Beware of Clutch Problems That Take a Toll on Your Volkswagen
23 Dec, 20
Problems with the clutch can pose safety hazards and driving difficulties for your Volkswagen. It’s important that you see a quality, certified mechanic to get the clutch issues resolved as soon as possible so you can get back on the road.
Things that Make the Clutch Wear More Quickly
The clutch is an extremely integral component of a manual transmission. Because it works on the principle of friction, its life can be limited, as friction is what causes heat and wear. If your clutch seems to be wearing and burning out more quickly than it should, take a look at your usage patterns. Below are 4 main reasons why your clutch might be wearing more quickly.
If you are releasing the clutch too quickly in order to get that surge of power, over time you will eventually cause damage and affect how your Volkswagen drives. The clutch needs to be released slowly. This will reduce the chance of damage and increase the longevity of the clutch and your vehicle.
Difficult Driving Conditions
Towing or overloading the car will put excess load on the clutch and speed up wear. If you live in an area that has excessive city traffic, frequent clutch use will be inevitable. In these cases, expect the clutch to wear out more quickly.
Using the Clutch Rather than the Handbrake
Riding the clutch, or rather, holding the clutch in the half position, should be avoided. For instance, with a hill start, use the handbrake to prevent sliding backwards, and then ease into engaging the clutch while you release the handbrake. This should help maintain the longevity of your clutch.
Improper Driving Skills
New drivers, or drivers who are used to an automatic transmission, may not use the clutch properly, especially on icy or snow-covered roads. This can increase the likelihood of burning the clutch more quickly. If you are new to driving a manual transmission, riding with someone who is an experienced stick shift driver could be very helpful so that you can drive your Volkswagen properly and prevent improper or overuse of the clutch.
Signs Your Volkswagen Has a Problem with Its Clutch
No matter what the cause, if you are noticing any of the following signs that there is a problem with your clutch, it’s wise to see a certified mechanic as soon as possible to ensure the longevity of your Volkswagen vehicle:
- Slipping clutch: If you have a slipping clutch, you may notice that your vehicle is driving much more slowly and sluggishly than normal. This indicates that the clutch is badly worn and the friction material has torn off, making your Volkswagen driving experience dangerous and much less efficient.
- Gear shift is difficult and choppy: This could indicate a problem with the linkages or damage to the clutch plate.
- Grinding noises when shifting gears: If you are hearing grinding noises when shifting gears, this could mean you have a dragging clutch. This could be due to a problem with the release mechanism, or a clutch pedal that needs an adjustment.
- Weird noses when you depress or release the clutch pedal: This is oftentimes an indicator of a lack of lubrication in the clutch release, or that the release bearing has been worn out.
- Unusual noise when the car is in neutral that goes away when you press on the clutch pedal: This could be a sign that the input shaft is worn out.
- The clutch pedal is hard, too soft, feels strange, or vibrates: There are several reasons that can cause this symptom. Getting a professional opinion from a certified mechanic is your best bet to getting this problem remedied.
Getting the Proper Service for Your Vehicle
A problem with the clutch doesn’t mean you need to get a full clutch replacement. There are several components that go into your vehicle’s clutch. If there is an issue with it, a completely burnt-out clutch is only one extreme possibility. That’s why getting an evaluation from a certified mechanic is important to finding the source of the clutch issues and having them fixed.
Our team of professionals at Santa Barbara Autowerks provides excellent service for Volkswagen vehicles all throughout the Santa Barbara area. If clutch problems are taking a toll on your Volkswagen driving experience, give us a call at Santa Barbara Autowerks for affordable and quality service today 805-966-3200.