Behind the Scenes: How Clutch Works and What can go Wrong

A car’s clutch is responsible for connecting the engine to its transmission. To do so, it relies on a set of components that enables it to garner enough friction, so that it can rotate the gearbox input shaft.

But just as any car parts, problems with a clutch can arise with constant usage.

Some common issues with clutch assembly are –

  • Slipping clutch

  • Stuck clutch pedal

  • Non-responsive clutch

  • Spongy pedal as a result of faulty hydraulic components

Understanding clutch operation

Now, to decide whether to go for a clutch replacement in Preston, you’ll need a little understanding of a clutch’s components.

A clutch assembly comprises of the following –

  • Pressure plate and diaphragm spring

  • Clutch disc or driven plate

  • Flywheel

  • Release bearing

  • Hydraulic lines with a master and slave cylinder

Now, how do all these components work together?

A clutch disc is the friction component of this entire assembly. It presses against the engine flywheel and rotates simultaneously with minimum friction against its linings. Also, it connects to the transmission input shaft and rotates it.

A clutch, by design, is always in a state of engagement, as the diaphragm spring keeps the disc pressed against the engine flywheel. Now, when you press on the clutch pedal, it causes the disc to move away from the flywheel, causing a temporary disengagement between your car’s engine and its transmission, thereby enabling you to change gears smoothly.

Since it’s the clutch disc that’s subjected to most of the stress and strain, it’s also the part that needs maximum repair. Its normal for the friction lining of a clutch disc’s to wear out over time. When this happens, it results in clutch slippage. The solution to a slipping clutch is most often, a clutch disc replacement.

Signs of a slipping clutch

A Slipping clutch is one of the most common issues faced by drivers in the UK. Take your car to a reliable auto garage like Preston Tyre Bay whenever you notice the following signs of clutch slippage. They provide an excellent clutch replacement service along with offering solutions for many other parts like the engine, brakes and car battery in Preston.

  • Your car takes more time to accelerate than usual.

  • You feel a loss of power when pulling a load.

  • A burning smell under the hood.

Types of clutch disc material

It’s essential that you choose the right disc material, as there are a quite number of them. Here are some of the common types along with their basic features.

  1. Organic

  • Made of phenolic resins and friction modifiers like metal oxides and compounded rubber.

  • Enable smooth engagement, wear resistance and strength.

  • Ideal for regular urban commuting and city traffic.

  1. Ceramic

  • Ceramic facing is made of a mixture of tron, bronze, tin copper, silicon dioxide and graphite.

  • Can handle up to 500 bhp and operate at temperatures as high as 1000° F.

  • Great for racing conditions, where repeated engagement and disengagement is required.

  1. Kevlar

  • Highly durable with a long break-in period.

  • Ideal for off-roading and other applications that need smooth engagement.

  • Not suitable for stop-and-go city traffic.

  1. Sintered iron

  • High resistance to temperature.

  • Strictly for racing, where quick engagement is necessary.

  • High durability flywheel surface is a requirement with these clutch facings.

Most often, stop-and-go city traffic can take a toll on your clutch and wear it out faster. You must also routinely service the other components like the pedals, release bearings and the hydraulic lines for optimal functionality.