Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Luke asks: I am considering buying a friend’s ’97 Nissan pick-up; it has 150k-plus on the original (I think) clutch. What are your thoughts about buying it? The truck seems to run okay but I worry I may be looking at a new clutch, soon.
My reply: As it happens, I have an ’02 Nissan pick-up with not-far from the same mileage and the original clutch, which still grabs just fine. Yours may last for some time to come – or it may need to be replaced next month. It is hard to know without actually looking at the clutch – which of course means dropping the tranny (not Bruce).
But why worry?
Eventually, you will need a new clutch. Just as – eventually – you will need new brake pads. Both are normal wear items and not a big deal. A clutch job costs about as much as a four wheel brake job. If you do it yourself, it should only cost a couple hundred bucks. Once done, you will probably never have to do it again as a new clutch on an old truck will likely outlast the truck.
Since you’re considering buying rather than having already bought, you could check the clutch for evidence of slipping before you buy the truck. Get it up to about 35 MPH on a flat road and put the tranny (not Bruce) in fifth and then give it gas. If the clutch is good, the engine should lug. If it revs, the clutch is slipping – and you’ll be replacing it, soon. But – again – it’s not a big deal anymore than needing a four wheel brake job is a big deal, assuming the rest of the truck is ok and the price you pay is fair (and encompasses the cost of the clutch job).
. . .
Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics – or anything else? Email me at [email protected] and I will do my best to answer!
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