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Clutch components and problems

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					Most new cars today are already install with an automatic transmission but there are
still a lot of vehicles today that operates manually. And there are some motorists who
still prefers driving a stick shift. The only difference between a VW automatic and
manual transmission is the clutch.

Basically, the clutch allows engine power to be applied gradually when a vehicle is
starting out and interrupts power to avoid gear crunching when shifting. Engaging the
clutch allows power to transfer from the engine to the transmission and drive wheels.
Disengaging the clutch stops the power transfer and allows the engine to continue
turning without force to the drive wheels. To fully understand how the clutch works,
one needs to know the basic VW clutch parts. They are the flywheel, clutch disc,
pressure plate, throw-out bearing and linkage.

The main function of the flywheel is to transfer engine torque from the engine to the
transmission. It also has teeth along the circumference, allowing the starter motor to
contact when turning the engine over. The VW clutch disc is basically a steel plate,
covered with a frictional material that goes between the flywheel and the pressure
plate. In the center of the disc is the hub, which is designed to fit over the spines of
the input shaft of the transmission. The VW clutch disc directs the flow of power
between the engine and the transmission along with the pressure plate and the
flywheel. Regular clutch discs are lined with asbestos, the same material that is used
in brake shoes and pads to achieve friction. This special facing enhances the grip
between the flywheel and the disc. A pressure plate on the other hand, is a
spring-loaded clamp which is bolted to the flywheel. When the clutch pedal is
depressed, the throw-out bearing moves toward the flywheel, pushing in the pressure
plate's release fingers and moving the pressure plate fingers or levers against pressure
plate spring force. This action moves the pressure plate away from the clutch disc,
thus interrupting power flow.

It is recommended to check the clutch. Although VW clutch disc are durable, they are
still prone to wear out. Problems usually persist when most of the friction material of
the disc is gone, it eventually won't transmit any power from the engine to the wheels.
Resulting to poor driving performance. When the clutch doesn't fully engage then the
VW clutch disc is bound for replacement. Another sign to notice clutch trouble is
when the clutch engages and disengages close to the floorboard or the transmission
grinds when shifting. Sometimes when the clutch pedal move easily but the
transmission will not go into gear, the clutch linkage has become disconnected or a
clutch cable has snapped. When you experience clutch chatter or jerking a
replacement is needed. This chattering is often caused by an overheated clutch or
from oil on the clutch disc.

Since VW clutch parts are made from better materials chances are the vehicles will
get faster and harder launches, quicker shifts and much better durability. Still, these
clutch parts' performance will be dependent on the driver's usage and maintenance. So
when one notices some troubling signs, it is suggested to replace the clutch
immediately.

				
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