Hey, is your car clutch is failing? Do you want to know what are the common signs of a failing car clutch? If yes. Then read this blog till the end.
Car enthusiasts love the adrenaline rush from the gear-shifting mechanism. The excitement of clutching down, changing gears, and speeding up is something that an automatic transmission cannot match. The clutch is the key part of a manual transmission, and as it is constantly in use, it may as well wear out. On average, a clutch can last anywhere between 50,000 to 100,000 miles. That varies on the vehicle’s model, year, make clutch design, and driving style.
You’ll most likely receive plenty of warning from your clutch if something is incorrect. There are signs of a failing car clutch. When you press the clutch pedal, the telltale indicators of a worn-out manual clutch start squeaking or groaning; you may also face some trouble changing gears and experience a “slipping” clutch. Let’s understand more signs of failing car clutch so that next time things start to go wrong with your car; you’ll discover the faults early and not wait on the side of an unknown road for a mechanic, throwing away your time and money. Prevention is better than cure!
1. Spongy Clutch Pedal
Does the clutch pedal feel smooth and springy throughout its whole journey when you push it, and in addition to that, does it need to be pressed extremely hard to activate it? It is probably because your clutch has worn out and become spongy after extended use. Although this is one of the signs of a failing car clutch, the main reason behind a failing clutch is the low clutch fluid.
The annoying spongy feeling is due to the air in the clutch line connecting the master cylinder and slave cylinder. It compresses more quickly than clutch fluid, giving the pedal a chaotic sensation. In such a situation, the clutch system will need to bleed the air off and should instead get filled with the required fluid. so, spongy clutch is number one sign your clutch is failing.
2. Grinding Sound When Changing Gears
You will hear a grinding sound if you shift gears and press the clutch pedal at the incorrect times, but if you hear that similar sound more often, that is a sign of clutch failure. It might again happen due to low clutch fluid.
When you hear the grinding, it is possible that the clutch is still partially engaged with the flywheel and barely moves the slave cylinder when you push the clutch pedal. Damage may result if the clutch disc rubs against the flywheel while being driven like this. It will result in extra wear and tear and raise your repair expense.
3. Burning smell
A shaky clutch and grinding gears frequently cause metal-on-metal friction.
This may emit a pungent burning odor. Any peculiar scents you experience while driving should make you want to have your car evaluated as soon as possible. It is also one of the common sign of failing clutch.
4. Clutch Pedal is Hard to Engage
A worn clutch pressure plate, a foul pivot ball, and a defective cross shaft are the three most frequent causes of a stiff clutch pedal. Too many clutch jargons? Let’s understand each one of them.
It’s necessary to maintain speed and make precise gearshifts. The clutch pressure plate connects to the flywheel (connected to the engine) and the disc with bolts that rotate together. The clutch plate collaborates with the clutch disc and flywheel to control engagement and disengagement.
The pivot ball makes it easier to operate the clutch pedal. It makes it move properly when you push the pedal.
The cross shaft is a lever found inside the transmission. Its function is to transmit the pressure you apply to the clutch and send it to the clutch release bearing. The clutch is released when you do this. The cross shaft may malfunction, making it difficult to press the pedal down. Additionally, it can lower the transmission’s overall performance. If you are facing such issues then you should visit a good vehicle clutch experts shop.
5. Won’t Stay in Gear
When your car doesn’t remain in gear while driving, it may not be a clutch issue, but it is still not good. Your clutch will not engage properly if there isn’t any material to create the friction necessary for it to engage. The reason behind it can be a worn-out clutch friction material.
If you don’t resolve these problems timely, it becomes unsafe to drive your car; it is dangerous and frequently indicates transmission problems. It’s critical to have a professional quickly determine what repairs are required. So, this is also one of the common sign of of Failing Car Clutch.
Clutch slipping happens when the clutch engages and disengages without delivering any power to the wheels, due to which the automobile will not move forward. When starting from a still position, the engine will rev rapidly, the tachometer will display a very high value, and the speed will remain low (low readings from the speedometer). Clutch slipping would be noticeable at high revs.
Another way to identify clutch slipping is to drive on 4th or 5th gear and increase speed. Watch the tachometer reach high reading while the speedometer won’t move. Usually, the two indicators move simultaneously, but they are not moving together due to the disengaged clutch. If you witness it, you should repair your car immediately because it is among a few signs of a failing car clutch.
Following are a few of the causes that might lead to your car’s slipping clutch:
- The warped or weakened clutch pressure plate
- Damaged, bent, or misaligned clutch linkage (clutch linkage connects the fork to the plate)
- Defective motor mounts.
- The cable binds or the cable housing rusts; hence, the clutch linkage needs to be adjusted.
- Your engine or transmission oil leak has polluted the clutch assembly.
Car drivers have trouble with failing car clutch. It is recommended to know the signs of a failing car clutch beforehand and get it repaired than wait for it to fail and get your repair cost doubled. Here are common questions amongst the drivers.
How do I know if my clutch is going out?
There are multiple signs that your clutch is going out. Some of them include:
- A “slipping” clutch occurs, resulting in a sudden loss of acceleration.
- You have trouble changing gears
- You hear a squeaky or groaning sound when you push the clutch.
- When you push your clutch, it feels mushy, sticks, or vibrates.
- At high speed, you notice that the tachometer and the speedometer readings are not going up in sync.
How many years does a clutch last?
A clutch can last between 50,000 and 100,000 miles depending on your car’s model, year of purchase, and date of manufacture. It will also depend on your driving habit and the type of clutch (either hydraulic or non-hydraulic).
Can you drive if your clutch goes?
You can drive with a faulty clutch, but the more you drive with it, the more damage it will cause to the gearbox, shifter, or starter motor. So, it is recommended not to drive if it has started showing signs of a failing car clutch. If your clutch suddenly fails during a long drive at an unknown destination, stop your car and switch the engine off. Call the mechanic as soon as possible.
How can I make my clutch last?
Although, with time and regular use, your car’s clutch would wear out. But, you can follow some tips and tricks to make your clutch last to the maximum of its capacity. Here are some tips:
- Use your clutch only when necessary. Put your car in neutral and release the clutch if you must stop at a red light or a zebra crossing. The clutch repair cost will increase if you continuously keep your foot on the clutch.
- Ride your clutch sparingly, and it will quickly wear out your clutch. Instead, keep your foot off the clutch when pressing on the accelerator.
- Avoid using your clutch as a footrest. The clutch bearings may get released if you constantly keep your foot on the clutch while driving.
- Use the parking brake on your car to its greatest potential. Although leaving your automobile in gear prevents it from rolling, it puts a lot of pressure on the clutch.
- Avoid downshifting every time you need to slow down a car with a manual transmission. Instead, utilize your brakes for this.
- From time to time, servicing cars is mandatory. Complete car maintenance extends the life of every part, including your clutch.
How often do you need a new clutch?
You should maintain your vehicle’s performance by replacing your clutch as soon as possible when it reaches the end of its useful life. Due to the clutch’s long lifespan, a clutch replacement is something that many of us only have to worry about once or twice in our driving lives. You should never ignore signs of failing car clutch and make sure that before you replace your car’s clutch, it should last you between 50,000 and 100,000 miles.