Motoring Discussion > Burning clutch smell - damage? Miscellaneous
Thread Author: RattleandSmoke Replies: 24

 Burning clutch smell - damage? - RattleandSmoke
I was taking my sister back to her flat from the supermarket, where she lives is very hard to park (West Didsbury) and there is a steep incline to the parking in front of her flat, it was wet and I had hardly any grip.

I managed to park and I jokingly said "well that has finished the clutch off" the next minute I could smell a sort of burnt rubber smell. Now it only lasted for a few seconds and went, when I did this before on my first Fiesta it lasted for a long time.

Drove 3 miles home in the wet and didn't notice anything unusual with the clutch, but wasn't that much traffic.

So obviously what happened did the clutch no good, but was is the likelihood of having any real long term damage to it?
 Burning clutch smell - damage? - Lygonos
R.I.P.

Clutches are the same as brakes - they can tolerate a certain amount of abuse but eventually will die and need replacing.

However.... I think you'll find you were spinning the tyres, hence the rubber smell.

Spinning the wheels on wet ground doesn't do much to the clutch.
 Burning clutch smell - damage? - Armel Coussine
That would have to happen many times to wear your virtually new clutch out Rattolo.

Have you ever smelt your brakes yet? I smelt both clutch and brakes in the same trip once, hammering along the South Bank with its roundabouts with the Fat Controller as front seat passenger... before the days of speed cameras of course.
 Burning clutch smell - damage? - WillDeBeest
I'd say minimal. Every time you slip the clutch you scrub off a little friction material. All you've done is scrub off a little more than necessary. Assuming you don't do it every day I doubt you've made a measurable difference to the life of the clutch.
 Burning clutch smell - damage? - Bromptonaut
>> So obviously what happened did the clutch no good, but was is the likelihood of
>> having any real long term damage to it?

Bit like drinking too much. If you do it every day something will give up the ghost.

Once in a while will do a little bit of damage but it's unlikely to result in end stage failure soo or suddenly.
 Burning clutch smell - damage? - RattleandSmoke
Thanks pretty much as I thought, just get paranoid, when this happened on my Fiesta the clutch slipped ever since, I would sometimes have to pull in and let it cool down.

I thought it could perhaps be the tyres, but not sure if they had any grip to burn any rubber in the first place.
 Burning clutch smell - damage? - Armel Coussine
Now you are making me impatient.

If you can't tell the difference between the wheels spinning on a wet driveway and clutch slip which must surely have been voluntary, I will be tempted to wash my hands of even you Sheikha...
 Burning clutch smell - damage? - RattleandSmoke
They didn't feel like they where, my I had my sister, my mum and the blower on number four trying to keep the mist of the windscreen so I couldn't hear anything.

The wheels didn't feel like they were slipping, it felt more like the car just didn't have enough power to get up the small incline.
 Burning clutch smell - damage? - Ted
>> I had my sister, my mum and the blower on.

????? :-)

Ted
 Burning clutch smell - damage? - RattleandSmoke
You know what I meant, they were in the car, the blower was on full.
 Burning clutch smell - damage? - devonite
>>The wheels didn't feel like they were slipping, it felt more like the car just didn't have enough power to get up the small incline.

Left the handbrake on? - new tyres, clutch and brake pads!!! ;-)
 Burning clutch smell - damage? - Dave_C220CDI
Warm clutch smells sort of like burnt cucumber in my experience. Only did it once, turning right through a (now-closed) gap in the central reservation of the A1 in rush hour in the Skoda. The clutch lasted to 170,000 miles though, so it can't have done it any harm.

Your burning rubber smell could just as easily have been from a source somewhere outside the car, and nothing to do with you.

AC, I used to warm the brakes up every Friday night, running the late pallets from Leicester to Hinckley in a 7.5t to meet the export trailer by 10pm. The A47 has a dozen roundabouts and traffic lights in that length, but was usually deserted. The burning smell which invariably accompanied my arrival was a running joke amongst the guys at the export warehouse :)
Last edited by: Dave_TDCi on Wed 5 Oct 11 at 21:48
 Burning clutch smell - damage? - Armel Coussine
Clutch and brakes smelt much the same in the days of, cough cough, asbestos linings. Perhaps it's different now, but anyway my clutch-burning days are in the past I hope.

Anyway, cough cough, I'm a fine one to talk. I used to do my own minor mechanicals but without a garage I don't now. A recent scraping noise, which I took to be a matter of small importance, quickly became a metal-to-metal noise under braking which, when investigated, turned out to be a worn-out back brake pad which had badly scored an inch or so of disc. 220 or so for a local garage, good lads I thought, only 80 for labour with the rest parts and vat. Anyway that only happened because I'm not properly on top of it any more, and I would have done the job myself out of doors ten years ago. I slip this pathetic confession in here in the hope that no one will notice it.
 Burning clutch smell - damage? - Zero

>> have done the job myself out of doors ten years ago. I slip this pathetic
>> confession in here in the hope that no one will notice it.

Never mind my son, confess here

www.churchofapathy.org/?page_id=19
 Burning clutch smell - damage? - BobbyG
Your car was struggling for grip trying to set off on a wet road? In a high powered Panda?

Mmmm......

maybe you need winter tyres.......
 Burning clutch smell - damage? - RattleandSmoke
There was leaves on the line too :). Well on the ground.
 Burning clutch smell - damage? - bathtub tom
Your car's now out of warranty. You've wrecked it. You'll have to buy another new one.

Alternatively, you can stop ingesting whatsoever's causing your paranoia.

Every time I put one of my motors up on the ramps, I get a burnt clutch smell. Surprisingly, none of them have exploded in flames as a result.
 Burning clutch smell - damage? - -
Don't worry, if a novice transporter driver or two have been delivering your car the clutch might well have got to smoking standard several times in it's journey to you, before it even got the registration plates on..:-)

Some modern cars with no low engine speed torque, particularly modern Diesels, you simply can't load without slipping the clutch cruelly.


Good trick here Rattie, try this and learn it, very useful if someone blocks you in, and spoils their day if they are watching....

Pull handbrake on hard, turn wheels to full lock in the way you wish to move sideways, 1st gear lots of revs and engage clutch causing instant wheelspin, not clutch slip....car will move sideways for you and only forwards a minute amount, repeat till perfected.

Tom will be able to fine tune that one for you no doubt..;)
 Burning clutch smell - damage? - TeeCee
>> Warm clutch smells sort of like burnt cucumber in my experience.

Ok, I've got to ask. How do you know what burned cucumber smells like?
I have a mental image now of someone setting fire to various vegetables, purely in order to have a defined set of correct analogies for the smell of different abused mechanical components......
 Burning clutch smell - damage? - borasport
I'd love to know what sort of abuse to a clutch would produce the smell of burning rubber !
 Burning clutch smell - damage? - -
>> I'd love to know what sort of abuse to a clutch would produce the smell
>> of burning rubber !
>>

When a DMF starts to glow.;)...kerching.
 Burning clutch smell - damage? - Fursty Ferret
Am I the only person here who enjoys thrashing my car on a regular basis? Within limits for mechanical sympathy, obviously!
 Burning clutch smell - damage? - WillDeBeest
You probably wouldn't thank us for thrashing yours, FF, but I think most of us will admit to giving our own a proper seeing-to when the opportunity arises.

Doesn't mean abusing the clutch, though: we leave that to Rats.
 Burning clutch smell - damage? - madf
On a damp day, I get wheelspin coming out of our drive with 2,000rpm...due to the drive being uphill slightly and then dipping into the kerb...

Every week I thrash my Yaris to c4,000rpm for a couple of miles.. Helps keep it s lungs healthy..:-)

The rst of the time I mimse.
 Burning clutch smell - damage? - -
>> Am I the only person here who enjoys thrashing my car on a regular basis?
>>

If you mean driving it swiftly but with mechanical sympathy, yes, no point in having something that's relatively quick and handles well only to pootle about in, don't thrash it though.

If you have to thrash a vehicle to make it do what you want it to then it wasn't the right choice in the first place, and therein lies the route to expensive damage....i've always felt like this by the way, never could stand underpowered vehicles that needed to be caned or needed thousands of revs to make them move.
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