Many car enthusiasts love a manual transmission. There is a special kind of exhilaration that comes with pushing down on the clutch and shifting through the gears. Many say that it makes you feel like you are really a part of the car.
As fun as a manual transmission can be, there are issues with wear and tear on the clutch. It is important that you are aware of the signs of a failing clutch so that you can have repairs done quickly. If a clutch fails and is not repaired quickly, it can lead to other, more expensive problems. This quick guide will provide you with information on signs that your vehicle’s clutch needs replacing.
Manual Transmission Basics
A manual transmission usually consists of a pedal that is located to the left of the brake. This pedal is known as the clutch. While driving a manual, the driver will need to engage the clutch in order to shift from one gear to another.
Although the average lifespan of a clutch can often be expected to fall between 20,000 and 150,000 miles, there can be times when it starts to fail sooner. Regardless of when the clutch fails, it is imperative that you are aware of the signs of a bad clutch so that you can have repairs done quickly.
Soft or Spongy Clutch Pedal
One of the most common signs of a bad clutch is a soft or spongy clutch pedal. When you press down on the clutch, you will notice that it feels soft or spongy. If you have been driving the vehicle for very long, you will notice this right off. This definitely means that there is an issue with the clutch.
The next most common sign of clutch problems is trouble shifting. You will start to notice that your vehicle is difficult to shift. You may also notice that the clutch does not engage smoothly. These are signs of a failing clutch. It is most common to notice this when you are putting the car in reverse or first gear.
Another common sign could be slipping. When changing gears, you may notice that the transmission slips out of gear. You should have the clutch seen immediately.
A failing clutch can also cause strange smells in your vehicle, such as a burning smell. This smell is created by friction each time the clutch slips.
A failing clutch will also make strange noises. This is usually caused by loose components that are hitting other components.
You might also notice that the clutch pedal is sticking. This will also cause a grinding noise when you attempt to change gears. If this is not repaired properly, the car will be undrivable until it is fixed. This is also a safety hazard when driving.
If you fear that you might have a clutch going out on your vehicle, you should make an appointment with a certified mechanic as quickly as possible. A failing clutch can cause other problems later on and can make a vehicle less safe to drive.