For manual transmissions, the clutch plays an important role when changing gears. Simply put, it disconnects the wheels from power during shifts and reconnects to the engine afterward to move the vehicle forward. So it’s not surprising that it inevitably fails over time—it’s just a matter of when. Avoid dealing with a faulty one by going for clutch replacement as soon as you notice the warning signs below.
5 Signs It’s Time for Clutch Replacement
1. Slipping Gears
The clutch is designed to hold the gear in place. But when it suddenly changes without your input, it’s a symptom of a failing clutch. Otherwise known as slipping, this often happens while driving uphill or shifting into higher gear without noticeable change or momentary loss in acceleration. Take note if your engine revs but doesn’t translate to increased power or speed.
2. Rough Shifts
Changing gears becomes increasingly harder with a worn out clutch, so pay attention to noticeable operational difficulties like resistance. Be wary as well if your vehicle appears to be struggling when reversing. Shifting into reverse takes its toll on a vehicle’s driveshaft when diverting engine power to the opposite direction. When this happens, opt for clutch replacement to avoid further damage.
3. Spongy Clutch Pedal
The entire mechanism is designed with springs and metal, which requires enough pressure to engage. If you notice little to no resistance when stepping on the pedal, chances are your clutch is nearing the end of its useful life.
4. Loud Noises
Strange sounds are often precursors of vehicle troubles, and faulty clutches are no exception. Listen for grinding noises while shifting gears—it may mean the clutch is no longer engaging properly. Sometimes, you may also hear squeaking or grumbling sounds when depressing the pedal, which is another sign of a failing clutch.
5. Strange Sensations
Apart from sounds, watch out for unusual sensations, such as vibrations, chatter, or pulsations coming from the pedal, when engaging the clutch. Sometimes, severe issues can cause the vehicle to jerk forward during acceleration. This may also be due to worn spark plugs or a clogged catalytic converter, so have a mechanic pin down the cause.
At the first signs of trouble, opt for a clutch replacement at Quality Transmission Service. Based in Anchorage, AK, their team of ASE®-certified mechanics has provided exceptional services on automatic and manual transmissions alike. Call (907) 561-8767 to schedule a clutch repair or replacement or request a free estimate via their website.