How to Identify when you have an Issue with your Vehicle’s Clutch

The clutch is a vital part of any vehicle. It is the link between the engine and the transmission, which means it plays an extraordinary role in all vehicle’s everyday workings. Automatic and manual transmissions, all have a clutch. While manufacturers design these crucial parts to last a lifetime, that doesn’t mean they cannot fail. We are here to help you identify when you have an issue with your vehicle’s clutch to keep you and your family safe.

What is a clutch?

If you have a manual transmission, you are likely more familiar with your vehicle’s clutch than those with an automatic transmission.

A clutch is a mechanical device that engages and disengages power transmission in your vehicle. The clutch acts as a mechanical linkage between the engine and transmission; and briefly disconnects, or separates the engine from the transmission system; therefore, the drive wheels, whenever the pedal is depressed, allowing the driver to smoothly change gears.

To put it simply, the clutch essentially transfers rotational power from the engine to the wheels. They also play significant roles in shifting, stopping, and turning the car or truck off. For instance, when you brake, the clutch temporarily breaks the connection between the engine and the wheels.

How can you identify when you have an issue with your vehicle’s clutch?

The clutch on a manual transmission is complex, so we are going to focus on that type of clutch. There are dozens of components, and if one fails, the clutch can no longer provide the crucial link, between the engine and wheels, which your vehicle needs to drive safely. Ignoring or not being aware of the warning signs that your clutch is beginning to fail will lead to more costly repairs or a total replacement down the line.

Here are some ways to identify when you have an issue with your vehicle’s clutch:

  • Slipping Clutch: When you release the clutch pedal, and your vehicle continues to rev higher, this may be a sign of your clutch pedal slipping. A slipping clutch is the result of friction that wears away at your clutch, so it has difficulty fully engaging. While your vehicle may still be drivable, this can lead to larger clutch and vehicle issues down the road.
  • Loose Clutch Pedal: A loose clutch pedal is one of the most common issues with the clutch. It results from issues with the hydraulic system, reservoir, hoses, pipes, or the master cylinders. If the clutch pedal feels “spongy” or is slow to respond, you should find a professional mechanic to help you resolve the issue.
  • Burning Smell: There are a number of reasons why your vehicle may smell, and none of them are good. If you notice a burning smell when you’re changing gears, it is a sign that your vehicle’s clutch is slipping. The smell is the result of friction caused by the clutch attempting to engage.
  • Loud Noises: When left in neutral or while changing gears, your engine’s clutch should operate smoothly. If you hear any noises such as rattling, scraping, or grinding when you engage or disengage the clutch or press the clutch pedal, something is wrong. There are numerous causes, including worn disc lining and warped pressure plates.
  • Vibrations: Vibrations when you drive are not the good kind of “good vibrations”. The clutch pedal should never vibrate or pulsate when you press or depress it. There are countless rotating and moving parts in the clutch, so any number of them can cause a moving clutch pedal. It could also be a sign of uneven wear in the parts.

If you believe that there is an issue with your vehicle’s clutch, you should trust the Phoenix clutch repair experts at Advanced Transmissions & Emissions.

At Advanced Transmissions & Emissions, we pledge to provide trustworthy clutch, transmission, and general auto repairs. We have served Phoenix-area motorists for over 30 years. We have built a reputation for finding the most affordable solutions we can for our customers.

We are transmission specialists who can repair, rebuild, and remanufacturer manual and automatic transmissions of all makes and models. Most importantly, we have the experience and knowledge required to quickly identify car troubles and implement significant fixes. Contact us today.

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