Clutch and manual transmission system

Fortunately for drivers of manual cars, repairing the clutch and manual transmission system is usually a lot more straightforward (and therefore cheaper!) than fixing an automatic. That said, there are still some common problems manual drivers should be aware of.

In this article we’ll cover the function of your clutch, the differences between manual and automatic, as well as common problems and how to diagnose them.

Do you need your clutch or transmission checked? Please call our expert team on 1300 772 579 or click here to find your nearest store.

What does the clutch do?

In simple terms, the clutch keeps the engine from stalling. Imagine that the engine is spinning at all times. When the wheels need to stop, but the engine needs to continue spinning, the clutch allows the transmission to become disconnected from the engine through the control of friction.

What’s the difference between manual and automatic transmissions?

The key difference is that automatic cars don’t have a clutch pedal or a gear stick. As the name suggests, automatic cars change gears automatically, while drivers of manual cars control the gears themselves. So, why drive a manual? There are plenty of reasons why manual transmission systems remain popular today:

  • They are cheaper to buy than automatic cars
  • Manual cars are more fuel efficient
  • They give drivers more control over the car
  • Maintenance and repairs on manual cars generally costs less
  • Manual cars can get away with less frequent services
  • People who love driving tend to prefer manual transmission

Common clutch and manual transmission problems

When you do run into a problem with your manual transmission, there are some common problems you should know about:

  • Oil leakage
  • Worn clutch plate
  • Worn thrust bearing
  • Worn spigot bearing
  • Air in the hydraulic system
  • Low fluid
  • Incorrect lubricant level
  • Blocked ventilation tubes/ports
  • Worn gears
  • Loose bolts
  • Broken clutch cable

How to figure out if there’s something wrong with your clutch or transmission

Not sure if your car has a problem? If you notice any of the following symptoms, it’s probably best to get your vehicle to a Kmart Tyre & Auto Service mechanic.:

  • A slipping clutch: This could indicate that the friction material on the clutch disc is worn out.
  • A sticking clutch: If you're finding it hard to release your clutch, it could be a broken clutch cable, a defective master cylinder, or air in the hydraulic system.
  • A hard clutch: If you have to apply too much pressure to get the clutch to work it could be a clutch cable problem or a blockage in the hydraulics.
  • Delay when going into gear: This could mean you need a new clutch.
  • Strange noises: Clinking, humming, scratching, or snapping noises could indicate a number of different problems. Always have suspicious noises checked out.
  • A burning smell: Have this seen to straight away. It could mean that your transmission fluid is overheating and wreaking havoc within the transmission.
  • Shaking: Shaking or rumbling could indicate a problem with your gears.
  • Car not going into gear: If this happens, check your fluid, it could be low. If that’s not the case, get it checked by a Kmart Tyre & Auto Service mechanic.
  • Noisy in neutral: Get to a Kmart Tyre & Auto Service mechanic. if this is happening to your car. It usually means you have some worn out parts that need replacing.
  • Car is difficult to change gear in cold temperatures: You may need to change to a lighter oil, but check with your Kmart Tyre & Auto Service mechanic. first.

Manual cars are usually reliable and sturdy. Having them serviced or inspected at least once a year will ensure that you rarely have any problems with them.

Do you need your clutch or transmission checked? Please call our expert team on 1300 772 579 or click here to find your nearest store.

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