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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John

26 years of experience
549 reviews
John
26 years of experience
GMC Yukon XL 1500 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - League City, Texas
I am so happy John is back. I trust him very much. He is efficient and has a tremendous amount of mechanical knowledge. He is a true asset to Your Mechanic.
Ford F-150 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Alvin, Texas
I like John because he is very knowledgeable about all my vehicles. In addition he is very organized regarding how he performs his work.

Theodore

15 years of experience
1169 reviews
Theodore
15 years of experience
Mazda 5 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Redmond, Washington
Theodore is a great guy, he was on time and completed the work in less than estimated time. He went beyond and fixed other issue as well.
Subaru Forester - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Marysville, Washington
Theodore was on time, easy to work with, finished the work in less than estimated time, plus fixed an additional issue that arose. The car drives great. We have already referred you folks to a neighbor and will definitely contact you for more work on our two vehicles. Thank You Best Regards Gail & Terry Johnson

Pardeep

20 years of experience
683 reviews
Pardeep
20 years of experience
Toyota Sienna - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - San Jose, California
On time and does the job quickly.. i’ve already had him do my other cars. I appreciate the pictures, assessments, and his quick work. Will use Pardeep again in future.
Acura MDX - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Palo Alto, California
Pardeep was great--it was a follow up appointment and was nice to have him back and taking care of the fixes he identified the first time around. 10/10 would have him service my car again.

Richard

10 years of experience
11 reviews
Richard
10 years of experience
Toyota Avalon - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Elk Grove, California
Well my brakes is needed to be change . Going to car dealer is really to put your money all in and it's takes hours or probably will be done today or you'll end up picking it up tomorrow. Before i book it, i already bought brakes at O'Reilly Auto Parts. Richard finished the job in 3 hours.

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