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I've recently bought a used car (a Chevrolet Kalos 2007), with only 45000 miles. However after about a month of driving, my car just randomly started to rev high and not accelerate. Basically, I can put my foot down on the accelerator and the car just revs high and does not accelerate. There is also a bad smell (of something burnt), I got told that it might be a bad clutch. However, I can shift into gears perfectly fine. The only other problem that I think might be is that my transmission is just slipping. What are the steps I should take to fixing this? Change the transmission fluid? Buy a new transmission?

Any help is greatly appreciated, - Mitch

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  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! I'd almost guarantee you it's the clutch. Mar 29 '19 at 20:30
  • The only part in a manual transmission that can slip is the clutch between the engine and gearbox - if you put it in gear and it does not move then you may need a new clutch.
    – Solar Mike
    Mar 29 '19 at 20:31
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Assuming it's a manual then it sounds like the clutch for sure. The reason you can change gears ok is because the engine is not well connected to the gearbox due to the slipping clutch!

There is no transmission fluid as such in a manual box. It's a completely different mechanism.

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Just to add some information to @LoztInSpace's answer:

The bad smell that you're detecting is your clutch disc slipping against the flywheel. That could be due to a failing clutch disc itself - unusual at 45k miles, but not unheard of - or, potentially, due to a failing or improperly-installed pressure plate. That said: I've never personally seen a failed pressure plate. They're basically big spring-driven clamps. A failure would indicate a broken spring or a loose or missing pressure plate retainer bolt.

A bad throwout bearing or slave cylinder could be an issue, I suppose. On many modern cars, these are integrated into a single unit. Which is stupid, but the engineers didn't ask me in advance, so here we are.

This is most likely a failing clutch disc. However: make sure you're not applying throttle while your foot is still on the clutch pedal. Other than the small intentional slip that you need to get the car moving in first gear from a stop, you should never apply throttle when the clutch pedal is even partially down.

If you're driving the car correctly, you're looking at replacing the clutch, pressure plate and throwout bearing. These things are typically all replaced at the same time due to the significant labor it takes to remove the transmission from the car to get to the clutch.

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