Mysteries of the clutch revealed

Most city dwellers will own a car at some point. And for those that don’t it’s probably very safe to say they will travel in one at some stage. In short, cars are very much a part of our everyday life. Surprisingly though, there are very few people who are mechanically minded or who even have a slight understanding of how and why they work. Cars bring them lots of complicated parts and processes. The internal combustion engine being one. But next level are questions like how does the power get from eth engines to the wheels? In this regard it is done through the gears and their ‘friend’ the clutch, an item that like so many other components of a car needs to be changed from time-to-time. But what exactly is a clutch and how do you know when it needs to be changed. Here are answers to some of these questions:

What is it exactly?

It is through the clutch that you are able to change gears smoothly and in turn deliver power to the wheels. Assuming your car is not an automatic there are three foot pedals, the accelerator, the brake and the clutch and without a doubt it is the clutch that works the hardest and is the most complicated, hence the need to replace it from time to time. Regardless of whether you intend to do the replacement yourself or not a good place to start is online. Enter a phrase like ‘Subaru brz clutch kit’ into a search engine to find details of where to find he component or, where to find somebody who will perform the work for you.


When does the kit need replacing?

It is not always easy to know the clutch lit needs to be switched out, but the first important step is to be aware that this is a thing that needs to happen. People with a vague understanding of automotive mechanics know that things like the oil and the sparkplugs need to be switched, but most never think about things like clutch kits and brake pads. The primary signs that the clutch is worn and needs replacing are when gear changes become less easy and when there seems to be a lack of power being transferred from the engine to the wheels.


Do automatics have a clutches?

This is a complicated question, but the short answer is ‘no’. While an automatic does have similar things to the clutch it doesn’t actually have a clutch. Instead it has what is known as a torque converter which, in a similar way to the clutch connects the engine and the transmission which in turn imparts movement to the wheels.


Can I do the replacement myself?

This is not something that is recommended although if you are a real mechanical wizard you could give it a maintenance try. If this is something that want to experiment with then start with an older model car that has fewer computerized and electrical components. It is the same logic that would apply to changing a set of spark plugs. If you are going to dabble under the hood of a car for the first time then start by doing it with an experienced mechanic and start by doing it on a car that is easy to understand. A 1970 model mini is a whole lot easier to work on and a whole lot less problematic to fix if you get it wrong than would be a 2018 Jaguar or Porsche.



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