Throwout Bearing Noise – How Do You Get Rid Of It?

by Conner Mckay

So, are you experiencing noise coming from your manual transmission? This is a noise so weird that you don’t know what is really going on since the shifter is working properly. But let me tell you, that you are probably experiencing a throwout bearing noise.

Manual transmissions are pretty cool because you have the freedom of shifting gears at whatever RPM range you desire. You can short-shift, downshift, and enjoy your car’s performance. Personally, I have a manual transmission and I wouldn’t change it for anything else on this planet.

But that’s why manual transmissions have more parts that are essential to work such as the clutch, flywheel, pressure plate, and a throwout bearing.

If you press the clutch pedal, the clutch disengages. When you release the clutch pedal, the clutch engages and shifts your gears up or down. It’s pretty simple. That’s why manual transmissions are the best because they’re so simple. You don’t have a torque converter and all that jazz. This makes them pretty affordable and really fun to drive.

Many people hate them because they are difficult to learn, but in life, you need to enjoy the challenges. Learning to drive a manual is one of them. Even though it’s so complex to learn you’ll figure it out on the second try.

In this article, we are going to cover everything you need to know when you are experiencing a throwout bearing noise. We will learn what are the main symptoms when you are having this issue and we are going to learn how this issue can be addressed.

Manual Transmission

Throwout Bearing Noise

As the name implies, a manual transmission is an automotive gearbox where you have to change the gears manually if you want to go in a higher or lower gear.

This is unlike the automatic transmission in which you have two pedals – one gas, and one brake pedal. In manual transmission cars, you have three pedals. These would be the gas pedal, brake pedal, and clutch pedal. The clutch pedal is what performs all the magic of shifting gears.

Basically, you are working it by pressing and releasing the clutch pedal. By pressing and releasing the clutch pedal you are engaging and disengaging the clutch of the car. This is unlike the automatics in which you have a torque converter. In manual transmissions, you have a clutch plate, flywheel, pressure plate, and a throwout bearing.

This clutch assembly is what’s engaging and disengaging. These parts wear out with time or through improper use. If you’re bad at shifting, then you will probably burn out your clutch pretty soon. Also, the throwout bearing is known to suffer and develop a throwout bearing noise.

That’s why to save your clutch when you are learning to drive a manual transmission, you should always try to not overheat your clutch and throwout bearing. This can prematurely wear these components and can cost a lot of money to fix.

Clutches usually have a 150,000 miles lifespan on them when they’re new. But if you abuse them for racing or with improper shifting, you will reduce this lifespan to a few thousand miles.

The repair bill will be around $1,000 for all the parts and the labor. That’s because if you want to remove the clutch and replace it, you will have to remove the whole transmission and clutch assembly.

Throw Out Bearing

The throwout bearing is one of the most essential parts of the shifting process. This bearing makes all this possible, and you have the ability to shift effortlessly. This bearing makes the clutch release look very easy.

The clutch release bearing or a throwout bearing typically is a thrust-type angular contact ball bearings on a car and is supported on a carrier.

This clutch release bearing is mounted on a hub or sleeve that extends the gearbox. This ball bearing is perfectly made to fit your gearbox sleeve. The sleeve is the part that protrudes from the inside of the gearbox.

This bearing is mounted before the release fork. So, when you engage and disengage the clutch. This fork moves in and out.

When you engage the clutch, the fork is moving the bearing into the diaphragm spring fingers. This action makes the throwout bearing rotate and absorb the rotary motion of the spring fingers against the linear motion of the fork.

This bearing basically does all the hard work in engaging and disengaging the clutch. This makes it an essential part that drives your car forward. That’s why when you hear throwout bearing noise, you have to act quickly and get it resolved.

If you delay this, it can hurt your clutch. That’s especially true if you have a clutch that has a lot of life in it. In the end, it may be very expensive to get this fixed.

Bad Throw Out Bearing Symptoms

As with all other parts on your car, so does the throwout bearing develop symptoms when it’s going bad. We all know about the throwout bearing noise. But in this chapter, we are going to cover all of the symptoms that you will have when you have a bad throwout bearing problem in your car. So, let’s begin.

Throwout Bearing Noise And Symptoms #1: Throwout Bearing Noises

Throwout bearing noise is the most common symptom when you are having a throwout bearing issue on your transmission. This noise usually appears when you are engaging the clutch. When you put the foot to the floor the bearing stops making weird noises (or a weird noise in the engine bay). Then you release the clutch these noises start to reappear. That is how you can diagnose this issue.

The sound of the throwout bearing is like a squeaking noise that quickly comes on and off. We’re talking about milliseconds here. Once you hear it, it is pretty easy to diagnose.

This can be a bit annoying when you are having an issue like this. And you will think that something is seriously wrong with your transmission. But you should not panic and stay focused on driving. Don’t let a thing like a throwout bearing noise distract you.

Throwout Bearing Noise And Symptoms #2: Vibrations When You Apply The Clutch

This is an instant sign that you have a throwout bearing issue. When you apply the clutch instantly there are vibrations and noises. These vibrations and noises last until you press the clutch pedal harder and start to engage the clutch.

When you apply more pressure on the clutch pedal and press it down to the floor, all of the vibrations will magically disappear. This will continue you release the clutch with your foot. Once you release the clutch, again the throwout bearing noise and vibrations start to appear.

These can be a bit annoying. However, they are there to tell you that you have a problem with your vehicle and this requires solving it as quickly as possible. Make sure that you book an appointment with your local mechanic to further investigate this issue and find the problem.

Throwout Bearing Noise And Symptoms #3: Gear Shifting Problems

Throwout Bearing Noise

Gear shifting problems may also appear when you are having a bad throwout bearing. This problem will be most pronounced when the bearing is almost done and doesn’t do its job properly. This problem can make you feel like you are feeling resistance when you move your gear lever in gear.

Some weird sounds may start to appear like something inside of the gearbox is breaking or everything is broken. But this resistance and metallic sounds appear because your clutch isn’t fully engaging.

This creates more confusion, as you think that everything inside is broken. But you shouldn’t panic. Although if you do not take care of this issue soon, some gear shifting issues may appear and you may damage your transmission.

That’s why when you are dealing with some of these problems, the best thing is to resolve this problem as soon as possible. You don’t want to pay a double price in the end.

Throwout Bearing Noise And Symptoms #4: Stiff Clutch

A stiff clutch can also be one of the symptoms that you can experience if your throwout bearing is broken. This is the case because the bearing inside is broken and does not have the same lubrication. This means that it has a lot of friction and the throwout bearing will get more damaged. This will cause your clutch to get stiffer and stiffer.

It will be a lot harder to depress the clutch pedal when you have a worn bearing. And eventually, when the bearing is completely gone, you will reach a point where you will not be able to disengage the clutch anymore.

Since you will not be able to disengage the clutch, you can’t drive the car and shift gears. Possibly, and if you can get your gearbox into the second gear, you may be able to limp to the workshop at 20 mph.

If you are not able to drive your car, then the best idea is to call someone to take your car to a workshop. You don’t want to drive a car that isn’t road-worthy because you can be fined in some situations.

Throwout Bearing Noise And Symptoms #5: Clutch Failure

As we said. If the bearing is pressed and is rubbing the clutch all the time, there will be consequences. In the worst-case scenario, your clutch will start to smoke and will wear out. When a clutch is failing you will be able to recognize this issue by the cloud of smoke it creates and the inability of the car to move when you get it into gear.

Also, the smell. The smell is terrible, akin to the scent of rotten eggs. But much worse. When you are experiencing a clutch failure you will notice it sooner or later. You should have this mended before it gets worse and causes your car to not be able to move.

If you have a bad throwout bearing and your clutch is almost done, then it’s best to get this work done altogether. Since the transmission needs to be pulled out. The best thing is to replace all of these parts at once. It’s going to be a lot cheaper for you at the end of the day.

Throwout Bearing Noise And Symptoms #6: Unusual Pedal Feel

While driving, if you sense a strange feeling whenever you press the clutch pedal, it could be a telltale sign of a failing throwout bearing. Specifically, if the pedal feels gritty or if there’s a noticeable change in its resistance, then you should pay attention. This grittiness or inconsistent feel results from the irregular movement and wear of the bearing. And remember, it’s not just about the noise. Always trust your feet – if something feels off, it probably is.

Throwout Bearing Noise And Symptoms #7: Slipping Clutch

Another critical symptom of a bad throwout bearing is a slipping clutch. This occurs when the clutch disc doesn’t properly engage with the flywheel. Consequently, you might notice that the engine revs unpredictably even without pressing the accelerator, especially while driving uphill. In severe cases, the clutch might not engage at all. Ignoring this symptom might lead to greater damage, making the repair more expensive.

Throwout Bearing Noise And Symptoms #8: Grinding Noise While Shifting

Apart from the squeaking sounds, a failing throwout bearing might also produce a grinding noise, especially when shifting gears. This grinding is caused by the irregularities in the bearing’s surface, which creates friction with the clutch fork. If you notice this, it’s essential to address the issue quickly to prevent further wear and damage.

Throwout Bearing Noise And Symptoms #9: Increased Freeplay in the Clutch Pedal

Freeplay refers to the initial movement of the clutch pedal before any resistance is felt. An increased freeplay can indicate that the throwout bearing isn’t properly positioned. This misalignment might be due to a worn-out bearing or other related components. Monitoring the freeplay regularly can give you a heads-up about potential throwout bearing issues.

Throwout Bearing Noise And Symptoms #10: Poor Fuel Efficiency

Although several factors can contribute to decreased fuel efficiency, a malfunctioning throwout bearing can be one of them. When the bearing isn’t functioning correctly, the clutch system can’t work as efficiently, leading to more fuel consumption. While this might not be the most direct symptom, it’s worth considering, especially if you notice any other signs mentioned above.

Throwout Bearing Noise And Symptoms #11: Burning Smell

If you detect a burning smell while driving, especially when shifting gears, it might be an overheating throwout bearing. The excessive friction caused by a malfunctioning bearing can generate enough heat to produce this smell. Do not ignore this sign, as prolonged driving under these conditions can lead to more significant issues.

Throwout Bearing Noise And Symptoms #12: Difficulty in Engaging First Gear or Reverse

While it’s common to face some resistance when engaging the first gear or reverse, a pronounced difficulty can indicate a bad throwout bearing. This resistance happens because the bearing doesn’t disengage the clutch disc properly from the flywheel. As a result, the synchros in the transmission face difficulty lining up to allow the gear to engage.

In conclusion, while the signs mentioned above can indicate a bad throwout bearing, they can also be related to other issues. Therefore, it’s crucial to get a thorough checkup from a professional mechanic. Addressing the issue early can save you from bigger troubles and more significant expenses in the future. Always prioritize safety and ensure your vehicle is in optimal condition before hitting the road.

How To Tell If A Bearing Is Bad

To be sure that your throwout bearing is failing you can do some tests to troubleshoot the issue and find if the throwout bearing is really the problem. Now, we are going to explain how you can do that.

To do this, you need to go for a test drive. You should try to listen to the noises when you have pressed the clutch pedal to the floor. Put your car in first gear and release the clutch. If there is some odd sound, you are probably having a throwout bearing issue or a worn pilot bearing.

So, to isolate the two bearings and have a better idea of which one of them has failed you need to keep the clutch pedal to the floor, and then shift into neutral. If the noise is still there, then your throwout bearing is done. And if the noise in this case disappears, then the pilot bearing is broken.

Let’s say there is bearing noise when you are releasing the clutch pedal to engage the clutch while you are in neutral. But then the noise goes away the pedal is depressed. This is usually caused by a broken transmission input shaft bearing.

This simple guide is going to help you diagnose this issue and hopefully find the possible culprit. You have to have good ears to understand this problem and diagnose it. Even though you diagnosed it, the transmission still needs removal and work has to be done on the car.

This is not a simple job as we mentioned. In the next chapter, we are going to learn how to replace a throwout bearing DIY. This is important because if you want to replace the bearing by yourself.

Throw Out Bearing Replacement

Before we start, this job is very complex and is usually a two-man job. This is because there are a lot of steps and many parts need to come off the car before you get to the bearing. The bearing may be small, but it requires a lot of work to be pulled out from the car and replaced with a new one.

But that’s why we gearheads are here, right? We want to wrench and do the work on our cars by ourselves. In this chapter, we are going to guide you into the process of removing the bearing from your transmission and replacing it with a new one. So, let’s begin.

Step 1

Step 1 involves removing the transmission of the car. To remove the transmission, you have to jack the car in the air. Or preferably, on a lift. Then you will need to get some support that is going to hold the transmission and slowly bring it down, so you have a proper working environment. Removing the transmission is essential and you cannot do this job without it.

Step 2

Now you need to locate the bearing. The bearing is located right after the fork. The bearing is mounted on the sleeve in the center of the transmission.

Step 3

The old bearing should come off pretty easy and you will only need a slight tap with a rubber mallet to get it loose if it’s stuck. If it’s an old bearing, it’s probably left without grease and it will be harder to pull it out.

Step 4

Now you have to grease the new bearing and grease the sleeve that the bearing is mounted to. This is important because the grease will keep your bearing healthy and will make sure that it has a long life. Not only this bearing, but any bearing that you install on your car, it is always a good idea to put a lot of grease on it before you install it on the car.

Step 5

Since you greased the bearing now it’s time to reassemble. Install the bearing in the right direction and mount the transmission back in its place. Make sure that you tighten all the bolts and everything is properly connected. Then you are good to go.


Since you are removing the transmission. It is a good idea to check the clutch. If the clutch is near its lifespan, then it is a good idea to replace it altogether. You don’t want to do this job again after a few months. Also, by doing this you will avoid paying twice to mechanics.

Throw Out Bearing Replacement Cost

The throwout bearing is a relatively cheap and affordable part. It can cost around $30 to $100 to buy. If you add the clutch to this price you will come at $200 to $800 for the clutch. Clutches are relatively expensive. So, don’t burn your clutch. All in all, for the parts it can come to $400 for a regular commuter car. If you have a sports car this clutch job is going to be far more expensive.

Parts are relatively reasonably priced but there is also the labor factor. The labor for this job can be costly. There are a couple of hours of work into this job. And this adds up pretty quickly. Depending on the place you take your car to it can cost you a lot of money to get it fixed.

That’s why we recommend doing the clutch job along with the throwout bearing. It will be much cheaper to do in the long run. Imagine if you change your bearing and the clutch fails after a few months. The transmission has to come out, again and again, and you will lose a lot of money on mechanics.

What Causes Throw Out Bearing Failure

To prevent the throwout bearing from failing you need to perfect your shifting skills. Spend as little time on the clutch pedal when you are shifting gears. The less time you spend with your foot pressed to the floor the less the throwout bearing will suffer and possibly get damaged.

Many people think that they shift perfectly but that’s not the case. When you press the clutch, change gear and release completely. The more you hold your feet pressed, the more load on the clutch and the throwout bearing. This results in possible damage and wear.

How Long Can You Drive With A Bad Throw Out Bearing

Driving like this with a bad throwout bearing is not recommended. Since you are hearing a throwout bearing noise it means that you need to get this thing checked.

If the whole bearing fails, you will not be able to shift gears, and eventually you are going to end up stuck and you will not be able to move your car around.

Throwout Bearing Noise: In Conclusion…

In this article, we have covered a lot when it comes to bad throwout bearing and throwout bearing noise. We learned a lot about it, the main symptoms, as well as how to troubleshoot this issue.

The most important tell-tale sign that you will feel is the noise when you apply the foot to the clutch. If there is squeaking noise then you know something is wrong and this needs to be addressed.

Then, we thoroughly explained how you can perform this job DIY. Remember that this is a two-person job, and you will need another set of hands to perform this work if you are not experienced.

And lastly, we have covered how you can save your clutch and bearing and avoid premature wear. As they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Throwout Bearing Noise

Throwout Bearing Noise: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you’re still curious to learn more about a throwout bearing noise, our FAQs here might help…

What Is A Throwout Bearing

In a manual transmission, the throwout bearing is also sometimes known as either the release bearing or the clutch release bearing. It’s named as such, as the throwout bearing is a core part of the clutch linkage. Primarily, its main role is to disengage and re-engage the clutch plate. As such, this singular bearing is responsible for disconnecting a car’s engine and its transmission temporarily, while you’re changing gears. For example, when you depress the clutch pedal, the throwout bearing will move the entire clutch assembly toward the flywheel to initiate a gear change.

Can A Bad Wheel Bearing Cause Transmission Problems

If and when your wheel bearings fail or wear out, it can’t directly damage the transmission. However, it can indirectly cause transmission problems down the line. For instance, a bad wheel bearing can cause excessive vibrations to reverberate throughout nearby components. This would inevitably lead to the transmission, putting added strain on it. On top of that, a bad wheel bearing would allow the rotation of the wheels to have more resistance. Once again, this would put more stress on the transmission, especially if your car is front-wheel driven. Thus, it’s crucial that you have bad wheel bearings replaced ASAP.

How To Know If Your Clutch Is Bad

There are numerous ways that you can tell if your transmission’s clutch isn’t working right. As far as performance is concerned, you may notice that acceleration is weak and isn’t as potent as it used to be. Driveability-wise, you might also experience issues such as gears grinding more often. As well as, odd screeching noises as you’re shifting gears and a burning smell from the transmission. The gearbox itself would also exhibit countless issues when the clutch has gone awry. These include its inability to change gears, refusal to stay in a particular gear, in addition to a loose or sticky clutch pedal.

What Happens When Throw-out Bearing Fails In A Manual Transmission

Should the throwout bearing fail, you’ll immediately notice serious issues with the transmission. First off, you’ll often come across difficulties when trying to depress the clutch pedal. Soon enough, it might elevate to a point where you can’t press the clutch pedal or shift into gears at all. Before that happens, you’ll experience problems like gearbox shifting hard. Or, being able to see and hear it grind and screech its way through the gears. If you continue to put more strain on the already-bad throwout bearings, it might even result in complete clutch failure.

How To Fix Throwout Bearing Noise

Throwout bearing noises are an early warning sign that you should consider replacing it soon. Therefore, getting rid of the throwout bearing noise entails taking apart your transmission and replacing the throwout bearing itself. While you’re there, you might even have to consider replacing some of the other parts around the throwout bearings. This includes the pilot bearing, or even the clutch plate and pressure plate. If the throwout bearing has already done some internal damage, you might also need to get the flywheel resurfaced. These should fix that throwout bearing noise for good.

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