2002 Toyota Corolla type S transmission clunk

mb’s question:

“We have a 2002 toyota corolla type S, 4 cyl, stick shift, about 100k. The tranny was replaced by the dealer at 85k. Lately, we noticed a clunking noise in the front of the car when the car goes between 20-35 mph, that sounds like metal bouncing around. Our mechanic confirmed it wasn’t the shocks or struts, but did said our clutch will need replacing soon (suggested we replaced it when we no longer can shift?) I noticed near the tranny a dried up tranny fluid. what do you think the clunking noise comes from? Is it the tranny? the loose clutch? or wheel bearing? Is there a transmission dip stick (to measure the tranny fluid) for a manual tranmission? Is the mechanic correct about when we should replace our clutch? Thanks for the help”


Clunking noises can be real bears to discover where they’re coming from. Generally, clutch clunking occurs when you push the clutch in, shift gears, and let the clutch back up. And when they changed the tranny they should have put a new clutch in anyway and it should last a LOT longer than that. Standard trannies don’t have dip sticks. They have a large bolt that you remove and the oil should be to the bottom of the hole, just dripping out when you remove the bolt. Now lots of things can clunk, like torsion bar bushings or engine or transmission mounts, so check all of those out. If you can’t find anything, and it is in the clutch, I’d just say drive it until the clutch doesn’t work anymore as it won’t cost any more to replace it then, as all the clutch parts should be replaced when servicing the clutch. And I’ve seen them clunk for years before they finally give up.

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