How Does a Clutch Work in a Manual Transmission?

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The clutch in a car transmission is what works to engage and disengage the drive shaft’s moving parts. In a manual transmission, the driver has to manipulate a pedal or a lever in order to shift gears. The clutch is what allows the gears to engage or disengage.

How a clutch works

The clutch consists of the flywheel, pressure plate, disc, and throwout bearing and release system. The flywheel spins along with the motion of the engine. The pressure plate, which is bolted to the flywheel, holds the clutch assembly together. The disc is located between the flywheel and pressure plate, and allows the pressure plate and the flywheel to both make and break contact. And finally, the throw-out bearing and the release system work in conjunction to allow the clutch to engage and to disengage.

In a manual automobile transmission, the input shaft sends engine power to the car wheels by means of the gears. The input shaft, which runs through the middle of the disk, flywheel and pressure plate, has a bearing that takes most of the load of the shaft. There is another, smaller bearing in the middle of the flywheel that serves to center the shaft so that it can rotate along with the engaging and disengaging of the clutch assembly. The clutch disc is connected to this assembly.

When the driver presses the clutch pedal, the disc, pressure plate and flywheel are disengaged so that the driver can shift gears. When the pedal is up, the components are engaged and the vehicle is in motion.


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Bernie

50 years of experience
41 reviews
Bernie
50 years of experience
Honda Accord - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
I specifically asked for Bernie to come back, since I was so pleased with the work he did on our other car. This time I got to meet Bernie personally. He is a kind family-man who exhibited the quiet confidence of someone you would expect with the 50 years of automotive experience that he has. I felt very comfortable giving him the key to my car. Two of my kids (ages two and four) came out to greet him, since they remembered him from his first visit. Bernie is great around kids and was very kind to my two-year old son who was trying to "help" Bernie do his job. Thanks again, Bernie!
Honda Odyssey - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
I was very pleased with Bernie's work, professionalism, and courteousness. Best brake job I have ever had, and I have had many done (and several done myself, but not on this vehicle). This was a maintenance appointment -- not a repair of something broken -- so I was surprised when the brakes felt so much better after Bernie did the work. You can really see the care he took with our vehicle when I examined everything after he was finished. Thanks, Bernie!

Daniel

9 years of experience
17 reviews
Daniel
9 years of experience
Hyundai Sonata - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Sacramento, California
Awesome customer service. On time and answered my questions with patience. Listened to my concerns and made helpful suggestions. Seemed very knowledgeable and experienced. I will be glad to request him again. Thank you!!

Breck

18 years of experience
532 reviews
Breck
18 years of experience
Toyota RAV4 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Conroe, Texas
Breck was awesome! He called ahead of time and asked if he could arrive early. He was friendly and easy to talk to. He made me feel comfortable with the service he was going to provide and explained things clearly to me. He smiled and made this experience a good one. I will absolutely be booking future appointments with Breck and I will recommend him and Your Mechanic services to others I know. Thank you!

Brian

19 years of experience
101 reviews
Brian
19 years of experience
BMW Z4 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Phoenix, Arizona
Brian knows what he is doing and I am so happy yourmechanic.com suggested him for my Z4 car inspection prior to purchasing and even happier he was available to perform my 1st service on the vehicle I purchased. His knowledge on the brand gave him ability to to an in depth inspection and he communicated very well informing me what to prepare for in ownership of my BMW. When he came to perform maintenance on my vehicle he shared so many tips with me. I will absolutely be having Brian come back out when I need future servicing on my car.

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