Although there are many benefits of driving a manual transmission, the added cost of maintenance and repair isn’t one of them. One component in particular that is susceptible to wear and tear on a manual transmission is the clutch. In fact, it’s not so much a matter of if the clutch will go out, but when—and the longer you wait to visit a transmission repair shop to fix a worn-out clutch, the more damage will be done and the more expensive the repairs will be. Luckily, there are a few signs to look for that will tell you exactly when to bring your vehicle in for clutch repair.
One of the most obvious signs of a bad clutch is gear slippage. The clutch uses a pressure plate system to transfer power from the engine and transmission to the powertrain and wheels. As this pressure plate wears down over time, the clutch will begin to slip. If the clutch feels as though it is not fully disengaging or engaging, visit a transmission repair shop and have your clutch inspected.
Unusual Shift Noises and Movement
The opposite of a slipping clutch is a clutch that won’t release properly after engaging the next highest gear. If you hear a grinding noise or experience jerking motions from the shifter during gear shifts, visit a transmission shop as soon as possible. The longer you drive on a worn-out clutch, the worse the problem will get.
Although you may notice a foul burning odor as the result of “riding the clutch” or driving aggressively, a persistent foul smell could be a sign of a clutch that is totally worn-out. If you notice a burning odor in conjunction with slippage or difficulty shifting gears, schedule an inspection at a Brookhaven transmission shop as soon as you can.