Six Signs of a Bad Clutch

Most people drive automatics these days but there are a handful that still love to drive a stick. If you’re one of those persons, or if you drive a vehicle that has a manual transmission because it’s what you bought, your clutch needs preventative maintenance to extend its life. If you fail to maintain it, it will go bad eventually, and Ideal Automotive lists six signs it’s doing so.

Clutch Slippage

Your engine might rev yet your vehicle is going slow. This is what is called clutch slippage. What this means is your clutch isn’t generating the friction it needs to turn its flywheel. Consequently, the flywheel transfers less energy. A damaged or rusted clutch plate will also cause your clutch to slip.

Noisy Neutral

If your clutch’s input shaft bearing is worn or damaged, your vehicle will be abnormally loud when it’s in neutral but will sound normal once you put the transmission in gear. If this is the case, you might need to replace the input shaft bearing to fix the problem.

Chirping or Squealing

If your throwout or pilot bearing is the problem, you’ll hear a chirping or squealing sound each time you depress the clutch pedal. If you bring your vehicle in for service the minute you hear this sound, the parts may be lubricated to help them last longer if they aren’t already worn down.


If you hear grinding when you depress the clutch, your clutch’s release mechanism, pressure plate, or throw-out bearing might be the problem. Your gears are grinding because one of the parts is not releasing it as it should and this can damage your transmission.

Can’t Change Gears

Grinding might be the first sign of serious trouble. Being unable to get your vehicle into gear is another troubling sign. You should be able to get your vehicle into first, second, and so on without issue. You should also be able to put your vehicle in reverse easily.

Noisy Clutch Pedal

This is different from item three on our list. An older pedal might squeak or make other noises when you depress it. This could be a failing clutch fork that is worn and needs to replaced or just needs servicing. It could also be your pedal spring.

Located in Blaine, MN, Ideal Automotive would be happy to inspect your clutch if you’ve noticed any of the above signs of trouble. Stop by our shop or call us today.


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