Jeep JK Clutch Replacement Cost

Replacing the clutch on your Jeep JK can cost more than $1,700, but there are ways to save on parts and labor.
Written by Mary Alice Morris
Reviewed by Amy Bobinger
Getting a replacement clutch installed on a Jeep JK will probably cost between $1,500 and $1,700, with the bulk of the expense going toward parts. 
The Jeep JK is the third-generation Wrangler, produced for model years 2007 through 2018. Its popularity isn’t due to its creature comforts (there aren’t many), but rather its rugged styling, off-road handling, and the overall fun factor that is synonymous with driving a Jeep Wrangler.
The Jeep JK is an aging convertible that’s meant for driving in all kinds of conditions, and that’s why now is a good time to put a potential clutch replacement on your radar. Depending on your model year and what kind of driving your Jeep JK has been subjected to, you may need to get a new clutch in it sooner rather than later. 
Like oil changes, new tires,
car insurance
, and
car repairs
, occasionally installing a new part is just one of the routine ongoing costs of car ownership. However, doing the job yourself if you can or hiring a non-dealership mechanic might save you some money on your
oil change costs

How much does it cost to replace a clutch in a Jeep JK? 

The price to replace your Jeep JK clutch will vary depending on your Jeep’s model year, local labor costs, and the kind of clutch you purchase. However, you can expect the outright cost for your replacement clutch kit to be upwards of $1,100
Labor typically costs between $80 and $150 per hour for Jeeps, and it’s common to pay higher rates at dealership repair shops. Replacing the clutch itself could take anywhere from two to six hours, so what you end up paying can be highly variable. 
You can get original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts that are manufactured by
, but they’ll be more expensive than aftermarket options. Some people prefer OEM parts because of their reputation for reliability and the certainty that they’ll meet your vehicle specifications. However, you may find that aftermarket parts work just as well for your needs, at considerable savings. 

What is a clutch? 

The clutch is what connects your engine and transmission. It allows the engine power to move to the gearbox. On a manual transmission vehicle, when you press on the clutch pedal, you’re temporarily disengaging the clutch’s connection between the engine and gearbox, which allows you to switch gears. 
In an automatic, the transmission involves several clutches and planetary gears working together. These clutches engage and release with a signal from increasing and decreasing hydraulic pressure, and they engage with a central gear which is encompassed by a more complex transmission system that transmits power through the torque converter to the engine. 
Whether you’re driving an automatic or a manual, your transmission and its clutch or torque converter system involves lots of moving parts, friction, and gears, which means it’s very susceptible to wear and tear. That’s especially true for vehicles like the Jeep JK, which can see lots of sudden shifting between gears, especially in off-road conditions. 
However, not every clutch problem means the entire system needs replacing. There are a few common clutch issues that you may want to check on first, before you invest in a full replacement, such as:
MORE: How to drive stick or manual cars
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What are the symptoms of a Jeep JK clutch problem? 

A huge warning flag for a bad clutch in your Jeep JK is when you experience slipping, sticking, and clanking. If you find that your vehicle takes way too long to shift, or that your automatic transmission it’s shifting far too often, it might be time for a new clutch kit. 
You may also feel your clutch sticking when you attempt to shift gears. If your clutch disk doesn’t depress easily, you’ll feel that it’s much harder to shift gears. 
The Jeep JK transmission also may start to overheat if the clutch fails. You could even notice warmth from your clutch pedal. Unusual heat, a burning smell, or smoke means you need to get your car serviced as soon as possible.  
Finally, a bad clutch can impact your Jeep JK acceleration. If you notice it’s not as peppy as before and you’ve ruled out other causes, it’s a good idea to check your clutch for repair or replacement.

Is it safe to drive with a bad clutch? 

It’s definitely not safe to drive around with a bad clutch. It affects how quickly and easily you can shift gears, and it can gum up your acceleration, which may present a hazard on the road. If you let your clutch go long enough, it could finally just break. That means you’ll be stranded and unable to drive your car.

How long should a Jeep JK clutch last? 

The potential lifespan of your Jeep JK clutch has a huge range, perhaps more so than other vehicles because Jeeps tend to be driven off-road and adventurously. Depending on how and where you’ve driven your Jeep JK, the clutch could go out at 20,000 miles, or it may last for as many as 150,000 miles

Jeep Wrangler clutch recalls

In 2021, Jeep issued a recall for more than 42,000 vehicles due to a clutch pressure plate problem that was related to a fire risk. This recall included the 2018 Jeep Wrangler, which falls under the JK build, as well as the 2019-2021 Wranglers, which are JL models. 
Also recalled were the 2020-2021 Jeep Gladiator model years. 
The problem stemmed from excessive friction on the clutch pressure plate, which would cause it to overheat and break. This, in turn, could damage the transmission case, which could release enough heated materials to catch the car on fire. 
According to Jeep, the recall was caused by a design problem rather than faulty parts. The automaker opted to update its vehicle software during the recall, which will reduce the engine’s torque whenever sensors detect excessive heat. 
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