When to Replace Your Vehicle's Clutch

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Flywheel (on the left) & clutch.
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Flywheel (on the left) & clutch.

The Facts:

All vehicles require a clutch to operate, which most people are aware of. The big question that soon follows is, "when should I replace my clutch?"

Most cars will need a clutch replacement throughout their lifespan, and if it is not looked after, it may affect the car's performance and efficiency.

The unfortunate reality is that there is no definitive length of time your clutch should last, it can be altered by many things, such as how and where the vehicle is driven, the brand of car and even the climate. Clutches tend to wear out fastest in warmer conditions and during city-driving, where there is a lot of stopping and starting, which can wear the clutch down faster.

First, Understanding the Clutch:

If you already understand the workings and design of a clutch, scroll down. If you are like most people however, the following information may be worthwhile knowing.
Almost every single vehicle has a clutch (yes even automatic vehicles!). Many think their clutch is the left pedal (for cars with their steering wheel on the right side), but it is not, the pedal is just the lever that engages the car's clutch. The clutch is simply the point where two rotating shafts meet, the link between the engine and the transmission. When the clutch is engaged,  the transmission spins at the same rate as the engine. When you disengage the clutch, the engine will continue to spin but the transmission will have stopped. This process is necessary to allow the car to sit idle, without the clutch, the car would have to be switched off to come to a stop.

The clutch  works through a friction mechanism, similar to your brake-pads. The wearing of the clutch occurs as the clutch plate meets another plate called the flywheel, and they rub against each other briefly before matching each other in speed. Clutches do not wear out as fast as brake pads, but when the clutch wears down, it will become too smooth and unreliable for catching the flywheel, due to slipping. A clutch's lifespan can also be effected negatively if the weight load is high for a long period of time, or the driver does not change gears efficiently.

A typical worn out clutch.
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A typical worn out clutch.

Knowing When to Change:

Once your clutch begins to slip, it is time to make the change. Usually the clutch begins to show signs of wear as you make a gear change, and it slips. You may notice it as you press on your accelerator, and the RPM's rise but the speed is not increasing, because the clutch is not engaging.
Another sign is if your clutch starts making a scraping noise and lacks smoothness as you shift between gears, even at the correct speeds for the gear, it may make a scratching noise.
These signals may be more obvious on manual cars than on an automatic car, but the same rules apply.
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Making the Change:

Unless you are 100% confident on what needs to be done, it is best to hand your vehicle over to the experts, as it can be  a tricky task and is important to do it correctly, for your safety.

Since you must open the transmission to work on the clutch, it's wise to consider looking at all parts that are nearby the clutch, so you won't need to disassemble the entire contraption again. For example, you could have a look at the flywheel, and  if it shows any sign of damage, you should replace it.
A new clutch kit.
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A new clutch kit.

Making Your Purchase on eBay:

Many people buy clutch kits and install it by themselves. A more common route would be getting a professional to install the part for you, which is a service many professionals offer.

The best way to find your specific part is to use eBay's Advanced Search option and entering your car's details there. Be specific as possible and select car parts in the drop-down menu to filter your results. If you are still unsure whether you have selected the correct part for your car, you may be able to contact the seller who could help you further with your selection.

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Overall:


Changing your clutch is a tricky process when you are not professionally trained in the car mechanics field. If it is not done correctly, it may interfere with the car's performance and in turn, your safety. There are many places you can learn about changing clutches and it can be learned, just be aware of the importance of getting it all correct! The clutch is an extremely important part of your car, and should be treated like so.
Look out for clutch deals from MicksGarage when you are searching, we have many car parts experts on hand and can ensure you have an easy, trustworthy transaction.

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Why Choose MicksGarage?

MicksGarage offers some of the best online prices, with over one million car parts and accessories available through  our eBay shop.  

Our 99.4% customer satisfaction rating and "Top-Rated Seller" rating from eBay (which guarantees a track record of excellence to all our customers), and our amazing 30 day return policy money back guarantee ensures you you are in good hands.  
Should you have any queries, our customer care team are here to help.  

MicksGarage; car parts & accessories on time, as described and all guaranteed. Enjoy shopping with us on   eBay!
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