Symptoms of a Bad Clutch - AxleAddict - A community of car lovers, enthusiasts, and mechanics sharing our auto advice
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Symptoms of a Bad Clutch

Dan Ferrell writes about do-it-yourself car maintenance and repair. He has certifications in automation and control technology.

A bad clutch disc can cause several symptoms.

A bad clutch disc can cause several symptoms.

Bad clutch symptoms come in different forms—from odd sounds, to poor performance, to mechanical problems. The source of any of these symptoms can be hard to recognize.

Signs That Your Clutch May Be Going Bad

Problems with the clutch disc itself or its related parts can cause many symptoms.

  • Your car may function poorly: it may start out slowly even though the engine is racing. Or it may be hard to get the car into reverse, or into gear at all.
  • Noises may indicate a problem: your clutch pedal may make noise, or your transmission may make noise when the car is in neutral. You may hear squealing or growling when you push the pedal or grinding sounds when you shift gears.
  • The pedal may give you a clue: it may vibrate, chatter, or pulsate, be stiff and hard to push, fall to the floor and stay there, or feel loosely connected or "spongy."

Below, I discuss all these symptoms and tests you can do yourself to diagnose them.

A Word About Your Clutch

The clutch assembly contains several components that wear down with use and others that require regular maintenance; so sooner or later can start to give you trouble. Depending on your model, the basic components may include the following:

  • the clutch disc itself
  • release mechanism (mechanical or hydraulic)
  • cable
  • linkage
  • pressure plate
  • flywheel
  • pilot bearing
  • release (throw-out) bearing
  • clutch fork

A clutch can last 50,000 to 100,000 miles (depending on make and model), but clutch service life is greatly affected by stop-and-go city driving, frequent pulling of heavy loads, and "riding the clutch" (resting your foot on the clutch pedal while moving down the road).

And when your clutch fails, it can be difficult to find the cause. But usually, paying attention to tell-tale signs like noises, clutch pedal behavior, and clutch performance will help you locate the likely source.

Using those symptoms, this guide helps you diagnose the most common clutch problems so that you can make an informed decision about your repair. Look for your question below.

A worn out clutch disc can slow you down in traffic.

A worn out clutch disc can slow you down in traffic.

1. My Car Starts Out Slowly but My Engine Races

This is known as clutch slippage. As you release the clutch pedal and accelerate, the vehicle moves slowly while the engine races, usually in high gear.

Slipping is common when a clutch disc is worn out. With the friction material almost worn away, the clutch disc has less surface with which to grip the flywheel and pressure plate, making it hard for the engine to transfer rotating power to the transmission.

Another symptom you'll notice is the clutch releasing sooner, without much pressure on the clutch pedal.

But there are other common causes for a slipping clutch, besides a worn-out disc:

  • Clutch linkage in need of adjustment
  • Clutch linkage or cable binding (cable housing filled with rust)
  • Clutch linkage bent, misaligned, or damaged
  • Blocked master cylinder compensation port
  • Pressure plate weakened or warped
  • Clutch assembly contaminated with oil (because an engine or transmission oil seal is leaking)
  • Broken motor mount

Note: If you just replaced the clutch (assuming that everything was reinstalled correctly), you may need to give the new clutch time to fully seat. Usually, you need to go easy on the clutch for the first 200 miles.

Is Your Clutch Slipping? A Simple Test

To find out if your clutch is slipping, park in an area with enough space in front of you, away from traffic and people.

  • Start the engine and engage the emergency brake.
  • Depress the clutch pedal.
  • Shift into second or third gear and rev the engine to about 2500 rpm.
  • Slowly release the clutch pedal.

As the clutch engages the flywheel and pressure plate, the engine should stall. If the engine doesn't stall, then the clutch is slipping.

Watch the video below.

2. It's Hard to Get Into Reverse

Clutch problems can also prevent you from getting into or out of reverse or third gear.

A stuck gear may indicate problems with the linkage adjustment, a linkage malfunction, or a warped or damaged clutch plate.

3. I Can't Get My Transmission Into Gear

On a hydraulic system, failure to get into gear may be a sign of low fluid level, problems with the master or slave cylinder or both. Usually, this is accompanied by a change in the way the clutch pedal feels: spongy, loose, or not catching as before.

On a mechanical system, you may be having problems with the clutch disc or pressure plate, release lever, release bearing, shift lever assembly, or control cable.

Worn synchronizers can also cause this problem.

Bad Bushing or Pilot Bearing Symptoms

A bad or failing bushing or pilot bearing may cause problems similar to those caused by other transmission or clutch problems. So make sure to check the bushing or pilot bearing if your transmission exhibits one of the following symptoms:

  • noisy
  • stuck in gear
  • pops out of gear
  • vibrates
  • hard to shift gears
A weakened pressure plate can prevent the clutch from engaging.

A weakened pressure plate can prevent the clutch from engaging.

1. My Clutch Pedal Makes Noises

With the engine off, you can hear a noise when you depress the clutch pedal or release it, or both. Usually, the noise comes from the clutch release mechanism.

The release device can be hydraulic (as in many modern vehicles) or mechanical. The device is likely to become noisy as lubricant dries out and the mechanism wears down. A cable, rod or connection may begin to scrape, squeal, or clunk.

First, you need to locate the source of the noise with the help of an assistant.

  • With the engine off, have your assistant work the clutch pedal.
  • Open the hood and use a mechanic's stethoscope or a length of rubber hose (a vacuum hose will do) to listen closely along the release mechanism.

Your vehicle repair manual (Haynes is a good aftermarket manual) can help you locate components.

2. My Transmission Makes Noises in Neutral

If the car is noisy when the transmission is in neutral, but the noise goes away when you depress the clutch pedal, it's possible the noise is coming from a worn-out input shaft bearing.

3. I Hear Squeals or Growls When I Push the Pedal

As you begin to disengage the clutch—that is, as you start pressing the clutch pedal—you may hear a squealing or chirping noise. This usually points to problems with the release (throw-out) bearing. The release bearing can be worn out, the internal lubricant dried out, or the bearing itself damaged.

Another potential source of trouble is a crankshaft pilot bearing. A pilot bearing that is worn out or damaged can squeal or grind when the clutch pedal reaches the floor. This is because the pilot bearing leaves a gap large enough for the transmission input shaft and clutch disc to vibrate.

So you can tell whether the release bearing or the pilot bearing is the source of the noise. A bad release bearing will start squealing or chirping with a slight depression of the clutch pedal, or before it's fully depressed; a bad pilot bearing will start squealing or grinding as the pedal reaches the floor.

So check the pilot bearing carefully if the clutch release bearing seems in good condition.

4. I Hear Grinding When Shifting Gears

This problem is known as a dragging clutch. It happens when the friction or clutch disc remains engaged or stuck, so the transmission input shaft keeps spinning even when you fully depress the clutch pedal. Since the input shaft is still spinning, trying to shift gears, specially into reverse, will cause them to clash or grind.

  • This grinding may point to any number of problems: problems with the pressure plate, throw-out bearing, or release mechanism. On a mechanical release system, the cable may be broken, frozen, overstretched, or in need of adjustment (consult your vehicle repair manual). On a hydraulic-type system, grinding may indicate problems with the clutch master cylinder (low fluid, or air in the system or the internal cylinder mechanism).
  • Another possibility you want to look into is the clutch pedal assembly. The pedal may have too much free travel and will need adjustment (consult your vehicle repair manual).
The clutch pedal also has ways of letting you know that your clutch is bad.

The clutch pedal also has ways of letting you know that your clutch is bad.

1. My Clutch Chatters When I Accelerate

This clutch problem makes the pedal vibrate or, if the problem is severe enough, makes the car jerk during acceleration. The vibration comes from the clutch disc intermittently losing its grip on the flywheel.

Possible causes of vibrating or chattering include:

  • Clutch disc lining (friction material) worn out
  • Clutch disc lining burnt or contaminated with oil
  • Clutch disc glazed
  • Clutch disc hub with worn out splines
  • Warped pressure plate or flywheel
  • Pressure plate diaphragm spring weakened or with broken fingers (bouncing)
  • Binding clutch linkage (a stuck release bearing or binding linkage may weaken or damage the diaphragm spring)
  • Pressure plate with hot spots
  • Pilot bearing worn out or damaged
  • Flywheel worn out

Note: Before you go to the trouble of dropping the transmission, make sure to check the engine and transmission motor mounts, because motor mounts can also be the source of chatter. Check the mounts for cracks, damage, or loose bolts.

Also, check that the transmission is correctly aligned with relation to the engine. The transmission clutch housing should be resting fully against the engine; otherwise, this can cause vibration and lead to damage to the clutch disc lining and torsion springs.

A Simple Clutch Chatter Test

  • Park in an area with no traffic and no people around the vehicle.
  • Engage the emergency brake.
  • Start the engine.
  • Fully depress the clutch pedal.
  • Race the engine to about 2000 rpm.
  • Slowly release the clutch pedal.

You should feel the clutch pedal vibrate as the clutch starts to engage the flywheel (engine). If you don't, the clutch disc is not the source of the vibration.

2. My Clutch Pedal Pulsates

A clutch pedal may pulsate because a rotating part is wobbling or vibrating inside the transmission. The pulsation may be caused by a warped flywheel, or by a release lever that needs adjustment or is damaged.

Note: If the pulsation or vibration started after servicing the transmission (the transmission was dropped or just separated from the engine for inspection), it is possible the transmission housing is improperly aligned with the engine.

Clutch release bearing and input shaft.

Clutch release bearing and input shaft.

3. My Clutch Pedal Is Hard to Push

A clutch pedal that's hard to push or "stiff" may point to problems with the release mechanism (or the hydraulic system, on modern vehicles). Release mechanism components to check include the cable, linkage, clutch fork, pressure plate, and throw-out bearing.

Check for a part that is in need of lubrication or worn out. Consult your vehicle repair manual for the maintenance service the system needs.

4. My Clutch Pedal Stays on the Floor

Just like a stiff pedal, a clutch pedal that stays on the floor can point to problems with the linkage or release bearing. Either component may bind.

Check that the springs in the linkage are not over-stretched. You may need to adjust the linkage. Also, check that the pedal stop is in place, and, if necessary, inspect the release bearing.

Also, If your vehicle comes with a hydraulic system, check fluid level:

  • If fluid level is correct, there could be an internal leak in the master cylinder.
  • If fluid level is low, check for a leak at the master cylinder or slave cylinder.

5. My Clutch Pedal Feels Loose

If your clutch pedal feels loose:

  • Check the release bearing or fork for damage.
  • Check for a broken cable.
  • Check for a failure of the pressure-plate diaphragm spring.

If you have a hydraulic release mechanism, check for:

  • Low fluid in the reservoir
  • Leaking hose or pipe
  • Leaking connection
  • Master cylinder, center valve seal fault
  • Master cylinder, piston primary seal leak

Consult your vehicle repair manual.

6. My Clutch Pedal Feels Spongy

A spongy clutch pedal (where the resistance fades as you press down on the pedal) usually shows up in a clutch system with a hydraulic release mechanism. Check the hydraulic system for air.

Many Different Sources of Clutch Problems

To sum up, bad clutch problems can be as varied as the parts in the clutch assembly. Problems may come from small components like bushings, pilot bearings, springs, screws, dowels; large parts like the clutch disc, flywheel, pressure plate, or release bearing; or even problems in the drive train or chassis. The symptoms outlined here just touch on the most common problems and some potential sources. Still, this list represents a good start in your diagnostic procedure when facing problems with your clutch.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

Question: Once my car is warm, it is hard to push the shifter into first gear and then reverse. Are my attempts at putting my car in reverse grinding the gears?

Answer: I've known about this problem in hydraulic systems. If you have this type, try bleeding the system and see if that helps.

Question: What does it mean when the rpms rev up, in all gears, and the car won't go?

Answer: Probably a problem with the transmission itself, but make sure to check the oil level. In some cases, this could mean a problem with the speed sensor.

Question: I just got a 2002 Honda Civic LX, 4 cylinders. It was shifting into every gear just fine until it stalled the other day and whenever I turned the car back on the check engine light was on. And now I can't even go into 5th gear or reverse. And I'm having trouble getting it into 1st-4th as well. What could be the cause?

Answer: Download the trouble codes. That could give you a clue about the problem. It seems like you may have a problem with the clutch linkage or the shift rail. They may be binding. Check to see if you can adjust the clutch first, though. You may need your vehicle repair manual for this.

Question: I cannot fully depress my clutch and thus couldn't get into any gears. I had to free wheel in neutral. Do you think it is the thrust bearing?

Answer: It sounds like a throw-out bearing problem.

Question: I have a 05 Chevy Silverado. When I back up and then put the truck into first gear 8/10 times, it will kick out of first. Also while driving down the road if I do not hold the shifter in 5th gear, it will kick out also....and on top of that I have to slam it into gears at a time. Is it a bad clutch or bad transmission?

Answer: Sometimes, the problem is with the linkage (check for adjustment), but it can also mean problems with the transmission - worn bearings, shift rails, synchronizers, or problems with clutch gears.

Just out of curiosity, make sure motor and transmission mounts are good. I've seen bad mounts mess up, especially with 1st and 5th.

Question: The reverse in my car is sometimes hard to get in, but in any gear when I accelerate or decelerate it makes this grinding noise. What could this be?

Answer: Make sure first the transmission has enough lubricant. This can be a linkage or cable binding problem. If the transmission has been abused, or you have an old model, the gearshift components or synchronizers may be worn.

Question: I feel a vibration in my 2002 Nissan Frontier in 4th gear. I did feel this before and I still had the chatter/rattle at idle in neutral that went away when I disengaged the clutch. My truck uses a pilot bushing in the crankshaft rather than the common roller bearing in the flywheel. Do you think that this could be pointing to a contributing factor on why I hear this rattle/chatter in neutral? Maybe the flywheel or clutch is out of tolerance and not perpendicular with the spline shaft?

Answer: This problem is more commonly associated with a bearing or gear worn or damaged. This includes output shaft bearing. But low or contaminated lubrication can also cause this issue.

Question: When shifting into 4th (and sometimes 3rd) there is bad grinding and the clutch does not engage. I can still use R, 1,2,5 & 6 with no issues. I still have power train warranty but afraid dealer may say it is clutch which is not covered (only 1yr 12K). Thoughts?

Answer: The grinding noise usually comes from a gear-set that remains partially engaged and another set trying to turn the output shaft. This may happen because of a clutch in need of adjustment or a clutch or gearshift linkage binding.

However, since you are having problems with 4th gear and sometimes 3rd, I’d be suspicious of a worn or bad blocking ring in the synchronizer. Both of these gears share the same synchro.

Another remote possibility, if you replaced the transmission oil, you may have used the wrong type.

Question: I have a 2013 Dodge Dart. I can shift into all gears without the clutch but the vehicle doesn't move, no grinding noise at all. Is this symptomatic of a bad clutch?

Answer: You probably have a worn out clutch; it seems to be slipping.

Question: My clutch stuck to the floor, but I managed to get it home. I called green flag and they suspected a master cylinder fault, so we changed it. However, it struggles to get into 1st or reverse when the engine is warm. If I hold the clutch for more then seven seconds the clutch stays on the floor! If the engine is off, the gears shift find and the pedal kicks back up. It’s fine in 2-6. We bled the clutch and brakes after the cylinder change. Do you have any idea what it may be?

Answer: Hard shifting into first and reverse is “common” in some transmission, but this may also happen when the transmission motor mounts allow the transmission to shift position concerning the engine. They are not properly aligned. So check the mounts and transmission alignment.

Also, there are usually four items that may prevent a clutch pedal form springing back to position:

a bad master cylinder, problems with the slave cylinder, broken clutch linkage, and a failed clutch release bearing.

Question: “Worn or bad blocking ring in the synchronizer” Are these parts considered part of the transmission (which is covered by warranty) or part of the clutch (which is not and I’ll have to pay for)?

Answer: This is part of the transmission.

Question: I have a 93 F350. Backing my camper up a slight hill or taking off on a slight hill makes the engine want to stall as if it doesn’t have enough power to do so. What could be the problem?

Answer: Check the ignition, make sure you have good spark - also, the cat could be clogged.

Question: Can the input shaft bearing sound like a single pebble bouncing up against the metal walls? I know a bad CAT has the sound of multiple pebbles bouncing around because the CAT is clogged.

Answer: A bad input shaft bearing usually makes a rough, growling noise. You'll be able to hear it in neutral with the engine running.

Question: My clutch is making a grinding, squealing noise if I let off the gas too fast while driving. What could be the problem?

Answer: This sounds similar to an issue with a rear differential. It can be confused with a bad clutch. If your vehicle has a bad clutch, check that; perhaps it's a bad pinion bearing.

Question: I heard a pop when I pressed the clutch pedal down and since then the pedal has been spongy but it’s still functioning properly. it doesn’t slip or grind when going into gear, and the slave cylinder and master cylinder are functioning properly before I pull the transmission. Do you have an idea of what it might be?

Answer: It sounds like one of the cylinders in the master cylinder might have problems. Check first the assembly between the pedal and the master cylinder, and take a close look at the master cylinder.

Question: When I’m coasting at lower speeds, then touch my accelerator, my truck sometimes jerks. Almost like something is grabbing it, then letting go. I slow down with the brakes and it typically goes away. What would cause my truck to jerk like this?

Answer: This could be due to an ignition or fuel system in need of maintenance. Check spark plugs and wires; check for clogging fuel injectors or an issue in the fuel system.

Question: I just replaced the pre-bled clutch master and slave cylinder assembly in my car. Why will the clutch still not engage?

Answer: This usually happens when one of the lines clogs, causing some residual pressure to remain on the release bearing and this in contact with the pressure plate. You may also want to check the pedal and release assembly for binding or need of adjustment.

Question: I can't drive up a steep hill. Can this be a cause of a worn out clutch?

Answer: It is possible but you can also have a clogged fuel filter, partially clogged fuel injectors, bad ignition system components (coils, spark plugs, spark plug wires), clogged cat converter.

If your engine has high mileage, compression could be low.

Question: Upon Shifting gears, my car is so jerky. Is something wrong, or do I just not know drive to drive it yet? It’s a new used car, and I do know how to drive a clutch.

Answer: If you know the car was running good, you probably need to learn how to work the clutch. There're some youtube videos that can help you here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iW2Q7lIxrRo.

Question: My car only shifts gears when it's switched off. When I switch it on, it doesn't shift at all. What could cause my car to be able to shift only when it's off?

Answer: Usually, bad synchronizers will give you hard shifting. If this happens only after starting the engine, the clutch could be responsible.

Question: I Have a 1984 Datsun Sentra. When the car is off, the shifting and clutch pedal is okay. But when I turn the car on, it’s hard to get into 1st and grinds when I put it in reverse. Also, when I’m driving, it runs smoothly, but when I’m in neutral is hard to put it into first gear. What do you think could be the problem?

Answer: There could be several possibilities here. Check the engine and motor mounts. Sometimes a cracked or broken mount can affect first and reverse gears. The master cylinder can be worn; or air between the clutch master and slave cylinders.

Question: I was driving last week and as I took a turn I heard a banging noise and afterward the car didn't want to drive further, even though I can still easily change gears. I am driving a 2012 Chevy Aveo 1.6 manual transmission. What do you think the problem could be?

Answer: Check the fluid level, make sure there’s enough. But probably the shifter or linkage isn’t connected, may be that’s the bang that you heard. See if you can check from inside; remove the shift boot. You’ll probably need to check the shifter assembly. If isn't accessible from inside, you’ll need to lift the vehicle.

Question: When first starting my truck in the morning, I have to push my clutch all the way to the floor. I do not have an override. After it warms up it is easy to switch into any gear without going all the way to the floorboard. The fluid reservoir is full and there are no leaks that I can see. Do I have air in the system?

Answer: This could be a problem with the seals in the clutch master cylinder. They may prevent enough pressure buildup to disengage or engage the clutch if they shrink while cold, allowing fluid to leak internally. Once they warm up, they expand and begin to work properly, and pressure normalizes. You may need to replace the master cylinder.

Question: Why did the clutch pedal of my 2007 Mazda6 sink to the floor and never come back up?

Answer: There could be several reasons for this like air in the lines, clutch release bearing issues, or a bad slave cylinder. Check the fluids first.

Question: When I push my clutch pedal down my car runs different and it can’t get into gear, what could be the problem?

Answer: It's possible the clutch needs adjustment or the clutch assembly is too worn.

Question: Is it possible my clutch is wearing out when sometimes, right after I shift and start to accelerate, the vehicle jerks or lurches slightly?

Answer: It is possible, but a worn flywheel, pilot bearing or pressure plate issues can cause this problem. Also, if there’s a vacuum leak, you can sometimes feel the same symptom.

Question: I have a 2009 Honda Accord. The manual transmission was replaced with a reconditioned one, but it is unable to go into gear when idling. What should I do?

Answer: The problem could be in the hydraulic system. Check that there’s enough fluid, also.

Question: My Pajero Sport was jumping and vibrating as I came to a red light. I haven't been able to get into gear while the engines running since. I can move off if I start in 1st but not while in neutral while running. I checked the slave cylinder and it's working properly. Would this indicate the plate is gone?

Answer: Check the transmission mounts. A bad, loose or cracked mount can cause the transmission to vibrate and prevent engaging into gear. Also, take a look at the shift linkage.

Question: While I hold down my clutch pedal to the floor and the car is in gear, after about 10 seconds the clutch wants to engage. If it’s quick, I have no problems. What would make that happen?

Answer: It's possible that there's something wrong with the springs.

Question: My MG3 clutch pedal doesn't return quickly when depressed, but this only happens after the car has been driven for a few minutes. When the car is cold, the clutch is normal. It's only a problem with the pedal. There is no problem with changing the gears and no noises. What is this likely to be?

Answer: You may need to bleed the system, but it could be a problem with the master cylinder and/or slave.

Question: What should you do if your truck motor is racing like you are on the gas but you're not and the clutch is engaged?

Answer: Check first the idle air control motor (IAC); check operation (direct battery voltage) or with a multimeter. A common issue is carbon buildup inside the solenoid and passages.

Question: There is an airy sound when driving and, as soon as the clutch is in, it stops. And I ask, why?

Answer: It seems like the sound of a worn out clutch release bearing. But get a diagnostic from an experienced shop before making any repair decisions. Make sure the noise is coming from the transmission.

Question: I’m going downhill on neutral at a 70mph roll and when I try to throw my car into 5th gear it’s really difficult to put into gear. Is it possible that the clutch is bad?

Answer: Going downhill in neutral is not safe. Do so in gear. You can have the clutch pedal depressed, ready to slow down to prevent gaining too much speed by letting off the clutch. It prevents brake overheat. Anyway, try shifting into 4th gear and see if it shifts. Otherwise, there possibly could be a problem with the sleeves or hubs.

Question: My clutch is spongy and my car wont start, could these issues be related?

Answer: It's possible. You may need to purge the hydraulic system, it this it the type of system you got. Check for clutch adjustment and the master cylinder, if necessary, depending on your application. Also, a no starting issue with the clutch is the neutral safety switch. This wouldn't cause the pedal to feel spongy but would prevent you from starting the engine.

Question: I have a 2005 Toyota Corolla. The clutch squeaks when releasing the clutch while going into gear, mainly going into 1st, 3rd and 5th. It won’t squeak though if I shift at higher RPM’s and release the clutch slowly. Is this squeaky clutch a must fix now? Can my clutch do damage to the transmission if I don’t fix it and be more costly down the line?

Answer: It seems like the pilot bushing is wearing out. It's better to get a good diagnostic. If the bushing fails, it may eventually fail to release the clutch, cause vibration and probably failure of the transmission.

Question: When starting driving, the clutch pedal is fully depressed but it is very difficult to engage 1st gear. What clutch fault makes it hard to engage first gear?

Answer: Check the linkage first. If the problem appeared gradually, this could be a wearing or damage issue. For example, gearshift lever, shift rail, synchronizer sleeves or hubs.

Question: When I accelerate, I feel a kick-out movement in front under my truck. Is my transmission bad? My mounts also feel bad even though they were replaced.

Answer: It's possible, but a common source of such problems are the U-joints and wheel bearing, or low or contaminated transmission fluid. Check these first before blaming the transmission.

Question: There’s a grinding noise upon starting, though the clutch/gears work OK. But the car runs like it's in 4WD even in 2WD mode. What could be the problem with my car's clutch?

Answer: There could be a problem with the shift motor. Try hitting the motor with a hammer. This may correct the problem for a while. If it does, you may need to replace it.

Question: My car is losing power and the gears seem to be misaligned, what could be the problem?

Answer: Make sure there's enough oil, otherwise the linkage may need adjustment or the clutch could be worn.

Question: How can I tell what caused the heat spots around the clutch? I don’t think it was driver style.

Answer: Other than driver style, the most common causes are a binding linkage, oil or grease contamination, or bad clutch adjustment.

Question: I have a ‘07 VW Jetta, and the only gear I have is reverse. And that's only when I manually engage under the hood, while the car is running. Clutch pedal seems fine, but I can't get or find any other gear. I had issues with the linkage before and was adjusting it myself. But over time, slowly lost gears. Now I have none. Also, the check engine light came on after smelling a burning clutch really bad. And then after that totally lost gears. What could this be?

Answer: Probably the release bearing was too close or touching the pressure plate release lever when the clutch was engaged. This is usually due to a maladjusted clutch linkage. Lack of clearance accelerates clutch plate, pressure plate and release bearing plate.

Question: I had a new clutch kit fitted and slave cylinder. Now I heard a noise setting off uphill. What could be the problem?

Answer: If the noise is in the transmission area, and assuming a proper installation, there could be a problem with the clutch release and input bearings, pilot bearing or bushing.

Question: I have a 2007 Mazda 6 6MT. Lately, I started to feel the clutch pedal vibrating with high frequency during operation, and leaving a "tingling" sensation in my left foot after some time of driving in urban areas. I have had the same thing in my E46 320i before. It is not normal, as I do not feel it in other cars I have driven. The clutch seems to engage/disengage quite normally. What could be the cause?

Answer: Misalignment usually causes this type of problem. Check first the bell housing; then you'll have to inspect the flywheel. Other potential problems could be the clutch disc and pressure plate, or problem with the release levers as well.

Question: I have 1993 Ford Ranger 4x4 and the clutch doesn't take until the pedal is almost all the way out. What might be the issue?

Answer: If the clutch has been catching like that since the clutch disc was installed, there might not be a problem. You may find a clutch that grabs just at a 1/4" of travel when releasing the pedal; another may catch a 1/4" from the top.

On the other hand, you may want to check your clutch pedal adjustment (see the vehicle repair manual for your particular model, if necessary). It can also be a problem with a clutch master or slave cylinder.

Also, check for a slipping clutch.

https://axleaddict.com/auto-repair/Clutch-Slippage...

Head over to section 4, clutch slippage test.

Question: My 2005 Cobalt SS runs and idles but when I try to put it in first it won't go anywhere. All the other gears seem to work fine with or without the use of the clutch. There are no grinding noises. What's going on?

Answer: Try, carefully, pushing the car in neutral. If it won't move, then the issue is with the brakes. If it moves, lift the front wheels and see if they spin. If they don't, then there's a problem with the transmission. It could be locked up.

Question: I have a 2009 Jetta. When the clutch pedal is all the way to the floor it makes a noise. When released just an inch or two it does not make a noise. Everything else seems fine. What could cause it?

Answer: Probably the release bearing is going bad. If you depress the pedal all the way to the floor, shifting to Neutral, you can hear it, most likely is the release bearing.

Question: I shift into second and hear a clunking noise, buts it’s only when I go from 1st to 2nd gear. Can anyone help?

Answer: Check the transmission and motor mounts. Sometimes a cracked or loose mount will cause the transmission to make a clunking noise. Also, it's possible the 2nd gear synchronizer ring is bad. You may try changing the fluid. If you see a lot of golden metal dust, that's probably coming from the syncro.

Question: When I slip my clutch under load, it makes a loud whirring noise until it's fully engaged. When I'm slowly releasing the clutch, it doesn't make a sound. Is it my pilot bearing?

Answer: It seems like there's a problem with the release bearing.

Question: I have a 2001 Nissan Sentra with a manual transmission and is front wheel drive. I recently found my car stripped of all 4 tires and had to replace them. After replacing the wheels my car will go into gears but will not move. It tries to inch forward and even tries to go in reverse. The gears are definitely engaging because there was power going to wheels and I could also get it to stall while in gear. What could be the problem?

Answer: Sorry to hear about your stolen tires. If the transmission seems to be working fine, and the car feels like it wants to move, the problem could be a seized brake caliper(s), damage to the CV joints or shafts.

Question: Any advice on why my clutch won't engage with the motor running? It will start in gear but move even with the clutch pressed, and makes a grinding noise when attempting to shift.

Answer: You may be dealing with a dragging clutch. Check this other post:

https://axleaddict.com/auto-repair/Clutch-Drag-and...

Hope this helps.

© 2017 Dan Ferrell

Comments

Dan Ferrell (author) on August 10, 2020:

If your particular clutch operates through a cable, check that the cable is not rubbing against the firewall. If you have a hydraulic system, check for leaks; also check the clutch linkage. The fault can be in the slave or master cylinder. Hope this helps.

neil on August 10, 2020:

when I push my clutch pedal it does not return to its position, I have replaced the master cylinder and bled the system but it is still happening what can cause this?

Dan Ferrell (author) on August 05, 2020:

You may want to check first the engine and transmission mounts. This may lead sometimes to clutch chatter.

Also, chatter may happen because of fluid or oil leaks. The fluid may affect the pressure plate and clutch friction material. Leaks may come from the engine rear seal, transmission input shaft seal, a hydraulic line or slave cylinder. Hope this helps.

Chris Montemurno on August 04, 2020:

My transmission chatters when in neutral and goes away when I press in the clutch. I think it’s the input shaft bearing. The clutch shrieks when taking off in first gear slowly sometimes. Now when the car is warm and has been driving for awhile the front end growls only when in first gear and making a turn/ uturn. What do you think the growling/ whining sound is? The sound goes away if I press in the clutch while turning..

Dan Ferrell (author) on July 28, 2020:

You may be refereeing to clutch chatter. You may notice some shaking as the clutch engages.

+ Start the engine and depress the clutch completely.

+ Shift into first gear and bring engine speed to about 1500 rmp.

+ Slowly begin to release the clutch pedal but don't release it completely. You may notice some shaking.

If this happens, check the engine and motor mounts.

Also, chatter can occur from fluid leaking onto the clutch disc friction material. This may come from oil (input shaft seal), clutch fluid (slave cylinder, hydraulic line).

Hope this helps.

Rodrigo Fajardo on July 27, 2020:

Hi man, my Subaru Impreza '98 manual transmission, 170.000Km clutch made the car vibrate when getting out of the clutch pedal, so got repaired by replacing friction material in the clutch wheel, all other parts were ok but. It still vibrates but just a bit a bit in 1st gear.

Dan Ferrell (author) on July 14, 2020:

You seem to have a slipping clutch. Take a look at this other post. it probably help you diagnose the problem:

https://axleaddict.com/auto-repair/Clutch-Slippage...

Hope this helps.

robert raymer on July 13, 2020:

My clutch pedal releases when it's almost all the way up. When it engages my engine races. I'm thinking flywheel and pressure plate along with clutch replacement. Am I correct with my issues? It's a 2003 pt cruiser

Dan Ferrell (author) on May 04, 2020:

In general, this can happen on a worn out clutch. But you may also be dealing with other problems. If your model uses a hydraulic system, make sure there's enough fluid, and check the master and slave cylinder, if necessary. In other systems, check the control cable, adjustment (on some model) or the mechanical linkage from the pedal to the clutch. Go over the post and see if you recognize other symptoms like noise and pedal issues. Hope this helps.

reginald vanderhorst on May 02, 2020:

I have a vehicle that the clutch will not engage when you shift into a gear .What could the problem be?

Dan Ferrell (author) on April 27, 2020:

Reverse usually becomes noisy when the idler gear wears out, problems with countershaft bearings or bushings wear. When the shifters gets stuck in a gear, check the shifter assembly and linkage. There could be a problem with bushings, shifter arms or a need of linkage adjustment. These are the most common but other mechanical issues can also cause trouble. Hope this helps.

Irfan nazeer wani on April 27, 2020:

I heard noise when i engage reverse gear and stuck while shifting from ist to 2nd or vice versa

Dan Ferrell (author) on April 13, 2020:

Your clutch might be dragging. This other post may help:

https://axleaddict.com/auto-repair/Clutch-Drag-and...

Darryl shelton on April 12, 2020:

Car starts and moves despite pushing in clutch,makes grinding noise when attempting to push in clutch and put in gear after starting in neutral

Dan Ferrell (author) on March 03, 2020:

The problem could be with the release bearing. Check this other post, it may help you locate the source of the noise:

https://axleaddict.com/auto-repair/Manual-Transmis...

Natalio Guido on March 02, 2020:

Hello,

bought a jeep Cherokee 91 sport. Apparently the clutch assembly has been replaced 2 years ago. car shifts perfect, however whenever i press the clutch pedal down and give it some gas (bring RPMs up) it starts to grind until i release the pedal. happens to me with shifter in gear or in neutral. what is it, i wouldn't want to replace a new clutch assembly.

Dan Ferrell (author) on February 28, 2020:

It's probably the release bearing. These other two post may also help:

https://axleaddict.com/auto-repair/Manual-Transmis...

https://axleaddict.com/auto-repair/Clutch-Slippage...

fredapaiva on February 28, 2020:

Everytime I press the clutch of my 2009 Mazda 2 genki hatchback in order to change the gear especially to put it into reverse, I hear a squeeling noise. Im guessing it must be the a bearing that's gone bad. Not sure but it was slipping a couple of months before and also made a 'click' sound everytime I pressed down on the clutch.

Dan Ferrell (author) on December 11, 2019:

Bad motor mounts can also make it hard to shift into gear if the engine and transmission are not aligned. So it'll be a good idea to check those first.

Christ on December 11, 2019:

My engine shakes at highway speeds in high gears. But once i put it in neutral the shaking goes away, I'm thinking it's the mounts but I do also have a ruff time getting into gear as a whole other then that no pedal issues or noises. I'm in an VW MK4 golf 1.8t 5-speed manual transmission.

Dan Ferrell (author) on December 10, 2019:

The clutch might be slipping. It probably needs adjustment. Check the hydraulic system. This other post may help:

https://axleaddict.com/auto-repair/Clutch-Slippage...

Sneedy on December 09, 2019:

I changed a clutch and also pressure for a toyota conquest but the car has no power to spin what could be the cause?

Dan Ferrell (author) on October 21, 2019:

Problems in some systems or sensor like the evaporative emissions control system, fuel system and throttle position sensor may cause this problem. Scan for trouble codes and have the fuel system (correct fuel pressure) and ignition system (good spark) checked, if necessary. This other post may give you an idea about this type of problem:

https://axleaddict.com/auto-repair/Engine-Rough-Id...

Piet morolong on October 21, 2019:

hi, I have Fiat uno the clutch is too soft and a car vibrates when I start it and it goes off what can be the problem?

Dan Ferrell (author) on September 17, 2019:

Hard to tell without a proper diagnostic, but it's possible the clutch is slipping. Check this other post. It may help:

https://axleaddict.com/auto-repair/Clutch-Slippage...

Godfrey on September 17, 2019:

Sir i have a jetta 4 2.0 fuel,2004 model it stucked yesterday along the road it starts selects gear very smothly but it doesn't move,what mayb the cause

Dan Ferrell (author) on July 13, 2019:

Try shifting with the engine off and see if you still have the same problem. If shifting gets easier, there's a mechanical problem with the clutch that needs to be diagnosed. If you still feel the same problem, check the sifter and linkage, there could be a problem in that area. Hope this helps.

JJ in KK on July 13, 2019:

My clutch has started to feel stiff but only when downshifting from 5/6th. No matter what lower gear I select from 5th or 6th the pedal is stiff. Otherwise it's fine, no issues upshifting, no issues going from 3 to 2 to 1.

Dan Ferrell (author) on April 29, 2019:

Check the clutch cable and push rod connections. Something in the linkage may have failed. If your model has a hydraulic system, check the clutch master and slave cylinder.

Johannes on April 28, 2019:

I'm driving golf mk1 1.8 carburetor 5 speed. The car does not get to gears when the engine is running, just changed the clutch kit, reales bearing and the push rod still the car does not clutch. When i press the clutch pedal its loose goes straight to the floor.

Dan Ferrell (author) on April 04, 2019:

Probably the engine and/or transmision mounts are loose or damaged. That'll cause the engine/transmission to twist and, sometime, cause damage.

John on April 03, 2019:

while I was about to put my hyundai accent into reverse, I heard squinking sound and the timing chain cover broke, the engine shift forward and damaged some other things in the vehicle.

Dan Ferrell (author) on March 25, 2019:

It could be a problem with the linkage or an adjustment issue. Plate not engaging until the pedal is completely release.

Samson on March 25, 2019:

I use a nissan primera old model car. When i engage the car, d car wont move until i release d clutch totally. Also d car give a sound like an automatic while trying to accelarate. I just change the clutch plate nd pressure plate recently. What could the problem be pls?

Dan Ferrell (author) on February 22, 2019:

Probably the clutch linkage needs adjustment. The release bearing is too close to the pressure plate release levers. That's why you hear the weird noise. Check the linkage, and see if you can adjust it.

Casey meadows on February 22, 2019:

I have a 2000 Nissan Maxima. I put a new clutch and throw out barrier and pressure plate in it and now when I go to let out off the clutch just a little it starts to move and makes a wired noise

Dan Ferrell (author) on February 11, 2019:

First make sure there is not too much pedal play. On some models you can adjust the pedal. Then, raise the car and check the clutch linkage for problems. Otherwise, the problem can be with the transmission or clutch assembly.

Luks on February 11, 2019:

My car moves when i start it on gear even when the clutch is pressed to the floor. What is to replace here?

Dan Ferrell (author) on January 25, 2019:

It depends on the particular system, but this can happens because of low fluid (hydraulic clutch); loose clutch cable or damaged cable; failed master or slave cylinder. Hope this helps.

NellyBabii on January 25, 2019:

I have a 2013 wrx Subaru. My clutch pedal got stuck to the floor. I pulled it up with my foot tried it again & it went to the floor again

Денис from ???? on January 17, 2019:

Thanks for the informative article about the car's clutch.

Dan Ferrell (author) on January 09, 2019:

It could be a vacuum leak, sensor problem or pressure issue. Scan for trouble codes, even if check engine light not on. Sorry I can’t be of more help.

Elliott1256 on January 09, 2019:

My pickup is a manual, and when i drive it after a couple of blocks it acts like it wants to die, it starts happening in 3rd gear. When going faster it will stop then accelerate again and do it a couple of times then die but start up again. I changed the plugs, cap, and rotor. It smells as if the clutch is burning after driving it. I dont know if that is the clutch or something else going on to make the vehicle suddenly stop then go

Dan Ferrell (author) on January 08, 2019:

Take a look at the shift linkage cables, there could be some binding. Sorry I can’t be of more help.

Yuson Auma on January 07, 2019:

I have a Hyundai H1 bus 2011 model. I’ve installed a new clutch kit, clutch slave and master cylinder. I am still having difficulties in shifting on low gears and reverse. Please advise on where it may be causing this issue.

Dan Ferrell (author) on January 02, 2019:

Make sure there’s enough fluid. Other possibilities is the a linkage problem or an issue with the syncro.

MSR on December 31, 2018:

I started noticing issue when I am trying to engage 3rd gear, it is not smooth but all other gears are ok and my ecosport diesel is new car. Please advise.

Dan Ferrell (author) on December 04, 2018:

It's possible you got a transmission fluid issue. Call your local dealer and ask what type of transmission fluid you should use for your particular model and check if you are using the same; otherwise, replace it. Hope this helps.

SALVADOR P. DE VERA on December 03, 2018:

MY SUV ADVENTURE MODEL 8 YRS PAST, HAD CLUTCH REPLACED. BEFORE IT WAS NOT REPLACED, I FELT FIRST GEAR SLIPPING BUT NOT BIG PROBLEM BUT MY WIFE DECIDED IT TO CLUTCH REPLACED. HOWEVER, AFTER LONG DRIVE GEAR SHIFTING IS DIFFICULT TO ENGAGE WHY? WHEN COLD NOT RUNNING FOR DAYS NO PROBLEM OF GEAR SHIFTING WHEN RUNNING LONG CAN'T SHIFT ANYMORE? WORSE WHEN BACKING GEAR WON'T ENGAGE ANYMORE?

Dan Ferrell (author) on November 24, 2018:

That problem seems to come from the transmission, possibly worn out clutches and other worn out components. Have it properly diagnosed before deciding on a repair.

Jeff on November 23, 2018:

At first when i would hit the gas my speedometer went up but my car djd

Dan Ferrell (author) on October 03, 2018:

Hi Pat,

I think you should take it back to the garage and have them look into this issue. It can become rather expensive taking the car to a new shop and have them fix the problem. It's, after all, the first garage who messed up the clutch system, apparently. At least they should take the car to another garage if they can't fix it, and they should pay for the repair. It's happened before, more than once to other shops. That's my personal opinion. Hope this helps.

Pat on October 03, 2018:

Dan,

Can you help on this topic? I recently had my Audi A4 2 litre turbo engine replaced on a 2009 model ( it had seized following impromptu failure of oil pump). The garage didn't inspire confidence when it overlooked to plug in the alternator and the battery failed. I then had to take it back yet again when it became difficult, and then impossible, to engage any gear. On its return, and being told that the fluid had to be encouraged to circulate, I have noticed that the clutch pedal has a "floppy" mind of its own and engaging first gear is stiff and certainly much less smooth than it should be or was before. I'm a bit embarrassed by taking it back yet again and am thinking of going to a fresh pucker garage to get it done once and for all. Cheers. P.

Dan Ferrell (author) on October 02, 2018:

Hi SB

Make sure the noise is coming from the transmission - one way to do this in most cases is to put the transmission in Nuetra, disenagag the clutch and let the engine idle. If the noise stops, it's more likely inside the transmission. If the noise is occurring in Neutral as well, suspect the roller bearings on the input shaft - these are the only ones turning when in Neutral, and probably cause it in gear as well. Hope this helps.

SuperBeast on October 01, 2018:

Hi recent issue, 2004 pathfinder manual transmission started making a grinding when I shift once warm. Into second is the worst, under 2700 rpm and over 3000rpm will make the noise. shifting into all other gears makes the sound and it has only happened when downshifting into second at a certain speed. This has also happened when in neutral and braking while the clutch was engaged. It can be felt through the pedal and the shifter as well. Recently changed transmission fluid and there was a lot of metal shavings, clutch master cylinder is full and i didn't see any leaks on the slave cylinder

Thanks

Dan Ferrell (author) on July 25, 2018:

Hi RB,

It's possible the clutch is worn (won't engage), but make sure there's enough fluid in the hydraulic system and no air- check the clutch master cylinder.

Good luck

Rio Beyond on July 25, 2018:

Please, why can I shift gears but can't accelerate. Ford freestyle 2007 acceleration doesn't work even when I shift to drive (D), It only raise like its on neutral even when it on drive or reverse.

Dan Ferrell (author) on July 19, 2018:

Hi PH,

first, Did you check there's enough fluid in the transmission - and make sure the fluid is not contaminated.

I would think there're some binding problems with the shift forks or selector plates, or even a bad pilot bearing as you mentioned. But you seem to have the problem only moving from a dead stop. So there could be drag from pilot bearing.

Sorry, can't help you much here.

PH on July 19, 2018:

Hello,

I often have a very hard time putting it into gear from a dead stop (any gear R through 6) right from clutch in.

--If i clutch in and quickly try to engage a gear, the car will roll a little as transmission inertia is taken away by the synchro locking up. However, it won't enter the gate.

--With the clutch in, if I hold the shifter at the gate lightly for several moments, the gear will eventually engage as everything stops spinning. Racing the engine to 3k RPM appears to help somewhat, but results are inconsistent.

--Alternatively, if leave the clutch in until everything stops spinning (5-10 sec), the gear will engage. However, at stop lights and traffic, this can be problematic.

--Also after coming to a stop with the clutch in and a gear still in gate, it can be hard to shift out of the gear into neutral.

I don't have apparent grinding or shifting issues while the car is in motion or when the wheels are free to spin.

I have ruled out clutch drag due to pressure plate. I put the car in both first and reverse with the clutch fully depressed. I revved the engine out to near redline on a level surface (my garage), and the car did not budge.

I put the car on jack stands for a more sensitive clutch drag test:

--With the parking brake on and clutch in, the gear was hard to gate (as before). I also noticed that the engine speed was responding and dropping slightly despite the clutch being in

--With the parking brake off and clutch in, the gear engaged smoothly. At first the wheels only spun a few revolutions, but quickly came to a stop.

----However, I also began to notice intermittently that the wheel would continue spinning while in gear with the clutch in at idle engine speed. This did not occur on every engagement, but occurred often enough not to be a coincidence.Also, wheel spin would occur at the same rate/sensitivity regardless of how far past the friction point the clutch was pushed in. In other words, the drag appeared to be consistent across the dead throw depth.

----Nuance with this incidence: when racing the engine, wheel speed did not increase appreciably or would decrease momentarily until RPMs returned to idle. Sometimes, the wheels eventually come to a stop spinning after racing the engine. This might explain why primary clutch drag tests turned out negative.

Based on these conclusions, I might be observing some drag due to the release and/or pilot bearing?

Thanks!

Dan Ferrell (author) on July 16, 2018:

Hi Danny,

Hopefully you just did some wear-and-tear on the clutch. Those gear are not exactly built for this kind of job. And, it was only for 5 seconds. So probably there was no further damage.

Good luck

Danny on July 16, 2018:

Hi,

I tried to tow from a ditch a heavier car for about 5 seconds with my 1996 Volkswagen Transporter and I noticed a burnt smell from the clutch. Did I broke my clutch, or made some wear-and-tear on it or what happened? Is it something I should be concerned now? Thank you in advance for the answer.

Dan Ferrell (author) on July 13, 2018:

Hi Elias,

There could be several possibilities here, and perhaps more than one issue.

The following suggestions assume the transmission hasn't been abused:

I would start checking the simple things first. You'll need the repair manual for your particular model, if you want to do some of these checks yourself:

Make sure you have the correct pedal travel, if out of adjustment, this can make it hard to shift (disengage). And just to make sure, check that the shift cover is not loose.

Make sure the transmission has enough lubrication and not contaminated -- check for possible leaks, if necessary.

Check the shift linkage (adjustment, lubrication, damage?).

If there's a particular problem (grinding noise) working the reverse, I'd suspect a sticking input shaft clutch pilot bearing.

Hope this helps, good luck

Elias on July 13, 2018:

Hi

The clutch pedal has been hard since i bought the car 6 months ago. Recently I noticed the clutch pedal began to make noises (pretty sure it is from the pedal) and it became harder to shift into gears when the gearbox/engine heated up (assuming it's when they heated up, because it was after driving for a while).

When shifting into reverse the gearbox did a cringy grinding noise and that has become worse. Sometimes driving normally makes the gears grind a bit aswell (not as bad as the reverse gear).

Something that can work sometimes (after driving for a while) is, when i come to a dead stop, I put the car in neutral and pump the clutch pedal a few times. Afterwards I can easily slide it in first and then as easily slide it into reverse.

I'm pretty sure the clutch does not disengage when pushing the clutch pedal. Even when starting the engine with the pedal depressed, the car starts moving forwards/backwards depending on which gear I start it in (meaning the engine is connected to the wheels).

The clutch itself does not slip whatsoever. I've done the test where you put the car into 2nd and lift the clutch with the handbrake on. The RPMs drop, or the car moves forward a few inches. In gear the car is revvy and happy, without any slips, even at 7000 rpm in 5th/6th gear.

What may be the cause of my problems? I've taken it to a mechanic (which I previously know is not the best mechanic), who said I should just change the whole clutch. I told him I thought the issues lied in the hydraulics, either air, fluids or hardware being the issues. He neglected the fact that air could enter a hydraulic system so I just left.

The car is a FWD, 2005 Honda Accord (euro-spec) with about 87k miles on it.

Sorry for the long text, but I wanted to make sure I get all the information needed in the question.

Thank you!

Dan Ferrell (author) on June 13, 2018:

Hi Carl

This usually points to a throw-out bearing that's starting to wear down. A worn pilot bearing can also make this noise as the pedal is being depressed, but is not as usual. This is most noticeable in 4WDs.

Good luck

Carl on June 13, 2018:

When I put my foot slightly on the clutch I makes a little noise but goes when I put it fully down. I can drive car normal and don't loose power what sort of issue is this.

Dan Ferrell (author) on June 07, 2018:

Hi RW

It seems the clutch is slipping - a common test:

- set the parking brakes, step on the clutch

- increase engine speed to 2000,

- slowly let go of the clutch until it engages,

The engine should stall - if it doesn't, make sure there's no oil leaking into the clutch assembly -

Or there could be problems with the clutch linkage binding, borken parts) or clutch assembly components.

Good luck

RaY Williams on June 05, 2018:

My 95 Accord Lx, Manual trans.,goes n any gear, with or without clutch, but won't go, nor does it cut off when I release clutch

Dan Ferrell (author) on May 11, 2018:

Hi Geoff

Another common test: while driving in third, shift into second. You should notice the engine speed going up; otherwise is a sign of a worn clutch -

A variation of this is to drive in fourth, and without letting your foot off the accelerator, depress the clutch pedal all the way in and then release the pedal. You should notice a change in engine speed (decrease); otherwise, the clutch is worn and not engaging correctly.

Hope this helps.

Geoff on May 11, 2018:

My 2012 Chevy Cruze 1.4t in 3rd and 4th under hard acceleration up a slight hill seems to start to loose power as the rpm goes higher rather then pull like I’m used to. I tried driving at 40 in 6th, seeing if it stalled in the drive way and also hard acceleration everywhere else. None of those tests show signs of a bad clutch. I can’t seem to mimic the issue that happened twice to me. I don’t really smell anything besides the brakes when stopped and I open the hood. No noises or anything. 74k miles and almost double the stock power on original clutch, I know it’s going to go bad just don’t know when. Any other tests I can try?

Dan Ferrell (author) on April 16, 2018:

Hi Divine

Check the clutch linkage adjustment and also make sure you are using the correct oil for your application.

Good luck

Divine on April 16, 2018:

Hi there

I just changed my Peugeot 207 clutch since it was burnt. Now the one I just installed has problems with getting into gears, especially gear 1. It's very hard I need to force it. What might be the problem

Dan Ferrell (author) on March 21, 2018:

Hi BMC,

It certainly was a factor. Improper hydraulic pressure is like not putting enough lubricant. One think lead to another.

Good luck.

Bri Mi Coyle on March 21, 2018:

9 months ago replaced engine on Scion Xb. Transmission components also replaced. When reinstalled, hydraulic line bushing was not screwed properly - only 1 of 3 screws used. After 6 months, had trouble shifting in low gears. Discovered bushing problem. Part of unit that holds bushing was broken, so I could put in only 1 more screw. I assume vibration from improper install of bushing caused break. After clutch worked for 3 more months. 2 weeks ago I had trouble w/2nd gear slipping. Then 2 days ago hydraulic line failed and clutch PP overheated, dead.

My question: did improper line install lead to failure?

Dan Ferrell (author) on March 02, 2018:

Hi JT,

Getting rid of air bubbles in the system can take some effort; make sure there's enough fluid in the system. You may need to bleed it a couple more times.

Good luck

Jeremy Twofeather on March 02, 2018:

I just changed the clutch master cylinder a few days ago and my clutch worked fine now it feels spongy and I'm having a hard time shifting. I bleed the clutch it didn't help and when I drive a little while it feels fine any idea what it could be

Dan Ferrell (author) on February 19, 2018:

Hi DO,

Hopefully it's just a fluid level issue. Otherwise, it seems there could be a problem with a solenoid or a similar electronic device. Old electronic components tent to becomes more sensitive to heat and begin to fail. Once they cool they begin working again. You may need to have a shop do a diagnostic before start replacing components.

Good luck

Daniel O on February 17, 2018:

My car works just fine when the engine is still cold but after around 15 minutes my car won't go into gear. What might be the problem?

Dan Ferrell (author) on January 29, 2018:

Hi Thando,

make sure there's enough oil - do you need to change the oil? - check the service schedule. Usually, hard shfiting problems point to internal components, hub sleeve, gears, synchronizer.

Good luck

Thando on January 29, 2018:

Hi....I''m driving Golf 4 Gti, my car is struggling to select gears and the pedal is flat down and there's no smell of failing clutch or slipping.......what might be the problem.

Thanks

Dan Ferrell (author) on January 22, 2018:

Hi Paula,

Have you checked the clutch pedal. Check the hydraulic system as well.

Good luck

Paula on January 22, 2018:

Hi have got a focus st on a 56 plate clutch pedal started feeling funny then couldnt go down the gears when engine was turned of went through gears fine mananged to get home next morning went out to car in the drivers foot well found a yellow looking plastic casing and spring any body ideas

Dan Ferrell (author) on January 09, 2018:

Hi Gary,

Hard to tell without some diagnostic but one possibility is the shift mechanism.

Good luck

Gary on January 09, 2018:

Have a Honda Element with 127,000 miles. Not sure of previous maintenance but hearing a click when driving and pushing in the clutch, both accelerating and braking. Seems to be getting more prevalent. Any ideas?

Dan Ferrell (author) on December 21, 2017:

HI Faried

Probably the clutch isn't engaging or disengaging properly. Maybe the fork came out of its seating position against the throwout bearing. Make sure the master cylinder is working fine first, though.

Faried on December 20, 2017:

I've replaced my clutch about two weeks ago,yesterday I was still driving,the car just didn't have any gears,its a Toyota conquest 1993,clutch and all feels fine,any help please guys

Dan Ferrell (author) on November 27, 2017:

Hi Lebo,

There could be several reasons for the noise, assuming it is rattling there could be a loose part, usually a pulley in an accessory or belt, or a cover like a heat sheild. But you may be dealing with a broken motor mount.

Hard to tell if this is linked to the reverse problem, but this would have to be diagnosed in a shop, you may have a problem with a band, or solenoid actuator in the transmission.

Good luck.

Lebogang on November 27, 2017:

good day i am driving a 1 series BMW 2008 model.

my car has a noise when is in neutral and when reversing it struggles to go back.

what could be my problem

Dan Ferrell (author) on October 18, 2017:

Hi SN,

If your car has an hydraulic system, you may need to replace the fluid or bleed it. Othewise, the pedal mechanism for wear. You may need to separate the transmission from the engine for inspection.

Good luck

Steven Ntibane on October 18, 2017:

Good day ,Clutch sleeps on the floor now and then and as well the car rev counts when i engage the clutch.

What could be the problem?