How to Change the Clutch for a KIA Spectra

by Alibaster Smith

The clutch assembly on your Kia Spectra connects the engine to the transmission. It does this by forcing a clutch disc against a flywheel using a pressure plate. The clutch is made of a friction material that "grabs" onto the flywheel and delivers rotational force to the wheels through the transmission. Over time, this clutch disc wears down due to the same friction that allows it to grab onto the flywheel. The heat wears the material down to a point where the clutch eventually slips off the flywheel and your engine and transmission will not be effectively connected any longer. You'll notice this when your Spectra slips out of gear during normal driving for no apparent reason. At this point, it's time to replace the clutch assembly.

Step 1

Break the lug nuts loose on the Kia's front wheels by turning them 1/4 turn with a tire wrench. Do not unseat the wheel from the wheel hub.

Step 2

Disconnect the cable running to the negative battery terminal.

Step 3

Jack up on the front jack point of your Spectra and place jack stands under the front pinch welds of the vehicle. Then, lower the vehicle onto the stands.

Step 4

Continue removing the lug nuts and pull the wheel off the hub assembly.

Step 5

Remove the caliper mounting bolts and slide the caliper off the rotor. Secure it to the coil springs on the suspension, and pull the rotor off the hub.

Step 6

Remove the cotter pin holding the drive axle nut in place and remove the drive axle nut.

Step 7

Remove the tie rod bolt.

Step 8

Hold the steering knuckle and hub out of the way while you remove the axle from the Kia's transaxle. Wedge the tip of a flat tip screwdriver between the axle and the transaxle housing. Pry the end of the axle out of the transaxle.

Step 9

Support the transaxle and the engine with a floor jack. You'll need two floor jacks to accomplish this. Use a flat block of wood when supporting the engine to protect the oil pan (this is the only solid place to jack up on the engine under your Spectra). Be careful not to damage the oil pan as the Spectra has an oil pickup inside the oil pan located in the bottom of the pan. If the pan becomes dented, it may cause oil starvation in the engine and lead to engine damage.

Step 10

Place the catch pan under the transaxle, remove the drain bolt and drain the transaxle fluid into the catch pan.

Step 11

Disconnect the Spectra's shift linkage from the transaxle.

Step 12

Disconnect the Spectra's clutch linkage from the transaxle.

Step 13

Disconnect the speedometer from the transaxle.

Step 14

Remove the Kia's exhaust piping by removing the exhaust piping to manifold bolts. Then, unplug the O2 sensor electrical plugs, and slide the entire exhaust system off the hangers attached to the under-body of the vehicle.

Step 15

Remove the transaxle to engine bolts and remove the transaxle mounts.

Step 16

Pull the transaxle away from the engine.

Step 17

Support the clutch with a clutch alignment tool. Slide the tool into the center of the clutch while you remove the pressure plate to transaxle bolts.

Step 18

Slide the clutch assembly off the transaxle.

Step 19

Clean the surface of the new clutch assembly and flywheel. Install the new clutch. Installation is the reverse of removal.

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