Common Clutch Faults and What They Mean

car repairs

For most cars, the clutch is one of the most essential elements. If it has broken, or started to deteriorate, it can have wide-reaching implications for your entire vehicle- so you need to fix it fast.

There are several faults that can be caused when it comes to clutches and this article will outline some of the most common, and what they mean for your car.

My clutch is slipping

It’s normal for your clutch to start slipping over time- especially if your vehicle is particularly old. This is because springs and friction discs get weaker, causing your foot to slip when using your clutch. Typically, this kind of slipping will come on over time and you’ll begin noticing it slipping beneath your feet more and more regularly.

If you notice your clutch has begun slipping all of a sudden, it is more likely to have been caused by an oil leak or other contamination to friction surfaces.

A slipping clutch can mean no power is being transferred to your wheels and you should contact a mechanic immediately.

My clutch is juddering

A juddering or chattering clutch can be extremely annoying when driving. If this is occurring when you’re using the clutch, it is usually down to contamination on the clutch discs- specifically the friction surfaces.

These surfaces can become contaminated in a number of ways, but most typically this happens when oil or hydraulic fluid leaks onto the clutch disc. Juddering from your clutch can also be caused by bolts becoming loose, damaged engine mounts and clutch linkage breaking.

It’s easy to check whether your clutch has started to judder. Simply turn on your engine, put your car in first gear and press down on the clutch. Then, rev your engine and slowly release the pedal- at this point, you’ll be able to feel any judders or chatter.

A juddering clutch can cause further damage to your car so it’s necessary to get it checked out right away. Reduce your engine speeds if you need to be out and about before taking your vehicle to the mechanic, as this will help protect your clutch from further damage.

My clutch pedal is stuck on the floor

If you notice that your clutch pedal does not spring back up after using it, then there is a problem.

When this happens it is usually a faulty part such as the clutch cable, a spring, pressure plate or binding pedal pivot.

Often the clutch becoming stuck can also indicate a problem with the master cylinder, if this is the case it might come accompanied with other problems such as low or dirty clutch fluid, or difficulty shifting your car.

If you’ve noticed any of these problems then you should get your car looked at by a reputable mechanic as soon as possible.

My clutch is heavy

Beginning to notice that your clutch is becoming heavy and difficult to press down? This could be due to a number of reasons depending on what type of clutch your vehicle has.

If your car has a clutch cable then this is the first place to start. Over time clutch cables can become worn and may need replacing, so make sure yours is in working order as the first port of call.

Many cars operate a hydraulic clutch system. If this is the case for your car then be sure to check the master cylinder isn’t leaking and the fluid level is as you’d expect.

If neither of these seems to be solving the issue, then further diagnostics will be necessary from a professional mechanic.

A smell is coming from my clutch

If you notice an unpleasant smell coming from your clutch, this could signify that it’s overheating. The smell of burning rubber, combined with other factors such as slipping out of gear, usually means your clutch plates are suffering from wear and tear and may need replacing. This smell is quite common when riding the clutch in slow-moving traffic.

Whether your clutch requires repairs or a full replacement, the team at Oak Services are on hand to help. We’re leading suppliers of clutch repairs and replacements in the South East, Weybridge, Woking and the wider Surrey area. For more information on how we can help you, contact us today.


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