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How Can I Tell If My Clutch Needs Replacing

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  • 09-01-2023
How Can I Tell If My Clutch Needs Replacing

How can I tell if clutch needs replacing? This article looks at how a clutch works and signs that your clutch needs replacing. Find out if your clutch is ready to be replaced.

How does a clutch work?

The clutch is one of your car's most important components; without it, you'd struggle to get anywhere. It consists of three parts: the clutch plate, pressure plate and flywheel. 

When your clutch is engaged (when you aren't pressing the pedal), a series of springs press all these components together, allowing the manual transmission and the engine to spin together at the same speed through the transmission input shaft.

Your clutch is such a vital part of your car because your engine spins constantly, but your car's wheels aren't. Therefore, when you fully depress your clutch pedal, the series of springs pull the pressure plate from the clutch plate. 

This lets your flywheel and pressure plate spin at different speeds, which allows you to change gears or come to a complete stop smoothly.

Given that the clutch is one of the components that sees the most use in a car, it's natural for it to receive a lot of wear and tear. 

Eventually, your clutch requires replacing to ensure you can continue to drive safely. It can therefore be handy for drivers and vehicle owners to know what signs to look out for that indicate their clutch is beginning to wear out. 

How much will clutch replacement cost?

Like many auto repairs and replacements, it isn't easy to give an accurate figure for how much they will cost. 

Numerous factors affect clutch replacement costs, including the make and model year of your vehicle. Whether you have noticed something wrong with your clutch or simply want it checked for your peace of mind, it may be worth booking an inspection.

If there are serious signs your clutch might be going, you should have it repaired or replaced with a new clutch as quickly as possible. A worn clutch can cause additional damage to other components in your vehicle

 Not only this, but it will dramatically reduce the performance of your car. Having it replaced quickly prevents further damage and saves you money on potentially expensive future repairs. Some mechanics, garages or vehicles specialists offer free clutch inspections for motorists.

These include comprehensive checks that can spot problems or issues early and provide effective solutions. If your clutch is too damaged, they can then replace them. Professional garages usually have the right replacement parts for a variety of common cars, but if your car is rare or uncommon, you may have to wait for parts to be delivered. 

How Can I Tell If Clutch Needs Replacing?

Signs that your clutch needs replacing

Again, knowing the signs to look out for that suggest your clutch is beginning to wear out can be invaluable for motorists. 

Timely repairs and replacements can save you money in the long run by preventing more serious issues down the line. So, to help you recognise when you need to replace your clutch, here are some of the most common signs to look out for.

Since most people will be driving their cars every day, noticing something that doesn't feel right should be straightforward. One of the most obvious signs you need your clutch replaced is if it has a spongy feeling when you depress the pedal.

This soft, spongy feeling is usually most noticeable as you gradually release the pedal when the gear begins to catch. Naturally, if your clutch pedal remains stuck once you've released it, it's a clutch failure in the release mechanism. 

While feeling how your clutch is performing is one way to keep an eye on its condition, you can use all five senses to remain vigilant about your car's performance. 

Any burning smell coming from your car should be alarming, but using all your senses is the best way to determine if your clutch has an issue. If you notice a burning smell when changing gear, it signifies clutch slipping.

The burning smell coming from a slipping clutch is due to the reduced friction material that should be present on your clutch disc. 

This is a common issue, given that the friction material naturally wears down as your clutch disc remains engaged with the flywheel. Having a disc and flywheel that rotate at different speeds can increase the chances of wear like this.

Other signs that suggest this type of wear, besides the burning smell, is a loud rattling sound when your clutch is engaged. 

This noise will grow louder as the clutch engages, meaning you can use your ears together with your nose to check if there is an issue with your clutch. Essentially, so long as you are paying attention to what is happening while you drive, you should be able to notice any issues.

There should be no resistance when you change gears, allowing for a smooth transition without shaking. If your clutch is excessively worn, you won't be able to do this, and your shifting will be more difficult, and you may notice you have a loose clutch pedal.

This difficulty is usually most noticeable in the lower gears, such as when moving into or out of first gear or the reverse gear. It's also a sign your clutch release bearings are worn.

Since most people drive their cars every day, they'll be very familiar with where their biting point usually sits. However, as the friction material on your clutch wears down and your clutch disc begins to slip, you might notice the position of your biting point change.

Typically, as your clutch starts slipping and begins to fail completely, your biting point will move higher than usual. A grumbling noise might also accompany it.

Finally, one of the most decisive ways to determine the condition of wear on your clutch is to take a look under your bonnet. So long as you know where to look, you can quite easily conduct a visual inspection of your clutch yourself to see how damaged it has become.

To see the inside of your clutch, find the bell housing and remove the inspection cover - it's as simple as that. If you notice any fine black dust on the inner components of your clutch, this is a clear sign of wear and damage. 

How can you extend the lifespan of your clutch?

Generally, your driving style is the one area you can improve to ensure you don't wear out your clutch too soon. For example, riding your clutch or resting your foot on the pedal when not changing gears can lead to increased wear. 

While it may make changing gear easier, it's definitely not worth the cost of repairing or replacing your clutch more than necessary.

It may sound contradictory, given the first point, but shifting gears quickly and decisively is another way to reduce unnecessary wear on your clutch. Additionally, if you rely on your clutch too heavily when breaking or for keeping you stationary on hills, this will also lead to increased wear. Pressing excessively hard will also cause unnecessary damage to your clutch. 

Are you looking for Mercedes Clutch Repair And Replacement in Surrey? If you are a Mercedes-Benz owner you will want to ensure your car is in the right hands. 

 Follow the links below for Mercedes servicing and repairs in Godstone, Crawley, Croyden, Sevenoaks and the surrounding areas.