If you are familiar with driving a manual transmission vehicle, you probably know that you stop or stall your car on even the steepest incline without even using your brakes, by slipping the clutch.

It’s important that you avoid slipping the clutch as often as you can. Frequently slipping the clutch causes wear and tear. Eventually, your clutch will wear out and need to be replaced. In order to avoid the expense of replacing it, take special care to use it properly to best prolong its lifespan.

Clutches are similar to brake pads. It is a friction-based automotive part that slips back and forth, applying and releasing pressure to the pressure plate. Much like brakes, you have some control over the lifespan of the part.

If you’ve got a bad clutch, the signs will be anything but subtle. The smell of a clutch gone wrong is potent. It might smell similar to burning brakes, but has been described as a sickly, heavy stench. Some people have related it to sulphur or gun smoke.

In order to avoid the costly mistake of overusing your clutch and ultimately ruining it, avoid slipping the clutch, riding the clutch or hauling a heavy load. If you can let your car rest in neutral using your brakes instead, you will save yourself from replacing it for a longer period of time.


If you notice any of the following signs, you need to have a technician look at your transmission:

  • Having trouble with your transmission engaging
  • Clutch pedal sticking
  • Revs increasing but speed not increasing
  • High mileage
  • That horrible stench

You don’t want to have to take your car to a technician. Save yourself the trouble by following these habits:

  • Scheduling regular maintenance
  • Avoiding revving your engine and doing the ‘neutral drop’
  • Hauling an excessive load that your car is not equipped to handle
  • Allowing your transmission (through overuse such as overhauling) to overheat
  • Rocking the car and gunning the engine when your tires are spinning in snow or mud
  • Running on low or no oil
  • Feathering or slipping the clutch

If you are wondering if something is wrong, err on the side of caution and get it checked out! Not only will it keep you safe on the road, it might be a small fix that prevents something bigger from happening to your transmission.

As a leading provider in repairs, National Transmission can help fix any problem you might be having with your car. Our technicians are knowledgeable in the current technology and have dealt with a lot of unique car problems. If you don’t know what that smell or sound is, we definitely do, and we can fix it and get you back on the road in no time.


Don’t believe everything you read online. Even if you find information online that matches the problems you’re experiencing with your car, the contributing factors behind these symptoms can be completely different. Self-diagnosis can be a costly mistake. It’s always recommended to have a professional take a look and diagnose the vehicle. That’s what we’re here for!

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