Nowadays, manual transmission cars are becoming less and less common. Still, for enthusiasts and those who know how to “drive stick,” a manual transmission car can be a joy to drive. There’s this unique sense of satisfaction and control when you step on the clutch and feel the gears engage.
Speaking of the clutch, it has to be in good shape so you can fully enjoy the driving experience. It’s a durable component, definitely, but it doesn’t last forever. When it wears down or gets damaged, you need to replace it immediately for performance and safety reasons.
When you buy clutches in Mauritius, make sure to find a reliable shop. This way, you’re guaranteed to purchase high-quality parts that will deliver top-notch performance for years to come. With that said, how do you actually know that it’s time to replace your car’s clutch? Here are some signs you should watch out for:
The Clutch Slips
When you step on the clutch pedal, you’ll feel a bit of bite or grip that lets you know it’s engaged. With worn down parts, however, you might feel this grip slipping because of lack of friction. You may also notice that the clutch engages correctly at first and then slips when it’s under stress. Sometimes, you may also feel your vehicle move slowly even as the engine revs higher. There may also be situations in which the clutch releases prematurely.
If any of these happen when you’re driving, it might be a good time to bring your car to a mechanic for an inspection. It’s highly likely that your clutch is in bad shape and needs to be replaced as soon as possible.
A Change In Pedal Feel
If you’ve been driving your car for a long time, you’ve probably memorized how the clutch pedal feels when you step on it. Thus, it can be almost instinctual for you to notice when there’s even a slight change.
Sometimes, all it takes to restore the usual feeling is a little adjustment. However, if you notice a big difference such as a loose or spongy feel whenever you change gears, you probably need to have the pedal and clutch inspected. The clutch pedal may also vibrate excessively when its rotating parts start to get loose or warped. This can be a case of an improperly aligned transmission housing, but it’s still best to get a check-up to verify the issue.
The Clutch Sticks and Makes Odd Noises
If your clutch gets stuck, your vehicle won’t go into gear. At best, you’ll have an unpleasant driving experience. At worst, you won’t be able to drive at all. If any of these two situations happen, call your mechanic ASAP and have the necessary repairs and/or replacements done.
You may also hear odd noises from the clutch, such as a loud grinding or grumbling. These are usually caused by parts coming loose and hitting each other, or else getting stuck. There are some situations when quick fixes may suffice in some cases (e.g., lubricating the clutch pedal to prevent squeaking). If you can’t figure out what’s wrong, call your mechanic, so you can have the issue checked.
Difficulty in Engaging the Clutch
Stepping on the clutch requires a certain amount of pressure. If you need to exert more effort than usual to depress the pedal, the release mechanism might be damaged. Depending on the system (mechanical or hydraulic), this difficulty in engaging the clutch can stem from different issues. There could be a part that’s getting stuck somewhere or a blockage in the system. Either way, have clutch checked when you experience this difficulty.
Burning Smell When Shifting
Most of the time, a burning smell anywhere in your car means that something’s wrong. If you notice this while you’re shifting gears, it’s definitely bad news. Head to your trusted service shop for a thorough inspection.
Do note that if you have a new clutch or a dirty one, you might also notice an odor like burnt rubber coming from the area. However, this is often temporary. If the smell doesn’t disappear, it might be time for a replacement.
Does your engine roar as it should, but your vehicle won’t accelerate? This might be because your clutch is going bad, since it can’t engage the transmission gears properly. If you’re experiencing this, have your vehicle checked and fixed ASAP. If you continue driving in this state, you can damage your transmission even further and end up paying more expensive repair costs.
Driving with a failing clutch can be dangerous, so make an appointment with your trusted professional mechanic or repair shop as soon as you notice any of these symptoms.
Once you get the clutch replaced, make sure to take care of it, so it won’t break down prematurely. Avoid the bad habit of riding the clutch, and don’t shift too quickly. When at a red light, put the car in neutral and keep your foot off the clutch pedal. Finally, make sure that the transmission fluid is always at the correct level.
Happy driving and stay safe on the road!