(overslipping clutch upon acceleration), resting your foot on the clutch pedal while driving, and other driving errors can cause early clutch failure.
When a vehicle enters the shop for clutch troubles, you should test-drive the vehicle. While the vehicle is being test-driven, you should
check the action of the clutch pedal,
listen for unusual noises, and
feel for clutch pedal vibrations.
Gather as much information as you can on the operation of the clutch. Use this information, your knowledge of clutch principles, and a service manual- troubleshooting chart to determine which components are faulty.
There are five types of clutch problems - slipping, grabbing, dragging, abnormal noises, and vibration. It is important to know the symptoms produced by these problems and the parts that might be the cause.
Slipping occurs when the driven disc fails to rotate at the same speed as the driving members when the clutch is fully engaged. This condition results whenever the clutch pressure plate fails to hold the disc tight against the face of the flywheel. If clutch slippage is severe, the engine speed will rise rapidly on acceleration, while the vehicle gradually increases in speed. Slight but continuous slippage may go unnoticed until the clutch facings are ruined by excessive temperature caused by friction.
Normal wear of the clutch lining causes the free travel of the clutch linkage to decrease, creating the need for adjustment. Improper clutch adjustment can cause slippage by keeping the release bearing in contact with the pressure plate in the released position. Even with your foot off the pedal, the release mechanism will act on the clutch fork and release bearing.
Some clutch linkages are designed to allow only enough adjustment to compensate for the lining to wear close to the rivet heads. This prevents damage to the flywheel and pressure plate by the rivets wearing grooves in their smooth surfaces.
Other linkages will allow for adjustment after the disc is worn out. When in doubt whether the disc is worn excessively, remove the inspection cover on the clutch housing and visually inspect the disc.
Binding linkage prevents the pressure plate from exerting its full pressure against the disc, allowing it to slip. Inspect the release mechanism for rusted, bent, misaligned, sticking, or damaged components. Wiggle the release fork to check for free play. These problems result in slippage.
A broken motor mount (engine mount) can cause clutch slippage by allowing the engine to move, binding the clutch linkage. Under load, the engine can lift up in the engine compartment, shifting the clutch linkage and pushing on the release fork.
Grease and oil on the disc will also cause slippage. When this occurs, locate and stop any leakage, thoroughly clean the clutch components, and replace the clutch disc. This is the only remedy.
If clutch slippage is NOT caused by a problem with the clutch release mechanism, then the trouble is normally inside the clutch. You have to remove the transmission and clutch components for further inspection. Internal clutch problems, such as weak springs and bent or improperly adjusted release levers, will prevent the pressure plate from applying even pressure. This condition allows the disc to slip.
To test the clutch for slippage, set the emergency brake and start the engine. Place the transmission or transaxle in high gear. Then try to drive the vehicle forward by slowly releasing the clutch pedal. A clutch in good condition should lock up and immediately kill the engine. A badly slipping clutch may allow the engine to run, even with the clutch pedal fully released. Partial clutch slippage could let the engine run momentarily before stalling.
Never let a clutch slip for more than a second or two. The extreme heat generated by slippage will damage the flywheel and pressure plate faces.
A grabbing or chattering clutch will produce a very severe vibration or jerking motion when the vehicle is accelerated from a standstill. Even when the operator slowly releases the clutch pedal, it will seem like the clutch pedal is being pumped rapidly up and down. A loud bang or chattering may be heard, as the vehicle body vibrates.
Clutch grabbing and chatter is caused by problems with components inside the clutch housing (frictionContinue Reading