What Are the Symptoms of a Failing Clutch or Torque Converter?

When people think of clutches, they usually only associate them with manual transmission vehicles. However, automatic transmissions also have a clutch system, which is a part of the torque converter system. Regardless of which type of transmission you have, a clutch component allows your vehicle to shift from one gear to another.

If the clutch or torque converter starts to experience problems, your vehicle will not do as told. Therefore, your driving will become very dangerous. Here are some prevalent signs of a failing clutch or torque converter!

Sign #1: Loose Clutch Pedal (Manual Only)

You can usually distinguish a clutch problem if the pedal feels loose in your manual transmission vehicle. If you can press it down to the floor with no resistance, you most likely need your clutch reassembled.

Sign #2: Sticky or Squeaky Clutch Pedal (Manual Only)

A common problem that some drivers may encounter is a stiff or "sticky" clutch pedal. When you press on the pedal, this feeling is usually accompanied by unusual noises, like grinding or squeaking.

Sign #3: Grinding Gears/Difficulty Shifting

If you hear the sound of grinding gears every time you shift gears or the vehicle has a hard time engaging with a particular gear, there's a strong likelihood you need repairs. 

Sign #4: Difficulty Accelerating

This is another common sign of a failing clutch or torque converter or any other transmission-related part. You may go to press on the gas pedal and hear the engine revving up. However, you may notice that your vehicle isn't going as fast as it used to. This problem should be diagnosed by an expert auto repair technician at our shop.

Sign #5: Car Shudders

If your vehicle feels shuddery or bumpy once your car exceeds the 40 mph range, you need to take your vehicle to the auto repair shop. This symptom can be a major sign of transmission problems, suspension problems, or a need for wheel alignment. 


Clutch or torque converter problems should not be ignored, as major transmission repairs can be very costly. It's always best to deal with these types of issues early on before they develop into something much more threatening. If you need clutch or torque converter repairs, please call or visit Open Road Automotive & Tire today!

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