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Car encyclopedia

Clutch Disc

The clutch disc is a friction disc that is squeezed between the clutch pressure plate and the flywheel when the clutch is engaged. This allows the power (torque) from the engine to be transmitted to the manual transmission. The disc is made of a similar material to brake pads; it eventually wears out and needs to be replaced.

Symptoms of Wear or Failure

  • Difficulty shifting gears
  • Clutch may slip or shudder
  • Engine will "rev," but speed will not increase/vehicle will not move

Related Repair Advice

  • Engine oil or transmission fluid leaks can damage the clutch disc. When replacing a clutch disc, any leaks should be diagnosed and repaired to avoid recurring problems. As a preventive measure, it's not uncommon for a shop to recommend replacement of the rear main seal and/or the transmission input shaft seal even when not leaking; it's a good insurance policy against expensive future repairs.
  • If it is defective, the transmission input shaft should be inspected and replaced along with the clutch disc
  • Most shops recommend the flywheel be resurfaced when the clutch disk is replaced (where applicable)
  • On some vehicles, the clutch slave cylinder is located in with the clutch assembly. To avoid having to remove the transmission before the next clutch job, we recommend the slave cylinder is replaced at the same time as the clutch disc.
  • Incorrect linkage/cable adjustment or "riding" the clutch (resting one's foot on the clutch pedal, not allowing the clutch to release completely) can cause premature clutch disc wear

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