Amy's Amazing Auto Service and Repair Blog

Manual Transmission Tips: Should You Prepare for Clutch Repairs?

by Derek Davidson

The clutch is a critical component in manual transmission vehicles. This component experiences a lot of strain during operation due to friction. In simple terms, when the clutch is engaged, the disc presses against the pressure plate. This process is repetitive because the clutch engages and disengages when the vehicle is started and stopped as well as when the gear is changed. Therefore, this unit is subjected to constant frictional wear during normal driving.

Moreover, if the driver has a poor habit of stepping on the clutch continuously, the level of damage is accelerated and extensive. If your clutch is significantly worn or damaged, you must plan for immediate repair. This will prevent handling problems and minimise the deterioration of your vehicle. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to identify signs of clutch problems. If you are uncertain about your car, use these simple tips to determine the need for the repair.

Consider Handling Issues

The primary issue caused by a failing clutch is decreased performance and bad handling. However, it can be difficult to pinpoint this generic problem. Still, if you are keen and sensitive, you will feel the slipping of the clutch when driving. This precedes significant damage to the connected components. You can identify this problem by checking the rate of acceleration. If you find that your car is not moving at your desired low speed at a high gear or you cannot go up hills smoothly, the clutch could be the cause. You might also find it more challenging to tow a trailer.

Check on Clutch Noises

Unusual sounds are not uncommon for a faulty or poorly maintained vehicle. Therefore, they can provide some insight into a damaged or failing clutch. Simply speaking, the noises which are produced while using your clutch can help you determine if it is time for repair. The most common type of noise is a chatter-like sound. This can be caused by damaged clutch components, including the flywheel, the clutch disc, the bearing retainer and the bushing. If these parts are bent, worn-out or missing, they must be repaired. Also, watch out for strange squeals.

Evaluate the Smells

Finally, you should monitor the smells which could be related to a malfunctioning clutch. An unpleasant smell could arise from overheating due to excess friction when the component is engaged. Usually, the odour is reminiscent of burning rubber. However, the smell is not always linked to a damaged clutch. Regardless of the cause, it is advisable to consult an auto mechanic for clutch repairs