Although cars with an automatic transmission are becoming more popular, there are still people who choose to purchase a car with a manual transmission. Older cars may also have a manual transmission.
It is important if you have a manual car that you have your clutch checked during your regular services and raise any concerns you may have.
What is the clutch?
When a car has a manual transmission, it is the clutch that transmits the drive from the engine to the gearbox. It also allows for the engine and the transmission to be disconnected. This happens when the car is changing gears or placed in neutral.
There are a number of components that make up the clutch. These include the master cylinder, slave cylinder, clutch disc and pressure plate, flywheel, fork and release bearing.
These all work together to push fluid through the system and transmit the car.
How do I know if my clutch is failing?
There are a few signs that you can look out for that will alert you to potential clutch issues. These can include:
- Changing gears becomes difficult
- You feel a shudder when changing gears
- The clutch pedal not returning after being pushed
- RPM increasing but no increase in speed of driving
- Burning smell coming from the engine
What are some common issues with the clutch?
There are a few different things that can go wrong with your car’s clutch system. These can include:
- Cylinder Failure – If the master cylinder or the slave cylinder start to leak clutch fluid it can cause issues when you are trying to change gears or compress the clutch pedal. You may even notice clutch fluid leaking out of the engine bay onto the ground.
- Leaking clutch fluid – Leaking clutch fluid can result in difficulty in changing gears and releasing the clutch pedal.
- Clutch slipping – Your clutch will slip a small amount when you shift gears, this is normal. However if your clutch is slipping whilst you are driving and not changing gears, than there most likely is an issue with it. If your clutch is slipping there is a risk of it overheating and causing damage to the fly wheel and pressure plate.
- Clutch Shudder – If you start to notice your clutch shuddering or vibrating when shifting gears or driving, there may be an issue with it. It can be caused by an oil leak that has reached the disc. It can also be caused by a warped clutch disc.
When should I get an inspection?
If you notice any strange noises, vibrations or anything that does not seem right with your clutch, it is important to get it checked as soon as possible. Leaving the issues for long periods of time can cause severe damage to your car and increase your risk of an accident.
A mechanic will go through and inspect each component of the clutch system and determine if there is a raise for concern.
If you require parts of the clutch system to be replaced, a quote can be given and a time booked in for the repairs.
The clutch system is a crucial component in a manual transmission car. Any concerns should be raised with your car mechanic as soon as possible.