Symptoms indicating clutch failure

Symptoms indicating clutch failure

The clutch allows the correct transmission of power from the engine to the gearbox, which eventually passes to the wheels of the car.

Because of the continuous use of our car’s clutch, the material of which it is made wears out and, as time goes by, we will have to change it.

In this post by Frenkit, as a company with an extensive range of repair kits for brake and clutch systems, you will learn all the symptoms that indicate a clutch failure symptoms in order to identify them and carry out a repair if necessary. Don’t miss this post!

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How to know if the clutch is wrong

If we want to detect when a problem arises with the clutch of our vehicle and, in this way, act in time before a possible breakdown, it is important that we first know how the clutch works.

The clutch works in a very simple way. The purpose of this system is to couple or decouple the movement of the engine with that of the car’s wheels, all via the gearbox.

Let 's take an example: a driver gets into his car and by pressing the clutch pedal with his left foot he is disengaging the clutch, he is separating the clutch disc from the flywheel. However, when the driver stops depressing the clutch and the car is already in gear, the clutch pedal transmits the engine power to the drive wheels to get the vehicle moving.

During this process, all the mechanical components are subjected to extra stress they rub against each other and come into contact with them. As the years go by and the car’s mileage increases, these components lose their efficiency, to the point where they no longer transmit the necessary force to keep the vehicle moving. This is when faults can occur in the clutch system.


5 causes of sudden clutch failure

Now that you know how your vehicle’s clutch works, it is important to bear in mind that, in addition to the wear and tear of the elements that make up this system, there may be other breakdowns or specific symptoms that require us to check our clutch system and, consequently, repair it.

Now, we tell you what the signs are that the clutch is faulty. If you have suffered any of these faults, at Frenkit, as professionals in the automotive sector, we recommend you to visit a workshop specialising in repairing clutch systems as soon as possible.

If the clutch slips

This first fault usually occurs when the clutch is completely worn out, we usually say that the clutch slips. What does this mean exactly? Well, it means that the clutch does not transmit the engine speed to the transmission, i.e. the car’s rev counter increases, but it does not move.

The clutch can also slip if the surface becomes carbonized due to overheating. In this case, the clutch should also be replaced by a specialist workshop.

Symptoms indicating clutch failure 1

If we smell burning

Another sign that the clutch of our vehicle is damaged is that we detect a burning smell. This usually happens when the clutch slips too much.

We can detect the burning smell, similar to that of the brakes when they overhear, by starting the car with a worn clutch and then slipping to move the vehicle.

If the clutch vibrates

This fault usually occurs when the dual mass flywheel does not fulfil its function, which is why vibrations increase in the vehicle. To detect them we have to put the car in neutral and check that we notice the vibration. Another option is to depress the clutch pedal when the car is idling.

If we hear a noise in the clutch

Here we can find two types of noises:

  • Internal noises. These are produced because the bearings are poorly greased, the clutch disc is incorrectly installed or because there is wear on the primary shaft bearing, for example.
  • External noises. These are caused by broken wiring, defective or worn pedal and drive shaft components, or simply incorrect adjustment of the release system.

If the clutch pedal is hard

Lastly, if the clutch pedal feels harder than usual when depressing it, this is a clear indicator that the clutch disc is excessively worn.

Before repairing it, the workshop will have to check that this symptom is not due to the clutch actuation cable or the hydraulic actuation system.

Whether you are a professional in the automotive repair sector you simply decide to change the components of your vehicle yourself, at Frenkit we have more than 9,000 references for brake and clutch systems.

What did you think of this post?, can you think of other breakdowns for which to repair the clutch system? If you want to know more about other topics such as the types of clutch systems and their parts, find out more on our blog!

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Tags: Clutch