Clutch system - key components

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added in Auto system and parts by Beta

[img] graphic of hydraulic system in clutch. via Lesics (2023)

A clutch in a vehicle is a mechanical device that engages and disengages the power transmission from the engine to the wheels. It allows the driver to control the power sent to the wheels, enabling smooth starts, stops, and changes in speed.


The primary function of a clutch is to connect and disconnect the engine from the transmission, enabling the driver to change gears or bring the vehicle to a stop without turning off the engine. When the driver presses the clutch pedal, the clutch disengages, interrupting the power flow between the engine and the transmission. Releasing the clutch pedal re-engages the connection.

The key components of a clutch system include:

  1. Clutch Disc: This is a friction disc that sits between the flywheel and the pressure plate. It has friction material on both sides and is responsible for transmitting power from the engine to the transmission.

  2. Flywheel: Attached to the engine's crankshaft, the flywheel provides inertia and helps maintain a smooth and continuous rotation. It also serves as a mounting surface for the clutch.

  3. Clutch pressure Plate: This component applies pressure to the clutch disc, sandwiching it between the pressure plate and the flywheel. When engaged, it allows power transfer; when disengaged, it interrupts the power flow.

  4. Clutch Pedal and Master Cylinder: The clutch pedal, located inside the vehicle, is pressed by the driver to engage or disengage the clutch. The master cylinder, connected to the pedal, contains hydraulic fluid that helps transmit the force to the clutch.

  5. Release Bearing (Throw-out Bearing): This bearing is placed between the pressure plate and the clutch fork. When the clutch pedal is pressed, it engages with the pressure plate, allowing the clutch disc to disengage.

  6. Clutch Fork: Connected to the clutch pedal, the clutch fork assists in moving the release bearing, leading to the disengagement of the clutch.