September 18, 2017

Top Signs Your Clutch is Failing

Your clutch system is responsible for connecting your engine to the gearbox, and it provides the motive that forces the car to move. It is also one part that suffers a lot from wear and tear due to regular usage. However, the rate of wear and tear will depend on the environment you drive the car in and your driving style.

You will experience more clutch wear if you drive in an environment that promotes bumper-to-bumper traffic such as the one in the city. You will also see similar wear if you drive in hilly areas as compared to driving in flat areas. Once you notice these signs, head to for confirmation and repair.

But how do you realize that your clutch is nearly packing up? The good thing is that your clutch shows you a number of signs that it is soon failing, giving you a chance to repair or replace the components before total failure. These signs also exist to make sure you get to the workshop before you cause an accident. Let us explore these red flags so that you stay enlightened.

Signs of Slippage

One of the top signs that tell you the clutch system is bad is slippage. You start noticing that your car starts picking up the speed slower than usual and the RPM tends to rise faster and more than necessary for a given speed. This is typical of clutch plates whose friction material is totally worn out. When you notice this, you need to head to your mechanic to replace the clutch plates.

Excessive Shuddering

Have you ever released your clutch pedal at a slow speed only for the car to shudder, going forward and backwards incessantly? This is a sign that your clutch plates are contaminated with grease or oil or water. This happens when you drive through waterlogged roads.

You need to observe the way the car behaves with time. If the shuddering continues, you need to go for repair. If it stops after a short while, then it is not a big issue. Persistence might point to misalignment of the engine and the gearbox due to a faulty gearbox or engine mount.

Strange Noises from the Clutch Area

If you notice a strange noise coming from the clutch area whenever you press the pedal, you have a problem with your clutch. It might be a chirping, humming, or grinding noise that disappears whenever you release the clutch pedal. This is a sign that the clutch release bearing of your car is worn out and needs replacement.

Replacing the release clutch bearing might solve the issue temporarily especially if you took time before getting to the mechanic. If this was the case, then your clutch fork might bend and might lead to problems with your pressure plate. The inevitable then happens – you have to replace the whole clutch system.

Trouble Shifting Gears

You should suspect a clutch problem if you start finding it hard shifting gears, even after stepping on the clutch. The gear refuses to move out of the current gear easily. If you succeed to move it, your action will be accompanied with a grating or gnashing sound. The reason is because your clutch doesn’t release completely even though you press the clutch pedal to the floor.

This problem usually points to a faulty clutch fork or a leaky slave cylinder. The mechanic will confirm the issue at hand and make an adjustment to the mechanical linkages or replace the slave cylinder. Another approach would be to make sure the clutch fluid flows smoothly through the hydraulic clutch systems.

The Bottomline

Once you understand the issue at hand, you need to visit an expert clutch repair mechanic. If you have driven a car properly and in normal conditions you don’t need any attention to the clutch for at least 120,000 kilometers. If you are a driver who uses the clutch more than half the journey you get to see clutch replacements more often.