What a Car's Clutch Actually Does

This is what happens inside the vehicle when you depress that pedal.

The clutch pedal is that third one you'll find in manual transmission cars, the one on the far left a driver must press for every gear change. , then you already knew that. But you might not have spent much time thinking about the nitty-gritty mechanics of the clutch.

The YouTube channel LearnEngineering posted this clip full of nice animations and simple explanations. Watch it and come away with a better understanding of what the clutch actually does.

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The short version is that changing gears in a requires disengaging the power flow from your engine to the transmission. The clutch is a disc that accomplishes this disconnection. The assembly around it includes what's called a diaphragm spring, which allows the clutch to engage or disengage the engine depending on whether you've pressed the clutch.

LearnEngineering's visuals do a nice job of walking you through the friction and fine details. Next time your , you'll know a little bit more about what's behind the curtain.

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