In 2021, automatic transmissions seem to be almost universal. Not everyone knows how to drive a stick shift, and those who do, often choose not to. However, some drives like the control of the engine’s horsepower afforded by a manual transmission. So naturally, when you feel your Fiat’s shifter shuttering, you may feel as if that control has slipped out of your hands.
At first, clutch chatter may seem harmless. Over time, that subtle annoyance could turn into a serious mechanical failure. If you experience shuddering, stuttering, or chatter while changing gears, have your Fiat inspected by a qualified service technician as soon as possible.
Causes of Clutch Shuttering
Your clutch shifts gear by shifting a series of mechanical parts that move the drive shaft. If your clutch disc is misaligned or obstructed, a grinding noise may be heard. If left untreated, you may feel a shuddering or bucking while changing gear. This is the sound of “grinding gears.” That grinding is more than a bad sound; it means that the clutch disc of your transmission is wearing away with each movement.
There are several possible causes of clutch chatter. The most common and easiest to fix is low transmission fluid. If your transmission fluid is low, the dashboard indicator for transmission fluid should illuminate. In rare cases, this light may fail to illuminate.
Transmission fluid does not need to be topped off often, but it is essential that you do so as soon as possible. To ensure your gaskets are appropriately tightened, transmission fluid should only be topped off by a qualified technician.
Debris Within the Shifter
Another possible cause of stuttering while shifting is debris. Oil buildup, dirt, or leaked transmission fluid can slip between the parts of your shifter, causing shuttering and slippage. Normally, there should not be anything on your clutch disc.
If another part has broken and liquid has leaked onto the clutch disc, it may not need to be replaced. A mechanic can assess where the problem originates and clean up any debris inside the shifter mechanism.
Worn Shifter Parts
During the life of your vehicle, shifter parts may break down from normal wear and tear. As these parts age, they may loosen, leading to vibrations and scraping or grinding sounds.
If any part of your shifter experiences excessive friction, the problem will only spread, so it’s best to bring it to a qualified mechanic right away. A mechanic can diagnose any vibrations felt while shifting to isolate what part of the clutch may need replacement. The problem could be as simple as a damaged flywheel or bell housing. The sooner the problem is identified, the easier and less expensive it will be to fix.
Dangerous Clutch Chatter
Clutch chatter is a symptom, not a problem itself. That said, driving with a damaged clutch will only make the problem worse. If you continue to drive with a damaged shifter, you run the risk of experiencing a catastrophic failure while driving.
If a part were to break while shifting, you could lose control of your vehicle and cause an accident. It is not safe to drive a car that shutters while shifting.
Bring Your Fiat to Corpus Auto Service
The ASE-certified technicians at Corpus Auto Service are committed to our community. We are based in Corpus Christi, TX, but we serviced vehicles from all over. Since 1984, we have proudly served the communities of Portland, Rockport, Aransas Pass, Calallen, and everywhere in between.
Our factory-certified technicians have years of experience servicing Fiat’s. We use a state-of-the-art VAG-COM diagnostic system to check all electronic systems of your vehicle. For mechanical repairs, we closely follow the guidelines set by the manufacturers of your vehicle to ensure the best possible service.
Whether you are experiencing an issue with your vehicle or it is time for routine maintenance, bring your car in to see us. Our expert mechanics will have a look at your vehicle while you enjoy our free coffee and Wi-Fi. While our garage has grown over the years, we have kept our values the same: excellent customer service. We look forward to the opportunity to earn your business.