A failing clutch is one of the most common reasons that drivers need semi-truck repairs. When operating correctly, the clutch controls the transfer of power from the engine through the transmission, allowing you to shift gears. When it starts to fail, it interferes with shifting and can prevent the safe operation of your vehicle. Below are some signs that the clutch in your semi-truck is wearing out.

When Do You Need Semi-Truck Repair for a Failing Clutch?

1. Slipping

The clutch consists of a circular plate containing that connects to the gearbox using components known as friction pads. While you drive, the clutch plate spins on a flywheel, exerts force against the drive plate, and engages the transmission. When you depress the pedal, it disengages the clutch plate and removes pressure from the drive plate, allowing you to change gears.

A slipping clutch occurs when the friction pads wear down and cannot maintain constant pressure on the drive plate. You will notice this if the engine revs briefly as if you are pressing the clutch pedal, even though your foot remains on the gas.

2. Sticking

semi-truck repairThe opposite problem is when the clutch fails to disengage when you depress the pedal. It usually indicates a problem with the clutch cable, cross shaft, or pivot ball that connects the pedal to the friction plate. With these issues, the plate will stay on the drive plate, preventing you from shifting the gears easily.

Not only does this reduce fuel efficiency during your trip, but it is also hazardous to the engine of your semi-truck, as it cannot transfer power correctly. When this happens, semi-truck repair is necessary, as it will eventually make shifting impossible.

3. Unusual Noises

When operating smoothly, you should only hear the engine raising or dropping in pitch slightly as it adjusts to the new gear. If you hear grinding, scraping, or screeching noises when you depress the clutch, there is an issue with the transmission. Typically, this means that the clutch disc is dirty, worn, or broken. To fix this, you may only need to clean it; however, it often requires a full replacement of the disc.


If you're experiencing clutch issues and need a reliable mechanic, contact Stephenson Truck Repair in Lincoln, NE. They are family-owned and -operated and have been serving Lancaster County since 1966. In addition to mechanical repairs, they also specialize in truck paint and bodywork and RV service. Learn more about their services online. Call (402) 466-8532 to schedule semi-truck repairs.