How the Clutch and Transmission Parts Work

A guide to how the clutch and transmission parts work

Regardless of whether you drive a manual or automatic car, you rely on gears to increase and decrease your speed and to help the engine to perform at the optimum level and to negotiate the road conditions. The gears are selected using a clutch, or transmission system, that you either press with your foot in a manual car or allow the engine to work with the various transmission parts in an automatic car.

In the case of manual cars you don’t see many of the transmission parts without taking the clutch – and car – to pieces. The parts that you do get to see most often are the clutch pedal and the gear lever that work as a pair to help you to select the gears.

As all drivers know, you need to release the accelerator and to press the clutch pedal down; and while doing this you move the gear lever to select the chosen gear. From here you slowly release the clutch pedal and get back on the accelerator to press on.

A damaged clutch can be very dangerous for the car as it means that there is nothing to stop the engine and transmission parts from coming into contact as you go to change gear.

In some cases it may even be that you are unable to change gear, and you’ll need to seek professional assistance with new clutch kits, bearings, dampers and cables, (all of which can be bought here at Euro Car Parts online or in our branches).

What transmission parts are in the system?

A clutch is used to help you to change gear

Your transmission system consists of a number of quite large and crucial components that all work together to adjust the speed of the engine and the gear that you have selected.

These parts include the clutch itself – which is a key car part and not just a pedal as many believe – the gearbox, flywheel, prop shaft in the case of rear-wheel drive vehicles, differential and drive shafts.

How the clutch works

When you press down the clutch pedal to allow you to change gear, the flywheel stops receiving power from the engine. It works this way so that the engine parts that are moving at several thousand revolutions per minute (RPM), aren’t damaged by the changing gears.

All of this happens in a split second and this is the point where the driver can move the gear lever into place to choose between the various gears (usually one to five, but there are cars with six forward gears and reverse).

Having chosen the gear the driver can then lift their foot off the clutch pedal and this re-engages the flywheel with the engine so that it can start to receive power again so that car can continue at the same speed.

For more information on key car parts, or for product advice, come back to the Euro Car Parts blog soon. Alternatively you can visit any Euro Car Parts branch for a comprehensive range of car transmission parts, lighting parts, accessories and more.