Read these 9 Clutches Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Auto Parts tips and hundreds of other topics.
Some people find their clutches wear out often. Sometimes this means it's a poorly-constructed clutch system, a cheaply made clutch system or a maintenance problem. As with any fluid-operating system, your clutch fluids should be checked and topped off every time you change your oil. What some folks may call clutch fluid is actually the clutch master cylinder and slave cylinder. Both of these parts help to distribute the fluid as needed. If one fails to operate or is in a poor working condition, you may experience slippage, a sluggish clutch pedal, a weak clutch pedal or a complete clutch failure. Clutch fluid is very cheap and can be purchased at any auto parts store and it is very easy to fill your clutch master cylinder reservoir.
If you're having your oil changed at one of the quick oil change places, always ask them to check your clutch fluid. A little maintenance will help keep your clutch in good working order and possibly save you a lot of money down the road.
A lot of people will install the wrong type of clutch system in a vehicle. Yes, the clutch system may be for that vehicle's make and model, but a Honda Civic that has been modified to the gills for a specific type of racing is not the same as a Chevy Cavalier used for driving to work or to the kid's ballgame.
Often, people are pressured into buying upgraded parts for their vehicle. If you're a racing fan and looking to upgrade your clutch system, make sure your vehicle can handle the modification. Just because you have a car that is known to be fast doesn't always mean that a racing clutch is applicable. Know your vehicles limits. Also, if your looking for just a replacement clutch, then stick with your original equipment manufacturer clutch. You will find that your vehicle will still shift as before, but not with the added cost.
There's many advantages to buying a car with a standard transmission (i.e. a clutch). Because you have more control over the transmission, it's possible to get better gas mileage than a similarly appointed automatic car.
Up front, you will save about $1000 buying a standard comparted to an identical automatic. You also have the added insurance of being able to push start your car - dead battery? No Problem! Of course, there is also the camp of standard snobs who always quip, "I would rather drive my car than just steer..."
It's hard to do better than a putting a Centerforce clutch in your vehicle. Their patented weighted clutch system allows for greater clamping force (less slippage) and maintains an easy pedal feel. Centerforce makes clutches for most every production vehicle, and their clutches are found on some of the winning-est race cars found on the track today.
Replacing your clutch is a rather large and expensive undertaking, but you will need to do it eventually; why not go with the leading manufacturer of performance clutch systems?
If you are making the step into high performance, a clutch upgrade is practically a necessity. You can't add an extra 100 or 200 horsepower to your motor, and expect your stock clutch to handle the power. Conversely, don't try and throw a all-out race clutch on that street car either.
A good clutch company will talk to you aty length about your setup, ensuring the clutch, for instance an ACT clutch, they recommend fits your needs. Gearing, power adders, driving habits, and vehicle weight all factor in when choosing a clutch.
As we know, transmission work can be expensive. Most shops will test drive your vehicle and give you their opinion and an estimate at no charge. While at the shop, look around to see if there are any Better Business Bureau signs or accolades for work performed. Most good transmission shops will have schools attended or ASE ( automotive service excellence ) certified mechanics. Some will have plaques of accomplishments and/or training and achievements. Look at the shop area for cleanliness because a clean shop typically shows character of the shop owner and the employees. Watch the person giving you the pricing or estimate, if they are respectful and give clear and decisive information without hemming and hawing, then consider the shop.
It's not always easy to know when to replace your clutch and don't assume it should just be replaced at a certain mileage point.
A lot of automotive clutches will last longer, depending on the maintenance, the driver and vehicle usage. Some vehicles will experience earlier than usual clutch failure, but it's not uncommon for a clutch to last more than 100,000 miles. Depending on the driver's habits and the terrain driven, some clutches will fail, but have nothing to do with bad driving habits. Others are due to wear and tear and abuse. Whenever you think you have a clutch problem, look for:
-The vehicle doesn't move when the clutch is released
-Noises, such as chatters, shudders or grinding
Another reason for clutch failure is poor quality installation or even a defect in the manufacturers clutch parts. All these symptoms can and will help you identify the clutch problem or source. Always make sure that the transmission is in good shape because this may be another cause of clutch failure.
Whenever you're looking to purchase a new clutch system or clutch kit, always know what you're buying. You can actually purchase just a throw out bearing, pilot bearing, clutch disk, clutch plate and pressure plate separately. If you're in the market for a new clutch system or kit, ask specifically for the kit or system. Then check your purchase before leaving the store. If your ordering your clutch kit online, make sure what you're buying is what you need.
A clutch kit usually consists of the pressure plate, clutch disc, release bearing and alignment tool. These are the typical items, but sometimes the bearing is sold separately. Make sure you tell the vendor what you want and need.
Some clutches are made for racing and off-roading, others are made for everyday drivers and heavy-duty vehicles. No matter what you drive, Centerforce clutch systems and kits are the way to go because they are extremely durable with the added holding power you need. Consistent shifting is crucial to every street racer or track racer and with Centerforce, you can be assured that with every change of gear, your vehicle will perform like never before.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|