Most people tend to think of clutches as only being associated with manual transmission vehicles. The truth is that automatic vehicles also have a clutch system that's part of the torque converter system. No matter what type of transmission you have, there is a clutch component that enables the vehicle to shift between gears.
If the clutch or torque converter starts to have problems, your vehicle won't shift correctly and you will likely notice some other signs of failure. Here are a few common symptoms of a failing clutch or torque converter, according to the auto repair experts at San Francisco Automotive Solutions.
1. Loose Clutch Pedal
If you have a manual transmission, you can usually tell when the clutch pedal starts to get really loose. If you can easily press it all the way down to the floor with no resistance, there's a chance that something needs to be fixed within the clutch assembly.
2. Sticky or Squeaky Clutch Pedal
Again, this only applies to manual vehicles. If the clutch pedal seems extra stiff and "sticky" or it makes significant squeaking or grinding noises when you press it, it's time to have your clutch looked at by a professional mechanic.
3. Grinding Gears/Difficulty Shifting
If you hear grinding gears every time you shift or the vehicle seems to be having a hard time engaging between different gears, there's a chance you have a clutch issue. Grinding gears with a manual transmission can also be a user error if you aren't shifting smoothly and properly. That can to a lot of damage to the clutch, transmission and gears themselves.
4. Engine Revs But Car Struggles to Accelerate
This is a common sign of a clutch, torque converter or some other sort of transmission-related problem. You press on the gas and the engine revs loudly. However, the vehicle really struggles to accelerate. This is definitely something you will want to have diagnosed by an expert auto repair technician.
5. Shuddering and Bumpiness
This will often happen in the 30-45 MPH range and it's a sign that there could be a torque converter issue in an automatic transmission vehicle. It usually feels like the car is shuddering or like the road is super bumpy. If you get shudders and vibrations all the time, it might be something else like the suspension or wheel alignment. If it only happens in a certain speed range or gear, then the torque converter is a likely culprit.
If you ever think you might have a problem with your clutch, torque converter or any component of your transmission, you do not want to ignore it. Major transmission repairs can be very costly and it's always best to deal with the problem early on before it develops into something much worse.
For all your clutch, torque converter and transmission repair and maintenance needs in the city, call San Francisco Automotive Solutions today at (415) 957-1170 or schedule your service appointment online.