The clutch assembly of your vehicle contains several parts, a lot of which wear down with extended usage. Some others require constant maintenance. This means that you will experience issues with the clutch parts sooner or later. Now, a clutch can last up to 100,000 miles, depending on the make and model. However, the clutch performance is affected by various factors, including frequent haulage of heavy loads, resting your foot on the clutch pedal while moving down the road (an act known as “riding the clutch”), and frequent stop-and-go driving. Now, when your clutch goes bad, it might be difficult to find a cause. However, there are symptoms you can use to identify a failing clutch. Here are some of them:
This happens most often when the clutch disc is worn out. With the friction material almost worn away, the clutch disc has a reduced surface to grip the flywheel and pressure plate. His makes it hard for the engine to transfer rotational power to the transmission.
DIFFICULTY GETTING INTO REVERSE
A failing clutch can prevent you from getting into or out of reverse, or even getting into third gear. Now, a stuck gear could be a symptom of problems with the linkage adjustment, a linkage malfunction or a damaged clutch plate.
DIFFICULTY GETTING TRANSMISSION INTO GEAR
On a hydraulic system, failure to get into gear might be a symptom of problems with the master or slave cylinder, or even both. On a mechanical system, there could be issues with the clutch disc, the pressure plate, release lever, release bearing, shift lever assembly or control cable.
NOISES FROM THE CLUTCH PEDAL
This happens when the lubricant dries off the clutch release mechanism . The mechanism becomes noisy as it wears down, and a cable, rod or connection may begin to scrape or clunk.
GRINDING NOISE WHEN SHIFTING GEARS
This problem is also known as a dragging clutch. It occurs when the clutch disc is stuck. As a result, the transmission input shaft keeps spinning even when you fully press down the clutch pedal. This causes the gears to clash when you try to shift gears.
PULSATING CLUTCH PEDAL
This could be because a rotating part is vibrating inside the transmission. This pulsation could be caused by a warped flywheel, among other things.
STIFF CLUTCH PEDAL
A failing clutch pedal might be stiff and hard to push. This could be a result of problems with the release mechanism, or the hydraulic system in modern vehicles.
There are several other less obvious symptoms of a failing clutch. Whenever you discover any of the above happening in your car, you should take it to a qualified mechanic for servicing, and possibly change the malfunctioning parts.