Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How Can I Tell If My Clutch Is Slipping?

Slipping Clutch

For some drivers, shifting a manual transmission is second nature. Others prefer to rely on automatic transmissions. Drivers of automatic vehicles don’t have to worry about developing bad shifting habits that can cause a slipping clutch, or other clutch problems. However, a bad clutch can be the result of poor habits in hilly or heavily congested areas. So if you think your clutch is slipping, how can you be sure? Watch for the following:

  • Car hesitates before accelerating: This means that the clutch is likely not delivering enough of a boost to the drive wheels via the transmission. You might also find that if you’re pulling a load, you don’t have quite the power that you need. This hesitation can be a sign of a slipping clutch.

  • Burning smell: If you think you smell something burning under the hood, it could be leaking oil, or damaged wiring. Or, it could mean you have a bad clutch.

  • Clutch disengages too quickly: If you push down on the clutch pedal, and it doesn’t take much to disengage it, then it’s probably slipping.

  • RPMs are too high: Often, you can diagnose clutch problems in a manual transmission by hitting the road. See if your engine needs more RPMs than usual to reach a certain speed. This is another indication that your clutch needs to be replaced. You can also check it out in a parking lot. Stop the vehicle but leave the engine running, and then put the car in second or third gear. Let the clutch out. If the car doesn’t stall, the RPMs go up, and the vehicle remains in place, you have a slipping clutch.

These are four of the most common signs of a slipping clutch. A qualified mechanic can confirm if this is the problem and then take steps to correct it.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How to Transfer a Car Title in Idaho
In order to prove ownership of a car, you must have the title. However, when a car is sold, given away or inherited, the title needs...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Idaho
The state of Idaho offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...


Related questions

Q: Clutch not working

If your clutch is not working then it may have a bad clutch cable or the clutch itself is bad. A mechanic would typically inspect the condition of the cable and make sure it is moving properly. If it is...

Q: When taking off car has slow acceleration.

Are you trying to say it feels like the transmission is slipping? In this case, you would be applying the throttle and you hear the engine speed rising but the car does not move as quickly as it should. In...

Q: Torque issues

Hi there. If the slipping problem goes away when the car warms up, then it is most likely a seal or solenoid failing. As a vehicle ages, rubber seals begin to get hard and they don't seal as they should....