Jul 24 2019

The Aston Martin V8 Vantage Clutch Problem Explained and Remedied

Aston Martin V8 Vantage Clutch Problems Explained And Remedied

The modern Aston Martin V8 Vantage is a thing of beauty, about that there is little argument. It’s also, for a supercar, very usable and lots of people drive them as their day to day transport.

As if this wasn’t enough, it’s possible to buy a second-hand car for about the same price as a new modern family saloon, and I know which I’d rather be driving, what’s not to like!

The thing is, it’s a well-known fact that these cars have an Achilles heel, the clutch, and while replacing the clutch on many cars costs around £1000 to £1500, the Aston’s going to empty your bank account to the tune of about £3000, plus the VAT! Ouch.

In most cases, the problem is in the driver's seat

So what is it about the clutch on these otherwise dependable and reliable cars? Well, the main problem relates to the driver’s seat, and the person sat in it. Yup, as the IT industry would say it’s a PICNIC, ‘problem in chair not in computer’.

The bottom line with the modern V8 Vantage clutch is there’s nothing wrong with it, the problem is caused by the way it’s used, and we’ll now explain what we mean.

Whatever size of engine your Aston’s got, it’s pumping out a lot of power. This means that when you’re driving it enthusiastically, the clutch is working hard to keep the engine and transmission in perfect harmony.

This in itself isn’t a problem; it’s what a clutch is designed to do. But the Aston clutch has an engagement point, the point at which the clutch is fully engaged with the flywheel, that’s quite high in the clutch pedal stroke, and this is where the driver error comes in.

How A Clutch Works

We’re not going to explain in great detail how a clutch works, but in basic terms, the clutch is the thing that sits between the engine and the gearbox. If it wasn’t there, your car’s engine would stop when you weren’t moving.

This short video provides a great overview:

All you really need to know is that when you change gear, pressing the clutch disengages the engine from the gearbox and allows a smooth change. If you hear a grinding noise whilst changing gear, perhaps while being a passenger in a car being driven by someone else…, what you’re hearing is the gearbox not being separated from the engine by the clutch.

So What’s The Problem?

Because the engine note of the V8 is so beautiful people like to rev it, and they often try to accelerate before the clutch has fully engaged and it’s this that causes the premature wear of the Aston Martin V8 Vantage clutch.

All Clutches Wear Out

Now, a clutch will eventually wear out, this is the case with all cars, but by tweaking the way you drive it will last a lot longer than some of the horror stories, 5k, 10k or 15k that you’ve been reading about.

By making sure you’ve allowed the clutch to engage before you accelerate, you’ll significantly increase its life. It’s just a case of better understanding what’s actually happening when you press the pedal.

The Good News

Most second-hand V8 Vantage cars have had their clutch replaced. In fact, most owners make a point of mentioning this in their car for sale advert. This means, in all likelihood, you’ll be buying a car that’s already good to go without spending a further £3k plus on getting the cutch sorted.

If you do need to replace the clutch on your Aston Martin V8 Vantage there are several options and here at Pugsley & Lewis, an independent Aston Martin specialist, we can help you decide on the best one.

So don’t let the Aston Martin V8 Vantage clutch problem put you off owning one of these fantastic cars. If you drive it correctly you’ll get many years of fun without the pain.

Why not book a no-obligation consultation to discuss your requirements.