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Signs of a Clutch Failure

For cars that are manual the clutch is among the most important system and is one that drivers aren’t likely to be told that they have issues with. Unfortunately, just like other car components, the clutch has an expected lifespan of with a lifespan of around 50,000 miles. How can you tell the signs of a failure in the clutch prior to it happening?

What is the function of the clutch?

To comprehend how the importance of the clutch becomes so crucial, it’s important to know it does. It is able to separate engines from wheels, and allows you to shift gears and stopping completely even when the engine is operating.

There are three major components that make up the clutch: the plate for clutch, the flywheel and the pressure plate. When the clutch is in use when your feet are off of the pedal, springs within the clutch pull the three components together, ensuring that the engine and transmission are running at the same rate. When you push your foot down, the spring is pulled away from the pressure plate of the plate for clutch, so that the flywheel and pressure plate rotate at different speeds – which allows you to switch the gears.

How long will a clutch last?

The life span of a clutch is a issue that is hard to answer. There are many factors that affect how long they will last , but generally speaking they are made to last between 50,000 and 100,000 miles. Most often, they last more than that if you have had regular maintenance and servicing on the vehicle. However, where you live and the kind of driving you engage in could affect the longevity of your car – for instance, if you reside in a metropolitan area and spend long periods of driving!

A sudden and gradual failure

The clutches are prone to fail in one of two ways: either abruptly or slowly. In the event of a sudden failure the clutch will cease completely and the car will not move. If the failure is gradual there could be issues like the car won’t stop when you push the pedal.

The sudden failure is usually due to a damaged or loose cable for the clutch, linked or failing master/slave hydraulic cylinder. There could also be problems with the line of hydraulics, or even the disc may be contaminated by something like dirt or other debris.

A gradual failure is the most frequent scenario when your vehicle is suffering from things like an overly stretched clutch cable bent linkage, or the master and slave cylinders are failing. There could be a shortage of hydraulic fluid or a damaged transmission mount. These issues may be discovered when you go to your MOT, but the majority do not.

The signs of failure

A sudden failure can be an all-or-nothing situation however, with more gradual failures there are indicators that could suggest an issue. It is possible that the clutch is stuck, it feels spongy and vibrates, or that it is in a loose position. You may hear squeaking or grumbling sounds when you press the pedal or you may be able to rev your engine, but not accelerate as well.

Problems changing gears and the clutch slipping that results in a brief slowdown are also indications of a problem. This is a reason to visit your local van clutch mechanic for repairs. You can make use of car diagnostics to determine if the issue is the clutch, and also check other areas of concern like brakes, tyres or even the windscreens too.