Do you classify yourself as a car enthusiast? If you do, then you may love to take your car out over the weekend to find some particularly twisty back roads. This will enable you to use the car as it was intended, and you will certainly enjoy going up and down the roads as you do. Still, you may have noticed an issue last weekend, and that problem may mean that your clutch is in need of attention. As you don't know too much about this, what could be going on?
Isolating the Engine
In a vehicle fitted with an automatic gearbox, the clutch is hidden within and is part of the larger component. However, in a manually operated car like yours, the clutch kit can be replaced should it start to play up, and it sits outside of the gearbox, next to the engine. Basically, the clutch enables you to disconnect the engine from the gearbox as you change into a different and more appropriate gear.
When you put your foot on the clutch pedal, several different components work together. The main component here is the pressure plate that is partly connected to the flywheel of the engine but can nevertheless rotate independently when needed. When engaged it will spin at the same speed as the crankshaft, but it can be removed through a series of springs when you press the pedal.
Inside this assembly is another component known as the clutch disc. This is made up of a central plate onto which is bonded some friction material that is crucial during clutch operation. When the pedal is activated, this friction material allows two moving parts to come together without any damage. This will reconnect the power of the engine through the gearbox to the road wheels.
To enable those components to operate within tight tolerances, several bearings are fitted. The major clutch components rotate on these bearings, which are mounted on the transmission input shaft, and they help to keep everything in line and in place.
Replacing the Kit
You may find that your problems are caused by general wear and tear, which is not surprising considering how much you love to put this car through its paces. However, it's best if you replace the entire clutch kit as is, rather than trying to isolate the problem to a particular component. Talk with a mechanic about clutch kits if you have any specific questions.