To know what the heck a clutch IS, we must first explore what the heck a clutch IS NOT. A clutch (as it pertains to vehicles) is not:
So…what the heck is it then?
A clutch is the component in manual transmission vehicles that disconnects the engine from the wheels, which allows the shifting of gears. (in a gameshow host voice) Show me…CLUTCH!
Here’s the same photo as above, but with labels:
Now, here’s the same photo as above, but with *ladles:
The most common problem with clutches is worn clutch disc friction material. That happens a lot faster when the driver rests his or her foot on the clutch, which partially engages it. Remember, the clutch disc is spinning at a different speed as the flywheel, so if it is only partially engaged, the disc will grind against the flywheel, and wear it down.
Another common problem with clutches is not releasing properly. That could be due to the clutch cable needing adjustment or replacement, oil contamination, or a warped flywheel or clutch disc, among other issues.
Gears transmit power from one part of a machine to another. In a manual transmission vehicle, they transmit power from the engine to the wheels.
It might help to think of pushing a large boulder along a flat path. It takes a lot more force to get the boulder started rolling, and once it is in motion, it takes less force to make it roll faster. Then the boulder starts rolling towards Indiana Jones, and he has to run from it or he will be smooshed. You almost smooshed Indiana Jones, you monster!
So, there you have it. Now you know what the heck a clutch is NOT, what it IS, learned a little bit about gears, and attempted to murder Indiana Jones with a boulder. I hope they have WiFi in prison, so you can keep reading this blog!
Tell me what other automotive parts baffle you. I’ll tell you what the heck they are!