A Failing Clutch Will Produce the Following Symptoms

The average lifespan of a clutch varies widely. You may need a new clutch at 50,000 miles or well after 100,000 miles. It depends on how well you maintain this manual transmission part. Ultimate Auto Repair explains that when the clutch begins to go bad, it will produce the following symptoms. You may experience only one or two of the symptoms or all of them depending on the condition of your clutch.

Burning Odors

Burning odors coming from the clutch indicate that it is slipping. In other words, it isn’t staying fully engaged. If you release the clutch completely after engaging it, i.e., you don’t keep your foot on the pedal, yet you still detect burning odors, it’s time to have your clutch inspected and possibly replaced.

Gear Problems

Gear problems will manifest several different ways when you are driving with a bad clutch. You may experience problems getting your vehicle into first gear or your vehicle may slip out of gear. You may also have difficulties shifting through the gear cycle or getting your vehicle into reverse.

Grinding Sounds

If the clutch isn’t fully engaging, you will grind gears. This is because when the clutch is engaged, it transfers the power from your engine to the transmission. If there is still power going to the engine, your gears will grind as you shift them. As you can imagine, this is bad for the gears.


Another sign that your clutch isn’t fully engaging is acceleration hesitation. In other words, the clutch is not successfully transferring power to the transmission to power the drivetrain. Consequently, your vehicle will not pick up speed when you press down on the accelerator. Rather, the acceleration will lag.

High Bite Point

Drivers also report that their clutch gets a higher bite point before it goes bad. What this means is that the catch point at which you shift gears becomes higher than it normally is. Sometimes, we can correct this problem by adjusting the clutch. Otherwise, we will have to replace it.


Finally, a change in the level of resistance that your clutch gives you when you press down on it is also a sign that the clutch is going bad. If the pedal feels spongy or soft underneath your foot, it needs to be replaced. You may also hear squeaking sounds when you depress the clutch.

Ultimate Auto Repair in Jackson, MI, is here to help. Call us today if you believe that your clutch is going out.

Photo by RonBailey from Getty Images SIgnature via Canva Pro

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