The clutch on a car engages and disengages to transmit power from the engine to the wheels. This is necessary for shifting gears, starting, and stopping, so when the part fails, it makes driving unsafe or impossible. To avoid this problem, look out for the following signs you need a clutch replacement.

How to Tell When You Need a New Clutch

1. Slipping

The clutch is a circular plate that presses against a similarly shaped flywheel to move the vehicle forward. When engaged, it spins the flywheel with friction. When disengaged, the clutch plate spins, but the flywheel does not. Over time, the friction plate can wear out, or the linkage can become damaged, and the clutch will start to slip, even when it's engaged. When this happens, the engine may sound like it's racing, but the car will be moving slowly.

2. Trouble Reversing

clutch replacementOne of the trickiest procedures a car transmission must perform is shifting into reverse. When this happens, the drive shaft is moving one way, but the car must travel the other direction by engaging an opposing gear. This puts a lot of strain on the clutch, which will be difficult if you need clutch replacement. For instance, the lever may be tricky to move into place, or you might hear a short delay and a loud clunk as the vehicle finally finds the right gear.

3. Strange Sounds or Odors

A failing clutch can result in unpleasant grinding noises as the car shifts gears when the clutch fails to release fully. Additionally, you might smell hot metal when the slipping clutch rubs against the flywheel instead of turning it or fully disengaging. The resulting friction heats the metal and produces a burning smell.


For reliable clutch replacement in the Cincinnati, OH, area, contact Northgate Transmissions. They’ve served Hamilton County and the Tri-state area for more than 30 years, specializing in transmission replacements, clutch work, and transmission flushes. Learn more about the company on their website, or call (513) 385-4400 to schedule clutch replacement today.