Heavy-Duty Clutch Problems: What Every Truck Owner Should Know

Written by Godfrey on . Posted in Uncategorized

Clutch Problem - Godfrey Brake Service & Supply

The clutch is the workhorse of any manually transmitted truck, and naturally, it is increasingly prone to wear and tear. Understanding the common causes of clutch failure and related symptoms can help you prevent problems before they occur or become worse.

This guide will teach you about clutch problems.

Common Causes of Clutch Failure

Numerous factors can predispose your heavy-duty vehicle to clutch problems.

Careless Driving

Riding the clutch, or driving with your foot on the clutch, can cause overheating and accelerated wearing of the clutch pad.

Another driving habit that could damage the clutch is accelerating and suddenly releasing the clutch pedal. Known as dumping the clutch, this habit can result in overheating, excessive pressure on the clutch discs, and stress on the entire drive shaft. Clutch dumping can result in extensive damage to your truck’s transmission.

Overloading the Clutch

A common cause of clutch overloading is starting the vehicle in a high rather than a low gear. Other ways you could damage your clutch system are moving into a high gear before the engine attains the right revolutions per minute (rpm) or overloading the truck in a way that causes the clutch to slip.


Oil leaks from the transmission or the engine can contaminate the clutch disc. Oil can also cause the disc to slip, chatter, and vibrate, all of which may contribute to the clutch disc wearing off and losing its efficiency.

Signs You Should Get Your Clutch Repaired

There are several telltale signs that your clutch needs to be repaired or replaced altogether.

Hard Pedal

A worn-out clutch linkage could make the pedal unnaturally difficult to push down. A wrapped linkage, inadequate lubrication, and corrosion in the clutch cable are also common causes of a hard pedal.

Clutch Drag

If your truck is using a hydraulic system, you may have difficulties shifting gears. This may be indicative of a problem with the slave or master cylinder. If the truck has a mechanical cylinder, the clutch disc could be the culprit.

A faulty clutch could also make it difficult to move in and out of the third or reverse gears. When the gear sticks in this way, there could be a problem with the linkage or clutch plate.

Clutch Slippage

When you release the clutch pedal to accelerate, does your vehicle move slowly despite the engine running fast in a high gear? If so, your clutch may be slipping.

Clutch slippage may result from a worn-out disc, a misaligned or bent clutch linkage, a blockage in the master cylinder port, or an oil leak in the engine or transmission.

Grabbing Clutch

A grabbing clutch is characterized by a sharp jerk or consecutive jerks even when you engage the clutch pedal slowly. Oil deposits on the clutch disc, overheating on the disc surface, or a wrapped clutch disc could cause the clutch to grab.

Chattering Clutch

Look out for a rattling or clunking noise while you are in the middle of engaging the clutch. The noise may emanate from the vibrations in the drive shaft and linkage. A misaligned drive shaft, a worn-out u-joint, or a debris-covered clutch disc is a major cause of a chattering clutch.

Vibrating Clutch

Listen for a vibration inside the vehicle when the clutch is fully engaged. To determine whether the vibration is coming from the clutch, your mechanic will assess the fasteners on the clutch housing, the drive shaft, and axles as well as the u-joints for signs of wear and tear.

Lack of regular clutch maintenance can shorten a clutch’s life drastically. To avoid extensive damage to the clutch system, schedule a preventative maintenance check with an experienced mechanic for your truck or fleet of trucks.

At Godfrey Brake Service & Supply, we are well equipped to inspect and service your vehicle’s clutch so you can be up and running within the shortest time. Get in touch with us today for reliable heavy-duty truck parts and services.

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Godfrey Brake Service & Supply

Address: 110 Poplar Avenue | Rapid City, SD 57701

Phone: (605) 343-5030

Email: [email protected]

Hours: Monday-Friday 7am-5pm, Saturday 8am - Noon

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