If you know how or are learning to drive a vehicle equipped with a standard transmission, you are in a group that is growing smaller and more unique with each passing year. With most automobiles now manufactured with automatic transmissions, entire generations of people may be totally unfamiliar with a manual gear shift and clutch assembly, as well as how to operate them.
Those who have recently learned to drive a stick shift understand the importance of the clutch during the shifting process. But it is equally important that they can recognize the potential signs of developing clutch repair issues, such as the following ones listed below.
The engine seems to outpace the vehicle
The function of the clutch is to help the vehicle use power generated by the engine to create movement through the use of the car's transmission and drive train. The clutch disengages the engine for a short time so that the transmission can be slipped into a different gear.
When a clutch has become worn or needs to be repaired, it may no longer be able to efficiently disengage the engine. This can create an instance in which the engine seems to be racing ahead, even though the car is moving slowly or not at all.
Sometimes called slipping, this type of clutch disengagement issue should be professionally evaluated and repaired as soon as possible in order to prevent worsening repair issues from occurring.
Excessive noise in neutral gear
A properly functioning clutch should never be noisy when placed into neutral. Drivers who begin to hear increasingly loud noises when the car is in neutral that become quieter as soon as the clutch pedal is pushed are probably experiencing a worn bearing on the input shaft. If not addressed, the noise will become greater as the bearing becomes more worn, so having it repaired as soon as possible is important.
Growing difficulty in shifting
When the clutch becomes increasingly difficult to shift, the problem is often a lack of adjustment. As the surfaces of the clutch plate and flywheel wear, they may not fit together as well as they once did. Having the clutch professionally adjusted can help to realign the components that make up the clutch assembly and help them operate more smoothly.
A properly working clutch should be responsive, quiet, and efficient. If you are experiencing any type of unusual behavior when pressing the clutch pedal in your car, having it checked by a reputable clutch repair shop is wise.