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.
Volkswagen (often shortened to VW) is a German automobile manufacturer founded in 1937 by the German Labour Front, a Nazi labour union.
Volkswagen is the flagship marque of the Volkswagen Group, who in turn is majority owned by Porsche. They own and operate a vast number of cars under other brand names—at the time of writing, they have 342 subsidiary companies.
How popular is Volkswagen in the United Kingdom?
Possibly its most well-known model of the current generation, the VW Golf, was the 2nd best selling car of 2018, behind the Ford Fiesta, which consistently takes the top spot year after year.
The Golf’s 64k registrations in 2018 added to the vast tally of 3.4million Volkswagen cars on the road today.
High quality, highly rated, appropriately priced cars
VW cars achieve consistently strong reviews and are highly respected by critics and drivers alike. They are renowned for investing more money into research and development than almost any other marque and distributing their wealth of motoring knowledge across the many partner brands under the VW Group umbrella.
The Volkswagen Beetle: The ‘people’s car’
A classic of its time, originally named the Volkswagen Type 1, it soon became nicknamed the Beetle due to its unique shape, and subsequently the bug. The unique looking car was designed by Ferdinand Porsche for Adolf Hitler, who wanted a cheap and simple mass-produced car to travel around his country’s new road network.
The new model Beetle, originally launched to celebrate the original classic in 1997, and with an updated successor in 2011, was designed around the VW Jetta platform sharing much of its build with the Jetta and Golf. VW announced in 2018 that the Beetle would finally be removed from production in July 2019.
VW’s reliability and reputation
Volkswagen ranked 17th place out of 30 car brands in the What Car? Reliability Survey in 2018. Sister companies Skoda and Seat appeared higher up the ranks at 7th and 10th respectively, while executive brand Audi a few places further down the list at joint 20th.
Recent Volkswagen recalls and reliability issues
Various recalls have been made on VW models throughout their motoring history. The following are a list of the most recent in the UK and Europe.
19/04/2019 – VW Tiguan (2017–2018)
The material used for the rear coil springs may be inadequate
13/04/2019 – VW Touareg (2018)
The suspension damper forks are defective and could break
13/04/2019 – VW Caddy (2018)
The predetermined break point in the cushion for the side airbags in on the wrong side
24/03/2019 – VW Polo (2016–2018)
On vehicles with a rear drum brake, the operational wear of the brake lining and use-related settlement of the drum brake may result in a loss of pre-tension on parking brake cables
02/02/2019 – VW Touareg (2018)
A seat belt latch may not have been sufficiently secured to the rear, right-hand seat
23/12/2018 – VW Golf, VW T-Roc, VW Arteon and VW Passat (2018)
The fitting for the headrest may have been incorrectly welded to the backrest
23/12/2018 – VW T-Roc (2018)
An incorrect adhesive bond between the upper and lower parts of the rear spoiler may have been used
20/10/2018 – VW Touran and VW Tiguan (2015–2018)
Moisture can reach the LED module of the sunroof’s ambient lighting which may cause a short-circuit
All recall information sourced from gov.co.uk data.