The clutch on your vehicle experiences normal wear and tear as you drive your car. Some clutches can last less than 30,000 miles while other clutches have been known to last over 200,000 miles. It all depends on how you drive and whether you maintain your clutch properly. In most cases, you cannot expect your clutch to last as long as the vehicle does. At times, you will be required to replace the clutch if you want to continue driving the vehicle. Fortunately, you don't have to guess when it is time to replace it; there are obvious signs that can help you identify problems.
One of the most common ways to tell if your clutch needs to be replaced is when you struggle to shift gears. When you shift from one gear to the next, it should be a smooth process. A clutch that is going bad will struggle to get into gear and may even shake as you shift. You are most likely to experience these shifting issues when you are in first gear and reverse. Anytime your vehicle struggles to shift into the next gear, you want to have the vehicle inspected by your local transmission specialist.
A good way to tell something may be wrong with the clutch is by watching your tachometer. When you see the tachometer making uncontrollable moves, this can often be a sign that something is going on with the clutch. It is important to have someone look at it right away without driving it. Should you continue to drive your vehicle with a bad clutch, you may end up making the issue worse.
If you are mechanically inclined and feel confident working with your car, you can inspect the clutch yourself to see if it is visibly damaged. You also want to check the flywheel as well for damage. Your engine is a good indication of what is going on with your clutch. Listen for strange noises that could be coming from the engine. If you hear odd noises or the engine revs up on its own, this could mean that your clutch needs to be replaced. Identify where the bell housing is and remove the inspection cover so you can get a good look at the clutch. It is normal to see some black dust around the clutch, but you want to look for dents and cracks in the clutch to determine if there is any damage.
For any further questions or to get a repair or inspection, contact an auto shop like S & A Transmission.