If you drive a manual car, you might choose to leave the details of mechanics to your trusted technician, but it helps to know how important components really work. Many drivers don’t actually know how a clutch works, which makes it hard to tell when it’s time for replacement or repair. All manual vehicles have a friction clutch between the engine and gearbox, allowing the driver to regulate and control the transfer of power to the engine and to the transmission and wheels. Clutches have a heavy roll and while they are designed for strength and durability, they undergo immense wear-and-tear depending on the driver’s individual driving habits.
Regular service helps manual drivers avoid most clutch problems, but sometimes repair or replacement is inevitable. A few key symptoms inform manual drivers when it’s time to visit the auto shop for clutch repair or replacement. If you’ve been driving a manual car for long a time, you may have already experienced clutch failure first hand. Wouldn’t you feel better knowing what to look out for and when to call in the professionals? Don’t risk being stranded by a worn out clutch, watch out for these warning signs:
Burning Smell or Smoke
If the vehicle smokes from underneath or if you notice a burning smell, the clutch has likely overheated or the clutch plate is worn.
Vehicles under heavy load are likely to slip out of gear or shift unsteadily when the clutch is wearing. Gear slippage may also be caused by an oil leak from the crankshaft to the clutch plate. Either way, your vehicle needs immediate professional attention.
If you have a harder time pressing or disengaging the pedals, there may be a leak that’s gone unnoticed. Hydraulic leaks and failures cause pressure build up and you will notice a “sticking” sensation in the pedals.
It’s nothing to be afraid of, at least, not if you have a certified mechanic on hand! Clutch repair and replacement may be very involved depending on your specific vehicle. A technician will remove the entire transmission to access the clutch itself. But don’t worry, specialist shops like L&R Transmissions in Winston-Salem, NC have been working on manual vehicles for years. They’ve seen enough broken clutches and drivetrains to handle repairs with ease. All you have to do is drive into the shop before it’s too late!