Clutch System Components

Clutch System Components

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Three on the tree. Four on the Floor. Five-speed. Six-speed. 

You don’t hear these terms quite so often these days, but when a customer comes in with a manual transmission complaint, can you be the critical link between HEARING the problem and getting it fixed?

While most late-model passenger vehicles on the road today are equipped with an automatic transmission, there are still some new models available with a stick shift. The 2024 Chevy Camaro ZL1, as well as two versions of the 2024 Ford Mustang come standard with a six-speed stick. Manual transmissions are standard or optional on other models as well, ranging from the Jeep Wrangler and MINI Hardtop to the Nissan Versa and Subaru Crosstrek.

Different vehicles, different driving styles, but for many drivers today, their understanding of the manual transmission system begins and ends with the clutch pedal. There’s more to it than mashing the pedal and slamming the gear. The clutch really is a system of parts that includes the clutch and the clutch disc, as well as the flywheel, release bearing and clutch linkage.  The clutch, also referred to as the pressure plate or cover, is the clamping component of the clutch assembly. The disc is clamped between the clutch and flywheel and is splined to the transmission input shaft. 

Most later-model vehicles with a manual transmission use a hydraulicsystem consisting of the clutch master cylinder, hydraulic hoses, the concentric slave cylinder and the concentric slave cylinder bearing to actuate the clutch. Several mechanical components – including the pedal, the firewall and the over-center spring – make up the rest of the system.  

Clutch problems can occur at almost any mileage and for a wide variety of reasons. The clutch might slip or chatter due to a worn disc, a weak or damaged pressure plate, misadjustment or oil contamination. It might fail to engage or disengage if the linkage isn’t moving the release bearing to take the pressure off the disc, which could have a number of possible causes.

Or it may well be the fault of the driver standing before you, especially if they tend to ride the clutch.

When the clutch engages, it generates heat and friction between the clutch disc, pressure plate and flywheel. Drivers who abuse the clutch by riding the pedal – even absentmindedly just by resting their foot on it – allow the clutch disc to get even hotter and, in turn, wear it out even faster. The bottom line is, if you increase the load on the clutch, that will make it wear out sooner.

The best clutch service consists of complete clutch service. Clutch components tend to fail around the same time, so it’s a good idea to recommend replacing all of them to restore the system back to original condition. Replacing the clutch is one of the most labor-intensive jobs on a vehicle, so your team might as well do the whole repair at the same time with the transmission removed from the engine.

One of the most common failure points for clutch systems is installing used or inferior-quality hydraulic parts that aren’t manufactured to OE specifications. Recommending a LuK RepSet Clutch Kit from Schaeffler gives your customers the peace of mind that ALL of the parts are sourced from the same trusted manufacturer – and it gives your techs the confidence that they’re carefully designed to fit together and match the application.

This LuK RepSet Pro Clutch Kit from Schaeffler provides everything needed to restore the clutch system to its original performance, including a replacement clutch pressure plate; a clutch disc; a flywheel (or dual mass flywheel if needed); a conventional release bearing or concentric slave cylinder, depending on the application; a spline tool; lubricant; and all required fasteners.

Every LuK product is 100-percent functionally tested to meet applicable OEM performance specifications for automotive and light commercial applications. Plus, Schaeffler offers industry-leading support with its RepXpert brand, which provides training resources, relevant technical service bulletins, practical tips and a comprehensive service hotline.  These resources and functions also are available on the shop floor via the free RepXpert mobile app.  

If you have customers who live by the credo “If you can’t find it, grind it,” you’ll do them a favor by using the right parts to get them back on the road quickly. Visit for more information.

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