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Is my clutch checking out on me?

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I'm afraid I know the answer to this one but want to confirm: 2002 Boxster S, 80,000 miles. Clutch feel and shifter feel both changed markedly over last couple of days; clutch travel required to shift is longer than usual, and it's much harder to get the shifter into gear. With engine off, shifter effort is still easy. No unusual noises. Clutch was replaced by previous owner at 30K miles.

Assuming I'm right and the clutch is going on me, how long do I have before it's gone completely? I'm in a pretty rural area and will need to travel at least 30 miles to get to my usual independent mechanic. A dealer would be 50 or so with a lot of city stop and go. The independent has worked on my car a couple of times and I've been satisfied, but he's not a Porsche specialist - a lot more Mercedes and BMW in his lot.

What's a fair price for a clutch job? The dealer quoted me $2200-$3000 which sounds pretty high even though it is an involved job.

Thanks all

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Are you getting any clutch slip? might be worth a quick check of the cable etc first before assuming the worst.

In the UK we have loads of specialist garages which are much cheaper than the Porsche dealers. They have all the tools etc so do as good a job, the specialist near me charges £600 parts & labor for a replacement clutch ($900).

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Replacing a clutch on a Boxster is not a particularly involved job but does require some "heavy lifting". The $2200-3000 price quote is definitely on the high side, but not unusual for a dealer.

Try first to ascertain whether your clutch is slipping, as Nimbus suggests.

When you accelerate, do the RPM's rise without an immediate rise in the speed of your car and then the RPM's go back down and behave normally?

You can test for clutch slip by putting the car, as an example, in third or fourth gear at 25 mph and then stomping on the accelerator. If the RPM's go up suddenly but the car's speedometer trails behind (i.e., the car doesn't speed up immediately), you can be pretty sure that your clutch is toast.

Regards, Maurice.

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Well, now I've had a chance to give it a thorough road check (through some perverse twist of fate, my ignition switch broke on me the very day I noticed the clutch issue, and I just got the part to repair that today).

So, the clutch definitely isn't slipping. Some other symptoms in addition to described above: With car idling at rest, there is a vibration fed back through the clutch pedal, particularly around mid-travel. Also, it is difficult to describe, but shifts just don't feel usual; car gets into all gears no problem but there is just something a little off. And, as noted before, more clutch travel is required to make shifts than I'm accustomed to. It also isn't as tight getting into the gears as it was the other day.

Any ideas? Master cylinder? Slave cylinder? Cable? I have an appointment to leave it with my mechanic Tuesday, but I'm hoping maybe I am looking at a DIY instead.

Thanks all!

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Have you considered that the vibration that you feel through the clutch pedal, around mid-travel, may be caused by a failing throwout bearing?

Regards, Maurice.

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I have no experience to fall back on for that problem. Would that result in a dramatic change in clutch travel required to shift? Before, it just took a very short throw of an inch or two, now must put clutch almost to the floor. Also, clutch used to have a firm feel to it; now it is notably less.

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I am pretty sure I'm looking at the throwout bearing. It's more than I have the time to do myself now, so will be taking it in. Along with renewing the other clutch components while it is apart, would you suggest the IMS and RMS too, even if I'm not seeing any symptoms of problems? My oil analysis has come back after 10K miles telling me I'm good for many more than that if I want, and I have no leaks...

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