When should I replace my clutch?
Cars eventually stopped running permanently. The life of any car is extended considerably by the owner being sensible enough to take care of it. This means paying attention to important components such as alternators or distributors. Replacing them when it is necessary means that the car will keep going months and even years longer. The clutch is something that will wear out over time. An owner has to have an idea of when it is necessary to replace the clutch with something newer.
There are all kinds of estimates as to how long the clutch is going to last car. A lot depends on the model. A Nissan Sentra may have to have its clutch replaced at around 50,000 miles. Other models, can last as long as 125,000 miles or even go up to 175,000 miles. It really all depends on how the clutch is used on a routine basis.
A rule of thumb is that the less number of times a clutch is employed, the longer it is going to be usable. There are certain situations like driving a truck over a mountain that is going to require a lot of clutch use, but that doesn’t happen all the time. Problems can arise that require the clutch being replaced much earlier than the 50,000 mile benchmark. A car owner has to be alert for signs of possible difficulty. Sounds coming from under the hood are the best warning whistles for a car owner. If the clutch is making a lot of squeaking noises, it is a sign that there may be some repair work that’s necessary. Jerky motions that happen whenever the clutch pedal is engaged is known as clutch chattering. This can be a situation where parts the clutch are either worn out or have become loose. It is also possible that a dry strap has been broken or there is a damaged disk.
An immediate danger sign is a burning smell or even smoke. This is a signal that damage has been done to the clutch because of overheating. It is possible that the clutch may stick, and that means the pedal becomes more than usually difficult to disengage or to press. It is possible the clutch does not need to be replaced when some problems develop. An oil leak from the crankshaft to the clutch plate may be an internal problem, or there is a leak that has caused a loss of pressure. These need to be taken care of but they are not as expensive as replacing the entire clutch. It can definitely happen that the problem is not with the clutch itself at all. A way to test to see if the clutch is having problems is to select the third gear at low speed with the clutch being engaged. If the driver then opens the throttle, the engine is revving to a high revolutions per minute (RPM) and there is no increase in speed, there is a problem with the clutch.
Many automobile owners enjoy getting under the hood and perform do-it-yourself maintenance on their vehicles. Replacing a clutch, however, is not something that an amateur mechanic should attempt. This can be a very time-consuming process and mistakes may lead to bigger problems. It is much better to allow a trained mechanic at an automotive services center do the job. He or she has access to not just the right tools, but also the proper replacement parts. Clutch repair or replacement should be left to professionals. As mentioned earlier, the way the clutch is used will influence whether or not it deteriorates rapidly. Riding the clutch in slow-moving traffic is definitely going to produce the kind of wear and tear that damages this important automotive part. The clutch can slip out of gear under heavy loads, so it is advisable to be extremely careful of how the clutch is handled when transporting heavy cargo.
A car owner may fancy being a race car driver, but that image really ought to be left in the dreams. Most people drive in urban areas, and playing with the clutch is a bad habit they fall into. Granted, the clutch should be used on the open road but that doesn’t mean it is needed in slow-moving traffic. Economy of use is more efficient and ultimately is the best idea.