Basic info about the the clutch system

Administrator posted this 02 April 2019

The clutch system is a part of the manual transmission, and automatic transmission this unit has a slightly different specialization and design. However, the topic is still relevant. Manual cars are also in favor and continue to enter the market. It is noteworthy that Lamborghini was ready to offer a supercar with the manual transmission in the near future. However, in March of this year, the company's management discontinued the production due to the high costs and the lack of the necessary transmission by Volkswagen Group (VW is the owner of the brand Lamborghini, which belongs to Audi division).


A clutch is a unit of the car transmission that provides interaction between the engine, gearbox and crankshaft, the essence of its work is to transfer torque to the wheels from the engine by means of the gearbox. In addition, the clutch depresses fluctuations in the transmission and reduce the risk of overload.

To provide high-quality car care, it is necessary to understand the basic characteristics and features of its functionality (both mechanics and electronics systems). Clutch unit quite important and “multifaceted” mechanical unit in your car. Classification, design and, consequently, faults have a number of differences between them. This article will cover key aspects of the clutch unit operation.

The interaction between the engine and the transmission based on the disconnection/connection between them, and thus directly helps you to change speeds.


On the principle of force effects (types of clutch mechanism) is: On the principle of the mechanism connection: By material of friction surfaces:

1. Friction

2. Hydraulic ((dis)connection between the motor and the gearbox is carried out by means of fluid pressure in a sealed system)

3. Electromagnetic (influence of polarity of magnetic fields)

1. Lever-type

2. Antifriction

1. Steel/Friction

2. Cast Iron/Friction

3. Steel/Steel

4. Cast Iron/Steel

According to the principle of mechanism design: Working conditions: By way of force arrangement:

1. Plate clutch (single- or multi-plate) - the most common

2. Cone clutch

3. Special (Cascaded-pawl single-revolution clutches)

1. Dry clutch system

2. Wet clutch system (oil)

1. Spring-loaded

2. Semicentrifugal

3. Centrifugal

4. Electromagnetic

In today's automotive market, manufacturers use the customized clutch units for manual transmission by taking into account the characteristics of the implemented engine. However, the basic design of the transmission unit remains unchanged. For example, take a single-plate clutch. The driving mechanism is the flywheel and the plate(s) (or disk). One half of the flywheel is connected to the crankshaft of the engine. RPM are transmitted from the engine to the crankshaft and through all components of the clutch unit. The clutch body frame has a concave shape and it also includes a pressure plate and springs directly connecting this plate to the housing.


Driving a car with a manual transmission is naturally more complicated and requires a much greater concentration of the driver on the process. For example, “disconnection” is made by sharp pressing of the clutch foot pedal, and here its “switching on” it is necessary to carry out, smoothly releasing this pedal. It is important to feel the car and increase the speed in time. Driving on the manual transmission requires a lot of skill on the road for maneuvering and driving in adverse weather conditions. All this comes with experience.

It is equally important to have an idea about the operation of the transmission, and in this case – about the clutch. Even though this system doesn’t have a complex configuration, it requires a careful operation. The drivehead (pressure) clutch is activated by pressing the clutch foot pedal, its configuration includes a collar that provides pressure on the springs. At the beginning of the movement, the driver squeezes the clutch pedal, turns on the transmission and releases the clutch pedal. At this point, the springs come into action and bring the clutch plate (or clutch casing) to the flywheel. The clutch casing is located between the flywheel and the pressure plate. The shock absorbing springs provide smooth gear shifting and reduce load and wear of the unit, by the way, they are driven by the influence of the collar, which is connected to the forward clutch input shaft (the gearbox) and the clutch fork.

As a result, the principle of operation (in a simplified description) is:

A clutch foot pedal & manual transmission → clutch release fork lever and the forward clutch input shaft → drivehead (pressure) clutch → Collar → Shock absorbing springs →Driven Plate →Pressure Plate → Clutch casing → Flywheel → Crankshaft → The transmission of torque comes from the engine through the gearbox to the wheels.

The whole algorithm of the clutch is performed from the beginning every time when switching gears.


First of all, faults depend on the type of clutch classification, and therefore troubleshooting will require a different approach. However, the main failures of the transmission are:

  1. Deformation and wear of the plates
  2. Mechanical damage to the plates
  3. Spring loosening
  4. Collar breakage and wear
  5. Failure of the clutch release fork lever
  6. Wear and damage of other structural elements

To avoid any problems with the clutch, you can reach only by the non-aggressive driving style. As a rule, learning to drive a car with a manual transmission is more difficult. But with constant practice, these drivers quickly get used to the automatic transmission and always feel confident on the road.