In manual transmissions, the clutch is one of the most important features to watch. If there are problems with the clutch, you will experience problems with the transmission unit and the engine. Furthermore, a poor clutch system may necessitate forced braking which will wear your brake pads and tyres. For a smoother driving experience, clutch service is vital for manual cars. Read on to learn why.
What a clutch service involves
A clutch service should be carried out during every interim service check (after around 9,600 kilometres). During this service, your clutch system will be checked for wear. Hydraulic systems will be checked for leaks and adjustment while cable-operated clutches, too, will be checked for wear and adjusted accordingly. Your pedal too needs to be checked to ensure it's not too 'loose' or too 'tight', ensuring you disengage with ease.
If your clutch is severely worn, a replacement is needed. Often, this should happen after about 129,000 kilometres of driving. However, your clutch can last much less depending on your driving habits. During a replacement, the pressure plate and the clutch plate are replaced.
Benefits of seeking a clutch service
- Protects the gears. A good clutch will ensure reduced wear on your transmission unit because the rotations will be well coordinated and engaged. Friction in the gear unit can create loose metal fragments that can cause damage and necessitate expensive rebuild repairs.
- Ensures better power transfer and fuel efficiency. A good clutch will ensure power is not lost during shifting. As a result, you will not need to accelerate more than necessary, thereby improving your car's fuel efficiency and saving money.
- Avoid clutch slipping or delayed shifting. A well-serviced clutch will also ensure the clutch plate engages properly without disengaging (slipping) or delaying before engaging. Such transmission malfunctions can be dangerous as they can alter your driving intentions when on the road.
How to tell you need a clutch service
If worn, your transmission can develop conditions that act as symptoms of a worn clutch. If you hear the following, you should seek assistance through companies like Precision Automatic Transmissions.
- Grinding noises: Grinding noises when shifting show that the clutch plate is not well disengaged, pointing to a worn clutch or already damaged gears.
- Difficulty engaging gears: If you have to press your clutch pedal repeatedly to engage gears, your clutch may be worn.
Clutch damage is inevitable for manual cars due to repeated use and start-stop urban driving that causes friction on the clutch system. However, through servicing and replacement, you can ensure that your engine and transmission unit work in harmony to ensure effective transfer of power to the drive train for safer and more efficient driving.