Tales from the Workshop

Unusual tips and fixes.

Car Mechanics (UK) - - Contents -

Hy­draulic clutch op­er­a­tion has one big ad­van­tage over its ca­ble coun­ter­part, which is that it ad­justs it­self as the clutch cen­tre plate wears, sav­ing the need to con­stantly ad­just the clutch to ac­com­mo­date for wear. The down­side of this is that of­ten the driver will be un­aware that the clutch is wear­ing and the clutch plate will even­tu­ally get to the point where the lin­ing is too thin to sup­port drive and will fail.

That’s pre­cisely what hap­pened to the owner of this 1997 Volvo 940. He had owned the car for many years and had never fit­ted a new clutch. It’s pos­si­ble that the clutch feel had changed over time, but the change went un­no­ticed un­til he was pulling away at a junc­tion and the car re­fused to move.

The in­line set-up of the Volvo makes the gear­box easy to re­move, and once the clutch was un­bolted we could see that the lin­ing had gone com­pletely from one side of the drive plate.

The clutch drive plate had lost all of its lin­ing.

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