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Mr Service Ltd

Clutch Replacement

How to Know if a Car Needs a New Clutch

How do I know if my clutch needs replacing? Well in this blog we look at how the clutch works and what signs you might see, hear and feel that could point towards your clutch needing replacement.

How does a Clutch Work

A clutches job is to transmit engine power to the gearbox, where in turn, this will transfer the power to your road wheels.

Auto Care Group Clutch DisengagedWhen a car is moving under power (clutch pedal released), the clutch is engaged. Power from the engine in transferred to the engine flywheel causing it to spin.  The flywheel then spins the clutch plate.  The Clutch plate spins the driven shaft (also known as the primary shaft or gearbox shaft),  causing the transmission to spin which in turn spins the driveshaft finally casing the wheels on the vehicle to spin.

When the clutch pedal is pressed it releases the clutch plate from the flywheel effectively disengaging the engine from the gearbox.  Allowing you to select gears or to bring the car to halt without the car lurching and stalling.  In short the clutch allows us to smoothly engage a spinning engine to a non-spinning transmission.  It effectively controls the slippage between them.

Clutch Parts

The main parts of a clutch are the flywheel, the clutch pressure plate and release bearing.  But there are also clutch slave cylinders and clutch master cylinders on cars with a hydraulic clutch system.

Auto care Group Three Piece ClutchClutch Wear

As you can imaging the clutch flywheel, pressure plate, clutch disc (friction lining) and the release bearing are all susceptible to wear and tear over time.  Particularly the clutch disc which is made from a similar friction material to a brake pad.  This plate is what makes the contact between the flywheel and the pressure plate and does wear down over time.  If you have ever smelt a burnt out clutch it is this material that you can smell and is a sign it has been overheated.

How long Should a clutch last?

This is very much dependent on driving styles.  Most clutches are designed to last approximately 60,000 miles before they need to be replaced. Some may need replacing at 30,000 and others can keep going well over 100,000 miles, but this is fairly uncommon.

Signs Your Clutch May Need Replacing

If you experience any of the symptoms below your clutch may need replacing:

Slipping Clutch

This is where you need to apply more engine power to make the car move.  You will be aware that your engine is revving but you don’t move very quickly compared to normal.  It is often associated with a lack of power.  This is usually when the clutch friction plate is worn down and it causes it to spin against the flywheel but it can make full contact with it.

Difficulty selecting gears

When you have to force the car into gear which is usually caused by a worn clutch plate or a worn clutch slave or master cylinder

Squeaking or Grumbling Noise when pressing the clutch pedal

You can hear the difference in tone when you press the clutch pedal and this usually is heard as a rumble, causes of this can be a worn release bearing.

Clutch Judder

When you release the clutch pedal and the pedal, and sometimes the car, vibrates.  This can be a sign of a warped clutch, a problem with the pressure plate or flywheel.

Clutch Pedal staying down when depressed

When you press the clutch pedal and it does not return to its original position.  This can indicate that there is a problem with the release bearing, slave cylinder or master cylinder.

Dual Mass Flywheel

Auto Care Group Dual Mass Flywheel

The prices of clutch replacement has risen in recent years with the introduction of Dual Mass Flywheels.  These can often need replacing at the same time as the traditional three-piece clutch kit. The Dual Mass Flywheels are in fact two flywheels that are fitted with a series of springs between them to act as vibration dampers.  The purpose of this is less noise, increased comfort for the driver and passengers and increased transmission life.

Should you experience any of these problems or any other problem with the vehicle drive contact us at your earliest availability to avoid complete loss of drive.  Clutches problems, if ignored, can completely fail leaving you stranded.

Clutch Replacement Costs

The cost of clutch replacement varies depending on the nature of the problem and the model of the car you’re driving. If you think there may be a problem with your clutch, book in for a Free Clutch Check today. Our expert clutch fitters will let you know what we need to do and how much it’ll cost before any work is carried out or costs incurred.