A manual transmission is an uncommon choice these days for drivers. But for those vehicle owners who have them, it’s important to know when repairs are needed.
For many drivers, there’s nothing like shifting manually from one gear to the next while driving. Some go with manual transmission because it ultimately costs less to maintain and repair.
Several components make up the manual transmission in automobiles. When shifting gears becomes difficult or the clutch pedal feels too loose, it could be time to replace one or more of them.
But one of the first things a mechanic or vehicle owner should know is handling these parts requires caution. Some clutch assemblies, particularly those in older vehicles, could contain parts made with asbestos, a dangerous material linked to the deadly mesothelioma cancer. Manufacturers used asbestos to make some clutch parts and other vehicle components, exposing professional and home mechanics to the possibility of toxic particles that, if inhaled, could lead to mesothelioma, according to Asbestos.net.
So take care when working on a clutch or have a professional auto repair shop that you trust to handle it. The manual transmission is becoming more scarce, with fewer car makers offering the option in their lineups. But most repair shops can handle the job and they have studied the different components that make up the clutch.
These signs are the most common indicators that clutch repairs are needed.
Car moves slowly
This is known as slippage when the clutch loses its ability to generate friction needed to turn the flywheel. The clutch’s pressure plate or linkage could need replacing.
Noisy when pressing the pedal
This typically is a sign that the bearings need to be replaced. If you catch this soon enough, you could save on having to replace other parts that can become damaged over a longer period of time.
Bad grinding noise
Not a good sign in any case really, but particularly with a clutch. This is a sign that the clutch is not releasing properly, and that could mean replacing the pressure plate, throwout bearing, or the clutch’s release mechanism. Chances are you’ll need a new clutch assembly if this is the case.
If there is a lot of noise when you accelerate, this could be a sign that your older clutch is giving out. It’s possible either the flywheel or clutch could need replacing. One way to extend the life of a clutch is not to ride it too often when driving.
The good news for owners of vehicles with manual transmissions is the repairs are typically cheaper than the automatic transmission, which could cost an owner twice as much over the life of the vehicle. Depending on how extensive the repairs are, the cost to replace a clutch could range from $500 to $1,400.