The clutch is one of the most basic components of your car controls. In simplest terms, you use your clutch to regulate your engine power and to control power transfer from the car engine to the wheels and the transmission. Your clutch is very important to your car mechanism, so it’s also important that it be at peak working condition all the time. So how can you tell if you need clutch replacement or repair? Here are some ways to find out:
- Your clutch is slipping. In other words, the power from your engine is not fully transferred to the car’s drive wheels, and the clutch cannot keep up with the engine anymore. So how could you tell if the clutch is slipping? Here’s a very simple test you could do while on a level road: First, put the handbrake on. Next, put the clutch in and go into third gear. At this point, release your foot from the clutch gradually. Observe what happens: if your clutch is in good condition, your engine should stall right away. However, if the engine doesn’t stall rapidly or if you hear irregular rattling sounds from the engine, then your clutch is slipping. Do know that if you determine that you clutch is slipping, you should have it replaced or at least checked right away. Clutch slippage could cause further damage to your car.
- Check your pedal. Step on the clutch pedal and see if it is too easy to press. If you feel that there seems to be less resistance than normal from the clutch, then it needs to be replaced. Also, you might hear some abnormal grinding sounds whenever you step on your clutch; this is another sign that your clutch needs some repairs or replacement.
- Check your car speed. If you’re on the highway and you’re doing higher RPMs (engine revolutions per minute) and yet your car doesn’t seem to be going faster, then there’s likely to be a problem with the clutch
- Observe how easy it is for you to change gears. Normally, you should be able to change car gears smoothly and without a hitch, but if you seem to have a harder time doing it then one of the first few things you’d need to have checked is your clutch. Also, you might observe some harsh coughing sounds coming from your engine whenever you change gears; this is another warning sign you should be wary of.
One of the major causes of clutch problems are worn clutch components, due to normal wear and tear. Do know also that there may be other possible causes to the problems mentioned above, and there may be other necessary solutions apart from clutch replacement. That’s why it’s highly important that you get your car checked regularly by a reputable mechanic that you trust. Good luck, and safe driving!