The clutch assembly is one of the most important components in the car. Its function is essential, without a clutch, the car would be unable to change gears or operate properly. Ensuring the clutch is fully operational at all times is an integral part of car maintenance.
The Function of The Clutch
Once switched on, a car engine is constantly spinning, the wheels of the car, however, need to spin at varying speeds, depending on driving requirements. In order to stop the car, without switching off the engine, the wheels need to be disconnected – this is the function of the clutch, it allows the smooth transfer of gear changes and to bring the car to a stop without it stalling.
The clutch component essentially consists of the following: the input shaft, an arm that connects to the gearbox and the engine; the flywheel, which is connected to the engine and spins continuously; the friction disc, connected to the flywheel and the input shaft; and the clutch cover, also attached to the flywheel, which houses the diaphragm spring, and pressure plate.
How Does It Work?
When the clutch pedal is pressed, the diaphragm spring is pressed inwards causing the outer edge of the spring to essentially bend outwards, this pulls the pressure plate away from the disc. The friction disc is then disengaged from the flywheel and the input shaft stops spinning, which then allows the driver to change gears. When the clutch pedal is released, the opposite happens, and the disc reconnects with the flywheel.
Signs of Potential Clutch Failure
It can be difficult to determine when the clutch is becoming worn, however, there are several signs which may indicate clutch failure:
- The clutch feels hard and the pedal is difficult to engage
- The pedal feels loose and springy
- The clutch feels stuck
- Difficulty changing gears
- Clutch feels as though it is slipping
- The clutch makes a grinding noise
The design of the clutch is complex, over time it will inevitably wear and need replacing. On average, a clutch is expected to last around 80,000 miles provided that, it is looked after and not excessively worn - poor driving technique will cause the clutch to wear out quicker.
Clutch replacement requires technical skill and knowledge - due to its complex nature, replacement is often time-consuming and costly, the cost is reflected in the part itself and the labour, as if the work is not performed to a high enough standard, then there is a risk that something could go wrong.
Longmynd Service Station offer a comprehensive range of car and MOT services including expert clutch fitting services, which include clutch replacement as well as a diagnostic check. Our services include the following:
- Servicing - for all makes servicing
- Clutch Replacement
- Vehicle Accident Repair
- MOTs for cars, motorcycles, quads, minibus, and light goods vehicles
- Bosch Car Service Centre
- Garage/Workshop, for car servicing, replacement parts, and repairs
- Car Exhausts and Car Batteries
- Air Conditioning Servicing
- Electronic Diagnostics
- Classic Car Restorations
- Classic Motorcycle Restoration
- Bodyshop, for paint and bodywork repairs
For more information on clutch replacement or general car services and MOT services, don’t hesitate to get in touch today