Some Common Red Flags That Show You May Need Clutch Repair

Posted on: 21 May 2019

In manual transmission cars, the primary purpose of the clutch is to transmit the power of the engine to the wheels, allowing smooth vehicle movement. Engaging and disengaging the clutch allows you to switch between gears depending on the desired output. 

Due to frequent use, however, clutches tend to wear quite fast. Considering a clutch replacement is quite costly. Therefore, proper detection and attendance to clutch problems by a professional are crucial before total failure. 

Below are some red flags to watch out for.

Slipping Clutch 

The effectiveness of the clutch largely depends on the ease with which it engages and disengages. A gear slip occurs when the clutch fails to engage or disengage when the pedal is depressed. A clear indication of a slip is when the RPM indicator on the dashboard comes on, with no notable increase in car acceleration. This is more noticeable when overtaking, when under heavy load or when going uphill. 

Do note that slipping also results in overheating, further escalating the issue. If you note any of the mentioned signs, please consult a professional for attendance.

Noisy Clutch

A worn clutch face and faulty bearings result in a grinding noise every time you engage or disengage the clutch. If the grinding sound seems to emanate from the engine block, this is a sign that your bearings are worn, while sounds from the clutch itself after depressing requires attendance to the clutch itself. 

Also, grinding and squeaking can be a sign that the lubricant is low, resulting in the mechanical parts clanking together in the course of an engagement.

Hard or Loose Clutch Pedal

The clutch pedal movement should require minimal effort to press and release. A difficult-to-depress pedal indicates that some parts may be worn-out or the lubrication is poor. Some parts that wear out often include the linkages, fork, pivot, shaft guide and firewall. In the hydraulic variant, the use of the wrong fluid type results to a hard pedal, as the compressing specifications are different.

Faulty linkage and release bearing, alongside fluid leakage and the use of the wrong hydraulic fluid, result in loose pedals. The depressing may seem too easy, or the pedal stays on the floor after depressing. Contact a reputable car service expert to check on the linkages, especially the stretch of the springs, release bearings and the master and slave cylinder for leakages.

The importance of the clutch in manual cars can't be understated. A worn clutch by itself is a safety hazard. The above signs, often accompanied by a burning smell, are indications that your clutch needs attendance. Contact a professional mechanic for troubleshooting and clutch repairs.