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This Simple Animation Answers Everything About How A Clutch Works

Jalopnik logo Jalopnik 2018-01-02 Stef Schrader

a screenshot of a video game: GIF via Learn Engineering© null GIF via Learn Engineering

Many of us have a basic idea of what our car’s clutch does, but still find all the teeth and springs confusing when we actually look at one out of the car. Fortunately, Learn Engineering on YouTube put together this simple animation that may be the clearest description yet of how your clutch really works.

Your clutch uses friction to engage or disengage the engine, which is why you won’t get anywhere when all the grippy material on a clutch is burnt off. If the clutch can’t grab, you won’t go anywhere. Thankfully, all the other parts look more complicated than they really are.

The coil springs on the clutch disc are there to smooth out the engagement of that engine. Additionally, all the “teeth” in a circle are really part of a big diaphragm spring that presses and releases the clutch’s friction material to the engine.

In true engineer fashion, there’s a few typos like “outuput” in the video, but the animation and spoken descriptions are spot-on. Never trust an engineer who can spell well. However, thanks to this video, you can trust all the bizarre-looking components of your clutch just a little more now that you know why they’re all there.

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