What is a clutch in a car? The clutch of the combustion car is a system that we use continuously when we drive, for this reason it is an indispensable part for the correct operation of our vehicle. Without this system we would not be able to change gears or drive.
This system is located between the vehicle’s engine and the gearbox. Without doubt, it is the fundamental mechanical part that transmits the necessary power from the engine to the wheels of the car.
Over time, all combustion vehicles have shared the same system, whether American, Korean or German. The way we drive is so standardized that, today we would be unable to imagine any other way of driving without using the pedals of our car.
The clutch is a system in our vehicle responsible for transmitting or disconnecting the power from the engine to the gearbox. If you want to know more about this component, at Frenkit, as brake part distributor, we have written this post where we tell you what it is and how the clutch works.
What is the clutch in a car
The clutch definition car is that “enables the correct transmission of power from the engine to the gearbox, which then pases to the wheels of the car”. The purpose of the clutch is to release or join the rotary motion of the engine with the gear change.
In manual cars, the clutch pedal must be operated with the left foot, thus depressing the lever next to the brake. In automatic cars, on the other hand, a clutch pedal is generally not used, so there is only one brake pedal and one accelerator pedal.
When disassembling this mechanical system we can find some parts such as:
- The flywheel: this is a flat, circular part that rotates as long as the engine is running.
- The clutch disc, also called the friction disc: it is coated on two sides with a material similar to that of brake pads.
- The pressure plate or hub: another part of the clutch which is bolted to the flywheel.
- The pusher fork: this is the fork that exerts pressure on the diaphragm spring of the coil.
If you want to learn more about each of these parts of the clutch system and where is the clutch, in this post we tell you about the types of clutches available on the market and each of their parts.
What the clutch is for
As mentioned above, the mechanical clutch system is responsible for transmitting or disconnecting the power from the engine to the gearbox, enabling manual gear shifting, while absorbing the movement generated by the transmission.
This means that, as long as a gear is engaged, the system releases the movement to the wheels, as the clutch releases and engages the engine rotation.
When we drive and depress the clutch pedal to upshift or downshift, we move into the disengaged position, i.e. the wheels move freely and are disconnected from the engine. At the same time, there is also the intermediate position, which means that the shocks of the mechanical components protect the engine or gearbox.
How clutch works in automobiles
The clutch system is as old as the history of the automobile. The way the clutch works is very basic and has remained unchanged over time. Let 's take a look at exactly what does the clutch do in a car.
Let’s imagine that we get into our car, at this moment the gear lever is in neutral, this is when we turn the ignition key. This is when the starter motor starts to work and the vehicle, although it is stopped, has the engine disengaged from the transmission, i.e. it remains on without running.
This happens when the clutch system is disengaged, which means that even if we accelerate, the vehicle will not move. This effect also occurs in the disengaged position, since the gear is already engaged and the clutch pedal is fully depressed.
The next step is to engage first gear on the gear lever. Here the clutch connects the gearbox and the engine. After this transitional moment, the clutch engagement process begins, as the clutch pedal is released and the clutch is fully engaged. This means that both the gearbox and the engine are engaged and the wheels are turning according to the gear. Learn more about this component and find out what is a clutch master cylinder.
At Frenkit, we are specialist manufacturers and distributors of brake and clutch components for passenger cars and light vehicles. Therefore, if you need to fix your vehicle or carry out a repair of the clutch system, either through a mechanical workshop or on your own, we have a wide range of products available such as brake repair kits.
You can now access all our repair kits through our website, you can also purchase spare parts for your vehicle through our online shop. Discover our brake catalogue.