As the leading clutches supplier in Yorkshire, YB Components have a wealth of experience regarding clutch maintenance and repair. It is one of the most essential parts of a vehicle, and often one of the most troublesome too.
But with good maintenance and careful operation, you shouldn’t have to contact your local clutches supplier too often for a replacement. Here we look at the role of the clutch, the best maintenance practices, and how to recognise when your clutch is beginning to fail.
How a Clutch Works
The clutch enables you to accelerate or decelerate a vehicle’s speed by disconnecting the engine from the wheels without actually switching it off. Manual transmission vehicles all feature a clutch, and some with automatic or tiptronic transmission also feature clutches, although most automatic vehicles use a torque converter instead.
The clutch controls friction between the engine and the transmission, allowing the engine to keep turning even when the wheels of the vehicle are stationary. The clutch achieves this control via a large friction disc that makes contact with a flywheel in the engine. When the clutch pedal is not pressed, the energy generated by the engine transfers from the flywheel onto the friction disc, and then into the transmission. When the clutch is then activated, the friction disc pulls away from the flywheel to prevent the energy transferring into the transmission. This enables a stationary state while allowing the engine to keep turning.
The friction disc is the most common source of clutch performance problems as it gets worn down over time and with usage. Once the friction disc has been worn down, it will start causing the clutch to slip. This results in the friction disc’s failure to rotate at the same speed as the engine’s flywheel, which further aggravates the damage to the disc.
Signs of Clutch Failure
It can be dangerous to continue using the vehicle once the clutch has started slipping, so it is vital to keep an eye out for signs that it has become worn down.
One early sign is when the clutch pedal feels sticky or vibrates abnormally when it is pressed. It may also start producing noises such as squeaks or grumbles. Changing gears also becomes more difficult when the clutch’s friction disc is worn down.
Pay attention to how well the vehicle accelerates, as poor acceleration is a big sign that the clutch is failing. Once it starts slipping, you will experience momentary losses of acceleration, which means it is past time you contacted your local clutches supplier in Yorkshire for a replacement.
Clutch Maintenance Advice
The best maintenance advice for clutches is always treat them gently. This is because sudden and aggressive use of the clutch will wear it down much more quickly than if it is activated with care. Also try to change gears smoothly – especially when moving into first gear – as aggressive gear changes also wear down the friction disc.
Towing or carrying heavy loads will increase the wear and tear on your clutch because of the increased weight placed on the friction disc. Frequently driving up and down slopes will also cause the engine and clutch to work harder and wear down faster than they do when operated at a flat level.
If you require any replacement clutches, then contact YB Components who are the UK’s leading clutches supplier in Yorkshire. We keep local stocks of all such parts and more ready to ship out fast and free all over the UK and the rest of the world.