Best Car Clutch Repar In Murrieta

How To Avoid Clutch Problems

7 Driving Tips To Avoid Ruining Your Clutch

What Is A Clutch?


Clutches are typically associated with cars, manual transmission cars, in particular. However, you may be surprised that even automatic transmission cars also have clutches. In fact, clutches are used in many commonplace items like drills or chainsaws.


In general, a clutch is a mechanical device that allows engagement or disengagement of transmission of power in a device that has two rotating shafts - one that is driven by a motor or a pulley, and the other that provides output power that drives yet another device.


The clutch connects the two shafts so that they are either locked together and they rotate at the same speed or disconnected so that the shafts spin at different speeds.

In a car, a clutch is important because it transmits engine power to the gearbox. It also allows power transmission to be interrupted as a gear is selected to move the vehicle from a stationary position, or when gears are changed while the car is moving. In a moving vehicle, the engine is spinning all the time. The clutch helps the car to stop by allowing the wheels to be disconnected from the engine without the need to kill the engine itself.


How Your Driving Style Affects Clutch Wear


The clutch is under constant friction. Because of this, clutches wear out eventually. However, your driving style can have a significant effect on how long your car’s clutch last. Here’s some advice on how to drive to prolong your clutch life and save some money:


  • Stop being a clutch rider. Driving while keeping the clutch partially depressed is a sure way to wear out your clutch fast. The clutch pedal should either be all the way depressed or untouched entirely.


  • Stay in neutral when stopped. When waiting at stop lights or junctions, shift to neutral if you are going to be stopped for any length of time while engaging the hand brakes to keep from rolling forward or back. Staying in first gear with your foot on the brakes puts unnecessary strain on clutch.


  • Avoid using the clutch to keep from rolling backwards on an incline. Engage the handbrake when starting from a stopped position while on a hill. Depress the clutch pedal and shift into first gear and reach about 3,000 rpm. Release the clutch slowly, then disengage the handbrake while stepping on the gas.


  • Use the handbrake when parking. If possible, use the handbrake to keep the car from moving when parked, instead of leaving it in gear. This reduces the pressure on the clutch disc when car is stationary.


  • Avoid sudden stops. It is best to decelerate slowly when you see stopped traffic, a stop light or any other reason that you’re going to be stopping.


  • Avoid jackrabbit starts. Do not rev up your engine as you pull away from a stopped position.


  • Change gears quickly. As much as possible, do not linger when changing gears. The longer you keep the clutch depressed, the more strain you put on it each time you change gears.


Replacing a clutch can be costly. Keeping these driving tips in mind would go a long way in getting more mileage out of your clutch.​

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Symptoms of a Clutch Problem


Like all other things, despite your best intentions and careful driving, the clutch will eventually break down. Here are the signs to watch out for that indicate clutch problems:


The clutch may feel spongy. An early sign of a failing clutch is it feels soft or “spongy” when depressed. To check, do a test drive and pay close attention to how your clutch feels and how far you let the clutch out before the gear catches. If you need to let the clutch out most of the way, this is a sign that your clutch is worn.


  • You notice a burning smell. A failing clutch is often accompanied by a burnt smell. This is due to friction caused by a slipping clutch.


  • It gets difficult to shift. If your car does not engage smoothly and shakes when you shift gears, this is a sure sign of a problem. This is more apparent when shifting to first gear or to reverse.


  • You hear squeals or chirps. While strange sounds may mean other things, hearing a squeal or chirp start or stop when you depress the clutch may mean a worn or damaged release bearing or pilot bushing. Aside from these sounds, growling when the clutch pedal is engaged is also a sign of clutch trouble.


  • Vibration. Vibration or jerking when the clutch is released, especially when accelerating from a stop indicates a problem in the clutch mechanism. This may indicate damaged or broken clutch disc, flywheel or pressure plate.


Being aware of these symptoms will alert you to get your car to a mechanic early while the damage may still be manageable.

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