At first when clutch plate wears out, you will get a burning smell – a distinctive one at that. This should prompt you immediately to take it to a certified and accredited RMI service centre first (or to your dealership, if your car has warranties etc. with them) instead of going further, simply because it is still in working state not completely dead yet. You will undoubtedly inflict more damage by continuing driving without seeing to the fault.
Warning: Driving your car while the clutch is broken will quite likely cause further damage either to the clutch, the gearbox, the shifter, or your starter motor. Use it as a last resort only.
Note: burnING-out clutch, not burnt-out clutch. If you can smell your clutch burning and need to get home or to your nearest service centre, follow these steps to try lessen the damage caused:
If at all possible, call in for towing assistance and have the clutch seen to immediately. There is not much you can do once your clutch is entirely burnt-out, other than replace it. So rather than try push your vehicle, have it seen to – repaired or replaced – as soon as possible.
Cover Image Credit: Australian Clutch Services