Clutch Problems, Troubleshooting and Service
The clutch assembly is one of those components in your car that should last for at least 80,000 km if treated correctly. However, at Bosch Car Service Auto Superior Randburg, we see many vehicle owners coming in with clutch problems which could have been avoided in the first place.
There are several clear cut reasons as to why your clutch fails. The main thing to realise is that the clutch disc is similar to a brake pad and is subject to wear and tear as time goes by. Because it is a mechanical device it can be damaged by careless and abusive driving practices.
Tips on Extending The Life of Your Clutch
This is the most common cause of clutch failure!
- Don’t drive with your foot resting on the clutch (termed “riding the clutch”). This causes the clutch to slip and excessive heat build-up on the friction bearing surfaces. This alone can reduce the life expectancy of your clutch by as much as sixty per cent.
- Don’t sit with your foot on the clutch when at a robot or intersection. Every time the clutch pedal is depressed it is causing the clutch system to work. The release bearing/thrust bearing and pressure plate all come under load. Use the handbrake and not the clutch/gears as your brake.
- Don’t over accelerate at pull off and change the clutch too quickly (termed “dumping the clutch” or “popping the clutch”). This style of driving can cause excessive damage in a short space of time. The flywheel, clutch cover, splines and connecting bolts can all be severely damaged or stripped. Get used to gradually releasing the clutch to prevent this from happening.
- Don’t use the clutch together with the accelerator as a brake when stopped on an incline. Use the handbrake!
Signs of Clutch Problems or Failure
These are the most common indicators that your clutch is beginning to fail:
- Car shudders on take off
- Car only begins to moves away slowly even though the revs are increasing.
- You hear a squealing or screeching noise when your foot is on the clutch.
- You sense a pulsating sensation in your foot when the clutch is engaged (could indicate the clutch forks are bent or collapsed).
- Clutch pedal starts becoming hard to push down (could be the clutch cable or pressure plate or worn-out fork).
- Conversely the pedal suddenly becomes weak (may be the pressure plate or hydraulic system or broken cable).
- While the car is idling you can’t select a gear and yet when the engine is switched off completely, you are able to select a gear (indicates clutch failure).Specific hydraulic problems may contribute to clutch failure as well:
- A fading clutch can be caused by the brake fluid boiling and losing viscosity or by leaking seals in the master cylinder.
- Clutch slave cylinder and hydraulic pressure pipes can also cause failure
Note the clutch hydraulic fluid should be routinely changes every twelve months!
Bosch Car Service Auto Superior Randburg – Clutch Problems, Troubleshooting and Service Experts
At Bosch Car Service Auto Superior Randburg we are recognised as the go-to clutch service workshop in Randburg and the surrounding areas.
- We fully assess and diagnose clutch problems and find the root cause.
- We provide advice on the state of all the clutch working parts and give an estimation of any part that may fail in the foreseeable future. The reason is it’s a very expensive exercise to strip and remove the clutch. So it makes sense to replace parts at one time rather than having to pay for labour costs again.
- We check the oil seal behind the flywheel which is only accessible when the clutch is stripped.
- We always skim the flywheel when replacing the clutch – effectively provides a true surface for the new clutch to sit on the flywheel (prevent clutch shudder issues).
- We check all the hydraulic systems (where accessible) for wear and leaks (including side shaft seals, clutch forks, release bearing sleeve and pilot bearing).
We use high quality OES clutch parts.
Call us today 086 108 8884 if you suspect that your clutch is beginning to exhibit any of these warning signs. Your timely action may prevent serious further damage and high costs as well.
086 108 8884
97 Republic Road,
08h00 – 17h00