I’ve got a 2003 Mazda Protege 5 with the 5-speed manual transmission and 90,000 miles. Occasionally, and particularly when the car is hot and has been driven in city traffic for a while, the car shudders when the clutch is being engaged in first gear. If I disengage the clutch and rev the engine a bit, then re-engage the clutch I can get started smoothly. I’m assuming this is clutch chatter. My question is, will clutch chatter damage my car? Can I continue to drive around the problem or should get it repaired?
It won’t damage the car, but I’d start saving for a new clutch assembly. Yours probably has worn thin pads with some glazing or even edge chipping.