Most people who drive cars will tell you that over time they tend to develop weird noises. One of these noises is the squeaky noise from your clutch pedal. While this may not always be a big issue, it’s empathically irritating and can indicate an underlying problem with your vehicle.
A squeaky clutch pedal is often caused by dirt, friction, and age. We will look at some of the common reasons for the squeaky noise in your clutch pedal and how to fix it.
Some of the easy ways to get rid of the squeaky noise in your clutch pedal include; lubricating your clutch, clean up the clutch, and replacing the clutch.
In this article, we will discuss this in detail and a few techniques to help fix the squeaky noise in your clutch.
How to test for Clutch Noise
There is a quick way you can determine whether the noise is coming from your clutch or not.
- Begin by switching on the ignition while inspecting if the handbrake is on. Then put your vehicle into neutral.
- Allow your engine to run and listen closely for a growling sound without pushing down your accelerator or clutch pedal. If you hear growling noise then it means there is a problem with the transmission clutch. So you need to take the car to a professional mechanic and let them know about the sound. In case you don’t hear any noise proceed to the next step.
- Partially push down your clutch pedal without putting your vehicle on gear and pay attention to the sound. If you hear high-pitched noise then it means your clutch is not working properly. The noise is usually due to a damaged throw-out or clutch release. But if you don’t hear any noise continue to the next step.
- Finally, press the clutch pedal down. Once again listen to any strange noise from your vehicle. If you hear a squeaking noise then it means there is a problem with the bushing or wheel bearings.
Possible Cause of the Squeaking Noise in the Clutch Pedal
Worn-Out Clutch Disc
The clutch is often used as much as the brake and accelerator. The deal is usually pushed on the way down almost all the time. However, if you often drive on rough terrains your clutch will even wear out faster. One of the common indications of a worn-out disc is a squeaky noise.
Other Signs may include;
- A pungent odor of clutch dust
- Extreme dust from below your car
- A strange engine sound when you release the clutch
Sometimes it is easy to conclude that the problem is the clutch disc. However, a damaged throw-out bearing can also induce squeaky noise when you press or release your clutch. It’s important to figure out the cause of the squeaky sound otherwise you will still have a problem to solve.
Your clutch pedal does as much work as your accelerator and brakes. However, it is only clutch pedal that gets fully released or pressed down each day. And due to this it is prone to wear and tear and might begin to squeak over time.
It is unfortunate, your car engine is not the cleanest place on the planet. The buildup of dirt and grease in your engine can stick to the components of the clutch. Thus affecting the smooth movement of your clutch pedal causing it to stick a little and induce a squeaky noise when you release or press it
A Damaged Throw-Out Bearing
A damaged throw-out bearing or clutch release bearing is usually caused by wear and tear. If not checked the damage on the throw-out bearing will eventually affect the transmission.
Anytime you engage your clutch, the throw-out bearing presses up against the pressure plate release levers. Which in sequence also pushes the pressure plate spring. Once you alter your gears the bearings go back to normal.
The throw-out bearing is very essential as it ensures your engine disengages anytime you change gears. When it goes back to the start position, your engine, and wheels get connected again. If the damaged throw-out bearing is not figured out early your vehicle will ultimately conk and break down.
A worn-out throw-out bearing causes the drivers to rub against each other hence inducing squeaky noise when you push down the clutch. If the culprit is a damaged throw-out bearing the noise will stop when you release the clutch.
Other signs of a damaged throw-out bearing include;
- A rigid clutch pedal
- The vibration of the clutch when you engage it.
- Difficulty in changing gears
As you may know, the clutch is one of the most used components of your vehicle. This is the reason why some of its components sometimes get slightly shifted. Even though the friction may not prevent your clutch from working properly, it will cause its components to rub against each other and make squeaky noise. In most cases, the lever or the clutch fork gets pushed into the gearbox by the clutch. And this results in a squeaky noise.
A Defective Pilot Bearing
Unfortunately, it is common for most people to mistake a defective pilot bearing for a throw-out bearing and vice versa. Both bearings when damaged will cause your clutch pedal to squeak. However, you will be able to know which bearing is failing by being more observant.
For instance, if you hear noise when you switch your gear to neutral with the clutch pedal fully engaged, then the issue is possibly a damaged throw-out bearing. But if there is no noise then the pilot bearing is the issue.
The function of the pilot bearing is to make the engine into the crankshaft and the transmission inputs rotate at different speeds when the clutch is disengaged. A defective pilot bearing will cause your clutch to make squeaky noise when you engage or disengage it.
Other signs of a defective pilot bearing include;
- Vibrations when you push down the clutch.
- Failure of your clutch to release
- Transmission failure
How to Fix Your Squeaky Noise in the Clutch Pedal
Lubricate Your Clutch
Applying a good amount of lubricant on your clutch is enough to make it move smoothly again. Even though there are several types of grease you can use, most people rely on WD-40. Most vehicle owners have reported excellent results when they used lithium grease to lubricate their clutch. However, there are a few disadvantages you need to know.
Lithium grease contains petroleum distillate which can cause the rubbers and plastics within your engine to deteriorate quickly. Bear in mind that components of your vehicle’s engine contain all kinds of rubber hoses. So you need to ensure that the grease is confined and directly applied on the clutch and remember to wash your hands thoroughly before you touch anything else.
Some grease brands also give out bad odor, so you would need to leave your vehicle open for a few days for the scent of air out. If any of these downsides put you off, you can consider using silicone-based lubricant as it also works best.
How to Apply Lubricant on Your Clutch
Regardless of the kind of lubricant you choose to use, the most difficult thing you will have to do is to get the grease to the perfect spot. As most drivers don’t have inspection pits close at hand getting to the clutch can be challenging.
Depending on the location of components causing the squeaky noise on your clutch, you can simply spray onto the pedal base to get rid of the noise. In some instances, you will need to look out for the arm that moves the clutch fork to eliminate the squeaky noise. To get this done you need to get under your car, while you let a friend sit in your car and push down the clutch so that you can easily locate the squeaky spots and grease it. Make sure your engine is before you do this.
Replacing the clutch completely can be very costly and often unnecessary. But to get rid of the squeaky noise in your clutch pedal you need to replace a few worn-out parts like the throw-out bearing. The throw-out is responsible for moving the flywheel anytime pushes down the pedal.
If the squeaky noise persists then the bushing bearing is the cause of the problem. The bushing bearing is responsible for supporting and centering each disc. You can simply replace the bushing bearing if you know a little about car maintenance.
Just ensure you follow the instructions in your user manual to achieve better results. If you think you will cause more harm than good trying to replace it, you can get a professional to do it for you.
Clean Up the Clutch
Sometimes the bell housing your clutch transmission can become damaged and allow contaminants to leak inside. If this is the case, then you need to inspect and clean up the transmission.
However, you can clean it up yourself but bear in mind there are many essential things in there. But it is better to send your vehicle to a large garage and let their mechanic clean it up for you.
But if you are contemplating whether to get it cleaned or not, you can inspect the bell housing yourself. You can go under your car and inspect it using a torch. If it looks clean and undamaged then there is no need to clean it. But if it is oily you need to send it to a professional right away to have it checked.
Do Nothing About It
The squeaky noise can be irritating but sometimes the squeaky noise from your clutch can be due to friction between multiple parts. If the noise is not bothering you you can leave it like that for a few days and let time do its magic as the components might readjust themselves as you drive. However, if the problem gets worse or develops other issues along the way such as slipping gears, then you need to contact your mechanic as quickly as possible.
A squeaky clutch pedal barely indicates a significant problem with your vehicle. But it can be very irritating. In most cases just applying lubricant on the pivot clutch will get rid of the squeaky noise. It’s only in a few circumstances that you may need you may need to replace worn-out components. However, you can take your car to a professional mechanic for a quick check if you are contemplating.