On average, a car can give you roughly 60,000 miles, give or take. However, it comes with a lot of conditions—timely servicing, good driving habits, less stop-and-go traffic, etc.
In some cases, it’s normal for the owner to replace the clutch with a new one. You don’t need to change it only when it’s completely totaled.
People that have a knack for modified cars often invest in expensive clutch kits as well. To know more about it, continue reading.
Understanding the anatomy of your car
Before you dive into the details of a clutch, you have first to understand the whole makeup of your car. A car cannot function without the harmony of all the parts.
A brief list of all the parts of the car:
- Engine: the heart of any car
- Front axle
- Front steering
- Fuel tank
- Rear suspension
What is a clutch?
The clutch is a device that is responsible for engaging and disengaging transmission between various rotating shafts. The main aim is to spin at an identical speed or shift and work at different speed settings.
It is situated right between the driveshaft and engine. It modulates power from the engine to the wheels. A clutch helps to stop the car from moving while the engine still keeps spinning.
Components of a clutch include:
- Clutch disc
- Release mechanism
- Pressure plate
- Pilot bearing
- Clutch fork
- Release bearing
Signs of a bad clutch
A faulty clutch is a direct invitation to accidents that means significant damage to your life and property. Your vehicle is a brilliant device, and it’ll give you plenty of warning signals in advance. All you have to do is listen to them and act accordingly.
You can easily protect yourself and your loved ones by being vigilant of some common signs and symptoms usually described by people:
● A series of weird noises during engaging and disengaging that wasn’t there before
This indicates an immediate problem in the clutch release mechanism. The possible cause could be dried-up lubrication.
● During acceleration, there is chattering in the clutch pedal
It happens when the clutch disc can grip the flywheel properly. The primary cause could be contamination due to oil.
● Clutch pedal pulsates
Parts start to wobble. Issues with the adjustment of the release lever could cause it. Essential servicing might help.
● The pedal refuses to leave the floor no matter how hard you try
In this case, the linkage begins to lose the binding. Over-stretched linkage is the reason behind this problem.
● Be wary when the pedal starts to feel too loose
There is a stretched-over problem with the clutch fork. Look for low liquid or possible leaking.
● Being too hard is also not a good sign for your clutch
You can feel it if you have to apply more pressure than usual to make it work. It could be a problem with the cross shaft of worn-out hydraulic systems.
● There is a problem in shifting between gears
When you shift from one gear to another, you might notice an unsettling grinding noise. It can indicate some problem with the cable.
● If the transition is making noises even in neutral
This can be tricky for a newbie. There would be a chirping noise when you press the clutch pedal in neutral, but it vanishes as soon as the car is in motion.
Ways to check the clutch
By following simple steps, you can see if your clutch is past its due date. Here are some of them:
- Look out for any weird sounds when you try to put your car in first gear.
- Check the regular clutch operations by driving around. Be vigilant of burning smells or slipping.
- Now put the car in third gear and try to pick it up from there.
Common reasons that lead to damage
Many things can damage your clutch. It may or may not be your fault. The vital thing to remember would be fixing the issue before it does some irreversible damage to your car.
So, what causes it?
- The presence of rust in the clutch linkage
- The pressure plate is damaged
- Motors mounts could be broken
- Oil leakage
- Misaligned or bent clutch linkage
The best way to go about it would be by investing in a good clutch kit. You can buy the parts separately too, but it is rarely recommended since there is a chance that pieces don’t match, and that can further damage your precious vehicle.
Moreover, plan a proper budget and stick to it, if possible. Generally, the replacement process can be divided into two distinguished categories. They are given below:
● Based on stages
Depending on the model and modifications, you can determine the stage of kits apt for your vehicle.
- Stage 1: used at 50whp and increases torque by 25-50%.
- Stage 2: increase torque by 50-75%.
- Stage 3: used at 350whp and increase
- s torque by 75-125%.
- Stage 4: used at 400-500whp.
- Twin and triple-disc clutch
● Based on the desired usage
If you don’t know what stage would best suit your car, you can always rely on how you are planning to use your vehicle. It can be neatly classified into four ways:
- Personal use
- Street performance
- Race track
Approximate cost of clutch replacement
To save money, people often take it upon themselves to change the clutch assembly. You see a few youtube tutorials, and you are good to go, right?
Wrong; not only is the replacement a laborious task it can also involve a few safety hazards. Moreover, the lack of proper tools can end up costing you more money than what you intended to save in the first place.
The amount can vary from the type of equipment you want to be installed to the labor cost charged by the mechanic.
Maybe go for the cheap ones if you have plans about selling the car in some time, or else don’t be a miser in this case.