Anyone who enjoys their manual transmission vehicle knows that it is important to treat the transmission with “kid gloves” to keep it functioning properly. Drivers who abuse their manual transmissions end up paying for it with costly repairs and inconvenience. But even the most disciplined manual drivers may encounter manual transmission issues, for example, with their clutch. In this month’s blog post, we examine the signs of a failing clutch, and what is involved in a clutch replacement.
The clutch plays an important role in the operation of a transmission. Put simply, the clutch is a device in the transmission that engages or disengages the vehicle engine from the transmission. The clutch is designed to disconnect the rotating shafts of the vehicle and the transmission, to allow the vehicle to switch gears. Once the new gear is attained, the clutch re-engages the shafts to continue spinning at the same speed.
One of the main differences between an automatic and a manual transmission vehicle is “who” is responsible for engaging the clutch. In an automatic, the clutch is engaged automatically through the transmission, while in a manual, the driver controls the operation of the clutch.
Driver habits have a significant impact on the health and longevity of the clutch. In last month’s blog, entitled, Well-Functioning Clutch Tips, we examined how some “bad habits” can contribute to wearing down the clutch and other components of a manual transmission. We provided tips on how to extend the life of your clutch by adjusting some of your driving habits.
Signs of a Failing Clutch
Many clutch issues surface within the clutch plate, which is the component of the transmission that works to connect the transmission with the engine. If your vehicle’s clutch is failing due to poor driving habits or other reasons, you will notice specific problems while driving, which include:
- Gear slippage
- Grinding noises
- Gear shift issues, such as hard shifting
- Shuddering while shifting
The above signs are usually an indication that you have a problem within your clutch, and it is showing signs of aging, wear, and tear. If you experience these while driving your manual vehicle, it is advisable to get it into a service professional as soon as possible. The sooner you address clutch issues, the better because the wear will only grow over time and cause further damage.
If your vehicle’s clutch fails and a clutch replacement is necessary, this repair is a time-consuming and complex task. Replacement involves removing many of the connected components, including even components like the exhaust system.
Once the various parts are disconnected or removed, the transmission is extracted from the vehicle and disassembled. This enables a service professional to examine the clutch and related parts to determine what needs to be replaced.
While a clutch replacement can be performed by a DIY vehicle owner, it is advisable to use a professional like Best Western Transmissions. We offer our expertise and have the latest in equipment and technical knowledge to replace your vehicle’s clutch safely and correctly.
If you have concerns about your vehicle’s clutch, contact the service professionals at Best Western Transmissions today to schedule an appointment. We can inspect your vehicle and advise you on any necessary repairs or replacement needed to keep your vehicle running in top shape.