Clutch Release Bearing

Clutch kit with clutch release bearing and pilot bearing.

The clutch release or throwout bearing contains a collared bearing that spins along with the spinning pressure plate as the clutch pedal is depressed. A worn release bearing makes a squealing or growling sound heard from the transmission clutch housing when the clutch pedal is depressed.

Clutch release bearing location.

Most of today's manual transmissions have hydraulic clutch circuits. Still, many have mechanical linkage; they use rods and cables to control the clutch. They have constant running bearings that spin whenever the engine runs and must be adjusted to maintain a slight preload after installation.

Manual transmission clutch friction disc.

Typically, the clutch release bearing and pressure plate are replaced while replacing a worn clutch friction disc. The engine and transmission must be separated to replace the bearing.

A throwout bearing begins to growl as it wears or loses lubrication. It is usually necessary to lubricate the shaft the bearing rides on during assembly. Check in the manufacturer's manual for assembly specifications.

Pressure plate wear.

Listen for a chirping sound as the clutch pedal is first depressed. This sound is the worn (un-lubricated) release bearing contacting the fingers of the pressure plate's diaphragm. These fingers can also wear, causing similar noise-related issues.