Clutch Inspection and Replacement
The clutch assembly is located between the engine and transmission. The clutch has two main purposes and functions. To disconnect the engine from the transmission to allow the engine to remain running when the vehicle is stopped and to permit the transmission to be shifted. Construction of the clutch assembly dampens and absorbs engine impulses and drive train vibrations.
Common clutch issues include:
- Worn clutch disc: Over time, the clutch disc can wear down and become thin, making it difficult to engage the clutch properly.
- Burnt clutch: Riding the clutch or excessive slipping can cause the clutch to overheat and become burnt, resulting in a noticeable burning smell.
- Clutch hydraulic system failure: Issues with the hydraulic system that controls the clutch, such as a leak or a malfunctioning master or slave cylinder, can cause the clutch to fail to disengage properly.
- Clutch cable issues: Older vehicles may have a clutch cable that can stretch or break, causing the clutch to not engage or disengage properly.
- Faulty clutch release bearing: The clutch release bearing is responsible for disengaging the clutch when the pedal is pressed. If it fails, it can cause a grinding noise when the clutch is engaged or disengaged.
- Clutch pedal problems: A loose or sticky clutch pedal can make it difficult to engage or disengage the clutch smoothly.
- Misaligned clutch components: If the clutch components, such as the flywheel or pressure plate, are not aligned properly, it can cause the clutch to slip or not engage at all.
- Worn pilot bearing or bushing: A worn pilot bearing or bushing can cause the transmission input shaft to wobble, making it difficult to engage or disengage the clutch smoothly.
A clutch assembly consists of a clutch disk that is splined to the input shaft of the transaxle. When the driver depresses the clutch pedal, a throughout bearing is forced against the fingers of the pressure plate. The pressure plate is bolted to and rotates with the flywheel. When force is exerted on the center of the pressure plate, the pressure is released from the clutch disc that hasbeen forced against the engine flywheel. With the pressure removed from the clutch disk, the engine can be operated without transferring torque to the transaxle. This also permits the transmission to be shifted.
During replacement a professional technician will inspect the flywheel/flex-plate for cracks or signs of heat damage and the pilot bearing (where applicable).
Please CONTACT US if you believe your manual transmission vehicle has a failing clutch. A test drive with one of our experienced technicians can usually pinpoint a slipping clutch issue.