Clutches, like other car parts, wear down over time. There isn't a way to stop this, although you may be able to lengthen a clutch's life, by not riding the clutch constantly.
Both manual and automatic transmission cars have clutches that engage the transmission to channel the engine's power and move the vehicle's wheels, or disengage it to stop the wheels even when the engine is still running. Manual transmission vehicles have to change between gears using a clutch pedal, while an automatic transmission car will shift gears by itself. In both cases, though, because of the friction created by the clutch, it will need replacing eventually.
When it is time for a clutch replacement, your vehicle will show signs that it's due for a change. If you know which signs to look for, you should be able to get your car into an auto repair shop before the clutch does any costly damage. Here are a few of those warning signs your clutch may give you.
Stuck or Sensitive Clutch
For manual transmission vehicles, is your clutch pedal difficult to push down on? This high amount of pressure may be an indication of the clutch sticking, possibly due to a problem with the hydraulic clutch linkage.
Another cause for concern is when you push down on the clutch pedal slightly and it disengages the transmission immediately. Normally, you should be able to push down on the clutch pedal a few inches before it disengages. Get this checked out as well by certified clutch repair specialists.
A worn clutch might show signs of slipping in situations when the car has to work more, like trying to pass another car on a steep incline. A slipping clutch is when the car will unexpectedly slip out of gear, even without you doing anything. The clutch won't completely engage or disengage like normal, making it difficult to switch gears or stay in a certain gear. The longer this goes on, the more the clutch wears down, so bring it into a clutch repair shop near you quickly.
A clear sign that something is amiss with your clutch is if you begin to smell a nasty aroma when shifting gears. It may resemble the smell of burning rubber and could be the clutch overheating. Give your clutch time to cool before driving your car over to an auto repair shop so it doesn't destroy other parts of your clutch or transmission system.
Often this awful odor will make its grand debut with its longtime partner: smoke under the hood of car. Smoke is never a good sign, and when combined with that smell, it's a pretty clear signal that your clutch or clutch plate is overheating and should be replaced. You may also hear loud, screeching noises when pressing on the clutch as an additional sign that something's wrong with your clutch system.
SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT
Some situations may just require a transmission fluid change to fix the issue, while others will call for a complete clutch repair or clutch replacement. But it's better to know for sure before the problem escalates.
At St. George Transmission & Automotive, we TEST not GUESS where the issue lies. Visit our clutch repair shop in St. George, UT for a vehicle inspection and car diagnostics test that will get down to the root of the problem and accurately evaluate whether or not you need a clutch replacement.
When you notice your car starts showing the symptoms above, don't wait to bring it in to trustworthy auto mechanics. Schedule your appointment with us in Southern Utah today!