Allstate Transmission Repair of Phoenix; Repair Information Section
Automotive Clutch Repair And Installation
We’re automotive clutch repair & new clutch installation experts. Diagnosing & repairing clutch problems or installing a new clutch in a car or truck should only be done by a clutch repair shop that has experience with all types of automotive clutches. As a transmission shop we repair clutch problems much more often than a general automotive repair shop does. With the amount of clutch issues we see, we are very familiar with the root cause of symptoms associated with clutch problems in Phoenix.
You’d be surprised at the amount of people that think they need a new clutch because of a misdiagnosis. Accurately diagnosing a bad clutch is very easy for us, NOT all problems require the clutch to be replaced, depending on the symptom; your car may just need a minor repair or simple adjustment.
Common Clutch Problems
Clutch repairs normally don’t involve replacing the clutch; usually it’s one or the other. But sometimes continuing to drive a car with clutch problems that could have been repaired can damage the clutch itself.
Problems that require the clutch to be replaced:
- Slipping Clutches or No Movement – If your engine revs but your car won’t move or barely moves then the clutch disc or pressure plate has failed and will have to be replaced.
- Clutch Chatter – If you feel a chatter when releasing the clutch, it’s caused from hot spots in the flywheel and pressure plate.
- Clutch Noises – A bad throw out bearing or pilot bearing can cause a squealing noise from the bad or seized bearings.
Problems that CAN be solved with just a clutch repair:
- No Clutch Pedal – If your clutch pedal is flopping up and down with no resistance, getting soft or starting to let the car move when you barely start to lift your foot off the pedal (releasing close to the floor) then the clutch’s hydraulic system, or cable in older cars, needs to be replaced, bled or adjusted.
- Hard To Get Your Transmission Into Gear – If it seems to be getting harder for you to get your shifter to go into gear with the car running then this is normally an issue with clutch cable / hydraulic system or the transmission linkage could need to be repaired.
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Some of these symptoms can be caused by transmission issues. Another reason to have an expert clutch repair shop diagnose your clutch problems.
New Clutch Installation
About Our Clutch Jobs – (New Clutches Installed)
When we perform a clutch job here at Allstate Transmission of Phoenix, it includes the labor to remove the transmission, the installation of a new clutch kit as well as resurfacing the flywheel if possible, then reinstalling the transmission, bleeding the air from the clutch’s hydraulic system if necessary and any needed adjustments.
The new clutch kit includes a new clutch disc, pressure plate, throw out bearing and a pilot bearing or bushing.
Flywheel resurfacing (also known as grinding or cutting the flywheel) is similar to having your brake rotors turned. A small amount of the flywheel face is removed until the surface is flat and all hot spots or heat stress cracks are removed.
Some flywheels can’t be resurfaced, and must be replaced. An example of a un surface-able flywheel is one that has been surfaced so many times during previous clutch jobs that it is under the specified thickness to be safely resurfaced. Another example of a non surface-able flywheel is a dual mass flywheel; dual mass flywheels weren’t designed to be surfaced. To learn more, follow this link for more information about how a dual mass flywheel works.
Some clutch problems can be fixed with an adjustment of the clutch cable or the transmission linkage. Sometimes one of these components may be broken or stretched past the point of being adjusted and must be replaced.
The most common clutch problem we see that can be repaired without having to replace the clutch involves the clutch’s hydraulic system. Whether the clutch master cylinder or the clutch slave cylinder fails, we replace both components. Replacing both parts of the system at the same time is something we’ve learned to do over the years. Too many times has one part failed shortly after replacing the other, leaving our customers stranded and feeling that the repair we made was performed poorly. Some shops will still replace only one part if needed, but most shops have learned their lesson in making sure their customers won’t have further problems.
How to Avoid Clutch Problems
Extending the life of your clutch is easy if you try to avoid just a few small things that can cause big problems.
Keep an eye out for oil leaks; oil on your clutch has the same effect as oil on your brakes. When oil impregnates the material on the clutch disc it’s all over! Some engine oil leaks can get to the clutch assembly, but it’s usually the front seal of the transmission that causes the problem. If that seal fails, transmission oil pours right out onto the clutch, so just be aware of any oil leaks you may have.
The life span of your clutch can be directly affected by the way you drive. Letting the clutch out too slow or riding the clutch can cause your clutch to go out MUCH quicker than it should.
Towing or hauling heavy loads that exceed the manufacturer’s recommendation, especially up hills, can damage your clutch quickly. Performance cars and trucks (especially upgraded diesel trucks) can cause a clutch to slip under hard acceleration. So if you have to do a lot of towing, or you can’t help accelerating hard, you may want to consider upgrading to a heavy duty clutch.
Heavy Duty Clutches
Some performance cars and some trucks that haul or tow heavy loads can benefit from a heavy duty clutch that helps keep the clutch from slipping. A clutch that is considered heavy duty will usually have a pressure plate with more clamping force or a disc that uses exotic materials like you would see on performance disc brake pads.
These types of clutches may have a few negative affects though, such as:
A Hard Pedal
- Stronger pressure plate fingers help grab the disc, but are also harder to depress when releasing the clutch. The extra force needed to release the clutch will be felt in the pedal, In stop and go traffic, your left leg can get a real workout after just a few minutes.
Excessive Flywheel or Pressure Plate Wear
- Excessive wear can sometimes be associated with Heavy Duty / Performance Clutches. The aggressive clutch material used on the disc to help it from slipping can also wear into the pressure plate or flywheel quicker.
- A clutch that’s designed not to slip can also be hard to make slip. When letting the clutch out (disengaging it) you normally release the pedal gradually to keep the engine from stalling. Performance clutches can engage hard or cause the car to “chug” since they don’t want to slip as much.
On the plus side, once a heavy duty clutch is engaged, it is engaged and it’s almost impossible to make slip. If you’re having problems burning through clutches and you can put up the issues above and the higher price, then a heavy duty clutch is the only way to go.