November 7, 2008, Newsletter Issue #140: Diagnosing Clutch Problems

Tip of the Week


Whether it's your Porsche 911 that has a performance clutch upgrade or your Geo Metro that possibly needs a replacement, knowing how to diagnose your clutch is always essential to saving money on repairs or upgrades. Here are a few ideas that will help you diagnose some potential clutch problems,


Look, listen and feel. When a clutch is performing improperly it will make noises, such as chatters, squeaks, and rattles. These noises are usually associated with other indications that something is wrong with the car, for example grabbing, jumping, and vibrations. You can generally feel the vibration in the pedal and sometimes the steering wheel.
Slippage is normal when a clutch needs to be replaced. But the idea is to catch the problem before the slippage starts. You may find the vehicle will not pick up speed even though you have released the clutch.
Find a reputable transmission shop to install the clutch. They will test drive your vehicle and give you their diagnosis, usually at no charge. If there are charges, make sure you get a breakdown of the costs before the shop attempts to fix the problem.
There are many reasons for clutch failure including bad clutch assembly, worn bearings or clutch disk, weak springs, misaligned clutch, fly wheel cracked or out of balance clutches. Do not wait till the clutch is completely gone before getting fixed. Driving any vehicle with a worn clutch is potentially dangerous and costly.

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