You may not be too interested in the mechanical workings of your automobile. It gets you from A to B, after all. Yet if you sense that there’s something wrong with the transmission, it pays to have at least some understanding of potential causes. This could help you take action sooner, saving money and inconvenience. So, how do you know if your clutch is about to give up the ghost?

An Overview of How a Clutch Works

In order for the engine (which generates the power), to transfer that power into forward motion, the engine itself needs to be selectively connected to the gearbox. The gearbox then transfers the power to the wheels. The clutch is the mechanism that connects the two together. It varies the amount of power, according to different road conditions and necessary speeds. As you can see, the clutch is vital, as without it the car will not be able to function properly in different driving conditions and situations.

How Do You Know If It Needs Attention?

Overheating

If you sense difficulty moving forward, accompanied by a burning smell or smoke from underneath, the clutch could be overheating. This condition is often caused if you rest your foot on the clutch pedal in a manual car while driving in slow traffic.

Leaking

If you find that you’re driving along and the car slips out of gear for no reason, this signifies that the clutch is worn and has to be replaced, or there could be an oil leak from the engine onto the clutch plate itself.

Sticking

If you find that it is very difficult to disengage the clutch pedal in a manual car, this means that the clutch is “sticking.” This happens when the hydraulic linkages fail, resulting in a loss of pressure and a failure to engage. If you know where to look under the bonnet, check the clutch fluid reservoir to see if there is enough fluid within. It’s likely it will be empty, signifying there is a leak somewhere.

Slipping

If you’re driving uphill and notice that the car is in a much higher gear, while travelling slowly (in an automatic) then this indicates that the clutch is slipping. In layman’s terms it means the plate is worn and will need to be replaced. You may find that your manual car cannot get traction until the clutch pedal releases almost all the way up to the top. This means that the clutch is worn all the way down and needs to be replaced.

For more information, contact a business such as Quickstop Brake & Clutch Centre.