Signs You May Need A Clutch Repair
When it comes to vehicle components, few are as tough as your clutch but that doesn’t mean it’s impervious to damage. Driving in bad conditions and heavy, stop-start traffic or on hills can result in wear and tear prompting a clutch repair.
If your clutch starts slipping it may cause more serious (and expensive) problems. So, here’s everything you need to know about how a clutch works and the most common signs that you may need to book a clutch repair.
What Is A Clutch?
In simple terms, a clutch is the part of your car engine that engages and disengages the power transmission. It separates the engine from the wheels which allow you to change gear and come to a complete stop while the engine is still running.
How Does A Clutch Work?
The clutch consists of three main parts, i.e. the clutch plate, pressure plate and flywheel. When the clutch is engaged, springs in the clutch press these three parts together. This essentially connects the engine to the shaft which delivers the motion to the wheels.
When you press down on the clutch pedal, the springs pull the pressure plate away from the clutch plate. This stops the connection between the engine and the wheels that are rotating through their own momentum allowing you to change gears smoothly.
When Do I Need A Clutch Repair?
Clutch problems are common on manual cars as the amount of gear changes you must do eventually wears it down. Even the latest models with synchromesh and rev-matching facilities are affected. Whilst clutches are designed with strength and durability in mind, they undergo intensive wear and tear. Here are some of the most common signs that you may need to book a clutch repair.
A Slipping Clutch
Clutch slipping is one of the most common clutch problems. It will not only reduce performance but also cause damage if not diagnosed in time. Keep a close eye out for the following:
- Struggle to drive forward at low speeds in a high gear
- Difficult to get up hills in a high gear
- Your car is unable to accelerate effectively or tow a trailer
When a clutch slips out of gear during regular driving, even if it’s occasionally, it should be replaced as soon as possible. This could indicate that your clutch is worn or it can be a potential sign that there is an oil leak from the crankshaft lubricating the clutch plate.
Clutch Is Squealing Or Making ‘Growling’ Noises
Another symptom of a failing clutch is when you hear strange noises like growls or squeals. This is caused by vibrations from within the part. If you hear any sort of strange noises coming from your clutch or car in general, you need to get it looked at immediately. It may not seem like it but a fault with your clutch while driving can be seriously dangerous.
Burning Smell From The Clutch
If you notice a burning smell coming from your car, similar to burning rubber, your clutch is overheating and the clutch plate is beginning to wear. This is often the result of riding the clutch which is most common in slow-moving traffic.
Soft or “Spongy” Clutch
Another early sign that you may need a clutch repair is a soft clutch. To check this, drive your car for a short distance and pay close attention to how your clutch feels and how far you let it out before the gear catches. If you need to, let your clutch out most of the way as that’s also a sign of a worn clutch.
If you suspect your clutch is slipping or notice any strange noises, book a free clutch check at Elite Garages. We are known as a clutch specialist and can assist whether you have a Ford Fiesta, Toyota, Fiat, Vauxhall, BMW or Mercedes.
How Long Does A Clutch Last?
Unfortunately, replacing a clutch isn’t as simple as changing your oil or tyres as there aren’t any specific guidelines. It all comes down to personal driving style and the driving environment. The quality of previous repairs or clutch replacement can also play a part but in theory, a clutch could last anywhere from 20,000 to 150,000 miles.
Here are some car care tips to reduce the risk of a premature clutch repair:
- Don’t ‘ride’ the clutch which means not resting your foot on the pedal unless you’re using it
- Keep your RPM (revs-per-minute) low so don’t go faster than you have to
- Don’t leave your car in gear so when you park, put it in neutral and use the handbrake
Clutch Repair And Replacement At Elite Garages
Clutch replacement cost can be fairly high which is why you should always use an accredited and qualified service centre. At Elite Garages, our clutch specialist technicians can advise you on any clutch repairs or clutch replacements you may need.
The cost of a clutch replacement depends largely on the nature of the problem and the type of vehicle. Our expert clutch fitters at Elite Garages only use original parts recommended by the manufacturer. They will let you know what the clutch repair entails and provide you with a no-obligation quote.
Visit any of our centres for a free clutch check and clutch specialist advice if you think yours is on the way out. In addition to a clutch repair, we also perform a wide range of services on all vehicle makes and models. This includes MOTs, servicing, tyres, brakes, exhausts, batteries and wheel alignment among others.