Common Honda Clutch Problems and Their Solutions



We’ve received some interesting questions regarding the issues with the Honda clutches asking for proper solutions. We thought of publishing these questions on our blog with their solutions. Hope you find them useful.

Que. Yesterday I took my’98 Honda Odyssey to the office and felt my car was slippery. The engine was revving without increase in speed. The problem is that my car has already passed 4 months from the 3 years warranty period with already 25k miles. I and my wife never have been so hard on the clutch and I still expect some more miles before such problems. Worried about the expensive replacements, is there any other way so that I can save a bit?

  • The common problem with the slipping is mainly due to a faulty clutch which would need a replacement. Early failures of clutch could be due to many reasons. It is better to first check out the fluid levels in the master cylinder as well as the slave cylinder. With a slipping clutch, you might end up your journey with a burned clutch, which would also damage the flywheel and is probably an expensive replacement. Before it gets too late, replace with a new clutch kit to save your money.

Que. I have been doing a search on the internet but haven’t got any clues yet. I have a 97 CRX which had a recent clutch kit replacement with new springs also. My problem is that even after many adjustments with the free play my car still moves when I try to shift the gears. I adjusted the clutch few days back but still it is not working. I had a look on the clutch and found that the steel plates were discolored brown as if they were burning. Everything else was normal. What could be done to sort out this issue and what other things I should look for the damage?

  • It is very clear that your car’s clutch had been slipping since long. As you were not able to adjust the thing, the slipping became severe causing the clutch to burn. Try replacing the clutch kit with a new CRX Clutch Kit. Do not use any old or repaired part for replacement as the damage has already been severe. If the discolored clutch plates have checking marks on it, you will also need to replace the flywheel as it may have been wrapped. Truing it would only cause too much material removal.

Que. I have a 94 prelude. I'm not sure what’s wrong with my car, but the clutch is not working properly; as far I know, it is not slipping. I need to start the car in first gear and it works great the clutch works sometimes and don’t… I am not able to find the fault? Is the pressure plate sticking?

  • Try adding DOT3 fluid in the system or fluid reservoir. Possibly, the master and slave cylinders are out of order. Also, there could be a fair chance of pressure plate damage, if you have been dumping the clutch or side stepping. If this doesn’t help, the only reason would be a destroyed clutch and would need a replacement.

Que. When I'm driving my car which is a 96 Accord and when I need to stop, I press the clutch but the car still feels like moving. If I pump it several times it becomes normal. I’ve checked the fluid and it is low, but not less than the required minimum level. It feels like the clutch is able to engage when I press it completely to the floor.

  • Most probably the cause is a damaged clutch master cylinder which needs a replacement. The master cylinder is not able to build up enough pressure for the clutch to operate properly. Although, replacement would not cost you more, it is quite difficult as it requires proper bleeding and adjustments. You can try filling back the fluid with a DOT3 brake fluid and bleed the system and see if it works for you. If not then replace the 1996 Honda Accord master cylinder.

Que. I have a 1998 honda CRV, yesterday when I was driving back home I pushed the clutch and it didn’t come up again and remained pressed down.Even the gear shifts were sticky and hard. I managed somehow for few miles but when I down shifted the gears I pressed the clutch, it remained down and I was not able to change the gear. Now without pressing the clutch it is not starting and I can’t change the gears…is there any assistance you could provide?

  • The problem is with the clutch and it seems that it has been worn out. The return action of the clutch is mainly possible by the springs arranged concentrically. Clutch pedal failing to return back is one of the most common symptoms of a clutch failure. But still, there are chances that the hydraulic system which operates the clutch would have encountered some problems. If the problem is with the hydraulic part, you can still expect low cost repairs. For this, you’ll need to check the clutch master cylinder located on the firewall for any leaks or air trapped inside, which is not allowing the clutch to return back. Later, also check the slave cylinder which is located on the transmission in the same manner. Bleed the system and check if it works for you. If it does not help out, the only possible solution is to replace your 1998 Honda Accord Clutch Kit.

Que. So my friend has 08 passport, 5 spd, with about 100k on it. It’s really a great car till now and never any major repairs yet. But from past few weeks he’s complaining about rattle or grinding noise during driving. When you start the clutch makes banging/grinding noise and with acceleration by changing the gears there is a loud noise. The noise begins to increase while shifting to higher gear. There is no noise if the vehicle goes steady. Any help would be appreciated….

  • Looking at the conditions of your clutch, the only reason could be a bad or worn out clutch. Also, a damaged throw out bearing is one of the prime reasons for such noise. With already 100k miles on the board, such problems are to be expected.

Que. I currently have a 1992 Acura Legend and have burned the clutch up and needs to be replaced.  The Ls Coupe is a six speed vehicle and is a rare car so I’m worried about the cost. It seems that the master and slave also need to be replaced. My friend told me that replacing the clutch with a performance clutch would be best suited based on how I drive. Is a performance clutch more better than an ordinary one? What is the difference in price and how long it will last?

  • Performance clutch doesn’t last more than a normal organic clutch. It will simply allow your engine to rev higher and will hold more torque compared to organic clutch.

Que. I have a manual Honda element with a hydraulic clutch. I am having problems with gear shifting. After pumping around sometimes it works well. When the engine is off, the gears shifts are without any problem.
Already Tried:
Pumping the clutch and it has worked somehow. I hope I am not damaging the car. Fluid level is ok, is there any air in the line?

  • If there is air in the system, you could be damaging the synchro in the transmission. Try bleeding the system to remove the air and make sure the fluid level is full. Crack the bleeder and allow the gravity to force down the air and fluid. This would help you fix the problem, but ensure that fluid level is full when you do this. It is possible that air in the system is possibly due to leak but not always. There are chances that the bypass system of master cylinder would be the cause. Try bleeding it and check if your problem is sorted out.

  • Carol Smith

    I have an issue with a 1997 Honda accord and the 5th gear slipping out when I go faster than 60 miles per hour, I can travel in 4th gear but, worried that that will hurt the car more as I smell some sort of burning what do I do,