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Q: What Happens If My Clutch Is Slipping?

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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.

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