and clutch assembly was replaced. Now I’m hearing rattling noise. what has gone wrong?

    • Spring clip that holds the TOB tight to the clutch fork get bent? A lot of times it gets bent during instillation to fit the TOB on easier and the space between the two results in a rhythmic clicking or rattle.

  5. My 2014 kia rio shifts just fine when the engine is cold but as soon as the engine heats up I start having hard shifts and can nearly put the car in reverse. Please what cold be the problem? Thanks

  6. Hello I have a 1994 Toyota 4 runner manual and at first my cluch was sticking and messed with the cluch rod and was good for a few miles but as I was driving and shifted in to 5th gear I lost complete function of all my gears there is no resistance at all can someone please help, could it be my throw out barring

  7. My transmission makes a rattling noise when you let the clutch out when you push it in it disappears it has a brand new stage 4 clutch pressure plate and throwout bearing in it right after I replaced it all it was still making noise it was making noise before that but a squealing noise and so I thought I had to replace my throwout bearing and plus it would burn clutches just shifting normally now it don’t burn clutches anymore it but it does make a rattling noise and it’s been getting worse but it goes away when you push in the clutch what is it

  8. ….That sounds like your going to need a rebuild. Your clutch/transmission might be starting to go, I would most likely assume. When the engine and transmission heats up, the oil gets thinner, which causes less pressure. When it is cold, the oil is thicker and creates more pressure. You also could have a leak in the tranny lines, among other things. There could be a couple other culprits, but this sounds like your clutch is going to be needing a rebuild as the gears eventually wear down, along with the fluid ends up wearing out, too, which could be caused by the wear of the gears. It happens after so long and may need to be rebuilt or you could take it to a shop that could diagnose the problem. Just be careful as you never know what it might be and you might end up wasting tons of money on repairs IF it is something simpler. Hope this helps. Good luck with this! It is definitely not cheap for the rebuild. I wish you the best!


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