Most people assume that the clutch in your car is the pedal to the left of the brake. That’s partially true, but there’s a bit more to it than that. Explained below is how a clutch works, why it’s important to your vehicle and which clutch repair and maintenance options will keep your vehicle healthy and driving well.
It’s a common misconception that the clutch simply puts the car in neutral gear. Instead, it disengages the transmission from the drive train.
The engine of your vehicle is designed to be constantly spinning while on. If it wasn’t spinning, it couldn’t continue to run and would shut down. Your transmission transfers that motion to the drive shaft and, in turn, to the wheels. But you don’t always want your wheels or your transmission to be spinning. The most important job of the clutch is to disengage the transmission from the motor so you can shift gears without grinding.
The clutch does wear out over time, but the repair is a relatively simple maintenance job compared to the more expensive repair of the transmission. Sometimes a clutch disc wears out to a point where it needs to be replaced completely. Other common problems include stretched cable controls, a leak in the hydraulics and occasionally air bubbles formed in the hydraulic line.
If you think you are having issues with your clutch, it’s best to bring it to a technician who can run a diagnostic test and help you pinpoint the problem.