What are car clutches?
The clutches of a car link the engine to the gearbox. Your car's clutch system is located in the engine compartment. A clutch kit consists of three parts: the clutch mechanism, the clutch disc and the pressure or clutch plates. The latter are to enable the clutch discs to rotate freely. The default position of a car clutch is engaged however, meaning the discs cannot rotate freely.
In a car with a manual gearbox, the spring pressure is released with the clutch pedal by means of a cable or a hydraulic connection. If you press the clutch pedal, the clutch is disengaged and the discs are able to rotate freely so that the driver can change gears.
A car clutch's lifetime is about 62 000 miles for a gasoline engine and 93 000 miles for a diesel. However this is an indication only. The frequency with which to change your clutches also depends on other factors including driving in urbanized areas or having your car pull a caravan or trailer. These two factors have a wearing effect on your clutch due to more intensive use. By the same token your clutch's lifetime can be longer than average by predominantly driving on motorways for example.
Even if you drive a lot in urbanized areas though, there are ways to ensure your clutches do not wear off too quickly. At Mister-Auto.ie we recommend the following to help increase the lifetime of your clutches:
- Do not keep the pressure on the clutch pedal when waiting for a red traffic light but put your car in free gear and take your foot off
- When driving, do not keep your foot onto the pedal but put it well to the left to avoid accidentally pressing onto the pedal. Even the slightest pressure can disengage your clutch thereby damaging it if driving at speed.
- Smoothly take the pressure off the clutch pedal when moving after a stand still.
- Always drive off in first gear.
Important: when changing your clutch disc, at Mister-Auto.ie we recommend you replace your entire clutch kit (including the mechanism and the pressure plates).