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What is a clutch?

What is a clutch?

We use the brake, gas, and clutch pedals to move our car forward. While the roles of the brake and gas pedals are easy to understand, the clutch is not always so easy to understand. A car's clutch is the link between the transmission and the engine. The clutch system allows the driver to shift gears to accelerate or brake depending on the gear selected. Many people are still unsure of its purpose and function.

What does the clutch system do? What are its components? MOSTPLUS answers all your clutch-related questions!

What is a clutch?

The clutch is an essential part of a vehicle's operation. As the link between the transmission and the engine, it allows the driver to match the power of the engine to the speed he wants to give his vehicle.

The clutch's job is to transmit these gear changes, first from the transmission to the engine, and then from the engine to the wheels, which can go faster or slower depending on the driver's chosen speed. The clutch is also responsible for shifting gears when the driver is moving.

The lower the number on the gear lever, the more power the engine has; the higher the number on the gear lever, the faster the combination of engine power and gear ratio. Starting the engine: When starting, the engine needs a lot of power to move the car. Engaging first gear allows the engine to deliver the maximum torque necessary for this effort.

Clutch Types

There are several types of clutches:

  • Single-plate clutches: The most common clutch consists of a steel plate with friction material on its face. It works as follows: pedal actuation compresses the springs, causing the pressure plate to lose contact with the disk. The transmission is then said to be disengaged.
  • Multi-Disc Clutches:Multi-disc clutches work on the same principle as single-disc clutches, with a few differences. They are often used in high-performance cars, race cars, and motorcycles. They overheat more slowly than mono disc clutches, despite the power they transmit.
  • Diaphragm Clutches: Diaphragm clutches are becoming increasingly popular. They work in the same way as monodisc clutches, with some differences in their components. Above all, they offer several advantages: better pressure distribution on the plate, greater progressiveness (less effort to accompany the clutch), and easier maneuvering.
  • Mechanical or hydraulic clutch: a mechanical clutch is operated by a cable connected to the pedal, while a hydraulic clutch is operated by clutch fluid. Apart from this step, the operation remains the same.

What does the clutch consist of?

The automatic clutch system consists of several components that modulate the vehicle's speed:

  • The clutch pedal: This allows the driver to send a command to the clutch. In a vehicle with a manual transmission, this is the leftmost of the three pedals. It engages the clutch system.
  • The clutch:Consists of a clutch disc, pressure plate, and clutch release bearing. The role of the clutch disc is to transmit the energy generated by the engine to the transmission. During driving, the position of the clutch disc changes: when it's glued to the flywheel, it transmits power to the wheels. When the two parts come apart, the energy is no longer transmitted.

In the case of a mechanical clutch, when the rider depresses the pedal, the fork engages and exerts pressure on the stop.

  • The Gearbox: Its job is to allow the rider to choose the speed of the vehicle. The gearbox allows the driver to accelerate or brake according to the chosen speed.
  • The driveshaft:the link between the transmission and the wheels.

While each part has its purpose in the composition of a clutch system, the quality and condition of all components must be beyond reproach. Good clutch maintenance is essential to optimize driving comfort and on-board safety.

How much does a clutch job cost?

Replacing a clutch is a long and complex operation involving the replacement of several parts: the disc, the plate, and the clutch release bearing. It should be noted that this operation has a certain cost, which is justified by the price of the parts to be replaced, but also by the complexity of the operation.

The price of a clutch kit replacement varies greatly depending on the vehicle model, but to give you an idea, you should generally expect to pay between $500 and $800 for the repair.

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