If your car has a manual transmission, you already know how durable and reliable they can be. In fact, the only weak point, aside from an inexperienced driver, is the clutch and that can’t even be considered a weak point as it was designed to wear down as the friction materials do their job. If you think about it, every time you drive your car you are wearing down the clutch; when you upshift, downshift or, as many people do, ride the clutch pedal. If you live in a congested area of the city where stop and go traffic is normal, you will tend to shift more frequently and use your clutch more often when doing so.

Over time, your clutch will begin to wear down and your car’s transmission will not shift as well as it used to. Eventually, you will need to work harder to change gears and your clutch will finally burn out and need replaced. Knowing the different signs of a worn clutch will keep you from being stranded on the side of the road with no way to get home.

Using four of your five senses, you will be able to determine if your clutch is in need of adjustment or replacement. By looking, listening, feeling and smelling, you will be able to decide if your clutch is operating properly and whether it needs servicing right away.

  1. Listen for the sounds of over revving without your car actually going any faster. A “shuddering” or “bouncing” feeling may also be noticed with this.
  2. Look for your tachometer to become erratic. When your clutch begins to slip, the shifts will be less smooth and your tachometer will move up and down quickly.
  3. Feel for any trouble when shifting gears. You will feel this in your hand on the shift lever or in your foot on the clutch pedal itself.
  4. Smell for any signs of burning. This is the friction material of the clutch burning against the flywheel.

There are many common clutch problems that you should know about if you own a car with an automatic transmission. These are some of the issues you will hear about frequently when having your car serviced or repaired and having a better understanding of these terms will help you understand what is going on with your car’s transmission.

  • Clutch chatter occurs when engaging the clutch; you will begin to feel a shuddering or shaking feeling which is caused by contaminated friction material in your clutch. Leaking oil or hydraulic fluid is the cause and resurfacing the clutch flywheel is a common fix.
  • A slipping clutch is felt when the friction material of the clutch itself is worn away or soaked with oil, the springs are weak or you have a deformed pressure plate.
  • Clutch drag occurs when the clutch disc doesn’t full release when you press down on the clutch pedal. This could be the result of a worn clutch or a clutch needing proper adjustment.

Any of these clutch problems can happen at any time and could result in you being stranded if you don’t have them repaired right away. The experienced technicians at GIC Car Clinic are knowledgeable in clutch repairs and replacements and can inspect, diagnose and repair your clutch for you ensuring that your car is able to provide you with many more miles of reliable motoring

Bring your car in to GIC Car Clinic in San Jose, California today and let us give you accurate clutch inspection and help you decide what repairs your car need right away. Your manual transmission is only as reliable as the clutch itself, make sure yours is in good condition and operating properly.

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