What is a Car Clutch?

A car’s clutch is essentially an on/off switch. The clutch sits between the engine and the gearbox and when the driver presses the clutch pedal down, the clutch disconnects the engine from the gearbox. When the driver releases their foot from the clutch pedal, the engine and gearbox are connected.

In its basic form, a car clutch comprises of two discs; one side connected to the engine, the other to the gearbox. When the clutch pedal is not pressed down, the two discs are pushed together, making a connection between the engine and the gearbox.

Diagram of what happens when the clutch pedal is pressed down
Diagram illustrates the driver pressing the clutch pedal down

This diagram illustrates the driver pressing down the clutch pedal. This action separates the clutch, disconnecting the engine from the gearbox.

Diagram of what happens when the clutch pedal is not pressed down
Diagram illustrates the plates pushed together when the driver removes their foot from the clutch pedal

This diagram illustrates what happens to the clutch when the driver removes their foot from the clutch pedal. The clutch plates are pushed together, forming a connection between the engine and the gearbox.

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