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Clutch Symptom Diagnostic Checklist

Clutch Symptom Diagnostic Checklist

Causes & Symptoms Of A Slipping Clutch

After Long-Term Use



After Limited Use


Driver Abuse


Clutch out of adjustment


Defective pressure plate

  • Caused by Heat
  • Uneven Fingers
  • Flywheel not resurfaced or out of specification


Causes & Symptoms Of Clutch Chatter

Diagnosis of Clutch Chatter

Clutch chatter is best described as a stutter or vibration as the clutch is released. It is most noticeable 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 Diaphragm 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.

Our specialists in Beaverton are always ready to help you.

Causes & Symptoms of Clutch Related Shifting Problems

Normal Clutch Pedal Feel

Clutch Disc

  • Torsion spring escaped
  • Splines damaged
  • Lack of lubrication on splines
  • Rusted to flywheel
  • Rivets from disc adhering to flywheel
  • Bent disc
  • Flywheel mounting bolt interference


Pressure Plate

  • Warped diaphragm spring
  • Broken coil spring
  • Deformed mounting surface


Release Bearing


  • Pilot Bearing – Pilot Bearing binding on input shaft



  • Worn or binding internal parts. Over a long period of time the transmission can be damaged by a clutch that does not fully release.
  • Seized
  • Worn Synchronizer
  • Improper fluid


Abnormal Clutch Pedal

Hydraulic system failure

  • Leaking slave cylinder
  • Leaking master cylinder
  • Bypassing master cylinder
  • Improper hydraulic fluid
  • Out of adjustment


  • Firewall flexing
  • Broken pedal bracket
  • Worn or broken bellcrank
  • Broken fork or pivot
  • Broken release arm
  • Seized release bearing: Release bearing worn through pressure plate fingers

Cable – Broken, worn or binding cable. Sometimes the clutch cable mounting bracket may fail, tearing the firewall where the cable passes through to the pedal

Causes & Symptoms of Clutch Noise

Noise Heard when Pedal Pushed

Release Bearing – Sometimes noise changes as pedal is pushed in.

Pilot Shaft Bearing – Noise increases when the transmission is placed in gear


Noise Stops When Pedal is Pushed

Noise Stops When Fully Pushed – The Input shaft bearings in the transmission are bad.

Noise Stops When Petal is Slightly Pushed – The Release fork or pivot point is not lubricated and needs lubrication.

Causes & Symptoms of a Hard Clutch Pedal

Release Bearing Related

Worn Bearing Guide – Release guide worn and binding

Lack of Lubrication – Release bearing guide has no lubrication

Release Mechanism Related


Binding Clutch Cable

Binding Linkage – Bad bushings or worn linkage

Worn Release Fork or Pivot – Metal on metal contact

Worn Cross shaft guide

Improper Hydraulic fluid – Automatic transmission fluid or other fluid added

Overextended Slave Cylinder – Indicates other internal mechanical problems

Damaged Firewall – Clutch mount pulling through firewall

Broken or worn Pedal bracket or bushings – Excessive pedal movement

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