In a manually driven vehicle, a car clutch helps in the smooth shifting of gears by disconnecting the drive shaft temporarily. Clutch life depends on the make and individual driving style. They usually last up to 1,00,000km in some cars and few even change it for 20,000-30,000km. 

Also, few common driving habits result in a premature change of clutch. Like resting your foot on the clutch pedal, having your car in gear at a stoplight, failing to engage both brake and clutch simultaneously when braking, slow gear changes, clutching on a hill or inclination and more. 

These could be the reasons to damage your clutch. But how will you know if your car clutch needs replacement? What are the signs of a damaged clutch? Today’s topic will answer all your questions. 

  • Soft pedal: Clutch is a spinning disc of metal that needs some amount of effort from the driver to engage. If the clutch pedal is engaged and offers less resistance or feels very soft it is a sign that the clutch needs replacement. This is one of the common and easiest symptoms of clutch damage one can spot. 
  • Slipping clutch: The friction material on the clutch allows them to work. When this surface wears out the clutch starts to slip. When this happens you don’t see any RPM change when accelerating, indicating clutch damage. 
  • Difficulty shifting gears: A damaged clutch will not disengage the driveshaft or the engine completely from the wheels. This makes the gear changing difficult. You hear grinding of gears when they are changed, pointing out the fact that the clutch needs to be replaced. 
  • Rattling or chirpy noise: If you hear a rattling sound when you release the clutch coming from the engine or gearbox, it is an indication of throw-out bearing. The noise faints away when the clutch pedal is engaged but is only heard when the clutch is released. This needs immediate attention or it could damage pressure plates which ultimately forces you to change the entire clutch assembly. 
  • Hard to engage reverse: When engaging reverse in a manual transmission, the gears help in changing the direction of rotation of the entire output shaft. A lot of effort goes into changing the direction and hence you feel a small shudder while engaging reverse. If the car struggles to engage reverse gear it could be one of the first failures your clutch system depicts. 

Recognising clutch damage is easy because the symptoms are very clear. But not all symptoms indicate to change the entire clutch assembly, minor replacements will fix the problem. For a better life, it is recommended to get your clutch checked regularly during service and drive sensibly without hurting any component of the car. 

Worried about your damaged car clutch? Pitstop has it covered. We provide clutch inspection, clutch replacement and express car checkup service which covers everything. We also provide free pick up and drop off services at your convenient location. Do check our website or app for further details.

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