The clutch basically works because of friction between a clutch plate and a flywheel. If the two latter components are not aligned, the clutch cannot perform its job properly. More specifically, the splines in the clutch disc must be aligned with the pilot-bearing hole in the flywheel. This is the job of the clutch alignment tool, also known as the clutch pilot tool-it centers the clutch disc perfectly under the pressure plate, which gets bolted to the flywheel. A clutch alignment tool made of nylon is usually included when you buy a clutch replacement kit. Universal clutch alignment tools are also available at online auto parts stores. If you need to find a specific clutch alignment tool that fits your vehicle's clutch, however, we have put together a guide in choosing the right one.
Compatibility and durability
Clutch components for each vehicle are different. Look for a clutch alignment tool that fits your vehicle's make and model. It should be one that is the exact replica of your vehicle's shaft and spine-components found in the vehicle's drive shaft.
When choosing the right clutch alignment tool, you should be concerned about its accuracy in performing its function. Equally as important, though, is for you to look at the product's durability. There are standard-issue clutch pilot tools that are made of lightweight polypropylene plastic or nylon. However, if you are planning on buying one that will last a long time, look for a clutch alignment tool that is made of steel. This will ensure that the tool won't bend or warp.
The bottom line
Clutch alignment tools are mainly used by repair shop owners, clutch specialists, and part sellers, but that shouldn't stop you-the average car owner who's concerned about keeping his car in tiptop shape-from owning one. With prices ranging from $10 - $20, it is a good, dependable tool to have in case of emergency.