What does a clutch do? And what is a clutch kit?
The clutch is a solid metal disc that couples the crankshaft and flywheel to the gearbox’s clutch shaft. The clutch is located between the engine and transmission to temporarily disconnect the engine drive from the gearbox.
A clutch kit usually contains all the elements to replace and rejuvenate your clutch and its performance: usually a clutch disc, pressure plate, flywheel and a throw race or release bearings. A clutch kit will contain the correct parts for a particular make and model of car and is often cheaper than buying the components individually.
How often should a clutch need replacing?
There isn’t a typical time or set mileage suggested to replace a clutch kit, as it can depend on both the car and your driving style. Most clutches are designed to last approximately 60k miles, yet they can have a healthy life covering mileages anywhere between 30k and 100k.
The law, vehicle regulations and your MOT
A damaged or broken clutch will affect your car’s driving ability to the point where it could fail its MOT. Testing doesn’t include an examination of the engine, clutch or gearbox, so if it appears to be working adequately, then it shouldn’t affect the test result.
What causes a clutch to stop working correctly?
A clutch will wear out over time through continual use. The disc thickness reduces, which affects the amount of force the pressure plate can apply to the clutch disc against the flywheel. Incorrect use over extended periods will impact the lifespan and cause unnecessary problems. Slippage can also be caused by reduced tension in the pressure plate’s springs.
Symptoms of a malfunctioning clutch
The clutch slips while driving
If you feel a loss or inappropriate delivery of power when using the accelerator, it could be due to a damaged or worn clutch.
Changing gears is a problem
If you can’t change gears or it feels like there is unusual grinding and friction when trying, your clutch isn’t separating the engine drive from the gearbox sufficiently.
The car doesn’t move
If there is no delivery of power to the engine from the accelerator, then your clutch could be the problem.
Your gearbox makes unusual and unhealthy noises
If the transmission makes unhealthy grinding noises when you try to use the clutch to engage or disengage the engine, there’s a strong chance that your clutch isn’t operating as it should.
Mini is a British automotive marque that has been owned by the German multinational vehicle manufacturer BMW since 2000.
The Mini brand was originally introduced in 1969 when the vehicle model became a marque in its own right, breaking away from the Austin and Morris brands under the British Leyland umbrella.
How popular is Mini in the United Kingdom?
The Mini Hatch was the 7th best selling car of 2018 in the UK. Mini is a consistent favourite among buyers with a leaning for British cultural icons and retro styling.
There are around 750k Mini cars on the roads, showing that the brand is still as popular as ever due to their compact sizing, attractive styling and its reputation as a classy and classic small car.
Mini: a premium product of British motoring
With its unique and unmistakable styling, Mini is firmly placed as a premium product. Its ownership by BMW has added advantages in production, by being able to lean on the executive luxury German marque for many of the advanced technological systems and specialist industry knowledge used in their manufacture.
A piece of British culture and a Hollywood star
Enhancing its popularity as a household name, the original British Mini became a star of the silver screen when it appeared predominantly in the gold-heist movie ‘The Italian Job’ in 1969, starring Michael Caine and Noel Coward. With a remake hitting the screens in 2003, the new Mini was called on to star once again, and a selection of Mini hatch models continued the tradition by featuring in the film.
Mini: a new competitor to the most popular 3-door hatchbacks
Despite its small footprint, the Mini hatch is providing real competition to the Audi A1 and VW Polo due to its premium quality build. And with the weight of BMW behind them, it’s easy to see why.
Mini’s reliability and reputation
Mini ranked 22nd out of 30 car brands in the What Car? Reliability Survey in 2018. That might not look so great at first glance, but bigger brand names fell further down the list. Mercedes, Jaguar, Jeep and Land Rover all featured in the lowest 5 places.
Recent Mini recalls and reliability issues
Various recalls have been made on Mini models throughout their motoring history. The following are a list of the most recent in the UK and Europe.
29/09/2019 – Mini Countryman (2016–2018)
A crash guard is lacking for the high-pressure fuel pump in the engine compartment.
13/07/2018 – Mini Countryman (2018)
The bearings on the front axle could break.
20/01/2017 – Mini (2016)
The side, head and knee protection airbags of the front passenger seat may not work.
05/12/2014 – Mini (2014)
There is a fault affecting the adjustment mechanism (recliner) of the front seat backrests.
31/10/2014 – Mini (2013–2014)
The flange nut on the mounting plate of the emergency spare wheel may become loose gradually.
All recall information sourced from gov.co.uk data.