How do Clutches Work?
The clutch system consists of a pressure plate, disc, release bearing and pilot bearing. The disc contains various springs to smooth clutch engagement and dampen vibrations. The friction material is riveted to numerous cushion segments, which are known as marcels. Subtle waves in the marcels soften clutch engagement. Flywheel is also part of the system, though it is actually connected to the engine, while the other parts listed previously are connected to the transmission. When the clutch is disengaged (the clutch pedal pushed in), the pressure plate lifts away slightly from the flywheel, interrupting the flow of power from the engine to the transmission. Bringing the pedal back up re-engages the pressure plate with the flywheel, which in turn reconnects the engine to the transmission and drive wheels.