If you drive a vehicle with a manual transmission, it will use a clutch system that allows you to manually shift gears. Automatic transmissions will use a torque converter to perform this task for you. However, it should be noted that some of the failing clutch symptoms below could also be signs that you have a torque converter or other transmission issue in your automatic vehicle.

Otherwise, let’s focus on the clutch and the clutch assembly, which is made up of several key components:

• Clutch Disc

• Release Mechanism (hydraulic or mechanical)

• Cable

• Linkage

• Clutch Pedal

• Flywheel

• Pressure Plate

• Pilot Bearing

• Release Bearing

• Clutch Fork

As with any automotive systems, there are a number of parts at work and any one can wear out or fail with regular use. With the clutch, it can wear out faster if you really push it too hard (i.e., riding the clutch or really violent shifting habits). Typically, a clutch will last anywhere between 50,000 and 100,000 miles depending on the vehicle, driving conditions and other factors.

So, how do you know when your clutch might be failing? Below are some of the common symptoms associated with clutch problems. If you notice any of these issues, you’ll want to bring your vehicle into a transmission or clutch specialist for inspection and repairs. In the Central Valley, you can turn to Ralph’s Transmission in Modesto for all your clutch service, maintenance, repair and replacement needs.

Here are the common signs of a failing clutch:

1. Car Not Accelerating, But Engine is Revving Loudly

When you release the clutch and press on the gas pedal, you’ll likely hear the engine rev up. If you do this and the car doesn’t accelerate accordingly, then it’s likely what is known as “clutch slippage.” In other words, the clutch disc may be worn out.

2. Vehicle Not Shifting Smoothly into Gear

If your vehicle slips out of gear, won’t go into gear (most commonly reverse gear) or is really grinding every time you shift, it could be a clutch problem or even something within your transmission itself. It is best to have it looked at by a professional transmission technician.

3. Other Noises

In addition to grinding noises, other strange noises might be telling you there’s an issue within the clutch assembly. if it squeals or growls when you press the clutch pedal, that’s usually not a sign of a healthy clutch system.

4. Clutch Pedal Feels Strange

Oftentimes, the clutch pedal itself will let you know when there’s a problem. It could be really stiff and not press down at all. It could go all the way to the floor with no resistance at all. It might vibrate, rattle or pulsate. All of these pedal issues are signs of a failing clutch and worth having checked out.

If you are experience clutch or other transmission problems, trust the transmission specialists at Ralph’s Transmission to diagnose the issue quickly and help you with the clutch maintenance repairs or parts replacements you need to keep your clutch, transmission and drivetrain all running properly. Call Ralph’s Transmission today at 209.526.1909 or schedule your service appointment online.