How can I tell when my clutch is due for replacement? This blog will examine the mechanism of the clutch and the signs you could observe, feel or hear that might indicate the need to replace your clutch.

What is a Clutch and how does it work?

A clutch’s function is to transfer engine power to the gear box which, in turn, can transfer power to your wheels.

When a car is under the power of (clutch pedal is released) then the clutch is activated. The engine’s power is transferred to the engine’s flywheel which causes the flywheel to turn. The flywheel spins then the plate that is used for clutch. The clutch plate spins the shaft that drives it (also called”the primary shaft” or the gearbox shaft) which causes it to turn, which then spins the driveshaft before casing the wheels of the vehicle and causing them to spin.

Once the lever is pulled, it disengages the plate of the clutch from its flywheel, effectively disconnecting the engine from the gearbox. This allows you to select the appropriate gears, or stop your car without the car lurching or stopping. The clutch lets us to effortlessly connect a spinning engine to an un-spinning gear. It regulates the amount of slippage between them.

Parts for Clutchs

The primary components of a clutch include its flywheel as well as the pressure plate, and the release bearing. However, there are clutch slave cylinders, clutch master cylinders, and master cylinders for clutches in cars equipped with a hydraulic clutch system.

Clutch Wear

As you can imagine, the flywheel of the clutch, the pressure plate, the clutch disc (friction liner) as well as the release bearing all are susceptible for wear and tear with time. Particularly the clutch disc , which is constructed from the same friction material as a brake pad. The plate creates friction between flywheels and pressure plates. It is worn down over time. If you’ve ever smelled the smell of a burned clutch, it’s the material you smell, and it is an indication that the clutch is overheated.

How long should the clutch last?

It is largely dependent on your driving habits. The majority of clutches are made to last around 60 miles before they have replace. Certain clutches may need replacement around 30, while some can continue to last well beyond 100,000 miles, however this isn’t common.
A Sign Your Clutch Could need to be replaced

If you have any of the following symptoms, you may need a clutch replacement:

Slipping Clutch

This is when you have to boost the engine’s power to move the car. You’ll notice that the engine is revving however you aren’t moving very fast compared to other vehicles. This is usually due to the lack of power. It is typically caused by the fact that the friction plate on the clutch wears down and causes it to spin against the flywheel, but it is not able to reach full contact with it.

Difficulty selecting gears

If you are forced to push on the vehicle to go into gear, it is typically caused by the worn clutch plate or an old master or clutch slave

Sound of a gurgling or squeaking when you press the pedal for the clutch

You will detect the change in tone as you push the clutch pedal. This typically is heard as a rumble. One of the causes of this may be worn bearings on the release.

Clutch Judder

If you let off the clutch pedal as well as the pedal, or perhaps the car shakes. This could be an indication of a worn clutch or an issue with the flywheel or pressure plate.

Clutch Pedal remaining in place when it is pressed

If you push the clutch pedal and it doesn’t return to its initial position. This could mean that there is an issue on the release bearing master, slave or master cylinder.

Dual Mass Flywheel

The cost of replacing clutches has increased in recent years due to the advent of dual Mass Flywheels. They are often required to be replaced in the same way as the conventional three-piece clutch kit. Dual Mass Flywheels are in actual two flywheels which come with a set of springs that serve like vibration absorbers. This is to provide lower noise levels, more satisfaction for the driver and passengers, and a longer life for the transmission.

If you encounter any of these issues or other issues regarding the vehicle’s drive, please get in touch with us as soon as you can possible time to avoid the complete interruption of your drive. Problems with clutches, if not addressed they can fail completely leaving you in a bind.

Clutch Repair Costs

The cost of replacing your clutch will vary based on the type of issue and the kind of vehicle you’re driving. If you suspect that there might be any issue with your clutch, make an appointment to have a free Clutch Test now. Our skilled clutch fitters will tell you what we’ll need to fix and the price before any work is done or the costs are to be incurred.