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What Is Clutch And When To Change It?

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The practical point on the clutch: what are its signs of wear and when to change it?

Manual gearboxes, formerly called standard gearboxes, are gradually giving way to automatic models. However, there are still plenty of them. Like any part of a vehicle, it is subject to wear and needs to be changed after a certain stage.

The manual gearbox takes its name from the fact that the driver operates it manually via the gear lever connected to the clutch, unlike its automatic cousin where the driver has no manipulation to perform. It also has its own wear symptoms, which are important to be aware of.

The life expectancy of a clutch, like the entire gearbox, depends a lot on how its owner drives. But other factors such as the quality of construction and the weather can have significant consequences. The environment too, since a clutch will watch less quickly on vehicles accustomed to long distances on the motorway, unlike regular urban travel punctuated by red lights. It should also not be overlooked whether or not to tow heavy loads; if you are used to carrying a caravan or trailer behind you, this will stress the clutch even more.

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The main symptoms of a clutch showing signs of fatigue are as follows. First, when a friction noise is heard when you engage or disengage. Then, a feeling that it slips as if you weren’t fully shifting. Also, when you have the impression that the acceleration requested by the pedal is not there and that the vehicle is picking up speed less quickly than expected. Finally, the impression that the clutch pedal is particularly difficult to depress.

In any case, whether or not your clutch shows these signs of fatigue, it is recommended to change it every 50,000 to 150,000 km. You can find more detailed clutch change specifications in your vehicle’s service manual.

Related article: how to preserve your clutch?

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