How Do I Know If My Clutch Needs Replacing?

A clutch is a friction disc and it’s one of the most important components of a manual transmission car. It’s responsible for transferring the power from the engine through to the transmission, so it can drive the wheels.

Over time, a clutch can wear out and begin to lose performance. When that happens, symptoms such as noise, vibration and slippage will start to occur. If left unchanged, a clutch will eventually wear out, and fail to transfer any power to the wheels. There are a few easy tests to see if your clutch is fully functioning, or if it needs to be replaced.

Test 1: Does the clutch engage properly?

With the vehicle running, step on the clutch and put the vehicle into gear. It should do so without any grinding or popping sounds. If the clutch isn’t engaging properly then it likely needs to be replaced. Pay attention to any signs that the clutch is slipping – this could cause the engine to shake, hesitate or rev whilst driving.

Test 2: Driving off in first gear

Put the vehicle into first gear, and drive off as usual. When releasing the clutch, watch for any signs that your clutch isn’t fully functioning. These include slippage, grinding or squeaking noises or burning smells. If you spot any of these, it’s a sign your clutch could be excessively worn and may need to be replaced.

Test 3: Driving off in third gear

This is something we’ve all done by accident by selecting the wrong gear. However, for the purposes of the test, it’s best to do this off the road.

From a stop, try to set off from third gear – you will need to release the clutch very slowly and rev the engine. The car should move away, though slowly. Again, if you notice signs of slippage, noises or burning smells then you should get your clutch looked at and possibly replaced.

If you’ve got a problem with your clutch, or you’re unsure how to diagnose it then we can help. Make a booking and we’ll send you a qualified mechanic to get your car back into top condition.