As everyone knows, changing gears in a manual transmission vehicle is not as easy as in an automatic transmission vehicle because it involves discontinuing the engine power flow to the transmission, which is essentially what a clutch is for.
A clutch is a mechanical tool comprised of a high-friction covered disc (a.k.a. a clutch disc) bolted to the flywheel. It is used to temporarily stop the flow of power to the engine without switching it off. This works because of friction between the clutch and flywheel.
Where is the Clutch Pedal?
A manual transmission car has three (3) foot pedals on the floor beneath the steering wheel. The left pedal is the clutch while the right one is the accelerator. In between these foot pedals is the brake pedal.
The Clutch Assembly
Below is a list of parts that make up the clutch assembly:
- Flywheel – directly mounted to the engine crankshaft and turns with the engine’s motion
- Pressure plate – bolted to the flywheel and exerts pressure to the clutch to release tension, enabling the clutch assembly to rotate freely. It also holds the clutch assembly together.
- Clutch disc – located in between the flywheel and pressure plate allowing smooth engagement and disengagement
- Diaphragm spring – reduces pressure being applied to the pressure plate
- Throwout bearing – controls whether or not the pressure plates engage with the clutch disc depending on whether the clutch pedal is pressed or released
How Does a Clutch Work?
When the clutch disc is engaged, the pressure plate attached to the flywheel exerts constant force using the diaphragm springs on the driven plate allowing your vehicle to accelerate.
When the clutch pedal is pressed, the clutch disc disengages from the pressure plate, releasing the clamping pressure. This temporarily disconnects the flow of power to the transmission, enabling you to change gears.
Common clutch problems
- Clutch slips due to worn out friction material of the clutch disc
- Clutch won’t release smoothly which may result in grinding
- Stiff clutch pedal due to sticking or binding in the pedal linkage, cable, cross shaft, or pivot ball
Clutch Replacement Cost
It is best to check your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation regarding your clutch’s lifespan. But in the event that your clutch gets severely damaged, don’t be surprised to pay a hefty sum for repair because the average clutch replacement cost is $1,000 to $1,500. Some clutch repairs might cost more depending on the vehicle’s year, make, and model.
Fortunately, Auto Parts Warehouse can help you save on clutch replacement because we carry affordable, high-quality car parts. For a replacement clutch kit manufactured according to industry standards, you can visit Auto Parts Warehouse right now: https://bit.ly/2SjHbYk
Maintaining a Healthy Clutch
Although engineered for maximum durability, clutches will wear out overtime. The good news is you can avoid some bad driving habits to extend the life of your vehicle’s clutch:
- Don’t leave your foot on the clutch.
- Slow down in advance when you’re going to have a stop ahead.
- Avoid quick acceleration from a full stop.
- Avoid clutch burn-out during uphill acceleration.
- Avoid using the clutch to break unless absolutely necessary.