Heavy Clutch Pedal
12 January 2017 | Stu
Affecting: Anything with wheels
So, Your left leg is beginning to look like Arnie Schwartzenegger's. It's time for a little investigation.
For vehicles equipped with a clutch CABLE.
It is possible that the nylon inner liner within the cable has worn out and you now have a lot a friction in there. Replace the cable dude!
Some vehicles may have an odd linkage arrangement. Pivots and pulley wheels and that sort of weird stuff. Check to make sure everything is running freely. You may have to release the tension on the cable to do this. Usually easiest to disconnect it from the clutch arm.
For vehicle with a HYDRAULIC clutch
Check that the master cylinder (nearest the pedal) is operating correctly, not leaking and that you have fluid in the reservoir!
Also check that the slave cylinder (on the clutch bellhousing) is operating ok. No bent rods, leaks etc.
So, all that checks out OK does it? In that case the problem lies within the bell housing and with most cars it means gearbox out.
The majority of cars with a conventional clutch will probably be suffering with wear or fatique to the diaphragm spring. This may be due to a worn clutch release bearing or just wear and tear. Does yours make a loud hissing noise when you depress the clutch pedal? A sure indication of a knackered release bearing. If the bearing dries out it can get extremely loud. OR in the case of my sons car gets VERY VERY loud, (turn the stereo up and ignore it) seizes up, melts, vapourises the diaphragm and punches a hole in the bell housing with the clutch release arm (duh!). I digress.
Some cars may have a cross shaft & fork that the clutch bearing mounts on. This shaft usually runs in nylon or bronze bushes. These can seize up and cause a heavy clutch. Always good policy to replace these bushes when renewing the clutch.
If yours falls into the above catagory then I'm afraid it will almost certainly need a new clutch cover plate and bearing.
Whilst were on clutch doom 'n gloom, other symptoms of clutch demise are; Slipping when accelerating in gear, and quite often 'crunching' into reverse or occasionally other gears even when you are being especially careful.
For the uninitiated, most vehicles WILL crunch into reverse if you are in a hurry or don't depress the clutch pedal properly. This is because reverse gear in the gearbox has straight cut teeth and NOT synchromesh. Imagine if you could just slide gracefully into reverse (accidentally) at 60mph!! Liquidised transmission and you'd probably be eating through a straw for 3 months from trying to swallow the steering wheel :)