Car Shakes When Releasing Clutch in First Gear

7 Main Causes of Car Shakes When Releasing Clutch in First Gear!

Facing conditions like car jerking can ruin your regular drive. This condition can be tolerated one or two times. But if it constantly occurs when releasing the clutch in first gear, there must be a big reason behind it.

So, why does the car shake when releasing the clutch in first gear? It is mainly occurring for the issues related to clutch. A damaged engine mount and loose suspension are also responsible for this situation. Contaminated flywheel and leakage can shake the car when releasing the clutch in first gear.

That’s not the end. You can find here other conditions when this situation occurs with their solutions.

Car Shakes When Releasing Clutch in First Gear

Car Shakes When Releasing Clutch in First Gear

Shaking the car is not a good sign. It gives you a signal that there must be a problem in any part of your car. But if it shakes only in the releasing clutch in first gear, then the following are the possible causes:

Car Shakes When Releasing Clutch in First Gear

Cause 1: Clutch-Related Problem

The reason behind it could be the- 

  • Hardening of the clutch pedal, a worn-out clutch
  • Old and slipping clutch, or overuse of clutch
  • Another cause is the contamination of the clutch with leaking oil.


Find out the main problem of why the clutch is creating this problem. If the problem is due to hardness or slipping the clutch, you have to change it.

But if the cause is due to leakage, find out if it is due to flywheel or engine leakage. Repair it with the help of an expert according to the problem.

By the way, this video will help you to change the clutch.

Cause 2: Damage or Faulty Engine Mount

The engine mount holds the engine firmly. Driving a long way with a broken engine mount is not possible. The engine will shake while in first gear. Thus, it will transmit the vibration to the mount and other parts.

Damage or Faulty Engine Mount


Change the engine mount as early as possible. Take help from a professional to do so. This will cost around $150, including the labor cost. 

While doing this process, protect the transmission pan to avoid leakage. Also, be careful with your hand if you do it DIY, as this process requires a lot of energy.

Cause 3: Problem with Car Suspension

A worn or loose suspension compartment creates shaky movement in the steering wheel while you are releasing the clutch in first gear. The defect is found especially in the arm.

Problem with Car Suspension


You have to repair the suspension. You can do it yourself if you have prior knowledge of it. But it is better to go to the auto repair shop to replace it if it is damaged.

Cause 4: Misuse of Clutch

Drivers should press the clutch about two car lengths distance before stopping. The car will stall in first gear if you do not do that. Hence, pressing the clutch at a proper distance is important before braking a car.

Read:  Car Shakes When AC Is On (Explained)

However, it is hard for the clutch to create proper friction within a few moments. People often make this mistake. They press the clutch down suddenly, and the car shakes.

Misuse of Clutch


It is a safe practice to press the clutch at a proper distance. Otherwise, misuse can cause engine failure.

Cause 5: Due to Dizzy O-Ring Leakage

O-ring or transmission oil seal is an important part of preventing leakages of oil and air. But if the leakage protector is not working, the system will have functional changes. Also, there will be a loss of oil and air from the system. 

Likewise, there will be a pressure change, and this engine will shake while releasing the clutch in first gear.

Due to Dizzy O-Ring Leakage


Driving with an oil leakage is unsafe sometimes. You need to replace the damaged O-ring. To change the O-ring, the steps below should be followed. 

  • Step 1. Disconnect all the cables from the engine aside
  • Step 2. The air filter housing should be removed carefully. That is because the engine cover can create problems while working
  • Step 3. Now come to the distributor compartment. The spark plug wire should disconnect, and remove the distributor
  • Step 4. Now replace the old o-ring with a new one and follow these steps reversely to connect all the parts. That’s how you can change the damaged one. 
  • Step 5. After repairs, go for a test drive

Cause 6: Bad Master Cylinder

Car shakes due to problems related to the master cylinder is not a common fact. But a bad master cylinder can shake your car while releasing the clutch. Due to faulty pressure distribution, the engine can correlate properly. That causes the car to shake.

Bad Master Cylinder


Repairing a master cylinder is not an easy task. You should fix the problem in a local auto repair shop.

Cause 7: Contaminated Flywheel

If the flywheel is used for a long time, it can cause a car to shake when releasing the clutch fast. It will fail to transmit the power from the engine. Power loss is a common fact in old flywheels.

Accordingly, a damaged flywheel causes an oil leak. If any leakage is present, there will be insufficient pressure to engage the engine. Ultimately, the power and pressure loss causes the car to jerk.

On the other hand, if the flywheel overheats, it can affect other surrounding parts. They will damage due to overheating issues. Damage in the engine or clutch parts can also create shaking problems when you release the clutch in first gear.

Contaminated Flywheel


In case of a bad flywheel, you have to replace it. If you have extensive automotive repair skills, you can do it yourself. 

Read:  Car Shaking After New Tires

Changing a flywheel is not easy to do at all. It is better not to change it by yourself if you have no experience.

Mainly these are the possible problems in the case of first gear. But there could be other hidden problems. Most of the parts are highly expensive. So, confirm the part which is responsible for this problem.

If you’re experiencing shaking issues while releasing the clutch in first gear, you might find our articles on car shakes when put in reverse and car shakes when heat is on helpful. Our article on car shakes when put in reverse explores how transmission issues, engine mounts, or drivetrain problems can cause shaking while reversing. Meanwhile, our article on car shakes when heat is on discusses how cooling system issues, damaged engine components, or worn suspension parts can cause shaking when the heating system is turned on. Be sure to check out our resources on car shakes when put in reverse and car shakes when heat is on for more information.


People frequently ask these questions about car shaking in first gear. Have a look for further information on this issue. 

Q: Why does my car shake in 1st and 2nd gear?

Your car shakes in 1st and 2nd gear because of the low transmission fluid level. Also, bad oils and leakage can do this. In both cases, they create pressure imbalances and cause car shaking.

Q: Why does my car judder when I pull away in 1st gear?

Your car judders when you pull away in 1st gear because of mismanagement between the clutch and the flywheel. When you suddenly drive the car from a stop condition, this happens.

Q: Why does my car shake when I let off the clutch?

Your car shakes when you let off the clutch because of the damaged clutch or flywheel. It should be replaced immediately. Oil leakage contaminated with these two parts can also be responsible.


Cars can shake even for a single loosen bolt. But if it is said that the car shakes when releasing the clutch in first gear that is occurring for some specific problems. The clutch is the main part behind this problem. If not the clutch then there must be leakage due to the transmission or flywheel.

A worn-out engine mount or a damaged master cylinder can also be responsible for this. To avoid shanking the car in first gear, you should maintain the car once a month. Regular maintenance can solve more than half of the problems.

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