One of the more common questions asked by Mini owners is "why doesn't my clutch disengage properly?" or "why is it hard to engage gears?" The usual symptom is that the clutch engages right at the floor and you find yourself embedding the pedal in the carpet to avoid grinding gears. Given that the clutch worked properly when the car left the factory the obvious answer is 'wear'.
Maybe your Mini clutch is working fine, or the action just doesn’t seem the same, or you're hearing noises you don’t remember hearing before. The following are some quick checks you can do to make sure the clutch keeps operating correctly or to reveal areas that may need some attention.
There is only one original Verto/Valeo clutch plate and is fashioned more like a ‘conventional’ clutch plate - it has a sprung centre section. Four springs around the centre section of the plate take up shock, and supposedly reduce the likelihood of judder. It was an attempt by Rover to improve the clutch take-up and engagement to make it more like a 'modern' car.