Tell-tale signs your clutch needs replacing

The clutch on a ‘manual’ car is one of the most used parts and over time (or with bad driving) clutch wear and slipping can occur. This handy guide can help you diagnose whether your clutch might need replacing and the appropriate action you should take.

clutch issues

Go for a spin

When you take the car out for a drive watch the rev counter and see if the car uses more RPM than usual to hit certain speeds in each gear. One other way to check  your clutch safely on the road is whilst in third gear and at a fairly low RPM, drop down into 2nd and then take your foot of the clutch. If you don’t notice a large increase in RPM suddenly after letting go of the clutch then it’s likely your clutch is on it’s way out. Also, if it takes more than one clutch pedal movement to engage a gear you’re likely to have an issue.

What’s that smell?

If your clutch is wearing then a side-effect is a burning smell when you look under the bonnet. Of course, not all burning smells are down to the clutch and could be oil leaking or an electrical fault, so check with a mechanic if you’re unsure.

Check the action of the clutch

If you notice that your clutch has a different ‘biting point’ to normal or you feel you are losing power, or even notice a sudden change in RPM without sudden acceleration then these are common signs that your clutch might need investigating. Slipping clutches can reduce the amount of power to the drive wheels.

Clutch pedal issues

Another sign is if it only takes a gentle push on your clutch pedal before you disengage it. First, if it’s possible try adjusting the pedal so that you have around 20- 40mm of free movement before the clutch disengages. If this resolves the problem and you don’t notice anything else then you should be fine, otherwise speak to your garage to let them look at it.

Need help with your clutch?

Found you’re experiencing similar clutch issues to the ones listed above, or something completely different? Feel free to give us a call and we’ll happily book you in straight away, check your clutch and advise the best way to fix your vehicle.