Causes & Symptoms of Clutch Chatter

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Clutch Chatter

Diagnosis of Clutch Chatter

Clutch chatter is best described as a stutter or vibration as the clutch is released. It is most noticable when starting out from a complete stop. Clutch chatter is the most difficult clutch problem to diagnose and repair. Some clutch chatter problems can be caused by a clutch problem, but often the problem is caused by something other than the clutch.

Clutch related Chatter problems


  • Clutch Disc related Contamination: Oil on the disc from an engine or transmission leak
  • Torsion Spring Escaped: usually caused by “popping” the clutch or attempting to push start the car

Pressure Plate Distorted

  • Pressure Plate Related Warped friction plate: Usually due to excessive heat build up. Can be caused by excessively slipping the clutch
  • Warped Diaphram Spring: Defective part
  • Uneven Coil Spring Pressures: Defective part. Very few of this style clutch made today

Release Bearing

  • Release Bearing Related Damaged or Worn Release Bearing: Usually on very high mileage cars, or can result from extended operation with a defective pressure plate
  • Grooved release bearing guide
  • Worn bearing retainer

Pilot Bearing Related Damaged or Missing Pilot Bearing: Part failure

Warped Flywheel: Caused by excessive heat build up. Can be caused by excessively slipping the clutch, or overloading the vehicle. Flywheel may have to be replaced or resurfaced

Actuator Related

Worn Slave Cylinder

Binding Master Cylinder

Worn or Broken Pedal Bracket

Binding Cable

Worn Linkage

Engine Related

Broken Motor Mounts

Worn Thrust Bearing: Excessive crankshaft end play

Poor Engine Performance:Tune Up

Torn Air Flow Tube

Transmission Related

Broken Transmission Mounts

Worn Input Shaft

Worn Input Shaft Bearing:Excessive play

Misalignment:alignment dowel missing or Bolts could be broken or missing

Chassis Related

Worn Shocks/Struts

Worn U-joint or CV Joint

Defective Differential