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Signs of a Failing Clutch

If you own a car, you would want to know if the clutch was going bad, wouldn’t you? Of course you would. So it is a good thing that we have the low-down on what signs to look out for. You can read about failing clutch signs and be equipped with the knowledge required for you to avoid calamity.

The problem is that the signs can be easily mistaken for symptoms of other problems. They can be strange sounds, badly performing car, or issues with your car’s mechanics.

  • le being in neutral, this can be a sign. The sound may be of a squealing variety. It may also sound like a growling. Grinding is also a sound to be alarmed by.
  • Look to the Pedal for Clues: Is there any resistance when you push the pedal? Does it pulsate? Perhaps it chatters. It could be vibrating. Or it has fallen to the floor and is not rising back up.

Let’s look at all of these signs in detail, along with the methods of testing there are to ascertain what they are.

Clutch Performance Diagnosis

  1. Engine Is Racing But the Car Starts Slowly

The name for this condition is “clutch slippage.” You have released the clutch, and started to speed the vehicle up. But the car keeps moving at a slow pace, even though the engine is going at high gear incredibly quickly. This happens normally as a result of a clutch disk that has taken on a lot of wear. The material on it is almost all gone, which means that the flywheel and pressure plate don’t have as much surface to get a good hold of. This usually means less power of the rotating variety being given to the transmission by the engine.

A worn out disc isn’t the only problem causing clutch slippage out there. We can also thank the clutch linkage that has a lack of adjustment. Or the cable binding being rusted to the linkage. Or the linkage being badly damaged somehow. The master cylinder compensation port could be blocked, or the pressure plate may have undergone damage as well. Perhaps the clutch itself has gotten oil in it. Or the motor mount has broken.

Testing for a Clutch Slippage

If you can get the engine started, put the emergency brake on. Then push the clutch pedal down and put the gear into third. The next step is to rev the engine, and get that revving to push the engine up to 2500 revolutions per minute. If you can then take pressure off the clutch at a very slow pace, the engine is supposed to stall. When this isn’t happening you can be sure that clutch slippage is what is happening.

  1. Going into Reverse is Difficult

When your car is experiencing clutch problems, one sign of this is the car having difficulty in going into reverse. Similarly, it could be hard to put the vehicle out of reverse gear as well. This can be a problem with a non-functioning linkage. Or conversely the clutch plate may have undergone some damage at some point.

  1. Great Difficulty in getting Transmission into Gear

If there is any kind of major issue inside the slave cylinder, or master cylinder concerned with a system of the hydraulic variety, it may be difficult to get into gear. The clutch pedal will correspondingly feel loose.

Clutch Noise Diagnosis

  1. The Clutch Pedal is Emitting Abnormal Sounds

Turn the engine off and see if any noise is created when you push your foot down on the clutch, or lift your foot off it. The release mechanism will normally be the source of this noise. A lot of automobiles that are recent models have hydraulic release devices. Others are mechanical. When the lubricant dries out and there is serious wear and tear on the mechanism as a result, you can expect noise to be a result. A scraping sound could be coming from a connection, rod or cable, and it is sometimes more of a squeal or clunk. The source of where the sound is coming from can be located by working the clutch pedal and looking under the hood with a stethoscope or vacuum hose.

  1. When in Neutral the Transmission is Making Abnormal Sounds

Your vehicle is making a racket and your transmission is neutral? If you push down on the clutch and the sound disappears, it could be a shaft bearing that is near the end of its life.

  1. Squeals and Growls are what you Hear When the Pedal is Pushed Down

So, you are pressing the clutch pedal and a sound that resembles a squealing or chirping is being emitted. What is normally the cause of this sound? There will most likely be an issue concerning the release bearing.  The crankshaft pilot bearing could also be the cause.

  1. When Shifting Gears there is a Grinding

When you experience this, you know you have a “dragging clutch.” The transmission input shaft will still be spinning regardless of the fact that you have pushed down on the clutch pedal completely. This causes the gears to grind.


There are so many causes of clutch issues. Learn what they all are and you can be a clutch expert and gain the admiration of all your friends.

Selling a Car with Mechanical Problem?

Clutch failure can be very expensive to fix. If you feel like that your vehicle doesn’t deserve any more upgrades then scrap your car to Taha Car Buyers and get the true cash value of your car in Christchurch or the rest of the South Island. Contact Us now.


WRITTEN BY Taha Car Buyers | July 3, 2019| Category: Car Problems | Tags: replace clutch or sell carsell car with bad clutch

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