What to do if the car clutch breaks while it is running?

¿Qué hacer si se rompe el embrague del coche mientras está en marcha?

The clutch is an essential part of a car's transmission system. Its main function is to allow gear changing and power transfer from the engine to the wheels. However, it can sometimes happen that the clutch breaks while the car is running, which can be a dangerous situation and requires prompt and appropriate action. In this article, we'll provide you with all the information you need to know what to do if this happens, as well as tips to avoid costly clutch breakdowns and how to spot if it's broken.

What happens if the car's clutch breaks while it's running?

If the clutch breaks while the car is running, you will most likely not be able to change gear and the car will lose traction. This means that the engine will continue to run, but there will be no transfer of power to the wheels. In this case, the first thing you should do is stay calm and try to take the car to a safe place off the main road.

Once you've brought the car to a stop, it's important not to try to force the gear up, as this could further damage the clutch and other driveline components. Instead, it is advisable to call a tow truck or a roadside assistance service to have the car towed to a specialized workshop where they can repair the clutch.

How to avoid costly clutch breakdowns?

The clutch is a part that is subjected to constant wear due to the daily use of the car. However, there are a few steps you can take to prevent costly clutch failure and prolong its life:

1. Avoid excessive use of the clutch:

The clutch wears out mainly when it is used to start the car, change gears and stop the vehicle. Try not to keep your foot on the clutch pedal while driving and use the parking brake instead of using the clutch to keep the car stopped on an incline.

2. Make smooth gear changes:

Avoid making sudden gear changes and forcing the clutch. Be sure to fully depress the clutch pedal when changing gears and release the pedal gradually to prevent premature wear.

3. Do not overload the car:

Excess weight in the car can increase the load on the clutch and accelerate its wear. Avoid carrying unnecessary loads in the trunk and do not exceed the load capacity recommended by the manufacturer.

How to know if the clutch has broken?

There are several symptoms that may indicate that the clutch has broken or is worn:

1. Difficulty in changing gears:

If you notice that it takes longer than usual to change gears or that the shift is rough and not smooth, it may be an indication of a problem with the clutch.

2. Strange noises:

If you hear strange noises when you depress the clutch pedal, such as squealing or crackling, there may be a worn or broken component in the clutch system.

3. Loss of power:

If you feel the car lose power when accelerating, especially going uphill or carrying heavy loads, it may be a sign of a worn or broken clutch.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I continue driving if the clutch breaks?

It is not recommended to continue driving if the clutch breaks, as this can cause additional damage to the transmission system and endanger your safety and that of other drivers. It is better to stop the car safely and call a roadside assistance service.

2. How much does it cost to repair a clutch?

The cost of repairing a clutch can vary depending on the make and model of the car, as well as the severity of the fault. In general, the repair of a clutch can range between 300 and 1000 euros, including labor and the necessary parts.

3. How long does a clutch last?

The life of a clutch depends on several factors, such as driving style, conditions of use and proper maintenance. On average, a clutch can last between 80,000 and 120,000 kilometers, but this can vary considerably.


In short, if the car's clutch breaks while it's running, it's important to stay calm and move the car to a safe place off the main road. Do not try to force the gear change and call a roadside assistance service to have the car towed to a specialized workshop. To avoid costly clutch failures, avoid overuse of the clutch, make smooth gear changes and don't overload the car. If you notice difficulty shifting gears, hear strange noises, or experience loss of power, the clutch may be worn or broken. Remember that it is important to perform proper maintenance and follow the manufacturer's recommendations to prolong the life of the clutch.

We hope this article has been useful and has provided you with the necessary information on what to do in case the car clutch breaks while driving. If you have any other questions or comments, don't hesitate to write to us. We will be happy to help you!

Until next time!

The Pistonudos.com team

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