What to do if clutch fails while driving

Put the gear in neutral, turn on your hazards, and come to a safe stop on the right side of the road if possible. If you have problems with clutch you should know the problem can be the clutch itself (unadjusted clutch clearance, worn or broken release bearing or its fork, worn or damaged parts of the drive disc, drive disk failure, clutch drive jamming) or in master or slave hydraulic cylinders.

What to do if clutch fails
What to do if clutch fails?


Clutch failure analysis

Clutch Anatomy

Checking and removing a clutch master cylinder
Reason of clutch fails can be leaks of hydraulic fluid through worn or ill-fitting seals. So the fluid go past the slave piston and the last does not travel far enough to disengage the clutch.
When the air get into the system and you feel spongy feel of the pedal by action. Producers have produced fitt a service kit which you can use when clutch seals are worn or damaged. But if you see that cylinder bores worn or become rough — the fitting a new cylinder is the only remedy.
If you will use new seals without change the cylinder they will be worn quickly. To return you clutch check the all system and repair all leaks. Change the seals or the master cylinder if it nessesary. Then topping up the fluid into the master-cylinder reservoir, remove air from the system by bleeding it and use yout clutch with pleasure.
Driven disk failure
With the clutch pedal depressed, it is difficult or impossible to shift into gear, but the car still pulls forward.
The main symptoms of driven disk failures are incomplete clutch disengagement (incomplete opening of the master and slave disks).

  • wear of frictional adjustments;
  • lubrication with operating fluids or engine / transmission oil;
  • damage to friction linings or other parts of the driven disk;
  • contamination or mechanical problems in the disc hub or on the primary shaft splines of gearbox.


Incomplete engagement of the clutch, with the pedal fully released – you released the clutch pedal and the disks should be tightly connected with each other, but something is stopping them. In this case, the engine is running but the car is not moving. Accelerating dynamics is minimal.


How to check the clutch

Clutch diagnostics and repair is a rather complicated event that requires the necessary tools and should be carried out by professionals.

free travel of the clutch pedal

If you can do work itself like as adjusting the gaps or free travel of the clutch pedal; tighten, shorten or lengthen the drive rod of the release fork; you can remove the clutch pan and determine the thickness of the frictional adjustments on the driven disk yourself. But the others works you need to go to proffesionals. Because modern cars equipped with all kinds of protections, aprons, pallets, which complicates access to them.


Check the fluid level and if the clutch fluid is low, check all over both master and slave cylinders and the pipe that connects them for signs of any leaks. After this pull back the dust cover on the cylinders and look if there hydraulic fluid inside. If you see hydraulic fluid inside the cover its means the piston seal is worn and it is need to change. Remove damaged parts, overhaul or replace it. Do cure the problem is fitting a complete service kit to both cylinders.

Author: delfi

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