Clutch, How Does It Work? What Happens When You Press the Clutch

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Have you ever wondered what is happening inside a car when you press the clutch pedal? Or why do you need to press the clutch pedal before you shift gears in a manual transmission car? This video gives you logical answers to these questions. At the end of the video, we will also understand the crucial role played by the clutch in an uphill start.

image/text credit: Learn Engineering 

The clutch pedal is that third one you’ll find in manual transmission cars, the one on the far left a driver must press for every gear change. If you can drive stick, then you already knew that. But you might not have spent much time thinking about the nitty-gritty mechanics of the clutch.

The short version is that changing gears in a manual transmission car requires disengaging the power flow from your engine to the transmission. The clutch is a disc that accomplishes this disconnection.

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The assembly around it includes what’s called a diaphragm spring, which allows the clutch to engage or disengage the engine depending on whether you’ve pressed the clutch.LearnEngineering’s visuals do a nice job of walking you through the friction and fine details.