Top Five Signs Your Semi Truck Clutch May Be Failing

July 31, 2017 6:33 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Professional semi truck drivers have spent a lot of time behind the wheel, which is why they are able to smoothly navigate such a large beast down the road without difficulty. Learning how the clutch functions and how to properly operate it will ensure a comfortable ride.

What is the clutch? Simply put, the clutch is a mechanism that controls the power from the engine to the transmission. There’s also the clutch brake—this mechanism stops the transmission input shaft from rotating, allowing the transmission and gears to line up properly, putting the transmission into gear when the truck is at a standstill. The clutch pedal is one of three pedals; it’s the one furthest to the left.

You might need semi truck repair in Memphis, TN if you experience one or more of the following signs of a failing clutch:

  • Slipping clutch: Driving with a worn friction plate means there is less material to grab the flywheel and pressure plate. This problem is often noticed when the engine revs higher than normal when the clutch is engaged. Slipping occurs due to a lack of friction to hold everything tight. Or, you might feel the clutch disengaging faster than usual, and the acceleration will be slower—this is a very common clutch wear problem. Another sign of a slipping clutch is a burning smell.
  • Sticky clutch: A truck clutch that runs into difficulty disengaging after the pedal has been pressed is a big problem in one or more of three types of clutch linkage: rod, cable and hydraulic. It’s best to schedule an appointment with your mechanic before the problem worsens.
  • Hard clutch: Although you don’t want to fight your clutch, a super soft clutch is not ideal either. The clutch pedal should not be loose or easy to push down on, but it also shouldn’t be difficult to engage and disengage. If your clutch pedal is doing the latter, as well as acting stiff or failing to disengage the clutch, this is called a hard clutch, and it’s a problem.
  • Insufficient clutch pedal give: A hard clutch can also play a role in insufficient clutch pedal give. The clutch should at least have a two-inch “give” before it engages. Any more or less give indicates that your semi truck clutch is in need of immediate repair.
  • Unusual transmission noise: Although semi trucks are loud vehicles, there are normal noises, and then there are unusual noises. Truck drivers should be able to differentiate between the sounds of a properly functioning transmission and sounds that are not right. Grinding and screeching while shifting could indicate a bad clutch mechanism. Have your rig looked at right away!

If your big rig is your livelihood, then regular truck maintenance is crucial to avoid expensive fixes or too much downtime with work. No matter the type of rig service or semi truck repair in Memphis, TN you may need, rest assured that the knowledgeable and experienced team at United Diesel Power has got you covered. Contact us anytime and let us know how our mechanics and technicians can help!

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