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If you are like most people out there, chances are that you drive a vehicle that has an automatic transmission. If this is the case, you probably never think about a clutch. And to take it even further, if you have never driven a stick shift vehicle, you may not even know what a clutch is. This is all 100% fine as automatic vehicles use a torque converter instead. However, if you are familiar or do drive a stick-shift vehicle, you can probably remember a time or two when the clutch and the manual transmission has given you a little trouble. If you can relate, you may want to learn more about maintaining your vehicle’s clutch, and even be familiar with some of the sings indicating that your clutch may need to be repaired, replaced, or even adjusted.
When you drive a diesel or gasoline powered vehicle, you are making most of your engine’s power over a smaller range of engine rotations per minute (rpm). To accommodate for this and transfer the power to your vehicle’s wheels, the transmission has different gear ratios that match the rpm that your tires are going to need to rotate at the speed you would like to go. In order for your transmission to shift gears and go faster or slower, the clutch on your vehicle disengages the motor so that the speeds will match up exactly.
Connecting the transmission to the engine flywheel, the main mechanism is a powerful, high-friction pressure plate that is usually pressed against the flywheel so that it can transmit the power from the engine. When it is engaged, the pressure plate from the clutch will slightly pull away so the engine is able to run independently from the transmission and speeds of the tires.
Like anything that is used regularly, it is important to make sure and maintain your vehicle’s clutch. With several different moving parts that all work together, as soon as one of them is out of alignment, it will began to cause excessive wear on the other parts as well. It is best to take your vehicle in to a certified professional so that they are able to adjust the clutch and make sure that your vehicle continues to run without further problems.
While anything is capable of breaking, and anything that moves are going to experience wear, for clutches, the biggest problem is usually the pressure plate, flywheel, or the bearings. If you experience any of the following symptoms, chances are that you will need your clutch to be repaired, or even replaced.
If you do experience any of the above symptoms, it is highly recommended that you bring your vehicle to Pro Tech Automotive, your local clutch repair professional so that we are able to properly diagnose what the problem really is and whether or not you can have your clutch adjusted, need to have it repaired, or even worse, replaced.