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How a clutch works

A clutch acts as the heartbeat of your vehicle. Without it, your engine will not be able to transmit it’s power through the wheels and without power flowing to the wheel, it’s going to be sat in the middle of the road making lots of noise.

It is possible to get similar results with a lack of momentum when your clutch is worn out. If it does, you’ll be thinking about why the garage provided you with a price that is eye-watering. Like when we discussed about the head gasket failing The reason is quite simple that changing your clutch is a huge task.

Before we go on to that however, let’s take a look at the mechanism of a clutch.

How does a clutch function

The clutch draws energy from your engine, and transfers it to your gearbox which, in turn, sends the power to wheels. It’s an extremely stressful task and especially so when you think that, even at idle your engine, and the flywheel – which is the part that the clutch grabs onto it – is turning at a rate of 1,000 rpm.

However you get your foot off of the clutch pedal, and as you move the clutch plate will slide over its arms and grab the flywheel spinning. And it does it at any speed, while you cruise along.

The clutch is susceptible to lots of wear and tear, which is made worse by the way you drive. When you’re not using the clutch pedal or when you’re pushing it down all the way it is when the clutch is most joyful. It’s either clamped between the engine and gearbox or freely spinning or both.

Keep the pedal on half-way but you’re grinding away. That’s the way people interpret it when they say that you’re using the clutch. Similar things can occur when you use the clutch too slow.

We’re sure that you will not make that mistake, but it’s not a good idea. You’re more likely to experience general failure, which , given it’s an wear and tear component it is inevitable. What are the indicators of a failing clutch?

If a clutch is in need of replacement,

Do you know if a clutch might produce a burning odor? If you drive a vehicle with high-mileage that is still using the original clutch up an extremely steep, long hill at a high speed and you’ll probably detect a terrible burnt, earthy smell which could cause a skunk to blush after a short time. If there’s even a tiny bit of slip happening and you smell it, it’s likely to be.

New clutches do not tend to release bad smells, however they may nevertheless slip. What causes a clutch to slip? It’s because the plate of the clutch is so worn out that it cannot grip the flywheel, and it slips, and then attempts to power the gearbox.

You’ll be able to tell if your clutch is not working properly because it won’t move or, if it does however, very slowly and at around 5500rpm.

Can the clutch be altered?

Modern automobiles typically use the slave cylinder as well as an hydraulic clutch. They are self-adjusting when the clutch wears down, therefore there’s not much that can be done if it begins to fall apart without changing the way it operates.

Older models have the lever for clutch and cable. This permits adjustments at regular intervals. Actually, it requires that it be adjusted in order to avoid slippage. This is the reason why this technology has been replaced with auto-adjusting clutches.

Cost of replacing the flywheel and clutch

What happens with the clutch repair? Why would a brand new clutch set you back so expensive? It’s mostly due to the location of the clutch within the bellhousing space – which is between the gearbox and engine. In order to replace the clutch, you need to remove the two which is a huge task.

This could be that the engine needs to be lifted or lower, according to the vehicle, in order to allow enough room for the gearbox to be ripped and the engine. This can take a long time.

If you have a rear-wheel-drive vehicle, you’ll be happy to know that your mechanic can do an easier task. It’s still a lot of time, but since the engine and gearbox operate in a longitudinal direction, it’s only an issue of lifting your car, unbolting the propshaft, removing the gearbox, pulling out the clutch that was in place and installing the new one and fixing it back. Simple. Still a great day’s work and yet easy.

If you have a car with front-wheel drive, chances are (unless you own the old Audi A4) the engine is transverse. This means that it runs across the vehicle instead of through it.

It means that everything has to fit into a smaller space and is difficult to fix. It could double the amount of time needed for an adjustment of the clutch on the case of a rear-wheel drive vehicle.

If your clutch fails do not get upset that you’re being manipulated by the mechanic trying to get the wool under your eyes. It’s a huge, labor-intensive task.

It’s a good thing that the garage can do it for you. If you’re in need of convincing, just take an inspection of your car and consider how you can be able to fix the clutch you!