Q: I smoked my clutch two days ago. Can I still drive my car for a week?

asked by on October 02, 2017

I smoked my clutch two days ago literally. Giving the circumstances I had to drive a bit with it slipping and lots of smoke came out of the hood and smells like brakes. Anyhow I let it cool down then proceeded to drive fine. I bought a new clutch and it won't be here until next week. Is it okay to continue driving my car until then? If not then what will happen?

My car has 134000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

It sounds like you may have some burnt clutch plates that may be causing the clutch slipping. Your clutch is essentially a spinning disk attached to the transmission’s input shaft (the shaft that feeds power into the transmission). The disk is clamped between two other spinning plates attached to the engine’s crankshaft. When everything is clamped tight, all three disks spin together, and power is delivered to the wheels. When you press the clutch pedal, the pressure on the clutch disk is reduced, so that it can spin freely in between those other two plates. When these plates wear out, this type of friction no longer holds the discs in place resulting in the slipping you describe. When a clutch drags, it is not letting go of the disk fully which overloads the synchros and burns up the friction surfaces quickly. Synchros work by speeding up or slowing down the input shaft and clutch disk by acting like a brake. If the clutch is dragging, the synchro friction surface is trying to speed up and slow down the engine’s mass, which is impossible. Unfortunately, i you continue to drive the car with the clutch in this condition, you may cause additional damage.

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