Clutch Woes: Why Your Clutch Slips And Makes Noises

24 February 2015
 Categories: , Blog

Slipping and strange noises can indicate common clutch- and transmission-related problems. Do you know what to do when you experience these problems? How about what causes them? Even if you aren't a mechanic and you have no intention of fixing the problem on your own, it is still a good idea to understand what is wrong with your vehicle.

Your Clutch is Slipping

A slipping clutch is one of the more common clutch-related problems. Do you know what it means if your mechanic tells you your clutch is slipping? The purpose of a clutch is to keep your vehicle from jerking forward when you start moving. Once you engage the clutch, it should have a firm hold to prevent this from happening. If it doesn't have a firm hold and you experience a jerk, you have a problem.

The thing to keep in mind is that a small slippage will lead to a larger slippage, as the problem causing your clutch to slip is only going to get worse. This just means the sooner you fix the problem, the better.

The first thing you should consider is when you had the clutch installed. Normal wear and tear can cause a clutch to slip. It is possible your vehicle just needs a new one. An oil leak can also cause a clutch to slip. If your clutch was recently installed, any of these problems could be the cause:

  • Release system adjustments are not right
  • The cable adjuster is defective
  • The clutch master cylinder is blocked
  • A bearing was not properly installed

If your clutch is not new, consider having it replaced and check your vehicle for an oil leak. If the clutch is fairly new, have a mechanic look at the vehicle, as something other part is likely to be causing the clutch to slip.

Squeaks and Growls

Your vehicle is not supposed to squeak and growl at you. If it starts doing that, it could be because your bearings are either worn out or seized up. Your vehicle will start chirping at you if the clutch actuator mechanism is vibrating somewhere because it is loose. A noisy clutch could be a sign of any of the following problems:

  • Defective shaft bearing
  • Misaligned bearing
  • Defective bearing retainer
  • Loose flywheel bolts
  • Worn-out drive shafts
  • Broken cable adjuster

You (or a mechanic) can help hone in on what is causing the noise by putting the vehicle in neutral and starting the engine. You will listen for what the vehicle's noise sounds like and when it makes it. Growling when the clutch is engaged, for example, could mean the transmission input shaft bearing is bad.

Through process of elimination (and the help of a skilled mechanic like S & A Transmission) you can get your clutch fixed and your transmission in top working order.