What does a burning smell from the clutch mean?

Clutch Lining Friction material overheating – A burning smell from the clutch is usually caused by friction between the clutch linings and the clutch pressure plate and the flywheel. The friction material between the clutch plates can reach very high temperatures, especially when you are putting your clutch under a lot of strain (e.g. starting and stopping on a steep hill). If the problem persists, the clutch plate with its lining of friction material may need to be replaced.

Clutch slipping – A slipping clutch can cause a burning smell. When the clutch is worn, it will begin to slip, causing a loss of vehicle power and other transmission problems. A slipping clutch will need to be replaced immediately.

Damage to Clutch Pressure Plate and Engine Flywheel – when you clutch starts slipping and if you start to notice the burning smell it can often wear the clutch linings off to a point where the clutch lining rivets start to rub and wear on the clutch pressure plate and engine flywheel.

These rivets then start scraping and scoring on the clutch pressure plate and engine flywheel, which can carve grooves into them, which means they would need replacing as well.

Therefore as soon as you notice your clutch is slipping we recommend that you take your vehicle to your trusted local garage to have your clutch replaced.


How important is a clutch replacement?

A healthy clutch allows you to easily change gears. If you are having difficulty changing gears, it can be distracting while you are driving. It can also limit the speed and power of your vehicle. Additionally, a damaged clutch cause deteriorate further over time, resulting in damage to other parts of your manual transmission / gearbox resulting in a more expensive future repair bill.


Is it safe to drive if there is a burning smell coming from your clutch?

Although your car will generally still operate correctly, you should be aware of the risks associated with driving on a damaged clutch.

A burning smell indicates that there is a problem with the clutch system, such as overheatin g or contamination, and driving the vehicle in this condition can cause further damage to the clutch and potentially result in a complete failure of the clutch system.

If you experience a burning smell coming from the clutch, it is recommended to have the vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible. Driving the vehicle with a burning clutch can cause damage to other parts of the drivetrain, including the transmission, and can pose a safety risk.

It is important to address any problems with the clutch system as soon as they are detected, in order to avoid more costly repairs and ensure the safe operation of the vehicle.

Clutch diagnostics and replacement in Hamilton

Is your clutch producing a burning smell? If so, part of the clutch system may be due for replacement. 

At Grimmer Motors, our vastly experienced, qualified and skilled technicians can provide clutch replacement solutions you can rely on. For all clutch and transmission replacement work and services in Hamilton, contact Grimmer Motors today.


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