If you drive a vehicle with a manual transmission system, you need to operate a clutch pedal in addition to the brake pedal and gas pedal. The clutch itself connects the wheels to the engine of the vehicle. The clutch pedal gives you the ability to disconnect the wheels from the engine. You do this when you want the engine to keep turning at any particular speed. The wheels will freely roll after the clutch pedal is pressed. When you stop at a stop light or stop sign, you will understand why the clutch is so important for a manual transmission vehicle.
The clutch release bearing is the component which makes the disconnection between the wheels and engine possible. When you press the clutch pedal with your foot, the clutch release bearing gets closer to the flywheel. This causes the release fingers of the pressure plate to get pushed in. Once that happens, the fingers of the pressure plate push against the force of its spring. This causes the disconnect between the engine and wheels.
The Top 4 Symptoms
All the components of the clutch and transmission system are important for the safety and functionality of the vehicle. If your clutch release bearing is unable to do its job properly, you are going to notice some symptoms right away. The bearing may go bad after years of wear and tear or maybe even from damage due to an accident. In any case, you need to get the clutch release bearing replaced as soon as you notice it is having problems.
Below are the top 4 symptoms of a bad clutch release bearing.
Clutch Pedal Vibrations – When you press down on the clutch pedal, it should be a simple and smooth feeling. But if you start to feel vibrations coming from the pedal, then it is safe to assume that your clutch release bearing is defective or bad. More specifically, the vibrations are the result of the clutch release bearing being unable to push toward the pressure plate properly. Your foot will feel pulsations as this happens.
Rattling Noises – A bad clutch release bearing could make rattling noises. The rollers of the bearing are supposed to be close together. But if there is too much emptiness between the rollers, then rattling noises will start occurring. This happens to the rollers after a while as the bearing gets older and more worn out. In addition to ratting noises, you may even hear squealing or growling noises too. You should hear them all coming from the transmission of the vehicle. The loudest noises will occur when you step on the clutch pedal.
Gear Shifting Issues – Gear shifting should be smooth and simple. If you encounter any problems shifting gears, check your clutch release bearing because it has probably gone bad. This won’t be the first symptom that you experience from this problem, though. You should hear those strange noises first. But if you continue to let that issue go unfixed, then you can expect gear shifting issues to follow. Plus, if your clutch is getting too stiff or stuck all the time, the grinding will create shifting issues too.
The Clutch is Too Stiff – Like most components of the transmission system, the clutch release bearing is manufactured with special lubrication properties to keep it working smoothly for a long time. Unfortunately, the lubrication properties will wear down as the bearing itself wears down. The fewer lubrication properties that exist on the bearing, the stiffer the clutch is going to get. It will soon get to a point where you cannot disengage the clutch. Then you won’t be able to drive your vehicle at all because it will become a safety hazard on the road.