How to tell if your clutch has "had it"?
The clutch is something that you use extensively while driving. Although the clutch normally lasts for an average of 5 years, the actual lifetime of your car's clutch really depends on the way you drive and the journeys you make. Using your clutch to move the car from a stationary position wears it out more. Therefore driving around town where you will have to stop and start because of traffic, junctions, traffic lights etc. will wear out the clutch more than driving on motorways.
Below are symptoms and signs of a worn or faulty clutch:
• Having difficulty changing or putting your car into gear.
• Hearing a crunching or squealing noise when you try to depress the clutch.
• Car shaking and vibrating when moving off.
• Sensing a burning smell.
• Vehicle not picking up speed as it would normally when the throttle pedal is depressed along with engine revs rising at a quicker rate than normal.
The most common fault is the clutch slipping, to test this...
Drive on a clear road at approx. 20-30 mph, select 4th or 5th gear, and depress the throttle pedal firmly, if the engine revs start to rise similar to being in neutral your clutch is slipping. If the car slowly accelerates possibly with the engine labouring then the clutch is OK.
How to efficiently use the clutch to make it last longer?
The reason why a clutch wears out quicker than it is supposed to may be down to bad driving habits. To make maximum use of your clutch, you should not rest your foot on the clutch pedal while driving or leave the car in gear when stopping at traffic lights. You should also use the clutch for only as long as necessary and not any longer than that at all times.
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