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2 Transmission Problems That Can Affect Your Clutch

Gearbox of Car
Despite the prevalence of automatic transmissions today, a surprising number of car owners still prefer the increased control and responsiveness of a manual transmission. Simply put, these drivers feel that a manual transmission is just more fun. When operated responsibly, a manual transmission can also improve your overall fuel economy.

That doesn't mean that manual transmissions won't also experience problems as time goes on, of course. But the direct contact you have with your transmission through the clutch pedal often helps you know when things aren't working right. This article will deepen your transmission troubleshooting skills by discussing two common problems that can affect your clutch.

1. Warped Flywheel
Your car's clutch connects to a spring that controls the movement of a pressure plate. This pressure plate presses against the clutch disc whenever you let up on the clutch pedal. As a result, the clutch disc encounters the flywheel, which attaches to your engine's crankshaft.

This system ensures that anytime you don't actively engage the clutch, your engine and transmission rotate at the same speed. When you press down on the clutch, the clutch disc pulls away from the flywheel, allowing the engine and transmission to spin separately. This separation allows the transmission to switch gears before re-engaging the flywheel.

Because the flywheel attaches directly to the engine, the flywheel experiences many extreme temperature swings. Over time, the stress of these changes may cause the flywheel to warp. This makes the clutch disc engaging the flywheel more difficult. Eventually, as the problem grows more pronounced, your engine may not start at all.

Yet in the early stages, a warped flywheel often manifests in your clutch pedal. You may notice that your clutch has begun to vibrate when you release it. Known as clutch chatter, this problem stems from the bumpy flywheel knocking against the clutch disc as the two grow closer. You must replace an excessively warped flywheel to restore proper functioning to your car.

2. Worn Clutch Disc

The high-friction surface of the flywheel will take its toll on your clutch disc as time goes on. Simply put, the face of the clutch disc will wear down over time. No matter how responsibly you use your clutch pedal, you can't do much to prevent your clutch disc wearing down over time. In this regard, you can think of your clutch a little bit like your brake pads.

Allowing the clutch disc to wear down too far, however, can end up damaging your flywheel. If the disc excessively wears down, the bolts that attach the clutch disc to its hub may become exposed. These bolts will then dig into the surface of the flywheel each time you take your foot off the clutch.

The more worn down your clutch disc becomes, the higher your clutch pedal's release point will be. This change in height corresponds to the farther distance that the clutch disc has to travel to meet the flywheel. Eventually the clutch disc simply won't be able to exert the necessary amount of pressure on the flywheel.

At this point, you may notice that your car has a much harder time accelerating up inclines or carrying heavy loads. To prevent this potentially dangerous scenario, next time your clutch pedal's release point seems much higher than usual, be sure to have a mechanic properly and thoroughly inspect your clutch disc.

A manual car's clutch system takes a heavy beating as time goes on. To learn more about what you need to keep all parts of your transmission system running smoothly, please don't hesitate to contact Central Florida's experts at All Transmission World.