Caring for You Car: An Auto Service Website

Nobody wants their car to break down. To keep your vehicle running well, you need to provide it with regular service. Have the oil changed a few times per year, rotate the tires, and check and replace the brakes as needed. A good auto care service will take care of all these maintenance tasks for you. However, you may still want to know more about the processes they follow, when service is needed, and what other types of services may help your car last longer. We've build this website for people like you — responsible car owners who just want to learn more. Enjoy!

Slipping Isn't The Only Sign Of A Failing Clutch


If you drive a manual transmission vehicle, you know the most dreaded symptom of a failing clutch: slipping! Slipping occurs when the clutch fails to grab the flywheel, and it can have several severe impacts on drivability. Most people notice their clutch slipping when trying to accelerate in a higher gear, but it can also make your car more difficult to get moving from a stop.

While slipping is undoubtedly bad news, it's not the only sign that your clutch may be heading for trouble. If you're waiting for that RPM needle to start spiking, then you may want to check out these three additional signs that your clutch is crying out for help.

1. Chatter

Chatter isn't a particularly subtle symptom, although it may be minor at first and progress as time goes on. A chattering clutch will noticeably vibrate as it engages, usually right around the pedal friction point. This symptom occurs due to inconsistent grip as the flywheel and clutch make contact. Chatter can make it challenging to start your car from a stop smoothly.

While some vehicles are more prone to chatter than others, severe chatter that impacts drivability usually indicates contamination from oil. Hot spots on the flywheel due to uneven wear are another potential cause for this frustrating and annoying symptom.

2. Squeaks and Clunks

Your clutch should engage and disengage smoothly and without noticeable noise. Although many clutch sounds may be inaudible from inside the cabin, you might notice a slight squeak or thud when you drive with the windows down. These noises will usually occur when you first push the pedal down, although you may also hear them when releasing the pedal and engaging the clutch.

In some cases, a squeak may just indicate a lubrication problem with the pedal or linkage. Unfortunately, a more common cause for squeaks and thuds is a failing pilot bearing. As this part wears out, it creates play that leads to noise. If your pilot bearing is beginning to fail, then your clutch disc may not be far behind.

3. Pedal Problems

Problems with how the clutch pedal feels usually have the same underlying cause as brake pedal problems: fluid pressure issues. Inadequate hydraulic fluid pressure or old, worn-out fluid can cause your clutch pedal to feel spongy or soft. In severe cases, it may fall right to the floor with almost no resistance. These issues can make your car challenging or impossible to drive.

Most shops will first check for signs of fluid leaks or contaminated fluid if you experience these symptoms. Additional possible causes include problems with the linkage between the clutch pedal and throw-out bearing.

Clutch issues can be frustrating, and a worn-out clutch will eventually prevent you from getting your car moving at all. If you notice any problems with your vehicle's clutch behavior, always have a qualified transmission shop evaluate your vehicle as soon as possible. Contact a clutch repair shop for more information.


9 March 2021