The clutch is the assembly that engages and disengages the manual transmission from the flywheel. The clutch assembly consists of three main parts: the clutch disc, the pressure plate, and the throwout bearing.
Configurations of the clutch assemblies might vary, but these are the three basic parts found in all clutch assemblies. If you have a problem with any of these three parts, I suggest replacing all three. In order to replace any of these parts, you often need to remove the transmission from the engine. That’s a lot of work, so it makes sense to replace all the wear parts while you’re in there. Most clutch replacement assemblies come in a kit that contains the above-mentioned parts and hopefully a clutch alignment tool. We’ll get into that in a little bit. It just makes sense to renew all the wear parts of a clutch if you’re servicing it.
Make no mistake; a clutch is a wear item. At some point you will need to replace it on any manual transmission. I’ve seen clutches last more than 100,000 miles and as few as 12,000 miles. It all depends on how you drive it. If you ride the clutch, meaning you hold the clutch halfway between applied and unapplied, for long periods of time, your clutch won’t last that long. It’s very similar to driving around with your brakes applied; in fact, the clutch disc is often made of a similar material to brake pads. The more it gets used, the more it can wear out. Here’s a video on driving a manual transmission.
Here’s a video about the basic parts of a clutch and how they operate.
Video Title: Clutches – Solving Transmission Problems – EricTheCarGuy Video Description: In this Article we talk about Clutches and how they work and how to tell if they are bad. Thumbnail: http://www.ericthecarguy.com/images/faq_buttons/Large_FAQ_Images/Transmissions-icon-1200.png