Clutches Do Not Last Forever
Though the quality and lifespan of the typical clutch has improved over the years, it will not last forever. If you have driven your vehicle in excess of 20,000 miles, you should have its clutch inspected at least once a year. Though many clutches will last upwards of 100,000 miles, the potential for malfunction certainly exists.
A clutch’s friction disc thins with each press. This thinning of the friction disc causes the pressure plate’s release levers to head toward the release bearing, causing the clutch to suffer a decreased operational clearance. In layman’s terms, this “gear-head” language means your vehicle’s clutch will eventually need to be adjusted or replaced.
If you learned how to drive a stick shift on your current vehicle or taught someone else with the vehicle, the clutch has likely been over-pressed. Over-pressing the clutch is a common reaction of manual transmission “newbies” who are hesitant to make a mistake. If this is the case with your vehicle, a regular clutch inspection becomes even more important.
Prevent a Catastrophe With a Clutch Inspection
Have an experienced auto mechanic inspect your vehicle’s clutch and you will be able to operate your vehicle in total confidence. This is the peace of mind every driver needs and deserves. An automotive technician will inspect and modify the clutch’s linkage mechanism to ensure its integrity. A knowledgeable mechanic will also be able to tell if your vehicle’s clutch pedal has insufficient free-play that causes the throw-out bearing to rub against the pressure plate levers. This contact prevents the pressure plate from applying the proper amount of pressure and causes a weak disc clamping that results in clutch failure or a significant weakening of the clutch.
It is also possible for a clutch to have an excess of free-play, preventing the pedal from releasing the pressure plate. If this occurs, the gears grind against one another while shifting and cause extensive wear of the synchronizer. You can trust a savvy auto mechanic to identify the nuanced signs of these potential problems and prevent a potentially disastrous accident.
Take Note of These Clutch Red Flags
If you notice that your clutch feels a bit soft, it is an indication that it is on the brink of failure. Do not attempt to drive a vehicle with a spongy or soft clutch anywhere far away from home. Take it for a short spin around the block and focus on how the clutch feels. Pay close attention to how far you have to let it out for the gear to “catch”. If it takes an extended press to function, it might be overly worn. Additional signs of an overly worn clutch include a burning smell, shifting difficulties, visible damage to the clutch, a jerking movement, odd noises, general slippage and changes in clutch pedal action. Contact us if you experience any of these vehicular issues.
Clutch Repairs and Replacements at All Around Auto Repair
We have a lot to say about Clutch Repairs and Replacements and the importance of regular maintenance for your vehicle. See our articles below to learn more about how to keep your vehicle in it’s best condition:
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