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Josh-D. S. Davis

Xaminmo / Omnimax / Max Omni / Mad Scientist / Midnight Shadow / Radiation Master

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Q: What is clutch shudder and how can it be fixed?
Josh 201604 KWP
A: Clutch shudder is a sometimes violent vibration when releasing the clutch pedal, and is generally worse when it is cold and damp. It can be attributed to a glazed clutch disk, a weak pressure plate, or condensation on the clutch disk face. It is generally a very difficult problem to replicate for the dealership, and not all dealerships will even acknowledge that it is a problem. The most effective way to prevent clutch shudder is to upgrade/replace the clutch disk and pressure plate. Of course, this is an expensive proposition if it is not covered by the factory warranty.

(This is because our Saturn, with about 118k miles, has recently developed a substantial shudder in 1st and sometimes 2nd, especially in the morning. I'm having the flywheel resurfaced and the plate and disc replaced, plus any cleaning/lube inside that needs to happen.)

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Honestly, from having replaced a few clutches, the largest part of the expense is the labor. So if you're already going to pay for them to get in there and do anything, you'd be better served by replacing parts rather than just resurfacing/adjusting existing parts.

Aye. Especially since a flywheel is only about $70 wholesale and can be acquired at the same time as the clutch kit.

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