How Can I Tell If My Clutch Is Slipping?

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.


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Ramon

19 years of experience
69 reviews
Ramon
19 years of experience
Toyota Pickup - Clutch is not working - Tucson, Arizona
Ramon was courteous and on time. He was thorough and explained everything he was doing. I have to say, I am so impressed that I will be calling for him for my two other vehicles! And, I have already recommended this service and Ramon to my co-workers! Thank You!

Jeremy

19 years of experience
389 reviews
Jeremy
19 years of experience
Mini Cooper - Clutch is not working - Boynton Beach, Florida
On time... Very informative... Offered tons of advice... Extremely knowledgeable... I would contact him again if/when needed!

Chris

19 years of experience
437 reviews
Chris
19 years of experience
Nissan Pathfinder - Clutch is not working - Portland, Oregon
Chris was on time and has great communication. He was attentive and open to questions which was much appreciated.

Walter

45 years of experience
144 reviews
Walter
45 years of experience
Honda Civic - Clutch is not working - Sapulpa, Oklahoma
Walter had a very good knowledge of his trade and answered any and all questions. His experience with the trade was very important.

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