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I recently bought a 1998 Kia Sportage. The previous owners said that the clutch was recently replaced, but I noticed after driving it for a while that when the engine speed is pretty high (around 4000-5000 rpm) and I disengage the clutch I get a funny rubbing noise and a small vibration. From reading through this post

New engine and clutch, have weird vibration @3K RPM

I'm wondering if it might be an imbalanced friction disk. Any thoughts?

As a follow up, how urgent is it to get this looked at?

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It could be a few things really, however its not unheard of to get a faulty or imbalanced clutch as manufacturing faults do occur.

The release bearing is always a likely culprit as these do suffer from rough/worn bearings which would give a vibration, but you'd normally get a rough feel through the pedal too.

It's also possible that there is an issue with the pressure plate, although only an issue with say several broken springs etc would cause the vibration you describe, in this case the clutch would feel different too. Basically If anything has broken off a pressure plate or cover it would cause an imbalance in the assembly.

A damaged or worn spigot bearing is also a possibility as when the clutch is disengaged this basically keeps the input shaft central. If the bearing is damaged or collapsed the input shaft is just left to float around in the flywheel, and as the clutch plate is almost on the end of the spigot shaft vibration would be amplified and felt through the pedal.

Basically if there is vibration that shouldn't be there in the clutch assembly it should be checked out. As vibration in a faulty/damaged rotating assembly won't usually get better, it's normally the opposite.

Depending on how bad the vibration is.. How long you leave it is up to you I'm afraid, all I can advise is that you don't ignore it, especially if it is becomes or is becoming worse.

  • Thanks for the response! Is it possible that this resulted in an error during the installation rather than a mechanical fault in the parts themselves? I've never worked on a clutch before, but my understanding is that you have to be careful to make sure that it is aligned. Could these symptoms result from a misaligned clutch or some other installation error? – rviertel Dec 14 '16 at 0:23
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There's not really much that can go wrong when installing the clutch itself as depending on design it's only a couple of clips or bolts for the release bearing and 6 bolts for the cover itself. Regarding alignment.. The gearbox would not re-locate properly if the clutch alignment was way out so the clutch has to have been aligned pretty well. If it was a tiny weeny bit out of alignment and the gearbox still went in ok, the clutch plate would just centre itself on first press of the clutch.

I doubt this is the case but... I suppose the only other thing I can think of that I didn't mention that could possibly cause the vibration, is if perhaps the whole clutch cover was left loose, although I've never seen this happen personally and things would be going downhill rather rapidly if this were the case.

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