Replacing Seat Belts and Upgrading Safety Features: Auto Safety

Clutches and Trucks: Learn About the Problems of Failing Pressure Plates and Friction Clutch Discs

The clutch is responsible for breaking the connection between your wheel and the engine. It does this by sitting as the first component of the transmission, which allows it to facilitate the exchange of power from the engine to the gearbox. When this happens, the transmission lets you command the vehicle through gear changes. The truck can go faster, slower or maintain its speed according to your shifts. It can also switch between low and high gears to provide the torque needed when towing loads. Typically, most trucks come with a friction clutch that runs using hydraulic fluid. Read this piece to learn about diagnosing bad pressure plates and friction clutch discs.

A Chattering Friction Clutch

Earlier, you may have noted that a friction clutch requires a hydraulic fluid for smooth running. The effective operation of the clutch needs the fluid to be of good quality and free of any unwanted material. Therefore, you will undoubtedly have problems whenever impurities and contaminants find their way into the clutch's fluid. These contaminants cause irregular friction on the clutch disc, making it slip whenever you engage the clutch. Usually, the clutch should set itself steadily as you shift from one gear to the next.

The Friction Clutch Is Dragging and Sticking

Do not let the name 'friction clutch' fool you. A friction clutch fitted on any truck should respond smoothly when you press or disengage the clutch pedal. However, this might not be the case at all times, and you may notice the gears grind as you change them. The clutch may feel unresponsive as you try to press the pedal and seem to 'stick' to the specific gear the truck is in. Typically, this will happen when the clutch disc drags on either side of the pressure plate or flywheel. Other possible causes include a clutch linkage out of alignment or severe mechanical damage to the clutch assembly. The damage hinders the free movement of the pressure plate.

The Friction Clutch Is Noisy

Friction clutches come with sturdy designs to enable them to withstand the heavy-duty needs of the truck. However, this does not make them damage proof. You can ruin them through bad trucking habits such as overloading and bad driving habits. Often, the mechanical damage will lead to a noisy clutch, and you need to check and repair it as soon as possible. The noises can emanate from anything ranging from worn clutch release bearings to fractured pressure plates or broken disc plates. Check and fix them before the damage gets to your transmission or engine.

For more information, contact a truck repair service.