The clutch component of your car is a vital part of your vehicle – without it, you wouldn’t be able to change gears.
The clutch has three main parts – the clutch plate, pressure plate, and flywheel. When the clutch is engaged, the springs press these three parts together so that your transmission and engine are spinning at the same speed. However, when you press your foot down on the clutch pedal, the springs pull the pressure plate away from the clutch plate so the pressure plate and flywheel spin at a different rate, which makes for a smooth change in gears.
And, like many car parts, your clutch can wear out over time. So how do you know when to get it looked at?
What to Lookout For:
A sticky clutch means you will find it difficult to change gears and may cause your cutch to take longer to move from one gear to another – or perhaps require more pressure in general.
Stickiness is caused by a range of issues such as problems with belts and cables, cylinders, or perhaps a fluid leak, so a specialist mechanic will be required to look at it and assess the problem. The good news is stickiness generally only requires repairs instead of a whole clutch replacement.
Squeaking or grumbling noise when pressed
When you drive a manual vehicle, you get to know the normal sounds that your vehicle makes when shifting gears smoothly. If you notice any change in shifting sounds, it could indicate an issue with the clutch or gears.
Foreign sounds such as a wrenching, rumbling or humming when you shift means the clutch may be partly obstructed or worn out. A good gearbox clean or replacement of the damaged components is likely to solve the issue.
Difficulty shifting gears
Some clutch issues can also make your normal gear shifts rougher than they should be. If you often have to force the clutch to move, your vehicle’s gearbox likely needs repairs.
Like excess vibration, shifting difficulties often stem from clutch wear and tear.
A ‘slipping’ clutch, causing a momentary loss of acceleration.
One of the most obvious signs that something is wrong with your clutch is that your vehicle won’t stay in gear. When your vehicle slips out of gear, you may notice a sudden deceleration, or, in some cases, you may lose control of the vehicle until you are able to get it back into gear.
Gear slippage is usually a result of either clutch plate wear or lubrication issues. Replacing the plate or fixing a lubrication leak should solve the issue.
Your clutch should move smoothly, allowing you to change gears naturally as necessary. If your clutch is experiencing unwanted friction, the pressure on the gearbox can cause mechanical issues with distinct side effects.
If your clutch overheats or wears out in a way that causes excess friction, you might be able to notice smoke and/or a burning odour after shifting. This means the clutch will likely need replacing.
Why S&G Gearbox Exchange?
If you notice any combination of the warning signs for your clutch listed above, take your vehicle to S&G Gearbox Exchange, the transmission specialists in Perth, as soon as possible. Their experts will professionally diagnose and recommend what can be done to get your vehicle back in working order before any further damage occurs. Contact them here, or call (08) 9356 9988.