A car has different mechanisms that allow it to get powered up and set into motion. And one of the integral mechanisms a truck has is the clutch. However, not everyone is familiar with a clutch. It engages and disengages power transmission between the shaft from the engine and the shafts that turn the wheels, allowing the motor and the shafts to spin continuously even while on a full stop.
Truck owners who have driven manual transmission cars may be familiar with the clutch, as it is the third pedal that they have to press to change gears while driving. The pedal allows the drivers to control the engine’s power transmission and the wheels through the torque converter.
On the other hand, drivers driving a car with an automatic transmission may not know exactly what a clutch does or where it is located. Automated vehicles have no clutch pedals, unlike manual cars. The vehicle’s machine or computer is typically responsible for controlling engine power transmission from the motor to the transmission shafts. Automatic cars have a bell housing which contains a torque converter. It is where the engine and the transmission system meet, allowing the vehicle to thrust and the wheels to rotate.
Like other components of a car, the clutch also experiences wear and tear. It is common for a clutch to be replaced, particularly when the vehicle reaches a specific mileage. The life expectancy of clutches range, but most are designed to last up to about 60,000 miles. Assuming that quality materials are used to create the clutch, and the vehicle is driven properly, it is possible that car owners can enjoy the value of their truck until it reaches its lifespan.
However, if a truck driver improperly uses their vehicle’s gear or their clutch is not suitable for their driving lifestyle, it may fall short of its life expectancy. Their clutch may face circumstances such as continuous exposure to heat, or they may experience a time where their clutch may slip while they are driving and changing gears. When these happen, drivers need to have their cars checked at an auto repair shop to ensure that their clutch performs properly.
Accordingly, when the clutch has experienced a lot of wear and tear or has reached its expected lifespan, it needs to be replaced. Drivers have a lot of factors to consider when replacing or upgrading their clutches. Before heading to a car body shop, they should understand the different types of disc clutches.
There are three types of disc clutches: single disc, dual-disc, and triple-disc. The single disc clutch is intended to replace the factory clutch in a car with no additional power. It is suited for drivers who primarily use their vehicles as a daily driver. Meanwhile, dual-disc clutches are great for drivers who use their cars for everyday driving and towing. Compared to single disc clutches, it can handle up to 800 horsepower applications. Lastly, the triple-disc clutch is ideal for trucks used for drag racing or sled pulling. Some variant of triple disc clutches has a weighted pressure plate that, when adjusted, will change the RPM range in which the clutch starts to engage.
When replacing or upgrading the clutch, drivers have to consider their car’s horsepower ratings, tire size, and gearing. They should also deliberate on the use of the truck and the driving environment. It is worth remembering that there are different clutches for vehicles used as a daily driver, heavy hauling, and drag racing. This infographic from Pure Diesel Power details what drivers should know when selecting a clutch for their trucks.