How Does a Clutch Work in a Manual Transmission?

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

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

Related articles

How Long Does a Clutch Cable Adjuster Last?
The The clutch cable adjust is attached to the clutch cable and helps to keep tension so the clutch pad does not slip while the vehicle is operating. The clutch itself is located between the gearbox and the engine. The...
How to Do a Burnout in a Manual Vehicle
Almost Almost everyone who has seen an action movie or watched a high-speed car chase, has seen someone perform a burnout before taking off. A burnout occurs when the power going to the car’s wheels makes them lose traction with...
What Do the Press Clutch or Press Brake Pedal Warning Lights Mean?
The press clutch and press brake pedal lights remind you to press on the brake or clutch before starting the engine or while in park mode.

Related questions

Codes
With all those codes the odds are that you have an electronic problem. With those that you have in particular, it can easily be a transmission control module (TCM). TCM is a problem. Have a mechanic give that component a...
My Land Rover Will not go in reverse,Only forward. It selects in the R position but will not back up.
Hello there, thank you for asking about your 2003 Land Rover Freelander. If the car goes into reverse, but does not move, this suggests a faulty clutch pack problem in your transmission. This may also suggest potentially a faulty transmission...
Transmissions won't go at stoplights
Hello and thanks for your question. The transmission clutches inside the transmission is slipping due to the seals being old and brittle. The transmission you have is an AODE Ford transmission. The pump will pressure up to 300 psi and...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com