How to Detect a Problem With Your Car’s Clutch

How to Detect a Problem With Your Car’s ClutchHere at Key Transmission and Gears in Sheridan, Colorado we want you to be safe out on the road. So, we’ve written up a handy guide on how to detect a problem with your car’s clutch. It’s an important aspect of road safety and something that every driver who owns a manual car should know about. By being able to identify issues early, you’ll know what to do and when to ask a professional for help.

It’s hard to predict when your clutch is going to fail. It quite literally depends on the environment in which the car is usually driven and the driving style of the primary driver. If the driver rides the clutch a lot, you can bet that the clutch will wear out much faster.

To put things into perspective, a clutch can last anywhere from 20,000 miles to 150,000 miles. That’s quite a big range! Needless to say, how to detect a problem with your car’s clutch isn’t as simple as keeping an eye on your mileage. Here are a few things to be on the lookout for, indications that it’s time to replace your clutch–or at least have a professional take a look.

Spongy Feeling

If your clutch starts to get a “spongy” feel, this is an early sign of clutch failure. Pay close attention to when the gears catch. If you must let out the clutch almost entirely before the gear kicks in, your clutch is pretty worn out.

Burning Smell

If you start to notice a burning smell when you use the clutch, that’s another indication that failure is imminent. The clutch is beginning to slip, which causes excess friction, which causes the smell.

Difficulty Shifting

If the gears are not engaging smoothly and the car is shaking a lot when changing gears, something is wrong. This warning sign is most apparent in first gear and reverse.

Visibly Damaged Clutch

If you know a little about cars, pull off the inspection cover and take a look at your clutch. Any visible signs of wear and damage mean that it’s going bad. However, if you see fine black dust, this is normal and not an indication that your clutch is going out.

When in Doubt, Test It Out

If you’re still not sure how to detect a problem with your car’s clutch, try this quick road test. Rev the engine high in first gear and then go directly to fifth gear. If the gear doesn’t catch, as in the vehicle keeps whining and revving high, the clutch is going out. However, if the gear catches and the car begins to shake from being in the wrong gear and tries to pick up speed, then your clutch is still okay.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns on how to detect a problem with your car’s clutch, or just want the peace of mind of having a professional examine it, give us a call. Here at Key Transmission and Gears in Sheridan, our staff is always happy to help out our customers in any way that we can.

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