The Anatomy of Healthy Cars: A Service and Repair Blog

Changes in How Your Clutch Behaves That Should Alert You to The Need for Repairs

by Brittany Marshall

The clutch is one of the most resilient auto parts in most vehicles but it is not invulnerable to damage. The first thing you should know is that the rate at which your clutch will acquire damage will depend on factors such as the make of the car and its age. Moreover, your driving will also influence the rate of wear since habits such as driving while the clutch is partially engaged, coming to a stop abruptly and towing loads frequently will expedite the deterioration of this auto part.

The trick to catching any issues early is to pay close attention to how your clutch feels since changes to its normal behaviour can help you pinpoint specific issues. Check out the following changes in clutch behaviour that should alert you to the need for repairs.

The clutch feels soft when you press down on the pedal

When you engage the clutch, you should feel a degree of resistance from the pedal. This resistance is not enough to stop you from pushing down but it is distinguishable. The moment that the pedal starts to feel spongy underfoot, you should be concerned about looming repairs. There are several reasons why the clutch can turn soft seemingly spontaneously.

Most commonly, this issue will come up when air gets trapped in the hydraulic system, impeding the flow of hydraulic fluid. However, it can also come about when a leak springs up in the hydraulic hose, a defective master cylinder, diminished hydraulic fluid and so on. You need to seek clutch repairs as soon as possible or this auto part stands the chance of malfunctioning while you are on the road.

The clutch starts vibrating each time you accelerate

While your clutch is not motionless when you engage it, the jittering should be subtle. If the chattering becomes strong enough to distract you each time you press down on the pedal, you should be concerned about an underlying issue that would require clutch repairs. One of the most common reasons why the vibrations will crop up is when the clutch's disc starts to lose its grasp on the flywheel. Each time the grip is lost, the pedal will vibrate.

The loss of grip usually stems from issues with the lining of the clutch disc, for example, due to contamination or deterioration. However, the clutch pedal will also vibrate when the pressure plate has become distorted over time, which would necessitate its replacement. Lastly, the vibrations will come about when the flywheel itself is defective.

Contact clutch repair services to learn more.