HOW DOES A CAR CLUTCH WORK?
A Manual Transmission is just that. Rather than an automatic transmission changing gears through fluid pressure, solenoids and computer control, a manual transmission relies on the driver dis-engaging the transmission from the engine to change gears and then matting them back up for power. This is achieved by relieving the pressure on the pressure plate allowing the clutch Disc to separate from the flywheel. This separation allows for internal pressure relief on the transmission gears so that the driver may change gears manually before re-engaging the clutch Disc to the Flywheel to allow torque from the engine to once again drive the manual transmission. The separation and re-engagement is achieved through depressing & releasing the clutch pedal which mechanically drives the clutch master cylinder. The clutch master cylinder provides hydraulics pressure to a slave cylinder at the transmission to mechanically provide the force to relieve and re-engage the clutch plate spring pressure.
Do Clutch Master and Slave Cylinder need maintenance?
Clutch master and slave cylinders do required some maintenance but few and far between. Clutch fluid must be changed to prevent moisture build up and replace worn fluid from radiant heat of the engine over the years. This is to help prevent deterioration of the rubber seals in the cylinders themselves, so that water and oil don’t mix which can cause the hydraulic pressure to be off and is crucial in helping prevent rust from moisture. We have lots of experience repairing clutch systems and we are the only shop I know of that has their own flywheel machine to expedite Clutch Jobs in North Vancouver.
How do I know if my Clutch is worn?
Most people will experience a slow acceleration where the RPM is high and slowly comes down as the vehicle starts to move forward from a stop. This can be experienced even more so when trying to start off from a stop on an incline. Typically, what has happened is that the clutch disc material has worn down to the rivet heads and now the rivet heads are what has the most pressure against the flywheel. With minimal surface area contact between rivets and flywheel, the clutch cannot properly transfer the torque from the engine through to the manual transmission for power.
How to fix my Clutch?
In general, when a clutch is worn out a new clutch kit is required. This typically includes; A pressure plate, a friction disc, a release bearing and a pilot bearing. Flywheels are usually re-useable however, flywheels do need to be machined as the old friction disc will have left its’ mark to some degree. Flywheels can be flat or have a step up or down depending on the specific vehicles’ design. When machining, specifications are down the 0.001 of an inch and will play a large role in the longevity of your new clutch kit. The Transmission needs to be separated from the engine and this can be relatively straight forward with the correct tools and resources yet, this can be sometimes quite daunting depending on the layout of your vehicle; 4×4, AWD or FWD.
If you’re looking to get your clutch checked or replaced, bring your vehicle to us at DeRosa Automotive and you will be in great hands here on the North Shore!
By by Ryan Elm – http://www.derosaauto.ca/car-clutches-work/