Yes the clutch is slipping, they usually make a really bad smell when they do.
Clutch life is totally dependant on driver habits.
Holding the car on a hill with clutch is one example, it will overheat the clutch and cause it to fail.
But from your description the clutch disc is slipping. It is also possible the assembly is binding, but you will have to remove clutch in any case.
If the clutch is failing, it would slip. During gradual acceleration, there is sufficient grip to get the required torque to move the vehicle.
Hard acceleration would result in slipping as the clutch is not able to get the required grip onto the flywheel to provide the torque necessary to move the vehicle. If the process is repeated for extended periods, the clutch would start to smell like something burning.
After vehicle is moving, depress the clutch and race the engine to 4000 rpm, quickly release the clutch in 4th gear. If the clutch takes a long time to catch, it is bad.
Monday, October 4th, 2010 AT 9:14 AM