The last thing any driver with a manual transmission car wants is to drive on a faulty or compromised clutch. If the vehicle’s clutch assembly needs a replacement, it’ll typically show in a few obvious ways. Watch for these signs you need to replace your vehicle’s clutch.
The first and the most obvious warning that there’s an issue with the clutch is if it’s difficult or uncomfortable to shift. A finely tuned clutch in quality condition should allow the driver to shift gears without a hassle.
But if you’ve noticed that the transition from gear to gear has been rougher lately and takes more force and effort, that’s a bad sign. Every clutch requires some force to depress and engage, but if you suddenly realize you’re struggling to engage, there’s likely a problem with the release mechanism—meaning you may need a replacement.
Another sign you need to replace your vehicle’s clutch can be felt in the pedal. When you press the clutch and release, the pedal should immediately return to its default position so that it’s ready for the next clutch engagement.
But if you find that after you release the clutch pedal, it sticks to the floor and slowly returns to its default position, and you have to return it to that position with your foot, you’ve got a problem. If it’s just the pedal causing problems, it’s likely an issue with a release bearing or the linkage.
The clutch should engage smoothly, easily, and quietly. The last thing any driver wants to hear when they engage the clutch is a loud, aggravating, grinding noise. A grinding noise is a bad sign for your clutch and could come from two sources: the clutch disc or transmission synchronizers.
Synchronizers make shifting smoother, but they’ll make shifting difficult and loud if compromised or broken. The grinding could also be due to the clutch disc not disengaging and spinning even when you depress the pedal, which damages the transmission. Regardless, don’t wait to fix the issue if you hear a loud grinding sound from your clutch.
Can I Replace My Clutch Myself?
So you’ve decided to replace your clutch, but having a professional do the replacement can be costly; therefore, you may wonder if you can do it yourself. If you’re handy with automotive parts and components and know what you’re doing, you can do it yourself to save money on labor.
But there are many mistakes to avoid when installing a new clutch that you should be wary of, such as over-greasing parts and hanging the gearbox. The whole job will take roughly five hours or longer, so if you’re unsure of your abilities or don’t have the time, it’s best to let a professional take care of the replacement.