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Clutch going?

Discussion in 'Motors' started by ethos, 25 Jul 2006.

  1. ethos


    Joined: 5 May 2003

    Posts: 4,515

    Location: UK

    Hi guys, having a problem with my car! :(

    Sometimes it's VERY hard to get into gear, I mean it has to be forced and even then it doesn't seem to be "in gear" properly. Seems to happen mainly when it's pretty warm out, I can remember it happening last year too.

    Any ideas to what could be causing this? I was thinking clutch is on the way out.. but if it did the same thing a year ago surely it would of gone by now?

    Biting point feels the same and apart from being nearly impossible to get into gear nothing else feels abnormal!

    Thanks in advance :D
  2. Tesla


    Joined: 19 Jan 2003

    Posts: 17,410

    Location: Bristol, UK

    AFAIK this is a good clutch test.

    On level ground, put the car into 4th and pull away, with the handbreak on.

    Obviously using clutch control to prevent stalling the car.

    You will have to give it loads of revs but it should pull away none the less.

    If you have a dying clutch it's probably knackered by now.

    If the car pulls away then the clutch is likely to be ok :)

    Does it make any grinding sounds when gear changing. It could be a fault with the clutch mechanism as apposed to worn plates. Perhaps a sticking valve or if it's cable driven then an incorrectly tensioned cable.
  3. CB666


    Joined: 25 Mar 2005

    Posts: 420

    Location: armadale, scotland

    you checked your clutch fluid level? ;)
  4. PeterNem


    Joined: 15 Feb 2003

    Posts: 8,322

    Location: NJ/NY, USA

    Having the handbrake on seems a little extreme, I'd always thought just pulling away in 3rd gear with no handbreak would be a reasonable indicator.

    Or, the method I have always heard... get into 5th gear at about 15 or so mph (basically as low as you can) and then put your foot to the floor. If the clutch slips the engine speed will rise, but the road speed will not.
  5. Sputnik II


    Joined: 5 Nov 2004

    Posts: 2,547

    If your clutch isn't worn out, it most probably would be after doing that! As well as having put stupid loads on all the other engine/transmission parts.

    I'd always use a really steep hill and a low gear, then if you put the pedal to the metal and it's sliping you will know.
  6. Tesla


    Joined: 19 Jan 2003

    Posts: 17,410

    Location: Bristol, UK

    I am sure it's not really that great a load compared to other driving styles, down changing into corners etc...
  7. rare


    Joined: 1 Nov 2002

    Posts: 7,622

    Location: Sussex

    Just drive along at 30 in your highest gear and floor it. If the revs increase and your speed dont your clutch is slipping!
  8. CypherPunk


    Joined: 30 Dec 2002

    Posts: 738

    I wouldn’t recommend testing your clutch by trying to pull away in 4th with your handbrake on, firstly it’s a completely unnatural test, you would never have to do that while driving properly, and secondly it stresses much more than your clutch.

    The best way to check if a clutch is slipping is to find a nice steep hill, approach it in 5th gear at about 2500 rpm and make note of the speed you are doing then accelerate as fast as you can watch the revs and speed and make sure they rise at the same rate, if the revs rise faster than the speed your clutch is slipping. You can also check while going downhill by accelerating quickly for a few seconds and then bringing your foot quickly off the accelerator, if you do this in a high enough gear then your actual speed should hardly drop, if however your revs drop quickly when you bring your foot of the accelerator then your clutch is slipping.

    As for the OPs problem, it sounds to me more like a gearbox problem than a clutch problem, a slipping clutch wouldn’t stop you engaging gears, a dragging clutch could but you would most likely hear a crunch as you changed gears. The problem could be caused by old gear box oil, so it’s probably worth changing the oil and sticking some additive in it as it’s a cheap and easy job, just make sure you get the right stuff. It could also be the gear change linkage, I don’t think you’ve mentioned the car but it should be pretty easy to check it for an excess amount of play, getting it sorted might be more difficult though, depending on the car, you could wait until your clutch actually goes and get it changed then.
  9. wasc


    Joined: 21 Oct 2002

    Posts: 3,009

    Location: At home of course :p

    I had a similar problem with the clutch on my car - A class mercades - it wouldn't go into gears, was difficult to get it out of gears e.t.c.

    Thought the entire gearbox/clutch had gone so was ******** myself - Turned out the linkage was faulty. Part was £2.50 and labour was half an hour at a reasonable rate so the entire repair was under £50 quid. When I walked out I was :D