Help! Why Does My Clutch Keep Slipping

Driving a manual transmission is fun, unless your clutch is slipping. For the most part, you’re in control with a stick, but sometimes, worn parts can make the clutch slip which, in turn, makes the gears slip. There are several reasons why your clutch might be slipping. Here are the most common ones.

Throwout Bearing

Your clutch has what’s called a throwout bearing and this bearing disengages the engine each time you shift gears. Once you get your automobile into gear and release the clutch, the throwout bearing engages the engine again – this is engine break you feel each time you shift. If the bearing is worn, the clutch will slip and you won’t be able to shift between gears.


The flywheel has a lot of jobs and is continuously in motion while you drive your car, truck, or SUV. Naturally, it will warp over time because it doesn’t get a break until you shut off your engine. What warps the flywheel is heat and friction and once the flywheel is warped, your clutch will begin to slip. It’s important to get the flywheel replaced right away. If it fails, it can damage your engine.

Pressure Plate

Your clutch pressure plate is secured to the flywheel and it aids in the transfer of power from the engine to the transmission. Because the flywheel moves constantly and causes heat and friction, the pressure plate can get too hot, too. This can warp the plate just as it does the flywheel. It can also wear the plate down, which will cause it to fail eventually. An early sign of this is a slipping clutch.

Leaking Cylinder

New manual transmissions use hydraulic clutch systems and with that comes slave and master cylinders. These cylinders have seals and if the seals break down, you’ll end up with a fluid pressure leak. You’ll feel the leak in your clutch, as the pressure in it when you engage and release it will be different. Clutch fluid is oftentimes clear when it’s brand new, so you might not notice a leak on your garage floor.

Clutch Disc

Finally, there is a disk between the flywheel and pressure plate and it is aptly named the clutch disk. Think of your disc brake pads when you think of the clutch disc. It is coated like your brake pads to prevent friction and heat. Brake pads stop your vehicle smoothly and the clutch disk helps you shift gears smoothly. When the material wears down, your clutch will slip.

Bring your vehicle to Hummel’s Automotive Diagnostics and Repair of St. George, UT for a check-up if you notice your clutch slipping. We’ll find out which part is failing and replace it.


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