Before letting you know the symptoms of a bad clutch or starting to detect the signs of a worn-out clutch, you must first know what a clutch is and how it functions in a car. One essential thing is to know how a clutch operates to be able to tell when it goes bad and what causes it to go faulty.
In this article, we are going to brief you on the signs/symptoms and causes of a bad clutch. We’ll also provide you with tips on how to go about fixing your car clutch whenever you detect any sign that it’s going bad.
A clutch is a vital component of the vehicle that primarily helps to link the various rotating shafts. If you’re driving a manual car, the clutch transfers the rotational power from the engine to the wheels. If you have a bad or faulty worn-out clutch, you may experience significant symptoms or signs including slipper clutch, not able to put the car in gear, chirping noise from the clutch, and noisy acceleration. If you’re not familiar with these, we will go much further in-depth in this article.
Symptoms of a Bad Clutch
If your clutch is failing, there are obvious signs that will enable you to tell. Here are a few of the symptoms that can show that your car clutch is getting bad or faulty:
- Slippery Clutch
When your clutch becomes slippery, it won’t be able to generate friction between the rotational shaft any longer. And friction is what makes the clutch function properly, without it, the clutch is useless.
Simple wear and tear can make the clutch lose its function. In some cases, a leak in the transmission, a damaged pressure plate can be the symptom of a bad clutch. This damage could be due to rust. When your engine runs quickly but your car moves slowly, it simply means the clutch needs to be fixed.
- Not Able to Put Car in Gear
Are there times where you can’t get your car into the correct gear? If this happens, then it’s a sign that your clutch is bad.
This problem could be from your hydraulic system. If air gets in the line, can affect the amount of pressure going through the system.
For there has to be enough pressure in the hydraulic system for the clutch to function properly. But if you do not have a hydraulic system, then the problem should be from the pressure plate. If the pressure plate is not in order, it can affect the clutch.
- Chirping Noise from the Clutch
A chirping sound from the clutch pedal when pressed indicates a faulty throwout bearing. This could be as a result of old bearings, rust, worn out or the lubricant dries out. When the lubricant is dry, it causes friction between metals, and when it does, wears out easily. If you ever notice this, be sure to act fast so it doesn’t get worse.
- Bumping and Grinding Noise from the Car
If you have ever noticed a loud grinding noise from your car when driving. Then you simply have a faulty pressure plate. If you aren’t able to release the clutch freely when you hit the pedal, it means that the pressure plate or throwout bearing is bad, hence the grinding noise. The clutch isn’t working well and if this stays for too long can affect the transmission.
- Noisy Acceleration
If your clutch can’t maintain friction on the flywheel any longer, then a loud noise pops out each time you try to accelerate your car. If you notice this, then hurriedly take your car to the mechanic, because from all observations, it is either your flywheel or clutch is wearing down and needs to be fixed or replaced.
Causes of Bad Clutch
Clutches do the hardest work to keep a car and the engines running. Sometimes they get worn out easily especially when they aren’t given proper maintenance.
There are reasons behind clutch failure or a bad clutch. You press the clutch pedal but they don’t pick, this is as a result of one or two faults from the clutch and its parts. Let’s take a look at some of these causes.
- Bad Throwout Bearings
The throwout bearings are an important part of the clutch. They move constantly, even when the clutch is not engaged. The work of the throwout bearing is to move the pressure plate away from the clutch disc to prevent power transfer from the engine to the car transmission.
So, it needs lots of lubrication and force to be able to do these things. If they get worn out, they lose the capacity to perform their job and this, in turn, stops the clutch from working.
- Leak in the Cylinders
The clutch needs fluid to build up pressure and function properly. But when you have a leaky cylinder, the clutch can’t build up enough pressure, leading to malfunction.
- Broken Pressure Plates
Clutch discs are connected to their flywheel through the pressure plates. If the pressure plates become worn out or broken, it loses the ability to exert enough pressure to hold the clutch disc against the flywheel causing them to move freely, hence the grinding sound.
- Broken Cables
Pressing the clutch pedal builds tension on the cable enabling them to pull the linkage and disengaging the clutch so you can change gears. Since clutch cables run from their pedals to their linkages, if broken, won’t have enough tension to work perfectly.
To prevent some of these problems from arising, there are things you can do to help keep your clutch in good shape. Not leaving your car in gear is one way you can avoid the clutch problem. When you park up, put your car in neutral and stick the handbrake on. That way the clutch won’t get strained.
How To Fix a Damaged Clutch
When you start having the clutch problem and it seems consistent. The reasonable thing to do is getting them replaced. Because when your clutch develops the first fault, it affects the other parts. And if these problems begin to pop up one after the other, you will spend a lot trying to get them fixed. So the best thing to do is get a replacement.
The cost of getting your clutch replaced depends on the price of parts. For a car that uses fuel, the prices are lesser. But for diesel cars, getting a clutch replacement is usually very expensive.
Having to deal with a bad clutch is usually very straining. So, try as much as possible to prevent it from getting worse. You have to be conscious of that. As the saying goes ” prevention is better than cure”. You should prevent it by regular check and maintenance. If you notice something is off with your clutch pedal, quickly take to the mechanic.