Q: What Happens If My Clutch Is Slipping?

asked by on

How can I tell if my clutch is slipping?

Your clutch is what connects the engine to the manual transmission. When a clutch is working correctly, you will get a smooth clutch engagement with little to no chatter. When the clutch is fully engaged, you will have a solid engagement between the engine and transmission. When you accelerate, you will get a gradual increase in vehicle and engine speed at a constant rate depending on the gear you are in.

The clutch will slip when the clutch disc gets worn and the clutch pressure plate can no longer keep constant even pressure applied to the clutch disc to lock the engine and transmission together. The pressure plate may also get weak and not be able to apply enough pressure to keep the clutch engaged.

The symptoms of a slipping clutch will start as an increase in engine speed to accelerate but then have a lower rate of vehicle speed increase than normal. The clutch may chatter when you engage it, or the clutch will not engage smoothly with little jerks. As the clutch slipping gets worse, you will notice a small RPM engine flare before full engagement. You may not notice it in the lower gears, but it will be apparent in the higher gears. The flares will get worse and then start to happen in the lower gears also. The next stage you will notice when you take off from a stop, you will get large RPM flares and may get bad chattering of the clutch during engagement. The last stage before full clutch failure may be heavy chattering and RPM flares after the clutch is fully engaged by pressing the accelerator, and the speed will be slow or the vehicle won’t move at all. When you have full clutch failure, you may get no gear engagement at all in any gear and the vehicle will not go anywhere. Sometimes the engine will run normally and there may only be some clutch rattling noise. In any case, you should get the clutch replaced if you experience any of these symptoms.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. What Happens If My Clutch Is Slipping?

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: 2007 Nissan Frontier won't go into any gear

The shifter cable connects the interior gear selector to the transmission. This allows the driver to select the correct gear. If the cable is detached, the gear selector will just flop around but not select any gear, as you describe....

Q: The car starts but won't shift and when I take my foot off the cluch its shuts off

If the clutch is disengaged (from the flywheel) and yet you cannot shift the transmission into select gears, there are really only two possibilities: there is a problem with the mechanical shift linkage or the synchronizer gear mesh assembly is...

Q: Transmission not shifting right on a '96 GMC Jimmy

At that age I'm amazed it's still running. It probably needs an overhaul. But do what I always tell people with those things, change out a quart of transmission fluid and put in one quart of Lucas anti-slip additive and...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...