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People around the world hate driving manual cars and we can empathize. Even though manuals are more fun to drive they can be quite tricky, especially for beginners. This problem aggravates with the frequent start and stops when you need master control over the clutch pedal. Hence, we can see how much more frustrating it can be when you face clutch problems in your Renault Clio.
If you didn’t already know, the clutch connects the gearbox and the engine. The clutch is usually considered to be a part of the manual transmission system. Hence, a problem with the gearbox of the Renault Clio could indicate something is wrong with the clutch as well. Thus, it is important to thoroughly troubleshoot such a problem with the clutch if it ever occurs.
Most of the clutch problems found in a Renault Clio occur due to a malfunction of either the friction (clutch) plate, the clutch cable, or the pressure plate. Unfortunately, the only solution is to replace the part affected. Trying to fix these problems can be quite tricky otherwise. Time to take a deeper look into these problems.
Clutch bite problems
One of the most common clutch problems faced by Renault Clio users is that the ‘clutch bites too hard”. The bite point of the clutch is the point at which the clutch makes contact with the engine.
In the Clio, this point can be too high. This means that the clutch engages only when you almost fully decompress the clutch pedal. This can make driving quite difficult in traffic as you lose fine control of the car. Another problem faced is that clutch bites hard which refers to a very rough engaging vibration.
The root cause for both these problems stems from the sensitivity of the clutch pedal. This is controlled by the tension of the clutch cable and clutch pedal. While you can manually adjust this in some other cars, the Clio has an auto adjuster. So, your best bet is to probably replace the clutch cable entirely.
Alternatively, a high bite point can also be due to a malfunction in the pressure plate. If this is the case, then it is best to replace the pressure plate sooner than later. The clutch can otherwise suddenly stop engaging causing severe problems while driving.
The slipping of the clutch is caused by a lack of friction on the clutch plate. Clutch plates are generally built to last tens of thousands of kilometers before any problem occurs. However, the reliability of these clutch plates depends majorly on how the driver uses them.
Thus, if the driver misuses it (with rough engaging and disengaging frequently), the friction lining might get used up sooner than later and require a change.
One way to notice that your clutch is slipping is that you will hear a high revving noise from the engine when you press down the gas pedal, but the same power won’t be transferred to the wheels. If you start noticing this, it is best to replace the clutch plate as soon as possible as it may cause more problems down the line.
Clutch pedal problems
Another common clutch pedal problem observed in Renault Clio is a clicking sound every time the clutch pedal is pressed down or unpressed. Most drivers usually make their peace with this noise and crank up the music.
One possible reason for this noise is a lack of lubrication in the clutch pedal’s pivot. This can be sorted very easily by spraying some lubricant like WD40 at that particular joint and working it a few times.
Alternatively, some customers report that this problem is usually rectified for free at authorized Renault dealers. Most of them are aware of this issue.
Sound while engaging the clutch
Another possible clutch problem in the Renault Clio is that you hear a sound from the clutch every time you change gear and re-engage the clutch. Broken or damaged torsional springs in the clutches can generally cause this problem.
These springs are designed to absorb the torsional (rotational) forces of the whole system when the clutch makes contact again.
Thus, if these springs are damaged, all of the load is not absorbed properly. This leads to a sound whenever you change the gear. In such a case, you have no choice but to swap out the clutch plate with a new one.
Hopefully, this article gives you a good understanding of the common clutch problems faced in a Renault Clio. Sadly, all these repairs require you to disassemble the powertrain to a great extent. Thus, it is not exactly DIY per se. You can always use the owner’s manual to help you narrow down and troubleshoot the problem. But once you identify the problem, our recommendation is to ask a professional to fix it.
Moreover, due to the difficulty of accessing this part, we recommend that if anything related to the clutch assembly is damaged, it is best to replace the entire assembly. This would not only increase the reliability of the entire system but also reduce the possibility of having to change a different part next time and incurring additional service costs. With any luck, you won’t have to face any of these problems and can get back to enjoying a manual gearbox in no time!