Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: What Happens If My Clutch Is Slipping?

asked by on

How can I tell if my clutch is slipping?

A: Your clutch is what connects the engine to ...

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 1000 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

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: What is wrong with my transmission? 1968 Chevy Impala

Hi there. It sounds like the transmission forward clutch plates are slipping. First check the fluid level and fluid condition by putting the dipstick fluid on a clean white towel and seeing if you see what looks like sand in...

Q: Car is idling high, revving at RPMs higher than 2700

Hello. When this car idles high like this it is because there is a vacuum leak. A vacuum leak will allow too much air to enter the engine causing it to idle too high. The most common place is at...

Q: Car jerks shifting into 2nd & 3rd & slows down

Hello. I would start by scanning the computer for codes as it sounds like a sensor problem. If there are no codes present, then the sensors need to be checked with the scan tool. If all of them are reading...

Related articles

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
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...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...