Most drivers know how to operate the clutch on their vehicle, but it is surprising how many people do not understand how a clutch works. Sure, your mechanic knows everything there is to know about such as and having your car regularly serviced will generally avoid any problems.
But it does not hurt to know a little about the operation of your clutch so that you can be alerted to any warning signs and have your vehicle serviced before the damage becomes more severe.
A gearbox has two rotating shafts, one that is driven by a motor and the other that drives a separate device. The clutch connects the two shafts so they can spin at the same time and be coupled together. The clutch will also decouple the shafts and allow them to spin at different speeds.
In a motor vehicle, the clutch connects the shaft attached to your wheels and another which is connected to your engine. The faster your engine revs the more the adjustment needs to be made before it connects to your wheels as you engage a different gear.
Although the process is a little more complex than this simple explanation provides, you may now have a clearer picture of what is happening every time you change gears. It doesn't matter whether you drive a manual or an automatic car, the principle remains basically the same.
The clutch is therefore one of the most vital elements of your car's operation, so it is worthwhile learning what to look out for if your clutch needs attention. Here are four warning signs you should be aware of.
- If you drive a manual car in a slowly moving traffic it is the temptation to write the clutch and only engage it to creep forward in small increments. Over a prolonged period of time this will wear the clutch plate and cause it to overheat. When this happens it will emit a burning smell similar to burnt toast, and occasionally smoke can be seen coming from beneath the car. This is a tell-tale sign that your clutch is being damaged and you will need to have it serviced as quickly as possible
- A worn clutch will begin to slip. Slippage means that the gear will simply disengage when it is under a heavy load. If you find your vehicle slipping out of gear for no apparent reason, it means that your clutch is at the end of its life and will need to be replaced as soon as possible.
- The slippage can also occur if oil leaks from the crankshaft onto the clutch plate. This will cause the clutch plate to slip and have a jerky operation or it can even slip out of gear completely. This may not indicate a clutch failure but it is certainly something that needs urgent attention.
- Hydraulic linkages can also fail causing a loss of pressure that prevents the clutch from disengaging. Once again this may not be an indication of clutch failure but the leak will still need to be fixed.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4923172