How a CLUTCH Works Basic Operation


How does the clutch work in a manual transmission car? Let see how.

Here’s the INPUT SHAFT. It’s the arm that connects the engine and the gearbox.

Here’s the CLUTCH SYSTEM. Let’s look inside.

• This is the FLYWHEEL. It’s connected to the engine and spins continuously.

• This is the FRICTION DISC. It always holds onto the flywheel and spins with it. Since the disc and input shaft are connected, the input shaft always spins too.

• This is the CLUTCH COVER. It’s attached to the flywheel and spins with it as well. Underneath it are the DIAPHRAGM SPING and PRESSURE PLATE.

Let’s temporarily pause the spinning of cover, spring, and plate to see how the clutch system works.

When you press in your clutch pedal, you’re pressing in the DIAPHRAGM SPRING. The outer edges of the spring bow outward and pull the PRESSURE PLATE away from the disc. The FRICTION DISC then disconnects from the flywheel, and the INPUT SHAFT stops spinning.

When you release your clutch pedal, the opposite happens, and disc reconnects with the flywheel.

Now that you know the basics of how a clutch works, in our next video, we’ll show you the best way to use the clutch to drive stick shift.

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