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.
Seat S.A. is a Spanish automobile manufacturer, founded over 65 years ago in 1950.
In 1986, the German Volkswagen Group bought Seat from the Spanish government to become the owner and operator of this established marque.
How popular is Seat in the United Kingdom?
Since the VW takeover, the number of Seat cars on the roads in the UK has grown steadily to over 500k.
Marketing similar cars to different markets
Although the structure and engineering behind all of the Volkswagen Group’s cars are closely related, based on very similar systems and practices, VW has aimed Seat at a market that offers something a bit different to Audi and VW.
Seat: Affordable, youthful versions of established models
Given that the brands under the VW umbrella (not forgetting Skoda too) all carry similar architecture, what sets the Seat models apart from their counterparts is their character, price-point and their ability to deliver slightly sportier handling due to their tuning. When you think of Seat, you think fun. VW: solid. Skoda: value. And Audi is for the executive.
So despite all being very similar machines under the hood, VW has created each of them to sit in quite different marketplaces. The Leon, for example, will appeal to a different type of driver to the Octavia or the Golf (and the Audi A3) despite being almost the same car. The same goes for the Ibiza, the Arona and the rest of the models in the Seat range.
Seat’s reliability and reputation
Seat ranked 10th place out of 30 car brands in the What Car? Reliability Survey in 2018.
Pitted against the other makes under the VW umbrella, it was Skoda who ranked highest in 7th place, with VW and Audi performing less admirably at 17th and 20th respectively.
Recent Seat recalls and reliability issues
Various recalls have been made on Seat models throughout their motoring history. The following are a list of the most recent in the UK and Europe.
26/04/2019 – Seat Ateca (2018)
The locking pin for securing the head restraints may be missing from the central rear seat
13/04/2019 – Seat Ibiza and Seat Arona (2016–2018)
Due to an incorrect setting, the handbrake may have to travel further to ensure immobilisation
17/02/2019 – Seat Ateca (2018)
The fitting of the headrest in the rear seat’s backrest may be defective
24/08/2018 – Seat Ibiza TGI-CNG (2018)
The nuts of the gas pipes may not be sufficiently tightened, causing a leak of gas
27/07/2018 – Seat Ibiza and Seat Arona (2018)
The seat-belt buckles may open unexpectedly
23/03/2018 – Seat Alhambra, Seat Ibiza, Seat Leon and Seat Altea (2011)
The spring on the starter relay may remain in the wrong position
04/03/2018 – Seat Alhambra (2016–2017)
The passenger airbag module may have been produced with an inadequate welded connection
04/03/2018 – Seat Leon (2014–2015)
In the event of deployment of the passenger airbag, the casing of the gas generator could be damaged
All recall information sourced from gov.co.uk data.