Driving a car, truck, or SUV that has a manual transmission is a blast, isn’t it? You can pretend you’re driving in the Daytona 500 as you shift through the gears. Still, manual transmissions need TLC just as automatic transmissions do, which is why we here at Buckeye Complete Auto Care service and repair both transmission types. Your vehicle will tell you if your clutch is going bad. Here are four signs it is.
Your Clutch Keeps Slipping
If your clutch feels as if it is slipping – not engaging completely when you depress it – it is wearing down. You will notice the slipping sensation when you apply added stress to your vehicle, such as downshifting to speed up and pass another automobile. Your clutch may also slip when you drive up a steep hill or haul cargo. Slipping overheats your worn clutch and damages it further.
Jerking and Noise
Your vehicle will jerk and you may hear grinding as you learn how to drive an automobile that has a manual transmission. If you’ve been driving your car, truck, or SUV for years and have the reputation of being a smooth shifter, jerking and noise indicates a problem. Generally, jerking and sounds tell you there is oil contamination on the clutch facings from a failing transmission or engine part.
Burning or Foul Odor
If you “ride the clutch,” i.e. keep your foot on it all the time, or drive like a maniac, your clutch will get too hot and you will notice a burning or foul smell. This is because the clutch facings are overheating. If you keep riding the clutch or driving like a maniac, you do not give your clutch time to cool down. Constant heat can ruin the clutch’s flywheel and pressure plate. Over time, your clutch will slip.
If you drive a newer car, truck, or SUV, your vehicle is equipped with master and slave cylinders that are clutch “linkage” parts. These are parts related to the clutch but are not the clutch itself. If the master and/or slave cylinders are failing, your clutch will not be able to engage or disengage fully. It might also engage prematurely. The most common problem occurs in the slave cylinders, which can develop leaks.
Call Buckeye Complete Auto Care in Columbus, OH, at 614-285-3453 if your clutch isn’t acting normal. We’ll inspect the clutch and the rest of your manual transmission components for problems and recommend the best course of action to fix it.