What Causes a Throwout Bearing To Go Bad- Find Out Here!

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Throwout bearing is one of the clutch assemblies that can affect the car’s functioning. It plays a significant role when the clutch pedal is damaged. If it becomes bad, the transmission and clutch components fail, causing further problems (such as you can’t change the gear). To avoid such a condition, you should know what causes a throwout bearing to go bad first?

A throwout bearing can go bad at any time.  For example, it can go wrong due to prolonged use or hard use. Besides, sometimes drivers keep their foot on the pedal for resting by mistake that can cause throwout bearing to go wrong.

Technically, some other reasons can make your throwout bearing failure. Today, I will try to reveal all those in detail.

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What is a throwout bearing?

what is a throw out bearing

Technically saying, throwout bearing is also known as release bearing or clutch release bearing or sealed ball bearing ~ HOT ROD 

It is one of the 4 key components of the transmission process, with the others being pressure plate, clutch plate, and flywheel. It can make the gear changing smooth enough by removing the transmission from the car’s engine.  

Besides, release bearing controls the total of contact between the flywheel and clutch plate.

What does a throwout bearing do?

Throwout bearing gives attachment to the pressure plate to release the plate from pressing the clutch plate onto the flywheel area before changing gear ~Willy Roentgen (Registered Professional Engineer)

Clutch release bearing is used on cars with a manual transmission that releases the clutch when the driver pushes down on the clutch pedal ~Jesse Gutierrez (Diesel Mechanic at Freightliner).

The throw out bearing presses the levers that free the clutch while pressing the clutch pedal down. As those levers are spinning, the sealed ball bearing spins as well. (It is the pink part of the diagram) ~ James Pearson, ASE-certified master truck tech, retired Army motor SGT.

With this bearing, a stationary surface and moving surface can be connected to each other.  

Besides, it stops ultimate heat and friction when the clutch is deactivated “unveiled” to stop power to a rotating shaft.   

What causes a throwout bearing to go bad?

what causes a throwout bearing to go bad

Of course, throwout bearing will go bad with usage. But most often, the failure of this component depends on the driver and style (Driving Habit).

  • According to Kai Herrmann, an expert mechanic claimed that throwout bearing may go wrong due to the shifting at high speeds (In a fraction of a second, spinning it up to 8000rpm).
  • After years of wear and tear, the clutch release bearing may go bad, or because of an accident, it might be damaged.
  • If lubrication properties wear down, it might go wrong.  
  • It’s the pressure plate that can make it go bad faster.
  • Heat is probably one of the suspects that can lead the bearing to go bad.
  • Probably, running 20,000 to 30,000 miles on it can make it bad.
  • The life of a release bearing can be damaged due to the manufacturing fault, driver driving with his foot resting on the clutch pedal, or a misadjusted clearance to make full action of the clutch ~ Paul Smith, experienced transmission technician (Working on cars, motorcycles)

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Symptoms of bad throwout bearing:

If your vehicle’s throw out bearing can’t do its job correctly, then it means it has faced some problems. What are the symptoms of bad throwout bearing? Following are some of the most common symptoms of bad throwout bearing.

01. The change of noise:

The first and most common symptom of throw out bearing failure is its noise change.

If you find any strange manual transmission bearing noise, mainly when pushing the clutch, the throw-out bearing is in problem. You will hear strange noises when driving, especially in the transmission area.  

02. Vibration of Clutch Pedal:

If you push down on the clutch pedal and feel a vibration on your foot, perhaps it happens because of a lousy throw-out bearing.

When the bearing can’t join to the pressure plate smoothly, vibration occurs. When braking or accelerating, you need to check different components, including axels, wheel bearings, and brakes if you feel a vibration.

If the problem becomes worse, you will feel excessive vibration. Nevertheless, you might not experience any vibration if the issue is just a beginning.

03. Problem in changing gears:

If you feel that it is tough to change gears in your manual transmission car, then it could be because of a bad clutch release bearing.

Often this sign is noticed in the last stages of the earlier symptom where you’ve a pressed clutch. If you can’t release the clutch accordingly, you accelerate the risk of stalling the car.

Stalling is too risky, mainly when you are in a traffic jam and your stalled car makes a blockage in the road.

If you find a problem in changing gears, you need to check some other components and ensure they don’t need any maintenance.

04. Stiff Clutch Pedal:

Another significant bad throw-out bearing symptom is the stiff clutch pedal. What do you mean by the stiff clutch pedal, and why does it occur?

Similar to any other part of the transmission system, special lubricating properties on the release bearing can keep it smooth for a long time.

Unluckily, due to the wear down of bearing, the lubricating properties also wear down, making the clutch pedal stiff to work.

Your car is useless with a stiff clutch pedal because changing/shifting the gear is tricky.

What does a bad throwout bearing sound like?

The bad throwout bearing sound isn’t normal, rather it’s a bit strange to hear. If you keep your ear and eye on the out, you may listen to the bad throwout bearing sound like,

  • Rattling
  • Grinding
  • Whirling and
  • Squealing

If the noise comes from the transmission system and under the hood, both driver and passenger will hear the loud noise. The throwout bearing noise will be more audible if you press your engine harder.

You can contact an automotive expert if you face such a problem. 

How long can you drive with a bad throw out bearing?

throwout bearing replacement cost

Without a throw out bearing or release bearing, your vehicle’s engine will ruin and you can’t drive anymore. But still, there is a chance to go with a bad throw out bearing.

But how long can you drive with a bad throw out bearing?

The answer is, “it varies” because it depends on how bad it is. If you use it once per drive, you can go for quite a while, ~ Bradley Gilbert.

 You might drive for years, mainly if you know how to shift the gear without clutch pedal~ Brian Good, Dirt Digger, Litigation Analyst.

I found a user who drove his Mustang for 10,000 miles on a chirping throw out bearing. With a groaning or chirping clutch release bearing, many people I found going fine on their 150,000 plus miles car (if the factory parts are original).

A noisy release bearing can last just 5 minutes or last for 5 years. Or you can drive with a noisy bearing for thousands of miles/sometimes years.

However, you can’t drive anymore if the throw out bearing fails completely.

How much to replace throw out bearing?

The throwout bearing replacement cost isn’t cheap. Technically, it’s a bit pricey process which depends on many factors including:

Transmission bearing replacement cost:

  • Average economy car: $800 – $1,200.
  • Average parts charge: $90 – $500.
  • Labor cost: $350 – $700.

More specifically, on average, you need to spend between $400 to $1500 for the throw-out bearing replacement/clutch release bearing replacement (including all the variables).

But if you talk about the replacement cost of aftermarket bearing, then the charge will not be more than $10 to $30.

A-List: clutch release bearing replacement cost (different car models)

  • Honda civic throw out bearing replacement cost: $517 to $800
  • Jeep wrangler clutch replacement cost: $1,507 to  $1,637
  • Semi truck clutch replacement cost: $1,000 to $5,000
  • Subaru wrx clutch replacement cost: $500 to $1000
  • Mini cooper clutch replacement cost: $1135 to $1530

Pilot bearing vs throwout bearing – What are the differences?

FeaturesPilot bearingThrowout bearing
Installation areaInstalled in the flywheel to back up the main shaft of the transmission.Installed or founded on the main shaft between the clutch and transmission.
Size1.5” in diameter3” in diameter
ResideTail of the crankshaftInput housing tube
CostCheapA bit pricy than pilot bearing  

Pilot bearing vs throwout bearing: Which one is the best?

Pilot bearing or throwout bearing; which one is best or which one you need depends mainly on your car model.

There may be other reasons, but I am not here to focus on that; rather, I will talk about the best Pilot and throwout bearing.

Best Pilot Bearing

Ford Racing Roller Pilot Bearing

Ford Racing M7600A Roller Pilot Bearing:

With 0.2 Pound of weight, this M7600A Roller Pilot Bearing is designed especially for Ford Racing cars. Besides, it could be a perfect match for T5 swap in your 66 mustang.

It is used on the front of the transmission input shaft. It’s excellent in use and I find it even better than bronze pilot bushing/bearing.


Timken Pilot Bearing

Timken 202SS Pilot Bearing:

If you are looking for a quality bearing, especially for your Miata, I recommend you try Timken 202SS Pilot Bearing. It lowers the power consumption and ensures long-lasting durability.

Centerforce Brand

Centerforce Pilot Bearing

Centerforce 43002 Pilot Bearing:

Centerforce is a leading Bearing manufacturer out on the market and Centerforce 43002 Pilot Bearing is one of their best products. It is designed to provide you with the right clamp load, durability, ease of use and friction.

Best Throwout Bearing

Throwout Bearing

Throwout Bearing, for Swing Axle Transmission:

If you are looking for a unit that can provide smooth and strong clutch operation, then choosing Throwout Bearing by Empi could be one of your worthy investments.

This heavy-duty bearing works excellent for Air-cooled Vw’s 1967-1970. It is compatible with Dune Buggy. Still, it works pretty good for Volkswagen (VW).

Brand: Centerforce

Centerforce Throw Out Bearing

Centerforce N1716 Throw Out Bearing:

Centerforce N1716 Throw Out Bearing could be the right choice for those who want an item at a good price. With 0.5 pounds of weight, it works amazingly on a 1967 GTO with M-20 Muncie 4 speed.


Timken Clutch Release Bearing

Timken 614120 Clutch Release Bearing

Another top-line release bearing for your car would be the Timken 614120 Clutch Release Bearing. With quality construction, it ensures power, long-lasting durability, and excellent service life.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

01. What happens when your clutch goes out while driving?

Driving with a bad clutch can be risky.  If your clutch goes out, it can break up and leave you without a car. An expert automotive technician can take the exact diagnosis and repair to make it fit for driving on the way.

02. What does a clutch look like?

A hard-working component of your vehicle is the car clutch. You will find different kinds of clutches with their different looks, such as,

  • Ordinary clutch
  • Cone shape clutch
  • Centrifugal clutch
  • Dog clutch and
  • Electromagnetic clutch

03. What is the best hydraulic throwout bearing?

The heart of the clutch operation is throwout bearing. When it comes to hydraulic throwout bearing, you can try the TILTON 61-8122 Release Bearing Hyd. It works with great success.

04. How much does the 2015 Subaru wrx clutch replacement cost?

The 2015 subaru clutch replacement cost:

If you have a failing 2015 Subaru wrx clutch, definitely replacing it first and fast is a better idea. 

But how much does it typically cost to replace a Subaru wrx clutch? 

The 2015 Subaru wrx clutch replacement cost is $300 (a bit lower than the average price).  


A bad throwout bearing or clutch release bearing could damage the snout/collar/quill. Obviously, it can be damaged once as everything is destroyed.

But if you know all the technical reasons that can make your throwout bearing go bad, you might get relief from many unwanted driving hassles.

If the problem becomes severe, just replace it or take expert’s help and ensure your safe journey.

Robert Lozano

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