Diagnosing a Clutch Bearing or Bushing Noise

The Clutch Release Bearing

The clutch release bearing applies force to the release levers, or fingers, causing it to disengage the clutch. Release bearings are designed to operate with minimum friction between the rotating and stationary points of contact.

If noise develops from the bell housing area, there are a few checks that can be done.SKF Clutch Bearing Release

Start with a road test of the vehicle. Listen for noise with the transmission in gear and the clutch pedal to the floor. Next, release the clutch with the transmission in first gear. Noise under this condition indicates a worn release bearing or a worn pilot bearing.

SKF Pilot Bearing

To isolate the two, keep the clutch pedal on the floor and shift the transmission into neutral. Noise that persists indicates that the release bearing is bad. If the noise is gone, the pilot bearing is bad.


Bearing noise that occurs when releasing the clutch pedal to engage the clutch while in neutral, but goes away when the pedal is depressed, is caused by a bad transmission input shaft bearing.


SKF Trans Input Shaft Bearing

Always make sure that all other components are in good condition.

Check for:

  • Binding or mis-adjustments of Clutch Linkage
  • Proper setting of Clutch Pedal Free Play and Pedal Reserve
  • Proper alignment of Clutch Fork and Input Shafts