Even an excellent car brand like the MINI can have its share of mechanical malfunctions. One such common issue to often arise is a clutch failure. The following article discusses the purpose of the clutch, why it may fail, and what you should do when it fails.
What is the clutch?
The clutch is a crucial part of the transmission system of the vehicle. If you’re driving in manual transmission, then the clutch is benign used every single time, because it is needed to change gears.
When you’re driving and you want to change the gears, the clutch is a component in the transmission system that allows you to disengage the wheels from the engine. Thus, there’s no damage to the engine of the car. Whenever the driver steps on the clutch pedal, a series of actions begin throughout the transmission system which involves various components, springs, bearings, clutch disc, flywheels, etc. All of these parts are needed for a healthy working clutch and transmission system.
Why does the clutch fail?
A clutch can fail simply from regular wear and tear from daily usage. The clutch is used every time your MINI is being used. This is more common in a city with heavy traffic, when you’re stopping and starting more frequently, so you may find more wear and tear there.
Any one of the various parts of the transmission system can break down or become damaged over time. This is normal, common, and unavoidable. However, regular routine maintenance checks can prolong the effect.
How do you know there is clutch failure?
Fortunately, you can identify a clutch failure relatively quickly and easily as they can be very apparent. The following are symptoms of clutch failure:
- Transmission has various noises: Every time you change gears, you may start to hear chirping or squeaking noises. Even when you’re in neutral, there may be strange sounds that normally aren’t there. You might even hear a grinding sound which could indicate that something is out of place or that there isn’t enough lubrication due to low fluid. This would cause undesirable friction. Whatever the sound, make note of it and take your MINI to a professional to get it checked.
- Clutch slipping: Sometimes when driving, you may notice that the engine is revving very loudly even though the car is moving slowly. It may feel like you are slipping between the gears. And this slippage can make you feel like you have no control. This can happen when the clutch disc is worn out so the link between the engine and the transmission isn’t working as well. Another reason this can happen is due to misalignment or damage in clutch linkages.
- Rough gear shifts: The clutch helps the gears shift smoothly and accordingly to when it’s needed. If there’s a delay, then you’ll find that you can’t pick up more speed, or maybe you can’t shift gears at all. Also, you’ll notice trouble when going in reverse, too. This is another indication of clutch failure.
- Clutch pedal “feels” different: The clutch pedal might feel like there are excessive vibrations. Additionally, it might feel looser than before, as if there’s less resistance when you’re pushing down on it. It can feel sticky, making it hard to change gears. There is even the danger of the pedal getting stuck, which can become a driving hazard by causing an accident.
What do you do when you have a clutch failure?
Once there are signs of clutch failure, those parts need to be replaced right away. Clutch failure makes driving rough and uncomfortable, but more importantly, it can be dangerous. It should be addressed as soon as possible by a professional mechanic.
It is highly unadvisable to attempt to fix the clutch in your MINI yourself. MINIs are unique cars designed with top-of-the-line German engineering, and they need to be handled by someone with experience and the right tools.
Germany’s Best, Inc. for your MINI’s Clutch
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