How to identify issues with your vehicle's clutch

08 January 2019 / Lindleys Autocentres

The clutch is the mechanism in manual transmission vehicles that controls the connection between the shaft from the engine and the shafts that turn the wheels.

In order for the car to be able to change speed and come to a halt without the engine turning off, the clutch temporarily breaks the connection between the wheels and the engine. So, whenever you press down on the clutch pedal, you are disconnecting the rotating flywheel that is attached to the engine. The separation between the rotating engine and the wheels allows the wheels to move without the power of the engine.

Steps to identify clutch Issues

As the clutch encounters friction whenever it is in use, there is a higher possibility for wear and tear.  With our guide, you will be able to better understand how to identify issues with your clutch.


Step 1 - Turn the vehicle on

For you to know whether you are having issues with your clutch, you will need to turn on the ignition. Ensure that the handbrake is on and the car is in neutral throughout steps 2 & 3.

Step 2 - Listen for unusual growling sounds

Without pushing down on the clutch or accelerator pedal, listen to see if you can hear a low growling noise. If there is a growling sound present, it may indicate that there is an issue with the transmission on your clutch.

 Step 3 - Press down on the clutch pedal

Press down the clutch pedal fully to see If you notice any vibrations or stiffness. Then, release your foot off the clutch before pushing down the clutch pedal halfway. Listen out for a high-pitch squeak as you do this. Repeat this step again but push down on the clutch pedal fully. This time you are listening out for a squeaking sound as you push the pedal all the way down.

If you do notice any strange noises and physical problems when pushing down on your clutch pedal, there is a high possibility that there is a problem with your clutch. We recommend you get your clutch checked as soon as you can at your local garage.  

Step 4 - Test Drive

If you have already identified that you are having issues with your clutch through the steps above, this step isn't necessary.

Now it is time to take your car on a short test drive. If you notice that you have poor acceleration even though you have the ability to rev the engine, it can indicate there are issues with your clutch. Alternatively, If you are finding it difficult to shift gears, this too suggests that you should get your clutch checked out to be sure there aren’t any other faults.  

If throughout any of these test you notice anything strange, we suggest you take note of it. Each symptom can indicate various issues within the clutch system. To be absolutely certain on the issue and whether a clutch repair is needed, we suggest you book a service online.

However, If after the tests you find out that there is nothing wrong with your clutch but still feel like your car isn't performings at its best, please feel free to contact us so we can help you identify the problem.



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