Clutch Troubleshooting: All Possible Clutch Faults Explained

Clutch Troubleshooting: All Possible Clutch Faults Explained

If you own a vehicle, chances are you have a clutch (unless you’re one of the select few who has opted for an automatic transmission, in which case, move along – you’re all set!)

Clutches are notorious w for giving problems, which is why most new and second hand motor vehicle sales come with a standard warranty and maintenance plan included – so that you don’t have to sit with the repercussions of a faulty clutch.

Short of you sending your car in every other week for check-ups on your clutch for any possible faults or issues, there is not much else we can do as consumers to ensure the longevity of our clutches.

For that reason, we’d like to share with you all the possible clutch faults you may be experiencing:

Clutch Release Failure

A clutch that does not release when fully depressed causes the continual turn of the input shaft that it controls. This prevents the driver from accessing or changing the gears, and even the neutral gear position. There are a number of internal causes for clutch release failure which includes the following:

  • Damaged release cables
  • Defective clutch cylinders
  • Damaged straps
  • Worn fork or pivot ball
  • Damaged clutch plates
  • Damaged splines
  • Improperly installed clutch system parts
  • Driver abuse

Clutch Slipping

Slipping is perhaps the most common issue that people come across when dealing with the clutch. It can be aggravated by driving in areas that require you stop and start often such as when driving in bumper to bumper traffic. It can also develop because of bad gear shifting habits such as using too much force to change gears. So it is essential that you check your clutch if you notice a difference in its operation.


Clutch Drag

If the clutch cannot be disengaged or it fails to release, you cannot shift gears. In this situation, when you stop the vehicle in gear (clutch pedal depressed), the engine stalls. This condition is known as clutch drag.

Clutch drag varies in degree. Slight drag when the clutch pedal is fully depressed may tend to make the car creep when in gear or cause gear clash when the gears are first engaged. The two most common causes of slight drag are improper linkage adjustment and lack of lubrication at the moving parts of the linkage.


Some other issues that may cause suspected clutch issues may be resolved without the need for a mechanic:

  • Ensure your carpeting is placed far away enough from the clutch pedal; this will ensure no carpeting is trapped underneath the pedal, which would ultimately hamper the depression of the pedal and cause the gears to grate when changing them.
  • Ensure your clutch is fully depressed when changing gears; sometimes we become too hasty when changing gears, and do not allow the clutch to be entirely depressed and subsequently released before changing gears. Avoiding this practice will also ensure the longevity of your gearbox, by not placing it under undue pressure when changing gears.

This infographic helps outline ass possible clutch faults. h/t to g-w.com for the infographic!

Clutch Troubleshooting

Related Tags: Clutch and Brake Specialist

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