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Telltale Signs It’s Time To Replace A Clutch

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The technology of transmission is moving forward at a rapid pace particularly in the area of automatic gearboxes. However, manual gearboxes haven’t seen a major change since the idea of having multiple speeds for a machine that rotates surfaced in the early 1900s. Modern vehicles have synchromesh, and some include rev-matching capabilities however all always have the same type of clutch and it’s a resaleable item so it’s good to know the time it’s due for attention.

What is a clutch’s purpose?

In simple words, the clutch transfers energy from an engine into the gearbox, but , more importantly, it can isolate the engine from the gearbox to allow changing of gears within the gearbox. The clutch plate is typically made of metal , which is trimmed with the form of a friction material on both sides. It features a splined center section, which permits it to slide along input shaft of the gearbox. In its default position (i.e. without the clutch pedal pressed), it is clamped against the flywheel by the clutch pressure plate. The clutch pressure plate is in a position that does not slip.

When you press the clutch pedal, it disconnects the clutch so that power is cut off. Some vehicles use a clutch cable to pull a lever inside the gearbox (called”the release bearing fork) that in turn pushes the release bearing into within the center of the plate. A diaphragm spring allows the clamping pressure to be released and the clutch plate is no longer held against the flywheel, which allows it to rotate at a distinct rate based on the gear selected etc. The clutch can be ‘slipped according to the distance at which the clutch pedal is press. Although the basic principle is identical, some vehicles make use of hydraulics instead of a clutch cable and the pedal’s movement controls a master cylinder that changes the hydraulic pressure to a slave cylinder. The slave cylinder determines the motion of the fork bearing release.

How can you tell if the clutch in your vehicle needs to be replaced?

Clutch Slip

As time passes, the material that is friction on the clutch will wear down and when it happens, the clutch can begin to slip. It will be obvious when the clutch of your car is moving when it shouldn’t. With the clutch pedal fully removed (i.e. that it is not being pressed at all) and the clutch pedal is not pressed at all, there should be no slip at all. Slip is evident by the sudden increase in engine revs without any apparent acceleration. If your car has been in gear and and the clutch pedal is not in use when you press the accelerator pedal. This will also show when you attempt to accelerate when you are on a upward slope. Although the degeneration of a clutch happens gradually as time passes (depending on your driving style and the weather conditions – stop-starts can take its toll on clutches quicker than, for instance motorway driving) If the clutch is sliding in this way, then it really is time to have it replaced. There are additional signs to look out for and look out for, like strong smells from the engine bay after you come to an impasse or a greater “bite point” on the clutch pedal that it did before.

It could also mean there is something wrong in the hydraulics of your clutch (if your vehicle is equipped with an hydraulically operated clutch). First thing to do is check that the master cylinder reservoir (in the engine compartment, which appears to be the reservoir for brake fluid) is filled with clutch fluid. If the reservoir looks good, it’s the time to take the car to a garage for identify if the slave the cylinder is due for replacement. If you have a car that uses the clutch cable rather than hydraulic control, the cable will stretch, but it’s not an expensive or hard component to replace.

Clutch Judder:

Clutch judder is the most apparent when you are moving from a stop. It manifests as intense vibrating

by the engine/transmission as you release the clutch in order to make the car move. It’s typically something like oil or hydraulic fluid that somehow has found its way on to it’s surface itself and causing it to not hold properly or smoothly when engaging causing the juddering effect as it grips partially, slips, then grips again and it goes on and so on. It could also result from misalignment in the clutch or the flywheel getting slightly warped or being plain worn out or stained to the point it’s not getting a consistent grip. The clutch judder can be extremely severe, so much so that it can make the car extremely difficult drive, particularly in traffic. It’s also very unpleasant to deal with! The only solution for clutch judder would be to have it replaced.

Broken Release Bearings & Double Mass Flywheels:

I’ve put these two parts in this grouping because, while they’re very different, when they begin to fail, they could sound very similar. If you hear the sound of a low rumbling from the gearbox and then goes out when you press the clutch pedal, then you’re experiencing a problem with either the release bearing or the dual-mass flywheel (if you have one in your vehicle).)

Other Issues There are also various clutch-related problems which are not the fault of the clutch itself. Sometimes the problem is not caused by slipping, but sticking. If your clutch doesn’t release correctly the clutch will continue to spin on the shaft that is input. This could cause grinding or may completely prevent your car from going into gear. Common reasons that the clutch could become stuck are:

Cables that are stretched or damaged – The cable needs the proper quantity of tension that allows it to pull and push effectively.
Leaky or defective slave and/or master clutch cylinders. Leaks stop the cylinders from generating the necessary amount of pressure.
The hydraulic lines are surrounded by air. – Air affects the hydraulics by creating space that the fluid requires to increase pressure.
Misadjusted linkage – When your foot is pressed against the pedal it transmits the wrong amount of force.

When you’re experiencing one or more of these symptoms you may be lucky and not have to replace the clutch in any way, it may be something that is easy and inexpensive to repair!

Click here for van clutch replacement.

Replace the clutch on your vehicle.

In virtually all cars (there are some exceptions) to remove the gearbox out of the vehicle for the purpose of replacing the clutch. That’s the reason it’s such an expensive and time-consuming task to accomplish – regardless of the cost of the parts themselves. Thus that, even if it’s only the clutch plate which needs replacing, it’s worth buying the whole set, including the pressure plate as well as the release bearing. If you’re planning to replace the clutch for yourself, ensure that you are familiar with the procedure read a workshop manual when necessary, and be sure to stay safe.

A note on dual-mass flywheels.

Much is said regarding dual mass flywheels. They effectively dampen out vibrations in cars that generate high torque at low speeds, however they can create problems for all models, based on the type of driving that the vehicle typically used for. The mechanism becomes weaker and breaks into pieces over time, which could lead to a poor start and run. If you’re replacing your dual-mass flywheel, you should replace the other parts of the clutch, since the gearbox will be taken out in any event. Also, a word of caution It’s a common conversion on some cars to change from a dual mass flywheel to a solid flywheel. They’re usually cheaper, but mostly because dual mass flywheels are subject to an awful amount of criticism about reliability – but they’re not without a purpose and changing yours to solidly constructed ones will result in a noticeable increase in vibration through the clutch pedal and the cabin in general.