“In a car, you need a clutch because the engine spins all the time, but the car’s wheels do not. In order for a car to stop without killing the engine, the wheels need to be disconnected from the engine somehow. The clutch allows us to smoothly engage a spinning engine to a non-spinning transmission by controlling the slippage between them.”
LDV (Light Duty Vehicle), SUV and HDV (Heavy Duty Vehicle) – manufacturers use different types of clutches on these types of vehicles, but most of the issues will remain similar. We discuss the most common clutch issues you may experience with your vehicle.
Clutch slipping typically occurs during acceleration or when large amounts of power are applied. One of the most common causes of clutch slippage is incorrect linkage adjustment, which can prevent full spring force on the pressure plate and friction disc. Check your clutch linkage for proper free play (amount of pedal travel before you feel resistance) and adjust accordingly.
It could also be caused by weak pressure springs in the pressure plate or worn friction disc facings. There could also be grease on the friction discs, so check the front of the transmission or engine rear main bearing for leaks.
Other possible causes include:
Often, clutch chatter or grabbing is caused by oil on the disc facings. Small cracks in the face of the flywheel or pressure plate, or hard/hot spots on the flywheel can also create poor clutch performance. Other things to look for include:
Clutch drag occurs when the clutch disc is not completely released as the clutch pedal is fully depressed. This can lead to dreaded gear clash. The most common culprits behind clutch drag are poorly adjusted clutch linkage (too much free travel), a defective clutch cable, or a leak or failure in the hydraulic system.
Other possible causes include:
A clutch that is noisy while engaged is typically the result of:
This is often the result of bearing issues. A worn or insufficiently lubricated release bearing will make a squealing noise as it spins. The pilot bearing on the end of the crankshaft may also be worn or need to be lubricated. Other possible causes include:
If you feel a pulsation in the clutch pedal when lightly depressed, there are a number of things to look for. This can be the result of misaligned engine and transmission, distorted clutch housing, bent or improperly seated flywheel, or warped pressure plate or friction disc. Other areas to focus on include:
Often, rapid disc wear comes from “user error.” That is, the driver may ride the clutch, partially disengaging it. Any excessive or incorrect use of the clutch can cause the friction disc to wear quickly.
If this doesn’t sound like you, then look for these possible problem areas:
If your clutch pedal seems stiff, chances are you’ve got misaligned or binding clutch linkage. Be sure the linkage is adequately lubricated and then check to make sure the clutch pedal itself isn’t getting caught in the floor mat. Verify the clutch linkage parts are properly aligned, and then check for a bent clutch pedal.”
Related Tags: Clutch Repairs
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