How Do I Know if My Car Has a Clutch Problem?

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The clutch is a component of the car that can seem rather daunting at first but in reality, is pretty simple. CarSwitch.com, an online marketplace for certified used cars, discusses one of the most crucial issues one can have in a car and addresses some of the common questions that drivers in the UAE have.

Typically, clutches comprise of three parts:

  • Flywheel: Runs in direct correlation with the engine and rotates with the same intensity as the motor of the vehicle.
  • Friction Disc: Works with the transmission of the car.
  • Pressure Plate: Serves to join the flywheel and the friction disc together.

When the driver exerts pressure onto the clutch pedal, a number of springs and levers work to separate the pressure plate from the friction disc, making it possible to switch gears without damage.

1. What are the symptoms of a bad clutch?

It is imperative that you should be able to recognize when there is something wrong with your car in order to prevent serious damage in the future.

  • Pedal

The go-to area for the clutch is the pedal. Sometimes, when the pedal does not push in easily, makes a rumbling noise, or is not smooth enough, this is an indication of serious trouble.

  • Friction Plate

If the friction plate is being pushed more than its capacity, it may start to give off a pungent smell. This smell is another indication of clutch damage.

Some other tell-tale signs of a bad clutch include difficulty in switching gears, acceleration not matching the exertion as well as unintended fluctuations in speed when driving.

2. How many kms does a clutch last?

A normal clutch stays in good shape anywhere from 70,000 km to 160,000 km depending on the nature of use and the type of clutch.

If your primary use is a lightweight drive on wide, open roads such as the ones in Dubai then your clutch will have a longer life than compared to transporting heavy equipment through busy traffic.

3. Can you drive with a broken clutch?

Although you would technically be able to drive your vehicle with a broken clutch, it is seriously NOT recommended from doing so as this could be rather dangerous.

However, if push comes to shove and there is a dire need to drive despite the broken clutch, then the following actions should be followed:

Ensure ample space in front of the car, switch the gear into first and then release both the hand and foot brake in order to rev the engine. And there you have it. Driving with a broken clutch!

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