Signs Your Vehicle Is Nearing Clutch Failure

Unless you’re used to driving an automatic, you’ll be well versed in the experience of having three pedals at your disposal when in the driving seat of a car or van. From right to left you’ve got the A, B, C – accelerator, brake clutch. 

Unless you’re a world-class racing driver, you’ll only ever use your left foot for the clutch, and as a result get used to the way it feels, where it sits, how heavy it should be and so on. Any minute changes will be noticed, and it’s at that point that you’re going to want to work out why – if it’s different, there’s going to be a reason, and it’s not likely to be good news.

If your car has already suffered a clutch failure and you’re wondering what to do next, then the easiest solution of all is to give the team at Scrap Car Comparison a call. We have a team of experts waiting to take your call and help you get motoring along as soon as possible. Using a nationwide network of salvage and scrap specialists we’ll be able to find a buyer offering the best sum of money in your area and even provide you with collection absolutely free of charge.

Shoes on pedal

How does a car clutch work in a manual car?

A clutch, when operating properly, uses friction to allow or disallow the transfer of power between the gearbox and the wheels. It should only be used when changing gear, or driving at low speed in first gear.

There should be a nice balance to the ‘weight’ of the pedal; if it feels like it’s flopping around when you hardly touch it, or you need to apply an unusual amount of force to put it down, then there’s probably something wrong.

Symptoms of clutch failure

There are a few signs to be aware of that you could be nearing clutch failure, so let us talk you through things to keep an eye open for:

  • Clutch pedal feels sticky, spongy or loose – as we touched on earlier, if you notice the clutch pedal feels off in any way, be it spongy, sticking in place, vibrating or loose, then you could be on the way to a failing clutch.
  • Noises – Squeaking or grumbling are surefire signs that you need to get your car to the nearest garage as soon as possible. The noise is likely due to a worn out bearing, but this is a part that should not be changed separately, and should form part of an overall clutch replacement.
  • Lack of movement – If you press the accelerator and are able to rev the engine, but you seem to be struggling at getting the car moving, you could have a clutch issue.
  • Gear issuesTrouble changing gear can often be attributed to clutch problems.
  • Fluid Leak – A puddle of fluid under your car is never a good sign, and if you notice this under the gearbox and you have a hydraulic clutch system, it could be a sign that there’s a leak in your system that could render the clutch useless.

What is clutch slipping?

This is a problem that’s easy to identify, but you may not understand what’s happening. If you’re noticing a ‘slip’ from your clutch – where there is a quick drop in acceleration as you lift the clutch pedal after a gear change – then your clutch could be nearing the end. This could also be a gearbox issue, so to identify what’s at fault, turn off your engine and try to change gear. If you are able to change gear then your clutch is at fault. 

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What to do if your clutch fails

If you’re driving along and your clutch suddenly fails, this is how to remain safe:

  • Stop the car and pull into a safe place as soon as possible.
  • Pop your hazards on and call for breakdown assistance.
  • Get the car towed to your nearest garage as your very next destination.

How to fix a car with a broken clutch

How to fix a car with a broken clutch

Your best bet if you’re looking to repair a broken clutch is to get it to the nearest garage and let a pro have a look. While you could do the job yourself, it’s certainly not one of the easiest tasks for a home mechanic to undertake and the chances of making things worse far outweighs the additional cost of taking it to a professional garage.

How much does it cost to fix a broken clutch?

For the vast majority of mechanics, clutch replacements are routine practices and shouldn’t take them too long at all, and while it’s impossible to predict a cost as every car is different, you should be prepared to spend upwards of £300 to get it sorted again.

Is it safe to drive a car with a faulty clutch?

No, it’s not entirely safe to drive with a faulty clutch. Doing so could result in your breaking down further down the line or losing control over your vehicle (specifically its acceleration) and getting involved in an accident. Clutch problems are no laughing matter and shouldn’t be overlooked, no matter how eye wateringly expensive repairs might be.

Can I sell a car without a working clutch?

You absolutely can! In fact, the only time you can’t sell a car is if it’s been written off into categories A or B by your insurer, and the likelihood of that happening solely down to a clutch failure is minimal at best. However, you should be setting yourself up for a slightly longer sales process than you may have been used to with previous cars. Selling a ‘normal’ used car only relies on you waiting for someone who wants a car like yours to come along, and you can work out a typical price based on what’s going on in the market at that time.

When selling a broken car, you’re not just finding someone who wants your car, but someone who’s prepared to fix it up again, and has the means and abilities to do so. With that in mind, your selling price is likely to be significantly less than you would have been able to ask for had the clutch been in working order. Considering clutch replacements, as we’ve already mentioned, can cost upwards of £300, then you should expect your car’s value to have dropped by at least that much, if not more. People buying broken cars are more likely to try and haggle a price down, as well, so be prepared for some serious negotiations to take place before a deal is made.

Can I scrap a car with a failed clutch?

Of course! What’s more, we at Scrap Car Comparison are here to make the scrapping process as easy as possible for you, no matter what condition your car is in. Whether it has a failed clutch, a suspension issue or is even missing its engine, we’ll be able to find you the very best price for your knackered old vehicle. What’s more, with a nationwide pool of scrap and salvage experts at our disposal, you’re never too far from one of our collection agents, meaning we can even get your car picked up for you absolutely free of charge. Get started today with Scrap Car Comparison and see just how much your old car could be worth.

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