If you have problems gearing up, it might be your clutch.
If you’ve ever done much driving on some of Wisconsin’s Rustic Roads, or even more challenging terrain, in a car or truck with a manual transmission, you know how handy a properly working clutch can be. It helps you negotiate those twists, turns, and ups and downs smoothly and safely by allowing you to shift gears. It does the same around town in Madison where the clutch is also instrumental in getting your vehicle to stop. Stepping on the clutch basically separates the engine from the wheels, allowing the engine to continue running although the vehicle comes to a halt. (Automatic transmissions also have clutches that make the gear-shifting decisions and change the gears for the driver.)
That’s a way over-simplified description of what a clutch does, but it makes clear the value of making sure it functions. And lots can go wrong with a clutch, or the clutching system, from wear and tear to air in the hydraulic line to broken or stretched cables. Clues that all is not right with your clutch include a grinding noise when shifting gears, or difficulty getting it into gear. If things do seem a bit wonky with your clutch, you want to get experienced mechanics, like those at Terry’s Car Care, onto the job asap. As wikihow.com explains, “Clutch replacement is an involving job, requiring removal of the transmission to access the clutch. Unless you are an experienced home mechanic, book your car into a garage to have the work done.”