Clutch Service & Repair

If you own a vehicle with a manual transmission, you’re likely very familiar with your clutch. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to shift gears to propel your car forward. Even automatic vehicles have a clutch, which is typically located in the torque converter. But what exactly does a clutch in a manual transmission vehicle do? And how do you know if something is wrong with your clutch?

Clutch 101: A Brief Rundown of Your Clutch

What is a Clutch?

In layman’s terms, a clutch is a mechanical device that transfers or disengages rotational power from the engine to the wheels. Some people might tell you that the clutch is the pedal sitting to the left of your brake pedal, but that’s only half correct. While that pedal is called your “clutch pedal” and functions as the clutch operating switch, your actual clutch is a complex contraption that resembles the detailed mechanics of a wristwatch.

How Does a Clutch Work?

The inner workings of the clutch consist of five main parts that work harmoniously together: the flywheel, pressure plate, disc, and throw-out bearing and release system. These parts work side by side to either connect or disconnect the engine to the wheels—allowing you to shift gears, change speed, or come to a complete stop without killing the engine.

What Can Go Wrong with Your Clutch?

Because the clutch on your vehicle has so many moving parts, there are countless elements that can wear down over time—especially on heavily used cars or trucks that frequently tow large loads. At Kennedy Transmission, our certified technicians are experienced in diagnosing, repairing, and servicing clutches in all types of vehicles throughout Minnesota.

The most common clutch services and repairs we work on include:

Clutch Slipping

For your clutch to work properly and respond to your commands, the linkage between the clutch and the clutch pedal—called the clutch fork or release arm—needs to provide the right amount of movement. Because this piece of your clutch system is delicate, it can sometimes slip out of place, making it difficult to shift gears even with the clutch pedal fully depressed. If you notice difficulty shifting in your manual transmission vehicle, it’s likely time for a clutch adjustment. At Kennedy, we provide complete clutch adjustment services for all types of vehicles, ensuring your clutch fork has the perfect amount of play to allow your car to operate smoothly.

Clutch Aging

Sometimes, a simple change in your clutch fork is not enough to get your clutch running efficiently. If your older clutch is slipping, chattering, making noise, or vibrating, it might be time for a new clutch kit. A clutch kit is made up of a clutch disc and pressure plate, and sometimes a few extra bushings and bearings. For aging clutches, a new clutch kit from Kennedy Transmission can make your ride feel smooth, effortless, and return it to top-performing condition in no time.

Damaged Clutch Slave Cylinders

Clutch slave cylinders—or clutch components that receive pressure from the master cylinder to disengage the clutch—are integral to your clutch performing properly. There are two types of clutch slave cylinders, depending on your type of manual transmission:

  1. External clutch slave cylinder
  2. Internal clutch slave cylinder

These small pieces of machinery are responsible for the fluid traveling between your clutch pedal and clutch to engage the system and switch gears. When these little parts are damaged, you may feel your clutch pedal going soft and spongy, or you might not be able to get your car into gear. Additionally, you might experience a fluid leak that occurs with or without the previously mentioned symptoms. Since your clutch slave cylinders play a key part in your vehicle’s performance, you’ll need to get the damage fixed as soon as possible. Our experienced technicians can repair your clutch slave cylinders and get you back onto the road quickly.

Get Your Clutch into Gear with Kennedy Transmission

By design, manual transmissions require you to have more engagement with your vehicle, as it’s up to you to switch gears and get your car to respond. Because of this, you’re sometimes able to notice clutch issues quickly—but even the most experienced manual vehicle drivers can miss clutch problems. Thankfully, the expert technicians at Kennedy Transmission can help you check on the health of your clutch and get you back into gear with ease.

If you suspect something is wrong with your clutch, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment at a Kennedy location near you. After you tell us what you’re experiencing, we will focus on the problem, diagnose it quickly, and fix it fast!

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