Drag has many meanings but, for Mr Clutch Autocentres, it is to be avoided

While it could be a reference to a car’s aerodynamic efficiency, to be spotted ‘in drag’ might create the wrong impression, suggests motoring journalist Iain Robertson, who feels that manual clutch drag is definitely not recommended, at any cost.

Having established its entire business on the premise of repairing and replacing clutches in motorcars, Mr Clutch Autocentres is fully experienced with the problems that arise from the unplanned wear of this primary component in a manual gearbox vehicle. Recognisable by a reluctance to shift into first or reverse gears especially, which may be accompanied by a ‘graunching’ noise, clutch drag occurs, when the depressed clutch pedal does not disengage the clutch completely, as it should do.

Usually an indicator of the clutch being worn out, if it is not attended to, damage may occur within the transmission but, equally, a misdiagnosis can also carry costly repair bills, which underscores the value of taking your car to a specialist (mrclutch.com/clutches). Due to the vast numbers of front-wheel-drive cars on our roads, it is worth highlighting that rear and four-wheel-drive cars can be just as costly to repair. To access the clutch of a front-driven car can demand that a subframe may have to be lowered and the gearbox and some suspension components may need to be dismantled. Where space is really tight, it is not unknown for a need to remove the entire engine.

Resting your left foot on the pedal, as you might do in built-up traffic, in readiness for making gearshifts up, or down the gearbox, depressing the clutch pedal for long periods, harsh use of the accelerator, or labouring your car’s engine by being in the wrong gear, can all promote wear of the clutch kit. However, guided by your skilled Mr Clutch Autocentre technician, the problem may be related only to the clutch release mechanism. Some older cars rely on a clutch cable that can stretch. Adjustment, or replacement, of the cable can be carried out quite easily and cost-effectively. Alternatively, if the more common hydraulic system is fitted to your vehicle, it may need to be ‘bled’ to remove unwanted air bubbles (much like a domestic central heating system), when the fluid is replaced at the recommended two-year cycle, or to effect replacement of faulty components.

Yet, none of these remedies will resolve the wear that does occur in time on the rest of the clutch kit. There are a number of brief tests that can be carried out FREE of charge at Mr Clutch Autocentres to ascertain precisely what is the cause of the clutch fault. They will take only minutes to carry out and your technician will inform you of what is required to resolve it. As it is a complaint that can develop gradually in most cars, you should have time to book in your vehicle but, if you want to avoid higher costs, it is advisable to do so sooner, rather than when it is too late.

Should the entire clutch kit need to be replaced, it is worth highlighting that Mr Clutch Autocentres pioneered the two years, 20,000-miles nationwide warranty that is offered as standard to clutch customers at all of its UK branches. Business users, such as taxis, driving schools and light commercials are provided with a one year, 12,000-miles back-up warranty as an understandable alternative.

Once any, or all, of the clutch maintenance issues are dealt with, your vehicle will return to smooth and pleasurable operation once again, which suggests that, if you are planning a long drive, with holidays on the horizon, if you suspect that your vehicle is suffering from a clutch problem, contact Mr Clutch Autocentres without delay and let the specialists make it better. Clutch drag needs not be a drag at all, so get in touch with your local branch (mrclutch.com) to book in your vehicle.