With any car, wear and tear is a normal process, and the car parts are bound to degrade over time.
How long that process takes can be heavily dependent on how well the car and its components are treated by the driver. This post will look specifically at the clutch, one of the most fundamental parts of a manual car.
Our clutch repairs Northampton department have provided some knowledge to the In Town Lowdown blog…
Firstly, how does the clutch work?
Manual cars are fitted with a clutch, a component that manages the friction between the engine and the transmission. If the car’s engine is on, the clutch is in action, allowing the car to operate without the wheels turning. The clutch contains a friction disc that connects with the engine’s flywheel. When the clutch pedal is fully pushed down, there is no friction between the flywheel and the disc, meaning the engine will keep rotating but no power is sent to the transmission and then the wheels. This is why when starting to drive off a balance must be found for the friction to build up and the car to start moving.
Treat your clutch well and it you will get between 10,000 – 20,000 more miles than average out of it before needing a replacement. Treat it badly and you may find it needs replacing quite often!
What’s a friction disc then?
The main component of the clutch is the friction disc, or should we say, the main component that we see see in our clutch repairs Northampton department is a worn friction disc. The friction disc is essentially the connection between the engine and the gearbox, so without a clutch, you can’t get anywhere! The friction is what allows the disc to transfer energy, so without the friction, a slippery disc is not doing its job! Over time, due to all of the connections with the flywheel, the clutch wears out and needs replacing.
The sensation you experience when you release the clutch pedal is the friction disc connecting with the flywheel, which is then allowing clutch and engine to rotate at the same speed. A slippery disc will not allow the engine and clutch to rotate at the same speed. This reduced rotation speed means the engine won’t drive properly, or possible at all! Once the clutch starts slipping, it’s going to get worse, quicker and quicker, as the frictional issues at play cause the damage to accelerate.
Clutch Repairs Northampton
The clutch is one of the more technical parts of the engine and our clutch repairs Northampton team would recommend that you always seek a professional to have it replaced. Depending on your car, the difficulty, parts and time taken to replace the clutch will vary. You’re looking at a couple of hundred pounds minimum for your middle of the road motors if you need a clutch fitting. No matter how well you look after the clutch, it will almost certainly wear out before the rest of the car does, and will need replacing promptly. Healthy treatment of the clutch could see it reach 100,000 miles, though a normal life span would be around 50,000-75,000 miles. Some people claim to have managed as much as 175,000 miles out of a clutch, though this is quite rare.
Ever heard of the million mile club? This is an elite group of drivers (mostly in the US), who have gotten more than 1 million miles out of their car. When asked about how they managed so many miles, they all said that maintenance was essential. Things like regular oil changes, seat replacements and clutch repairs were all necessary to reach the milestone.
How to reduce clutch wear…
You can trust these tips from the clutch repairs Northampton team at In Town Automotive on how to reduce clutch wear…
-Wear only occurs when the clutch is engaged, so make sure gear changes are smooth and necessary.
-Sudden action on the clutch pedal will create wear on the friction disc, making it more likely to wear and slip.
-The most important gear change is when moving into first gear, so it’s vital to move gently as this is where most of the wear occurs..
-Cars or trucks that pull a trailer, caravan or any other heavy load are putting increased strain on the clutch and will wear it out quicker than normal.
-Parking on hills can have a negative effect on your clutch, as it means you must rev harder to get the car moving, causing increased wear on the friction disc.
-Be aware that slipping is the major issue, but not the only one. Cables could be loose and not allowing the right connection to be made and a leaking clutch cylinder could harm the performance too.
We know that your life doesn’t stop just because your car does, so we offer you a courtesy car absolutely free of charge, allowing you to continue your day-to-day activities. We also offer a free recovery assistance service, if you’re unable to get to us under your own steam.