I think it's really important to know a bit about the internals of a car, so that when you are getting your car serviced you can talk intelligently with the auto technician. As well, there are many easy DIY jobs you can do on your car to save your some money which can make all the difference when you are young and starting out. This site is where I am recording everything I am teaching my kids about auto servicing, and because I think it will be useful to many other families as well. I hope you find it useful for your family.
In a manual shift car, the clutch is the mechanism that connects to two or more drive shafts to enable smooth vehicle movement. It also halts the delivery of the engine power to the wheels to allow the vehicle to stop while the engine is still running.
Given the important role a clutch serves in your car, any sign of clutch trouble should be addressed quickly to prevent a vehicle breakdown. Pay attention to the following warning signs to know when it is time to replace your car's clutch.
Spongy clutch pedal
You should encounter a little amount of resistance when you press down the clutch pedal to shift gears. If the pedal travels all the way down to the floor when pushed, it is said to be 'soft' or 'spongy.' This is an early indication that your clutch may be nearing the end of its life and should be replaced.
Difficulty in shifting gears
If your clutch is sticking, you will have problems changing gears. A variety of reasons can cause your clutch to become sticky and result in problematic shifting of gears. These include:
If these problems persist after clutch repair service, you may need a clutch replacement.
Loss of acceleration
If you press on the clutch pedal, select a new gear, and then try to accelerate but your engine continues to rev without picking up speed, then you most likely have a slipping clutch. Clutch slipping prevents the maximum power of the engine from being delivered through the drivetrain to the wheels of your vehicle. This leads to the loss of accelerating power.
Noisy clutch operation
Clutches get worn out from normal use and may produce odd noises to let you know that they are on their last legs. Different clutch noises point to different problems and can be difficult to troubleshoot if you don't have any experience working on cars.
The best way to deal with clutch noises is to get your clutch checked and repaired by a clutch repair professional. If the noises are due to a bad clutch, you will need to get it replaced.
If you encounter any of the above issues with your clutch, you might need to get it replaced before it leads to bigger problems down the line. Contact a car mechanic service near you to ascertain if your clutch requires a replacement.