Clutch problems can have various causes, and you can check most of them yourself in order to diagnose the issue. If the problem is severe, like the clutch cannot engage the transmission to be in gear, then you need to ask for professional mechanic help. Checking for clutch problems yourself is important, as readjustment of the clutch is fairly easy, while getting it replaced by a mechanic is quite pricey if you don't know for sure as to what's wrong with the clutch.
- Skill level:
Set the emergency brake, start the engine, and rev it up.
Place the transmission in a high gear.
Slowly release the clutch pad, and try to drive the vehicle in the forward direction maintaining very little speed.
Observe whether the engine is still running slowly as you release the clutch pedal.
Observe whether the engine is killed immediately or if it is running momentarily before the clutch makes it stall. If the engine is running momentarily before it dies, there must be a partial clutch slippage problem, but if it is running slowly, then there is a definite problem of slipping with the clutch.
Turn the engine off, and listen for abnormal squeaking, scraping or clunking sound when the clutch pedal is moved up or down. These sounds indicate a worn out clutch release mechanism that might be in need of lubrication.
Engage the clutch, and listen for sounds like knocking and rattling. These indicate friction problems with the disc that might have worn out.
Disengage the clutch, and listen for abnormal sounds from the engine. This could indicate a problem with the clutch release bearing, which might need lubrication or binding.
Put the vehicle in neutral, and listen for abnormal sounds. These sounds might stop as soon as the clutch pedal is pushed and are caused by transmission problems.
Tips and warnings
- Avoid resting your foot on the clutch pedal while driving to prevent clutch problems.
- A clutch can have several problems and getting the help of a professional mechanic is important in getting the right diagnosis, especially if you are not familiar with the engineering aspect of your vehicle.
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