Is my clutch going?

I have a 2014 V6 Mustang. Recently I’ve begun to smell that special scent of burning metal intermittently, more often at slower speeds or when stopped completely. In addition I’ve noticed that my mileage has been dropping a bit and that the car doesn’t pick up quite as fast as it used to. Today on a hunch I put the car on a non-incline surface and let the clutch out relatively quickly. I was shocked to discover that it didn’t stall - it absolutely would have when it was newer. The brakes also don’t appear to be shedding dust so I don’t think one of them is locking up.

Normally these would be signs of a clutch going bad. I’m suspicious because my car only has 25,000 miles on it. It has been driven through two Michigan winters and thus subjected to some abuse, but even if I were riding the clutch daily (I would never) I would be surprised to see it go out so young. Should I be looking at something else, or should I just break down, go to the dealer, and fight with them until they replace it?

Yes, it does sound like your clutch is on its way out.

However, I don’t think that “fighting” with the dealership is going to yield anything other than high blood pressure. Because the clutch is a “wear item”, I don’t believe that it is covered by warranty.

Believe it or not, I have known of cases where people burned-out the clutch on a brand new car w/in a couple of weeks, so it isn’t inconceivable that 25k of driving could have taken its toll on the clutch.

It sounds like you have a worn out clutch.

There’s no point fighting with the dealer, I’m not sure what the fight would be about.

If you’re unhappy with the car for some reason then perhaps you should be looking at a different car, but you’re going to take a hit on the trade value of yours because the clutch is gone.

You’re not the first to wear a clutch out in 25,000 miles. You might want to read up on proper clutch use. Its function is not to have its ability to slip used to match the speeds of the engine output and the tranny input, but rather just to disengage the engine and tranny for shifting. matching the speeds is the job of the driver.

yes, it seems the clutch is a goner. Get it replaced and then evaluate your driving habits to see if you can make a change(s) that will make the next clutch last longer. Things to avoid are; riding the clutch on hills, resting the foot on the clutch between changing gears, excessive slipping of the clutch when starting up on steep grades, etc.

If you can’t change any driving habits then the clutch might be under-designed for the power of the motor and weight of the car. This can happen when a manufacturer tries to cut costs, reduce weight, or just makes a mistake.

Do you use the clutch to hold the car on an incline ? I saw this a few times and you could smell it burning. The clutch in my 89 GT lasted 20 years ! I had to replace it because the throw out bearing started making noise. After removal the clutch disk still had over 50% material left.

When you replace it…replace everything ! Also use minimum RPM when starting out…you do not want to rev the engine to lets say 3000 rpm and slowly slip the clutch a +1 for TSM and UT above. My dad wore one out in 10K on a Ford Maverick…I used to holler at him about it and after getting it replaced he did not change his driving habits.

I forgot to add that this is a normal wear item. The dealer is not responsible.

Properly driven, I’ve had clutches last the life of the vehicle. The only one I ever wore out lasted 295,000 miles. And that was even after teaching both of my kids how to drive a manual on the vehicle. Actually, my daughter had taken over the vehicle for her daily driver at the time, so who knows how long it might actually have lasted.

Improperly driven, a clutch can be toast in 5,000 miles. Even less.

I promise y’all that I have excellent clutching habits and I know quite well how to downshift properly. The clutch on the last car I had lasted as long as I had the car (to 140,000 miles) and is presumably still going, so I really don’t think it’s me. I may upgrade to something a little more durable than the stock clutch depending on costs, even though I promised myself I wasn’t going to turn into one of those crazy modders when I bought this car.

Apparently this clutch and transmission have known issues (it’s pretty noisy, the synchros get squirrely and the clutch line tends to misbehave at higher or lower temperatures) but I don’t think short lifespan is typically among them. Grr.

This actually brings up another question I’ve come up with during the process of figuring this out. Is there some reason I should replace the flywheel if I get a non-stock clutch? Some manufacturers are recommending this but they don’t specify which one and as long as the flywheel gets resurfaced I don’t know why I should bother (especially since the flywheels seem to cost more than the clutches themselves).

Edit: Also, I don’t know if this is showing up improperly elsewhere, but I’m posting on mobile and for some reason it won’t let me separate paragraphs. I have no idea why. It looks awful and I am so sorry.

With Subaru clutch wear is warranty item under 3yr/36k. Maybe inquire your Ford warranty booklet or online then proceed?

If you use dealer regularly they may have mercy and comp part or all of repair if out of warranty.

I have a different way to test a clutch:
Go out on the road and gently bring the car up to ~3000 rpm in 3rd gear.
This is near where the engine makes maximum torque.
Then floor it. Do the rpm’s on the tach jump quicker than speed?

Get a mechanic to test drive and confirm your diagnosis.

With Subaru clutch wear is warranty item under 3yr/36k.

Even if there’s obvious evidence of abuse?