How To Know When Your Clutch Needs Replacing

19 November 2015 / Lindleys Autocentres

At some point in your vehicle’s life, you’ll probably have some kind of problem with your clutch. As the clutch is an essential component to the smooth operation of your car, it’s important to keep an eye out for any signs of wear. Unfortunately, replacing your clutch isn’t quite as simple as changing your oil or your tyres - there aren’t any guidelines as for when you should get it replaced, it’s all down to your personal driving style and your driving environment. Your car’s clutch could last anywhere from 20,000 to 150,000 miles.


Burning Smell

If you happen to notice your car emitting a burning smell, similar to burning rubber, this is a sign that your clutch is overheating and your clutch plate is beginning to wear and tear. This is usually caused by riding the clutch and is most common in slow-moving traffic.


Slipping out of Gear

A clutch that slips out of gear during regular driving, even if it’s only occasionally, should be replaced. It can indicate that your clutch is worn or can be a potential sign that there is an oil leak coming from the crankshaft that is lubricating the clutch plate.


Soft Clutch

A soft clutch is an early sign that your clutch is beginning to fail. Try and drive your car for a short distance and keep your attention to how your clutch feels and how far you let the clutch out before the gear catches. If you have to allow your clutch to come out most of the way, that is also a sign of a worn clutch.



If you’re still unsure about whether or not your clutch is ready for a change, the next time you’re on the road you can conduct a simple road test. When in first gear, rev your engine and change directly into fifth - if your engine continues to rev high, it means that your gear has not caught on properly and the clutch has some kind of problem.


If you are unsure if you have a fault with your clutch, book it in for a free clutch inspection.

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