How to Tell if the Car’s Clutch is Failing

Clutch Kit
Clutch Kit

When your clutch begins to fail, you may notice some of these symptoms, indicating that it is time for a replacement. Pay attention to these details and ensure that it is replaced before the clutch completely fails, or you may encounter additional issues.


Slippage can occur due to excessive wear on your friction linings, clutch overheating, mechanical damage to the pressure plate, a clutch adjustment that reduces the clamping force of the pressure plate, or oil contamination on the driven plate.

As you try to accelerate, you may notice your engine RPMs rising, but your vehicle will not accelerate as expected. It happens frequently when you accelerate quickly in high gears.



When you engage the clutch, you will experience severe shuddering or jerking. It can happen if the springs in the hub of the driven plate are damaged or broken. If the springs in the dual-mass flywheel are damaged or broken, or the friction linings in the driven plate are damaged, you may notice it.

Just make sure you have your car checked out if this vibration begins, because broken engine mounts and transmission mounts will cause similar vibrations, and replacing the clutch will not solve the problem.


The pedal is difficult to depress

If the pressure plate has broken components, it can prevent free and easy movement, making the clutch pedal difficult to depress. If you notice that the pedal has more resistance than it used to, you may have a problem.


Shifting is difficult

When your clutch begins to wear out, shifting becomes more difficult. This can happen if the pressure plate is damaged, or the clutch release mechanism is not properly adjusted. When this occurs, the clutch no longer serves as an effective link between the engine and the transmission.

When you engage the clutch, it does not completely decouple these two rotating parts, making changing gears difficult or impossible. Even if your clutch is fully depressed, you may hear a lot of grinding in your gears.


Noises such as grinding or whining

You may hear a grinding or whining noise when you engage the clutch. Wear or damage to the release bearing causes this. When your vehicle is stopped, you may notice it more. When the vehicle is moving, it may not be loud enough to be heard.


Clutch Replacement

Replacing a clutch is a lengthy, complicated, and involved process, so make sure you know what you’re doing or enlist the assistance of someone who does. You’ll need the right tools and safety equipment.

Because you’ll have access to the clutch’s inner workings while replacing it, you might as well replace some of the cheaper components while you’re in there. It could save you a lot of time and energy in the long run because the entire mechanism will work better with a new clutch slave cylinder and release bearing.

These steps will give you an idea of how much work is involved in replacing a clutch. Because each clutch is unique, this may or may not apply to yours. You must ensure that you are familiar with your vehicle’s specific repair procedure and are aware of the risks.

If you plan to do it yourself, your manufacturer’s service manual or a third-party repair manual may be a good investment. However, doing it yourself is not recommended if you don’t know what you’re doing.


Raise the vehicle

Lift your vehicle off the ground with a floor jack. To safely prop up the vehicle, place jack stands under the specified lifting points in the owner’s manual. You’ll be spending a lot of time underneath the vehicle for this job, so make sure you’re safe and comfortable. It can also be messy, so protect the driveway or garage floor before you begin.


Take out the driveshaft

Remove the driveshaft and drain the transmission oil from rear-wheel-drive vehicles. In addition to the driveshaft, you’ll need to remove some suspension components on front-wheel drive vehicles. To avoid making a bigger mess than necessary, drain the transmission oil before removing the driveshaft.


Assist with the engine and transmission

If you have a rear-wheel drive vehicle, you must support the engine and transmission so that the transmission cross member can be removed. A breaker bar is required because the torque specification on this component is high. The penetrant may also aid in the loosening of the bolts. Remove the transmission’s electrical connectors. To gain access to the transmission, you may need to remove some of the exhaust systems. Use ratcheting wrenches if the spacing is tight.

Remove all of the bolts that connect the engine and transmission. When the transmission is free, use a transmission jack to move it out of the way. The procedure is similar for front-wheel drive vehicles, but you may need to remove the engine assembly as well. This necessitates the use of an engine hoist, which may have to be performed by a mechanic.


Take out the clutch

Once the engine and transmission have been separated, the clutch can be removed from the flywheel. If the surface shows signs of discoloration, cracking, or scoring, you’ll need to replace the flywheel as well. Never install a new clutch in a damaged flywheel. Because of the damaged flywheel, the new clutch may fail prematurely or not at all. To ensure that the driven plate is centered on the flywheel, you’ll need a clutch alignment tool. If it isn’t, you risk damaging the hub of the plate during assembly. Install the new release bearing into the transmission, retaining all clips and correctly locating them to avoid damage to the pressure plate and bearing.



You are now ready to reassemble your vehicle in the reverse order of removal. Using a torque wrench, ensure that your fasteners are torqued to the specified values. They may fail during vehicle operation if not properly tightened.


Refill the fluid

Refill your transmission fluid and test the clutch.