There's no clear cut guideline for clutch replacement. In order to know when your clutch is worn out or failing, you need to learn the key signs. The wear and tear on your clutch and how quickly it happens is dependent entirely on your personal driving style and environment. Below, we have put together some helpful signs and tips to help you determine if your clutch is in need of a replacement.
Signs Your Clutch Needs a Replacement
Your Clutch Feels Soft or Spongey
This is an early sign of a failing clutch. To test this out, take a drive and pay close attention to the feel of your clutch and how far you let your clutch out before the gear catches. If you have to let your clutch out for a good portion of the drive, that is also a sign of a worn out clutch.
Your Clutch Causes a Burning Smell
When your clutch is failing, it is commonly accompanied by a burning smell. This burning smell comes from the friction caused by your slipping clutch.
You Have Trouble Shifting
If your car does not engage smoothly and shakes while you are shifting, this is a good sign that you have a bad clutch. These shifting problems are most apparent in first gear and reverse.
You Have Visible Damage to Your Clutch
If you're able to perform DIY mechanic jobs, you can remove the inspection cover at the bottom of the bell housing to see your clutch. If your clutch is going bad, you will notice obvious visible damage. A fine black dust around your clutch is normal wear - instead, look for damage to the actual clutch itself.
Identify the Symptoms of a Worn Clutch
It's typically characterized by the clutch slipping as you apply power - the engine speed will increase greatly when you try to accelerate, even though the clutch pedal is not pressed.
Have the Clutch Replaced as Soon as Possible.
If any of these signs are a match with your car, you will need to get your clutch replaced. Clutch replacement is an involved job, requiring the removal of your transmission in order to access your clutch. Unless you're an experienced mechanic, make an appointment at your local Pep Boys to have your clutch replaced as soon as possible.