Test and repair car clutch

(Level 5)
06 Apr 2016 18:45, updated
15 Feb 2007, published

The car clutch is something that you use extensively while driving. So you need to make sure that it is in good working condition. 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 in the city where you will have to stop like a hundred times because of traffic will wear out the clutch more than driving on motorways.

How can I test my car clutch to see if it’s damaged / faulty or worn out?

If you want to test the clutch in your car, you need to bring your car on a level road where it will not move even when you have your handbrake down. Now make sure you have your handbrake on and switch on your engine. Change to the fourth gear (or fifth if you have) and start releasing the clutch while giving the car more gas ie depressing the gas pedal. If your car engine does not stall or your car moves, your clutch needs replacing!

Below are other symptoms and signs of a bad clutch:

  • Having difficulty changing or putting your car into gears
  • Hearing a crunching noise when you try to depress the clutch
  • Car shaking and vibrating when moving off
  • Sensing a burning smell
  • Vehicle not picking speed as it would normally do when gas pedal is depressed

Where can I repair my car clutch

Car clutch repairs can be done by yourself with some DIY tools and products if you are having clutch problems but you should only do that if you’re confident you’ll be able to do it properly. Otherwise, it is best to go to a garage and have a mechanic repair it for you. A good place to go for a free clutch check is MrClutch where you can also get your clutch repaired for a fee or buy new car clutches.

How much does a clutch cost

A new clutch can cost you about £105 including VAT from Edworthy's and replacing your clutch can take up to 5 hours, so your final bill will be much higher because of the amount of labour involved. Sometimes only a little tweaking needs to be done to your clutch and with a simple adjustment (a 5 min job) your clutch problems may be solved. Just bear in mind that the symptoms of a bad clutch can mean either you need a new clutch or a clutch adjustment.

How to effectively use the car clutch to make it last longer

The reason why clutches wear out quicker than it is supposed to is because of bad driving habits. So 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 the shortest time that you can and not any longer than that at all times.

Comments (3)
Tony Sugden
Tony Sugden   (Level 1)
04 Feb 2008 07:33
I have just had a new clutch fitted to my Ford Mondeo (2000 cc TDI) and it bites in very quickly when easing clutch pedal off the floor!

Is this normal for a new clutch?
Replies (1)
gices  (Level 5)
05 Feb 2008 08:33
It's quite normal to feel this way especially if you've been driving on a used clutch for a long time. New clutches tend to bite quickly, so don't worry about it and slowly you'll get used to it.
Roy   (Level 1)
09 Sep 2010 02:03

Vehicle not picking speed as it would normally do when gas is depressed.

anonymous  (Level 2)
23 Sep 2013 16:47

Hi, my picasso makes a ticking noise when stationary and when I apply the clutch it stops. 2 people think it's a bearing in the clutch and the other say it's a bearing in the gear box. It's only done 19000 miles. I'm hoping its the clutch not gear box. What do you think?