How a vehicle clutch works.

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There are many different types and designs of vehicle clutches, yet they all work to achieve the same thing. That is to help convert the turning motion produced in the cars engine into the turning motion at the wheels. Most designs are based around one or two friction plates pressed tightly together or against the flywheel. The clutch can be engaged and disengaged using the clutch pedal, this will always be found to the left of the brake pedal.

How a Clutch Works

Disengaged: When a clutch is disengaged (Clutch pedal pressed down) the clutch release mechanism pushes or pulls on the clutch fork. This causes the fork to rotate on the pivot ball and slide the release bearing (attached to end of fork) along the transmission input shaft and into the diaphragm of the pressure plate. This causes the pressure plate casting to release its grip on the friction plate and allow it to move freely against the flywheel. Now the engine crankshaft can remain spinning without spinning the friction plate and transmission input shaft. This allows the car to idle without stalling and change gears.

Engaged: When the clutch pedal is raised of the floor the reverse happens and you are engaging the clutch. The pressure plate tightens its grip on the friction plate pushing it up against the flywheel. Now the friction plate spins with the flywheel and the movement is transmitted from the engine crankshaft to the transmission input shaft. This creates movement at the wheels.