Whether you own an older car or purchased one based on your personal preferences, your vehicle may have a manual transmission as opposed to an automatic one. Since you need to manually shift the gears to help the transmission keep up with the motor, the clutch is an integral part of the design, and if it goes bad, your ability to drive will be greatly affected. While you are driving, keep an eye out for the following early warning signs that your car's manual transmission clutch is starting to fail.
1. Clutch Pedal Starts Feeling Odd When You Depress It
One early warning sign that your transmission's clutch is going bad can be detected when you depress the clutch pedal during a gear change. Normally, whenever you step on the clutch pedal to shift gears, it offers little resistance to your foot and will typically depress smoothly.
However, if there is a problem with the clutch, such as the teeth on the gears being misaligned or even wearing down, the pedal will feel odd when you try to depress it. It may feel sluggish, as if your foot is trying to go through a thick tub of butter. The pedal may also vibrate during the resistance. Have your car checked out in case this sign is indicating that the gears are no longer lined up or are stripped.
2. Car Sometimes Lurches Forward After You Shift Gears
Another sign that your clutch is failing is when you start to physically feel the shifting of the gears. Normally, when your car's clutch is working properly, the gears will shift smoothly, and you may not feel anything besides the motor calming down as the transmission provides the right gear.
However, if the teeth on the gears are misaligned or worn, there may be a second of hesitation when the clutch attempts to find the right gear. When it does find the gear after this pause, you may feel the car lurch forward slightly. At first, this will only be apparent every so often. However, as the problem worsens, you will find that the lurching occurs almost every time you shift.
If you have noticed that your car is exhibiting the above signs whenever you attempt to shift gears while driving, the most likely cause is that the clutch in the manual transmission is going bad. To keep your transmission from failing completely, take your car to a clutch repair shop so that they can examine it, find the cause, and replace the clutch if necessary.