How to tell if your clutch is slipping

Monday 29th November 2021

Maybe you’ve experienced some pedal sticking, or perhaps your vehicle is making some unfavourable noises and grumbles – it could mean that your clutch is on its way out. But what are the signs of clutches going to look out for? Find out exactly why a clutch is so vital to your driving, and how to pick up on clutch slipping symptoms now.

What does a clutch do?

The clutch separates the engine from the wheels. This allows you to change gear, and also to stop your vehicle while the engine is still running. Without it, you’d be unable to drive properly – making it an integral part to your vehicle.

Made up of three parts – the clutch plate, the pressure plate and the flywheel – the clutch allows you to change gears seamlessly, if working correctly. However, if your clutch needs replacing, this can cause other problems for driving. Find out how to tell if you need a new clutch:

Clutch slipping symptoms

Think your clutch may be due for a replacement? Here are some of the signs your clutch is going out:

  • Squeaking or unusual grumbling noise when pressure is applied
  • Difficulty changing gears
  • The clutch pedal sticking, vibrating or appearing to feel spongey or loose
  • Poor acceleration but still having the ability to rev your engine
  • Momentary loss of acceleration caused by a feeling of a ‘slipping’ clutch

Although clutches are designed to last between 50,000 to 100,000 miles, there could be a range of factors that can affect a clutch slipping:

  • Quality of driving – if you drive like a ‘boy racer’ (i.e. harsh acceleration without necessarily climbing up the gears and revving) or stop-start driving, this is more likely to wear down the clutch
  • Quality of vehicle – dependent on how old your vehicle is, and the mileage completed on the vehicle can affect how often the clutch needs replacing
  • How well you maintain your vehicle – regular services and checks to ensure the car is in good health should indicate how often your clutch needs to be replaced

What should I do if my clutch is slipping

The first thing you do if you notice your clutch slipping is to stop driving, as this could turn into a dangerous situation. After you have stepped out of the car, find a Formula One Autocentre near you where our trained experts can help.

You don’t have to be in an emergency to get your clutch checked — if you are unsure about your clutch, why not book in for a free car clutch check? Or, if you simply want to talk to one of our experts, get in touch today.

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