how to tell if clutch has been done?

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3,894
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missouri usa
Hey guys, so I'm curious does anyone know how to tell if a clutch has been done in the past. It works fine but the car has 190k on it. When I had a pos 96 cavalier at 210k the motor blew and i did the Motor and clutch(never again) it was awful. I noticed the clutch was all but gone and my friends couldn't believe it wasn't slipping and it didn't. So had the motor not have went I wouldnt have even known. In trying to figure out how much money to put back for what. Don't want to be caught behind the ball. I appreciate any insights as always thanks.
 
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It can be hard to tell, however if there is excessive wear on the rubber on the pedal it could mean city miles. As to if it has been done before, you would have to trust the seller. Sometimes excessive play in the clutch fork could mean a clutch about ready to give out. It could also mean a bad slave cylinder. I did a clutch on my wife's car at 190K, and I didn't have to do it. There was next to no wear on any parts for the exception of the fingers. If driven properly, clutches should last the life of the car.
 

Dakota1820

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3,894
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missouri usa
The clutch pedal on the side closest to the brake is smooth rubber the brake has very little wear as does the gas pedal. I bought it from a car lot but I do know the people who owned it lived in the city .
 
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Originally Posted By: Michael_P
If driven properly, clutches should last the life of the car.
I think this varies with car and driving conditions. I grew up in a mountainous/hilly region, and only some of our clutches lasted beyond 100k. We all drove sticks, and my folks were good at it-- rub for 1st but then just drop it into every gear, no slipping. I drove the same. 77 corona needed one at 70k. then another at 110k ([censored] parts on the 77k job?). Ford escort POS at 66k, but it was used and don't know it's history. subaru loyale always needed adjustment, seemed to wear quickly (sold at 70k before clutch went), subaru legacy at 90k, but you could never quite get the shifts right because the a/c on/off would muck on the timing. OTOH, we had 2 hondas that were indeed sold/totaled in their 150k's with original clutches. On that legacy, I thought the flywheel/clutch should have been bigger for the engine torque output in relation to vehicle weight. by memory--- 130-ish hp, 130ish ft/lbs, car was maybe 3400 lbs empty?? clutch surface was a 2" wide ring maybe 9" dia?. That engine worked hard to move that car in traffic. It was tender enough that, say, if you did a 3000 launch (NOT a frequent occurence, but say carrying a LOT of camping gear, starting up a steep grade in the middle of nowhere, and had to slip the clutch to get it out of the mud, --- say not enough to smoke it but enough to feel bad, there was an immediate, noticeable change in the pedal position afterward. It needed a beefier clutch. M
 
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If it is cable actuated, then look at how adjustment is left on it. I don't know if there is a similar method on hydraulic system.
 
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IF the fluid level is low, doesn't that indicate clutch material is wearing? At least that is how it is for brake systems. As the friction material wears out, caliper gets pushed out more and fluid from the reservoir drops. I* would think clutch mechanism would be similar, correct? Of course, the guy could have refilled the level before selling the car. - Vikas
 
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36,645
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ME
A new clutch is very smooth, like butter. But you can get years and years from a cranky one that shudders or shows other personality. And sometimes they're smooth until they die. And they feel different from car to car; they often put really lightweight wussy ones in econo cars. I think the "inspection cover" deal is just marketing speak for "we have a round flywheel and a square engine block; what should we name this tin thing that covers the mess?"
 
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Clutch *rarely* fail catastrophically. They die a very slow death and if you are careful, you can nurse them for months once you notice their death spiral.
 
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