With German manufacturers so heavily dominating the import automotive industry, brilliant luxury cars from other European locations can often be overlooked. However, car enthusiasts with a discerning taste know just how good the offerings are from Italian manufacturer, Fiat. Offering function family cars as well as sporty and luxury models, Fiat truly has a lot to offer.
However, even the most plentiful range of cars will start to fail if not given the correct level of care and maintenance. With this in mind, in this article we will look at what causes your Fiat's pressure plate to start to run bad, what this means for your car, and where to go for help.
A Brief Overview of the Clutch
As the pressure plate is part of the clutch system, let's first take a closer look at the clutch assembly as a whole. The clutch assembly plays a large role in the overall function of your Fiat's engine, particularly when driving a manual transmission vehicle. Without it working correctly, your car will become noticeably difficult to drive.
Signs of clutch failure can be caused by any of the various components within the clutch assembly, such as the pressure plate. With the right care, a clutch assembly won’t need to be replaced until well into the vehicle's lifespan, if at all. However, this prediction can be rapidly reduced by clutch wear most commonly impacted by driving habits.
What does the pressure plate do?
In manual transmission vehicles, the pressure plate, also known as the clutch plate, works in relation to many other components such as the flywheel and clutch disc. These are responsible for the engagement and disengagement of the clutch as a whole when gears are shifted. As the name might suggest, the pressure plate undertakes a lot of pressure and friction when gears change. It can become worn out given time, typically exacerbated by strained gear-shifting.
What are the common symptoms of a worn out pressure plate?
As we previously mentioned, issues with the clutch are often quickly noticed by drivers, as it impacts greatly upon the way their Fiat handles and feels. However, to clarify some points, listed below are the most common issues drivers may face when their pressure plate runs bad.
Problems Shifting Gears
It goes without saying that any issue with your clutch will impact upon your Fiat's ability to change gears. When working correctly, this should feel seamless and relatively unnoticeable from the perspective of the driver. However, if you begin to notice the clutch sticks or struggles to disengage, then you may have issues with your pressure plate. Even if you don’t, it is clear that something is amiss within your clutch assembly.
Gears slip as a direct result of damage to the pressure plate. This occurs when the plate is too damaged or worn to engage in a specific gear. Your Fiat's engine may feel like it revs too drastically for any gear shift to take place. When everything is functioning well, the driver shifts up a gear when the clutch is disengaged. The transmission should stall during this stage of shifting. If the pressure plate is damaged, however, your Fiat won’t stall as it should.
Strange Clutch Noises
When your clutch assembly is working correctly, it shouldn’t make a sound. Therefore, if when changing gears you notice squeaking or grinding noises, then it is clear you have a problem on your hands. If you hear noises when disengaging the clutch, this typically indicates problems with parts of the clutch assembly other than the pressure plate. These failing parts should be attended to as soon as possible.
Shaking or Vibrating Clutch
When you disengage your Fiat's clutch, if you notice that there is severe vibration or even shaking, then you probably have the clearest indication that the pressure plate isn’t working correctly. While this could be another issue within the transmission, you’ll certainly need to resolve this worrying issue as soon as possible.
Let Import Motorworx Solve Your Problems
If you are worried about the state of your Fiat's pressure plate or are experiencing any of the clutch related issues mentioned above, visit Import Motorworx today for the very best in automotive repair and servicing. We serve the Lawndale, Culver City, West Los Angeles, and South Bay, CA communities.