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How to Diagnose a Clutch Problem


If your vehicle develops a fault, it can be difficult to recognise until it makes itself known, by which point it may be too late, and you could be faced with costly repairs, and lengthy periods off the road for your vehicle. If you are aware of the symptoms of a clutch problem, you will be able to identify it before it becomes worse.
Clutch performance

As your clutch is used more over time, its performance will diminish, and at a certain point, this will become easy to notice. There are several symptoms that you should look out for:

Something of a delay between pressing the accelerator and the engine actually accelerating – this is a sign that your clutch isn’t boosting the RPM like it should.

The ‘biting point’, or the point where you can feel the clutch engage is higher than it usually is.

Noticing seemingly less power from the engine when pulling a load – this is a sign of a slipping clutch.
Burning smell

If you notice an odd burning smell coming from under the bonnet, or if you notice it while you are driving, that could be a sign of a slipping clutch. It can also be a sign of an oil leak or damaged wiring, so visit a professional garage to have it inspected.
Clutch pedal engagement

When you push down on the clutch pedal, ordinarily there should be a couple of inches of free movement before you can feel the clutch ‘bite’. If you depress it, and there is less than the aforementioned couple of inches of movement, it could mean that your clutch is not partially disengaged.
Clutch fluid

The clutch fluid reservoir is situated near the brake master cylinder. Ensure that the fluid is filled to the correct level – either to the top or between the minimum and maximum lines.
More RPM required

When driving, if the vehicle requires more RPM than usual to reach a speed, this is a sign that your clutch is worn down. An effective test is to drive in 3rd gear, then drop to 2nd gear and release the clutch. If the RPM does not immediately increase, your clutch may need replacing.

By remaining vigilant and carrying out these checks, you can ensure you catch any clutch problems before they worsen, and take your vehicle to a garage for repairs.

Tyres Northampton offer vehicle checks & servicing on all makes and models. If you would like to know more about what we do, please feel free to get in touch with us today.


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