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  7. Nissan Qashqai: What Are the Main Clutch Problems?

Nissan Qashqai: What Are the Main Clutch Problems?

Nissan Qashqai: What Are the Main Clutch Problems?

The Nissan Qashqai (2007 and onwards) was a huge hit—and for a good reason. It’s stylish, cost-effective, and it started the trend for family SUVs. Still, like every other vehicle, Nissan Qashqai clutch problems do occur from time to time.

Often, the car will start clunking on take-off or have difficulty changing gears on hills and inclines. The repair costs vary from $1,000 to over $2,500 for a new gearbox.

However, you can easily avoid these faults with regular servicing and preventative maintenance schedules.

In this post, we will explore some of the problems you may encounter with your Nissan Qashqai clutch and, most importantly, what you can do about it.

How Does a Nissan Qashqai Clutch Work?

car clutch on a metal surface
Photo by Envato Elements

The clutch is one of the most vital components in your car; it enables you to change gear and allows your vehicle to pull away when stationary.

The primary function of your vehicle’s clutch is to separate the engine from the driven road wheels, which makes changing gear possible.

In addition, the clutch gives the driver control over how much speed they have so that they can slow down or speed up smoothly without using the brakes.

Consider the following part of your car clutch and its functions:

Pressure Plate

The pressure plate is the first part of the clutch that engages with the flywheel. It has been designed to apply a controlled amount of pressure on the flywheel while in contact—enabling you to change gears without stalling or breaking down.

Clutch Bearing (Release Bearing)

The release bearing is located under the clutch cover. It is a sliding mechanism that reduces the distance between the pressure plate and flywheel, removing the pressure from your Nissan’s clutch, which disengages it from the gearbox.

Diaphragm Spring

The diaphragm spring system allows for a smooth engagement of gears by applying a controlled amount of pressure on the release bearing—as well as maintaining the correct position of the release bearing so that it slides within its housing.

This system also protects the clutch master cylinder from damage due to sudden changes in hydraulic pressure.

Damper Springs

The damper springs are an essential part of your Nissan’s clutch. They provide for a smooth engagement and disengagement of gears even when under load—thus improving safety whilst driving at high speed or in heavy traffic.

Nissan Qashqai: 5 Symptoms of a Faulty Clutch

inside engine bay

Common Nissan Qashqai clutch problems include:

Heavy Clutch Pedal

If you find yourself pushing down on the gas pedal harder than usual, often the problem is caused by a frayed clutch cable. The fault could also be coming from the springs for the clutch, or it could be a result of a leak or obstruction in the hydraulic system.

If it is a problem with your Nissan Qashqai’s clutch, then the best thing to do is to change your whole clutch kit.

Clutch Is Slipping

When your clutch is slipping, it means your car is not transmitting engine power to the wheels because of loss of friction between the clutch and flywheel. This causes a delay in acceleration or sudden stalling.

Usually, this results from a low transmission fluid level, causing your car’s torque converter to lock up. The lack of proper transmission fluid causes a delay in torque being transferred to the wheels, causing the clutch to slip.

Trouble Changing Gears

The other common Nissan Qashqai clutch problem is when your car’s difficulty switching gears due to the inability to get the clutch to engage.

A worn clutch will also result in jerking as you drive and excessive noise when you change gears.

Trouble Engaging Into Gears

Also, besides trouble changing gears, if your clutch is on its way out, you might have issues getting the car into first or reverse gear. The engine will rev up, but the car won’t move. This can be very dangerous if you’re stuck in the middle of a busy intersection.

The Car Cannot Shift Into Park

If your car has trouble engaging gears, it might also be hard to shift into the park gear. In this case, you will have to shift through all of the gears until you finally put the car into park.

These symptoms could indicate that your clutch needs to be replaced.

Note: Besides the above clutch problems, several Qashqai drivers have reported a smoke and burning smell as a common occurrence with their clutches. A burning smell usually occurs when two surfaces are rubbing together. While this fault can be fixed, it indicates a failing clutch and can lead to a hefty replacement bill.

Checking a Nissan Qashqai Clutch

It is very easy for drivers to know when their Nissan Qashqai has a clutch problem. When you press down on the pedal and let go, there shouldn’t be any resistance. It should move smoothly and not feel as if it will stall. The pedal should also arrive up to its original starting position quickly.

If the clutch feels spongy, sticks, or you hear a grumbling noise when you perform the above exercise— these are all clear signs that your vehicle needs a replacement clutch.

You can also check for visible leaks from fluids, such as oil and brake fluid.

Nissan Qashqai Clutch Problems—What Are the Causes?

a clutch disc

Nissan Qashqai clutch problems are mainly caused by worn-down components in the clutch system, making the need for replacement. These parts include:

  • Clutch plate – Worn out or warped
  • Clutch cover plate- Worn out, causing the release bearing to move around, resulting in abnormal wear on the pressure plate. The other parts also affected by this include the flywheel and throw-out bearing

Wear and tear naturally occur over time as you continue using your car—which means it is unavoidable. However, there are several practices that you can do, such as servicing your car regularly, to help slow down the wear and tear process.

Other common reasons why your Nissan Qashqai clutch may be experiencing problems include:

  • Low engine oil levels: If you are driving your car regularly, it is worth checking your engine oil levels regularly to ensure that the fluid is optimum. This will help protect against any dry burning due to low levels of oil, which can cause damage to the friction plate within the clutch.
  • Faulty slave cylinder: The other issue with the Nissan Qashqai clutch could be down to a faulty slave cylinder, which is responsible for pushing the clutch disk out when you press your foot on the pedal. If this part of the clutch fails, then you will require a replacement.
  • Driving for a long-distance in one gear: If you drive your vehicle for long using the same gear—or without shifting up or down, this can cause the metal plates to warp and damage your pressure plate. Thus, creating undue tension on the component, which leads to it failing.

How Can I Extend the Life of My Clutch?

inner workings of a clutch

There are a few things you can do to help extend the life of your Nissan Qashqai clutch, such as:

  • Don’t rev up your engine – Don’t use your car’s accelerator past 2,000 RPMs. This is especially important when you’re trying to switch gears.
  • Don’t downshift – While driving, avoid downshifting. Instead of shifting down when you need to slow your vehicle, use the brake pedal to slow down gradually. Climbing hills? Shift into a higher gear rather than using your clutch on inclines.
  • Maintain a good temperature range – Keep an eye on your temperature gauge so that it never dips below 50 degrees Celsius or goes above 80 degrees Celsius. If your car’s temperature is too high or too low, the clutch could be adversely affected.
  • Avoid dragging the clutch – If you are waiting in traffic, don’t hold your foot on the clutch. When your foot is pressed on the clutch, there is pressure on the bearing. Instead, take your car out of gear by placing it in neutral and then rest your foot on the brake pedal to prevent your car from rolling.

Nissan Qashqai Clutch Problems – Replacements

mechanic repairing car

Since the clutch is such an important part of your car, it will need to be replaced as soon as there are any problems.

The most effective way to make this change is by using a reliable Nissan Qashqai spare parts supplier who can offer you high-quality products at low prices.

This means that you won’t have to worry about spending a lot of money on your clutch replacement, which can be a very costly repair to undertake.


How long does it take to change a clutch on a Nissan Qashqai?

Changing a clutch on a Nissan Qashqai can take between thirty minutes to about four-and-a-half hours—depending on your experience to replace clutches.

You should have the following tools for the job: transmission jack, engine support, clutch alignment tool, a two-post vehicle lift as well as a vacuum brake and clutch bleeder kit.

Does a Nissan Qashqai have a clutch cable?

Yes, all Qashqai models are fitted with a conventional cable-activated clutch. The cable is routed under the car from the pedal assembly to the back of the engine bay, where it operates a bell crank. This, in turn, rotates another cable that operates within a housing alongside the gearbox.

How do you change a clutch cable on a Nissan Qashqai?

Changing the clutch cable on a Nissan Qashqai is a job that a person should do with little experience in car mechanics. However, you will need some basic tools, such as a transmission jack, to get the job done successfully. The only special tool you may need is an internal snap ring pliers.

Having these tools would reduce the time you need for the job.

How do you know if the clutch needs replacing?

You might consider replacing your clutch if you notice the following symptoms: difficulty changing gears, grinding noises when changing gears, slipping clutch, and trouble engaging in gear.

Is it worth it to repair or replace your clutch?

A faulty clutch is very dangerous for your car and, if left unfixed, can result in major damage to your vehicle. That said, you might want to consider repairing it instead of immediately replacing it.

Replacing a clutch can cost up to $1,000, so when you weigh the pros and cons, it might be cheaper to pay for a smaller repair than a new clutch.

Final Thoughts

The Nissan Qashqai is a fantastic car built with cutting-edge components, which means that there won’t be any problems with the original parts.

However, as we know, every vehicle has mechanical faults, and Qashqai is not an exception. Some issues may occur with the clutch, and if you notice any of the above signs, it is worth getting this checked by a professional.

The best thing you can do is find a workshop with qualified technicians who can do the job for you. Ensure that they use genuine parts, so your car doesn’t run into any problems further down the road.

Are you having other issues with your Nissan Qashqai?

Check out our articles on Nissan Qashqai: 7 Automatic Gearbox Problems and 7 Common Nissan Qashqai Battery Problems & Solutions.

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