What is a Clutch & Transmission?
About the Clutch
In a manual transmission-equipped car, a clutch assembly is used to disconnect the engine from the transmission. Disengaging the two units prevents stalling when the vehicle is stopped, plus, the action promotes smooth shifts when changing gears.
A typical clutch assembly includes a friction disc, which presses against the engine’s flywheel, and a pressure plate that engages and disengages the friction disc. A throw out bearing acts on the pressure plate.
Depressing the clutch pedal forces the throw out bearing against the pressure plate. In turn, the friction disc disengages from the flywheel. When this happens, the engine is disconnected from the transmission.
The rest of the time, when the clutch pedal is in the released position, the friction disc is in contact with the flywheel. Power is transferred from the engine to the transmission in this scenario.
About the Transmission
Your car’s engine can only produce adequate power at certain speeds. The transmission is tasked with manipulating engine output so that power is available throughout the driving range. Plus, the transmission routes power from the engine to the drive wheels.
In the past, there were only two types of transmissions: automatics and manuals. But now, additional designs, such as dual-clutch and continuously variable transmissions (CVTs), have infiltrated the market.
All transmission types, except for the CVT, use gears of different sizes to make “gear ratios” and create various output speeds. CVT transmissions, which have become popular within the last decade or so, use a steel belt and set of pulleys to perform the same task.