What does it mean when your clutch is slipping?

Sep 1, 2017

What does it mean when your clutch is slipping?

Clutch slipping simply means when your clutch is engaging and disengaging and no power is delivered to the wheels and as a result, the car will not move forward.

A slipping clutch is a common occurrence that will happen at some point with a manual transmission vehicle, it is recommended that a clutch is checked after 60k miles or over. You may have heard of ‘ clutch slipping’, this is essentially when your clutch is disengaging and no power is being delivered to the wheels in order to drive or propel the vehicle forward. This is why a check on your vehicle's clutch should be carried out at 60k-100k miles depending on the make, model and year of the vehicle. The clutch will fail due to the wear and tear and also from driving habits and driving conditions. It can also depend on the temperature of the environment where the car is kept, hotter countries run the risk of the transmission fluid running hot and wearing out the parts.

MyCarNeedsA.com have identified exactly the causes of a slipping clutch and what symptoms to look out for to allow drivers to recognise the side effects as early as possible.

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What causes a clutch to slip?


There are a number of reasons why this can happen however the main reason is down to wear and tear after years of driving. A clutch can also slip because:

  • Worn Disc
  • Disc covered in Oil
  • Adjustment needs to be corrected
  • Extreme heat damage to components
  • A clutch can also slip if a new clutch has recently been fitted, it can be caused by multiple circumstances, however, there are several symptoms that will let the driver identify a slipped clutch.

    Symptoms and how to identify if the clutch slipping


    There are a few symptoms to look out for even if you are not a mechanic or technician. Don’t panic when a clutch slips the symptoms can be identified easily.

    Firstly, the easiest way to identify this is by taking the car on a drive. If there is a burning smell when the acceleration pedal is applied, this is a good indication that the clutch is slipping.

    Another symptom to look out for is high revs. This will be noticeable when taking off from a stationary position, the engine will rev highly and the tachometer (beside the speedometer) will show a very high reading and the speed will remain low.

    Clutch Slipping


    The final way to tell if your clutch is slipping is to go out on a stretch of road and start to build up speed in a high gear (4th, 5th or 6th) accelerate hard and watch the tachometer reach a high reading but the speedometer won’t really move, this is because the clutch is disengaging and usually the two meters move in sync, if they are not moving together it’s a sign that the clutch will need to be repaired or replaced.

    These are all symptoms that can be identified even if you are not familiar or experienced with clutch problems. If you are experiencing these symptoms you can book your car into a local garage for a clutch repair using MyCarNeedsA.com, compare prices, locations and reviews online and decide which option is best for you.

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