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What Causes a Clutch Burning Smell? – Here’s What You Need To Know

What Causes a Clutch Burning Smell

Your vehicle's clutch is not designed to last forever. Unfortunately, you have to replace the clutch due to somewhere out or damaged at some point in time. One of the most consequential damages that you need to pay attention to is a clutch burning smell. 

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE

Your vehicle's clutch is one of the very important components to maintain smooth driving with your favorite vehicle.

Unfortunately, changing the clutch is not one of the easiest repairs you do on your own. In other words, replacing the clutch is not like changing your vehicle's oil.

Thus, it's very important to maintain the longest lifetime of your vehicle's clutch possible. You can do so by keeping an eye on any signs of clutch damages that you could save and repair without replacing the clutch itself.

This article helps you understand the different causes of clutch burning smell and what you are expected to do to save the clutch. 

What is the clutch, in what does it do? 


Your vehicle's clutch is responsible for engaging and disengaging the motor's power and the shaft's moving the wheels.

To use your vehicle efficiently, you don't want your wheels to keep spinning with the same number of rotations as your engine. The clutch helps maintain the required amount of rotations to provide the most efficient power and vehicle rotation.

The clutch is connected to two shafts. One of them is connected to the engine, and the other is connected to the driven shaft, which is moving the wheels.

If you're driving a vehicle with a manual transmission, you are the one who's controlling the connection or disconnection of the two different shifts.

As a result, with bad driving habits, one could result in significantly damaging the clutch. The clutched must be pressed with a certain amount of pressure, and over pressing on the clutch could result in significant damages that you don't deal with. 

What causes a clutch burning smell? 


If you started noticing some burning smell coming from your clutch, you probably burnt it.


The clutch burning smell can happen due to many reasons, including

  • Issues with the clutch slipping 


Your vehicle's clutch is not designed to last forever, and as we mentioned earlier, you might need to replace it at some point.

If you're dealing with a worn-out clutch, this clutch will not grip onto the shafts, and therefore, it will not transfer the spinning power generated by the engine to the wheels.

Clutch slipping is always obvious, and not only will you notice a clutch burning smell, but also you will see a difference in your vehicle's driving efficiency.

Unfortunately, a worn-out clutch requires immediate replacement to prevent significant damages that could happen to your vehicle's transmission.

While replacing the clutch is a little complicated, it's never as complicated as replacing the entire transmission.

Therefore, automotive experts recommend that you replaced the clutch immediately, even if it will cost you some time and money. 

  • Clutch overheating 


Over usage of your vehicle's clutch could result in clutch overheating that cause clutch burning smell.

Imagine if you're driving uphill and keeping engaging the clutch continuously, and with every meter of your driving, you will be generating a lot of heat.

When the clutch gets overheated, it can simply burn any rubber components around it and results in this clutch burning smell that you might notice.

The solution to this situation is to monitor how much you press on the clutch and prevent overusing when not necessary. 

  • Problems with your driving habits 


What are the most common causes for the clutch burning smell is from drivers' bad habits? If you are a new driver and use a manual transmission, you might be super excited to engage the clutch continuously.

However, if you don't be very careful when engaging the clutch, you might cause its damage very soon.

Over pressing on the clutch could cause significant friction between the clutch and the flywheel. This friction generates too much heat that can burn the clutch itself or some rubber components around it 

The best advice for you at this point is to consult a professional driver who knows how to use a manual transmission and ask him to help you how to drive your vehicle properly.

You don't want to overpress on the clutch, and at the same time, you don't want to under press and not get the results you need. 

If you are lucky enough and you did not already damage the clutch, there is a chance of saving your vehicle's clutch by changing your driving habits.

However, if the clutch was already burnt because of your over-pressing on it, unfortunately, you only one solution get it replaced and be careful on the new clutch in the future. 

What will happen if I drive my car with a clutch burning smell? 


It's never recommended to continue driving your vehicle if you're dealing with its burning smell, assuming that the clutch got completely damaged.

But, if you know for sure that the clutch was not completely damaged and it's just some extra stress on the watch as you were driving uphill, you might be able to continue driving your vehicle.

However, the best advice for you is to ensure that the clutch is still working properly by consulting a professional mechanic. The professional mechanic could use his specific tools that could detect whether the clutch was burned or not. If the clutch was burnt, you must get it replaced as soon as possible. Otherwise, you're dealing with complete damages to your transmission, if not the entire vehicle. 

How much does it cost to repair a Clutch a burning smell? 

Well, if the clutch burning smell is coming from additional stress on the clutch because you're driving uphill or pressing so much on the clutch, you can adjust your driving habits and prevent this problem from continuing to happen.

On the other hand, if the clutch is already burnt and you need to replace it, you need to look at the detailed repair costs below.

Depending on your car's make, model, and year, clutch repair costs could range from $500 to 2500 dollars.

Yes! Repairing your clutch is one of the very costly repairs that you don't want to ever deal with if you can. 

Before deciding to repair your vehicle's clutch, it's important to sit back and evaluate the situation by comparing your car's value to the required repair costs.

In other words, if you notice that repair costs are much more than the value of your vehicle, it might not be worth spending a penny on this vehicle, and you should sell your vehicle's junk and use the cash payment as a down payment for a new better vehicle. 

Does a burnt clutch smoke? 


Not necessarily. Most likely, a burnt clutch smell does not cause smoke in your vehicle. And if you notice that there is smoke coming out of the vehicle, it's a significant sign that your vehicle is burning internally.

If you understand the cause of the burnt clutch smell, you will know for sure that it does not happen because of a real fire. It usually happens because simple overheating that damage is the clutch itself but does not start a fire or cause any smoke. 

Does a burnt clutch need to be replaced? 


As we mentioned earlier, depending on the cause of this burning smell, you might not need to replace the clutch.

For example, if the clutch burning smells from bad driving habits and the clutch was not damaged, you can change your driving habits to use less pressure on the clutch to resolve the problem.

However, if the clutch burning smell comes from a damaged clutch or a completely worn out clutch, you must immediately replace it. 



Over time of use, it's not uncommon to deal with a clutch burning smell. Your clutch is not designed to last forever, and if you deal with such a situation, you must replace the clutch immediately.

A clutch burning smell usually comes from problems with the clutch slipping, overheating, or probably bad driving habits. Whatever the cause of the problem is, you must get it repaired as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, replacing your car's clutch is one of those very expensive car repairs you need to consider.

Automotive experts suggest that you evaluate the situation by comparing the repair costs to your vehicle's value before spending any penny. If you decided that it's never worth repairing the car, your second option would be to sell your car as junk.

Luckily, our company is willing to help you and get in touch with our team today to receive your instant offer within 30 seconds from a quick phone call.  

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