What Are The Symptoms of a Worn Clutch?

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.


Three Main Symptoms of a Worn Clutch 

If you notice any of these issues whilst driving, it might be because you have a worn clutch, if so it may be time to replace your clutch.

1. Burning smell

2. "Slipping" out of gear

3. Soft or spongy clutch

Let's take a look into what each of these symptoms mean.


Burning Smell

If you happen to notice your car emitting a burning smell, similar to burning rubber, then 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 or "Spongy" 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.


Clutch Replacement at Lindleys Autocentres

A clutch replacement can be relatively expensive, depending on what car you own and the type of problem with the clutch.

If you feel as though your clutch might be starting to wear, book in with Lindleys Autocentres today for a free clutch inspection free clutch inspection and we'll let you know if your clutch is worn and if you need a clutch replacement. Our expert team of mechanics will let you know how much it will cost and how long it would take. If "on the day" doesn't suit you, book in there and then for a clutch replacement and we'll let you know when it's complete.

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