What Is Clutch Chatter? And What Causes A Clutch Chatter?

Clutch Chatter

Clutch chatter refers to the unpleasing noise that is brought about by a faulty clutch. This type of noise is usually in vibration form and only occurs when the clutch is initially engaged. The key reason as to why this occurs is wearing out of the clutch components.

Contamination of clutch components could also lead to clutch chatter, well known as a clutch shudder. The shudder occurs when the disc grabs and releases the flywheel while the engine is still rotating. However, clutch chatter is different from clutch slippage.

The difference between clutch slippage and clutch chatter is that clutch slippage occurs when the disk continuously spins, without full engagement while clutch chatter occurs during initial engagement whereby the disc quickly gets hold and let's go, the flywheel.

In this article, I will look into the various symptoms that may make your clutch chatter as well as the various steps you can take in correcting the problem. It's important to take note of this problems since when ignored, it could cause you great damage.

Causes Of Clutch Chatter

Clutch Chatter

Oil leakage could lead to clutch chatter when the oil gets on the disc. The oil could be as a result of a transmission leak or the engine. It's therefore advisable to look into the transmission as well as the engine, in determining the exact source of the leaking oil thereby making it easy to solve the problem.

In as much as clutch chatter is different from clutch slippage, excessive slippage could lead to this type of noise. This is because excessive slippage leads to heat buildup thereby causing warping on the friction plate. This then leads to clutch shudder.

Clutch Chatter

Push starting the car could also lead to this clutch noise. When you push start your car, the torsion spring is missed therefore when you attempt to engage the clutch the vibration occurs. The vibration can shake your car.

A bent diaphragm spring could lead to this type of clutch noise/vibration. When determining the cause of the noise, ensure that you check the diaphragm spring for any defect. This could assist you in ruling out the factors that be causing your clutch to chatter.

An uneven coil spring could lead be the cause of this vibration. It is, therefore, necessary to check whether there are any defects with the coil spring. However, there are very few clutches manufactured in this from nowadays.

Clutch Chatter

The pilot bearing is a factor to look into when determining the cause of the clutch noise. A missing pilot is a concerning issue as well as a damaged pilot. This is a factor that could require you to have automobile personnel on site since ruling out of this factor could be quite tasking.

A bent flywheel could be the reason why the disc is grabbing onto it. Warping of the flywheel is often caused by heat buildup. Heat buildup caused as a result of excessive clutch slippage. Heat buildup can also occur when you overload your vehicle. Restrain from overloading, to prevent the flywheel from warping.

A damaged or worn out release bearing could be the reason why your clutch is making the unpleasing vibration noise. Wearing out of this bearing can be caused by extended use of a faulty pressure plate. Damage to this bearing can go as well due to very high mileage.

Ways Of Dealing With Clutch Chatter

Clutch Chatter

Fixing clutch chatter is quite challenging due to the various reasons that may cause the problem. Ruling out all the causative agents needs more than just you. Some problems may seem not related to the problem but could be in the real sense the causative agents.

In coming up with a solution do the following:

1. Check Whether There Is Any Lubricant Contamination

Lubricant Contamination

The major cause of lubricant contamination is oil. An oil leak could be one of the problem causing the noise therefore ensure that there is no leaking. Consider ensuring that your transmission is free from any leakages.

2. Check Whether There's Warping On The Flywheel And Diaphragm Spring

bent flywheel

Bending of this clutch components could be the reason why your clutch won't stay quiet when initially engaging.

A bent flywheel plays a key role in enabling the disc to grab it. A bent diaphragm spring isn’t good either. Ensure that these components are in a good state to prevent clutch chatter.

3. Check Whether The Clutch Components Are Worn Out

The Clutch Components

Wearing out of the clutch is inevitable especially due to aging. When this occurs, you will be required to replace the clutch components.

Worn out clutch parts could lead to the noise produced by the clutch in startup. Having them repaired saves you from worrying about your car shaking.

4. Check Whether The Driveline Is In A Good State

The Driveline

The driveline could be the cause of chatter. Sometimes the fault is usually on the driveline and not the clutch. The driveline is responsible for torque transmission, and when this doesn’t occur efficiently, clutch chatter becomes the result.

Some of the defects you should check for on the driveline include improper driveline angle, broken springs, faulty CV joints as well as a worn-out torque damper. Looking into the parts on the driveline aids you in eliminating the possible causes of clutch chatter.

However, an installation error on the driveline could be the cause of clutch chatter. It is quite difficult to determine the faulty installation area thereby calling upon skilled automobile personnel makes it easy. 


clutch chatter

With the information above, you can now explain what clutch chatter is, the factors that cause it as well as the measures you can take in dealing with such a problem. ​

In this article I have outlined in detail, the areas you should look into when determining/ ruling out the factors causing clutch chatter.

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