As well as causing significant damage to your transmission and drive-train, a clutch that is not working correctly can also have a big impact on your finances if it is misdiagnosed.
The clutch is tough to get at – whatever car you are driving – but in some cases accessing the clutch can be a job in itself, due to it being tucked away and space is at such a premium. This is particularly an issue with front wheel drive cars. So getting to the clutch in the first case is a difficult job!
However, there are some faults that could have simpler fixes. Throughout our series of posts looking at the possible issues with clutches and how to spot them, a common fault to look out for is when the clutch does not fully engage when you press the clutch pedal down – causing jerky or noisy gear changes.
There are a number of expensive faults that could be causing this, but also it could be a case of the clutch cable being a bit worn out. Clutch cables can stretch over time, and if this is the case then pressing the clutch pedal will not be adequate to fully engage the clutch. Now some vehicles have an automatic clutch cable adjustment system, so that the clutch cable remains tightened and working – but some are done by manual adjustments – which can quickly, and more importantly cheaply, fix the issue without having to open up the workings of your car.
Of course, on the automatic system the automatic adjuster can fail, which again is a lot cheaper and quicker to fix than some of the other options.
Clucth cables can also snap, without warning, rendering the pedal useless – there might be nothing wrong with your clutch apart from the cable snapping, so it might not be as bad as initially thought, which is great news.
Hydraulic clutches are used by some manufacturers in place of mechanical clutches relying on cables. Equally though, there are problems that can arise within this system that might resemble serious problems but are easily repaired. With hydraulic clutches the clutch pedal operates a piston within the master cylinder – forcing hydraulic fluid through a hose to the slave cylinder. The slave cylinder pushes a lever that operates the clutch.
Unfortunately the hydraulic system can develop problems through leaks – with either fluid escaping or air entering the system (or both). Replacing the components that have leaks and bleeding the air out of the system will help resolve the drag problems caused by the hydraulic system.
Therefore, when you detect a change in the behaviour of your clutch it could be down to one of these issues and be much less bad news than it could have been! Your best way to save money is to remain vigilant, keep an eye and an ear out for the problems and make sure you get your vehicle inspected as soon as you spot anything. You can rely on A1 Clutches to provide you with an honest assessment of what is wrong with your car and get you back on the road as quickly, efficiently and for the lowest cost available. Give us a call to arrange an appointment, seven days a week, whenever you need us.