How to Tell If a Clutch Needs to Be Replaced

by Kelcey Lehrich
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Driving a car with a manual transmission can be a lot of fun. Cars with manual gearboxes tend to cost less to purchase but eventually they will need to have the clutch replaced. The clutch is a disk inside the transmission that allows the driver to change gears by taking engine power on and off the selected gear. Clutches tend to last about 50,000 to 100,000 miles.

Step 1

Asses the "feel" of the clutch. Clutches tend to feel different when they need to be replaced. Bad clutches often feel softer and can be described as "mushy."

Step 2

See if the clutch is releasing late. After driving a car for a while you'll get the feel of where the clutch release point is. A bad clutch will release when the pedal is almost completely released.

Step 3

Smell under the hood. Clutches that need to be replaced have a burnt smell.

Step 4

Watch for smoke. When you see smoke coming from under the hood and the transmission is acting funny your clutch is probably ready to be replaced.

Step 5

Consult a mechanic. A good mechanic will know right away if a clutch needs to be replaced.

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