Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How Does a Clutch Work in a Manual Transmission?

Clutch In Manual

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.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.

ASK A QUESTION

More related articles

How Long Does a Throttle Return Spring Last?
Not all vehicles on the road feature an electronic throttle control (ETC), which is also called drive-by-wire. For vehicles that don't offer this system, they have a throttle cable instead that...
P0121 OBD-II Trouble Code: TPS "A" Circuit Range Performance Problem
P0121 code definition Throttle Pedal Position Sensor/Switch (TPS) A Circuit Range Performance Problem What the P0121 code means P0121 is a generic OBD-II code which indicates that the Engine Control...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in New Mexico
The state of New Mexico offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch...


Related questions

Q: Engine whining in 1st gear & 2nd gear

Hello. It is not the engine whining but the transmission internal bearings that are whining. I would recommend having a mechanic verify the noise is in the transmission and see if the transmission needs internal repairs. Depending on the vehicle...

Q: how to fill slave cylinder

In order to pump up the clutch you need to fill the clutch master cylinder with brake fluid. Have an assistant push the clutch to the floor several times while the clutch is held open with the bleed screw on...

Q: Key must be turned 20 times for car to start

Hi there. You would need to check the fuel pump relay and fuel pressure from both fuel pumps (yes, there are 2). The pumps fail in an erratic fashion as you describe which may be why you are experiencing intermittent...