Clutch Damage – Causes and Remedies


The hardest-working component in any vehicle with a manual transmission is the clutch. Every start, every stop and every gear change means the clutch is engaging and disengaging. The friction that is created between the clutch disc, pressure plate and flywheel when the clutch engages generates heat and wear, and the more the driver “rides” the clutch pedal or lets it slip excessively, the hotter the clutch disc gets and the faster it wears.

What Causes Clutch Damage?

There are many bad habits that can destroy the clutch much earlier than the expected life. Burnt out clutch leads to low fuel efficiency and slower acceleration. We gather 5 points that can destroy the clutch and should not be done in any scenario.

  • Slipping the clutch for more pick-up

Often while driving manual cars, we do not release the clutch pedal completely. The combination of half engaged clutch and accelerator will let the engine rpm to rise quickly but would not transfer all the energy to the transmission. The result? The clutch slips. Slipping the clutch causes overheating and heavy damage to the clutch plates while making them unusable much before their expected life.

  • Riding the Clutch

iding the clutch happens when you do not release the clutch pedal completely. It is different from slipping the clutch. If the car is already in motion and has gone past the biting point where the clutch input is not needed yet the clutch is slightly depressed is called riding the clutch. During this, the clutch is not fully engaged causing it to slip a bit and abnormal wear happens
Read more about that here .

  • Using your Clutch as a Footrest

Many manual cars do not have a dead pedal. In such cars, resting the foot on the clutch pedal is a common practice. Even though diesel cars have a slightly harder clutch and you can afford to rest your foot on it, if you take care that your foot is not depressing the clutch pedal at all, the situation is different with petrol cars. The clutch is very light in petrol cars and even the slightest weight on the pedal will cause it to disengage the clutch partially, causing it to slip and wear quickly.

  • Releasing the Clutch Prematurely

Smoothness is the word here. Releasing the clutch too soon will make your car jerk while putting excessive pressure on the engine and the transmission. This overheats the clutch and deteriorates the clutch quickly. To understand this in a better way, the clutch is pressure plate that transfers the engine power to the transmission. The engine flywheel is always revolving when the engine is on. When stationary and the clutch is in neutral, the transmission and the engine flywheel are disconnected.

  • Clutch Balancing

This happens during climbing an incline. We tend to use clutch and accelerator to hold the car on an incline instead of applying brakes. This causes the clutch to quickly overheat and sometimes fail instantly. This also brings down the life of the clutch drastically. The clutch transfers enough power to the transmission to keep the car from rolling backwards but at the same time, the clutch is slipping and generating excessive heat causing a huge damage in the process.

For any help, assessments, advice or repairs / replacement of your clutch or braking system, get in touch with Safety Brake & Clutch today by clicking here!

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