With automatic cars and self-driving vehicles becoming more popular, not too many people are familiar with clutches. In fact, you might think these ‘newer’ cars don’t have clutches at all. As it turns out, they don’t have a clutch pedal, but they do have an internal clutch system, all cars do. It’s what controls the release of power from your engine to your drive train.
This means whether you can see your clutch or not, you’ll need to replace it every 50,000km or so for heavy usage, while light town cars can survive up to around 150,000km. Buses may need their clutches replaced more regularly, because their stop-start driving wears it out faster. After all, they’re constantly dropping off and picking up passengers, and they’re stuck in traffic a lot.
Trucks are generally express vehicles, only stopping to load at the start of their trip and unload at the end. Either way, clutch parts from Exedy are among the best on the market. They’ve worked on heavy vehicles for over twenty years, so they’ve established a reputation for themselves. You can still get them from aftermarket sources, but make sure they’re genuine.
When to replace your clutch
Most trucks are routinely inspected by fleet managers and mechanics. These are general assessments done before and after each trip. But the person that really knows the truck or bus is the driver. They interact with the vehicle every day, so just by the sounds it makes and the feel of their foot on the pedal, they can tell how soon the clutch system will need replacement.
Still, there are certain signs to look out for. The simplest thing is to test clutch wear by trying to shift your truck while it’s in gear (as opposed to neutral). If your clutch is working well, the truck will stall and lurch instantly. If the reaction takes longer, your clutch is worn. Don’t do this too often, because it applies extra strain on your clutch, wearing it out faster.
You can also take note of how smooth your gear change is. Any slipping, sticking, or scratching between gear changes is generally a clutch problem. Plus, you might notice your acceleration rate slows, even though you can hear the engine revving and powering up. Sometimes, you may feel your bus body rattling beneath you, because the clutch dampers are nearly down to zero.
Finding the exact Exedy clutch part
As a trucker or bus driver, you can probably identify the problem by sound, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can fix it. Or that you know which specific spare part you need. Exedy clutch kits can help. They contain the clutch disc, cover, alignment tool, and release bearing. If you need it, Exedy can include a pilot bearing with your Aisin Clutch Kit.
However, if you’re buying your Exedy clutch from aftermarket sources, you have a little more wiggle room. Say, for example, you only want to replace your cover, or your bearings. Instead of buying a brand new comprehensive kit, your aftermarket sources can help you pick and choose the bits you need. They’ll still be OEM grade, so you won’t lose out on quality. Just be sure your aftermarket sales source is legitimate. You don’t want to end up with a fake.