How to Change a Nissan Sentra Clutch

by Jeffrey Caldwell

A loss of power and grinding gears in between shifts are telltale signs that your Nissan Sentra's clutch needs to be replaced. Thankfully, with the right tools and a little knowledge you can inspect and replace your clutch, saving money in the process.


Follow the procedures in the owner's manual for lifting the vehicle. Support the vehicle, lifting it with jackstands.

Remove the transaxle assembly and set it aside.

Slide a clutch alignment tool into the clutch disc hub until it seats. This will hold the clutch disc while it is being unbolted.

Mark the relative position of the clutch assembly against the flywheel, using paint. The clutch assembly must be assembled in the same position in which it was removed.

Loosen the pressure plate bolts. After loosening the first, loosen the bolt on the opposite side of the pressure plate. Continue loosening the bolts in a criss-cross pattern, one turn at a time. Slowly relieve the spring pressure, and remove the bolts once the pressure is relieved.

Remove the clutch disc and pressure plate from the face of the flywheel.

Remove the clutch release lever. Align the retaining pins with the clutch cavity and then use a pin punch to drive out the pins.

Inspect Parts

Inspect the pressure plate, if it shows any sigh of scoring or roughness it should be resurfaced or replaced. Use fine emory cloth to smooth over light roughness.

Inspect the clutch disc. If it shows signs of a worn or oily face, loose rivets, broken or loose springs, it must be replaced.

Inspect the release bearing. If you see cracks, pitting, or excessive wear replace. The bearing should roll quietly and without resistance.

Inspect the flywheel. If the surface is excessively worn it must be resurfaced or replaced.


Apply a lubricating grease to the contact point of the clutch release lever and bearing sleeve.

Grease the splines on the transaxle.

Install the clutch disc on the transmission splines, and slide it forward and backward along the length of the shaft. Remove the disc and clear away any excess grease from the hub. Do not allow any grease to come in contact with the disc or pressure plate.

Insert the clutch alignment tool, then reinstall the clutch disc. Use the marks you made earlier to assure the clutch is aligned correctly.

Reinstall the pressure plate.

Working in steps, criss-crossing across the flywheel, torque the retaining bolts to 16-22 foot-lbs. Once all the bolts are torqued, remove the clutch alignment tool.

Reinstall the transaxle.


  • Do not allow grease, oil or dirt to come in contact with the clutch face. Doing so will cause the clutch to slip after reassembly.

Items you will need


About the Author

Jeffrey Caldwell has been a freelance writer for over five months and has published over 250 articles on websites like eHow and Trails.com. Caldwell writes articles on a wide range of topics including travel, camping and automotive mechanics. He has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Millersville University.

More Articles

Photo Credits

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/dongkwan/ / CC BY 2.0