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Clutch failure can be extremely costly, and if it happens whilst you are out and about it will leave you stranded and in need of breakdown recovery, which will only add to the cost. Clutch problems ranked third in the RAC’s top 10 breakdown reasons in 2019.

A bit of self-diagnosis can save dividends here, if you have a sneaky suspicion that your clutch is on the way out, you can shop around to get a good price before booking yourself into a garage. If you don’t do this your clutch will go, leaving you high and dry and calling a breakdown recovery company.

The good news is that clutches will often give away a couple of signs before they fail, so knowing these signs can give you something to look out for.

A Slipping Clutch

The first thing to keep an eye out for is clutch slip. If this is happening you will notice that when you select a new gear and release the clutch the engine won’t speed up as quickly as usual. When a clutch is slipping you will also detect an acrid, burning smell, and you might even see smoke.

A Sticking Clutch

The opposite issue to a slipping clutch is when the clutch won’t release from the flywheel. The input shaft to the gearbox will still be turning, and this will make it tricky to get the car into gear. If this is happening you may notice a grinding noise, or you may not be able to get the car into gear at all.

Other Clutch Problems

Sudden clutch failure can also be caused by problems with the pressure plates that push the friction plate onto the flywheel. If the springs behind these plates fail you might feel the clutch pedal go very heavy, and then you’ll lose the ability to drive, and you will need to call a Greater London Towing.

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