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Clutches Get A Workout

Riding the clutch increases the temperature of the clutch and accelerates wear. As wear increases, the clutch may lose some of its grip and start to slip.

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Manual clutches are waning in popularity, but are still found in many performance-oriented cars and trucks. The clutch mates the engine with the transmission so engine torque can flow to the drivetrain. The clutch gets quite a workout because it has to be engaged and disengaged every time the vehicle starts, stops and shifts gears.

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Riding the clutch increases the temperature of the clutch and accelerates wear. As wear increases, the clutch may lose some of its grip and start to slip. A clutch that fails to release or engage may be the result of a misadjusted or broken clutch cable, a linkage problem or a failed hydraulic master or slave cylinder.

Replacing any of the three major mechanical clutch components (the pressure plate, clutch disc or release bearing) usually involves quite a bit of disassembly labor. That’s why the pressure plate, clutch disc and release bearing should all be replaced at the same time on high-mileage vehicles.

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Selling your customer a complete clutch kit guarantees the parts are properly matched.

On applications where a pilot bushing is used in the center of the flywheel, the bushing should also be replaced to assure trouble-free and quiet clutch operation.

For performance, heavy-duty and hard-use applications, upgrading to a higher temperature metallic/ceramic friction material can improve wear resistance and torque transfer. A higher load capacity pressure plate may also be recommended.

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