Signs That A Vehicle's Clutch Is Going Out

It's no secret that many drivers prefer a vehicle with a manual transmission. Mechanically speaking, manual transmissions are relatively easy to repair, making them less difficult to care for. Over time, through normal wear and tear, the clutch disc can wear out. When it does, the engine power cannot make it to the wheels, and your vehicle will be stuck in place. Thankfully, there are signs before the clutch disc gives out completely. If you notice any of these in your Subaru, be sure to bring it in to have it serviced by our professional.

If your car has a manual transmission, it also has a clutch disc that can wear out 

5. Soft/Sinking Clutch Pedal

While not directly related to the clutch disc, a spongy feeling clutch pedal is a sign your transmission needs to be serviced. This can be caused by a leak of clutch fluid or air in the system. Both will lead to a soft or spongy feel in the clutch pedal. Sometimes the pedal will even sink to the floor, unable to return to its normal position.

If you smell something burning and hear grinding as you drive, it could be a worn out clutch disc like this one 

4. Burning Smell

A burning smell may indicate that your clutch disc needs to be replaced. The clutch disc is a friction plate that allows the transmission to work with the engine, so you can shift gears. Through wear and tear, the friction coating of the clutch disc wears off and once bare, it is metal against metal as you shift gears. This produces not only damage but also a burning smell. If you detect a burning scent while driving, it could be your transmission grinding.

3. Grinding Noise When Changing Gears

While driving you may hear a grinding sound when trying to shift gears. This grinding noise could be related to one of two things: the clutch disc or the transmission's synchronizers. The synchronizers work to make shifting smoother when shifting between RPM ranges. Whichever the cause, hearing a grinding sound of any sort while driving or shifting is a sure sign that your vehicle needs to be examined by a professional.

This clutch assembly has been exploded to show you how the clutch disc fits with the pressure plate and bearing 

2. Needing Higher RPMs

Typically, those who drive a manual vehicle know their vehicle well. They have a general idea of how many RPMs are needed to hit speeds in certain gears. When your clutch disc is starting to wear, it may start slipping. When this happens, you will notice it takes more RPMs than expected to reach the speed you want. This also goes hand in hand with a grinding sound and burning smell as discussed above.

1. Shifting Gears Is Difficult

A healthy clutch allows the driver to shift between gears without hassle. When the clutch starts to wear, shifting between gears becomes difficult. The smooth shift between gears is replaced with a rougher transition. You may find the clutch pedal is not functioning like you are accustomed to, and you may not be able to slip into the gears as easily as you once did.

If you can relate to the signs of a worn clutch it is time to bring your vehicle in to be serviced at Capitol Subaru Let our team of factory trained technicians restore your manual ride back to its former glory and get you back on the road. Schedule your appointment today or stop by for more information.

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Capitol Subaru of Salem

920 Auto Group Ave NE
Directions Salem, OR 97301

  • Sales: 503-587-5500
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