With your transmission being the system that regulates a vehicle’s speed (by dictating the level of power that your engine should be outputting to achieve it), your clutch consequently acts as the link between the two components that allows that interaction. Your engine runs even when you aren’t accelerating, after all, so it’s necessary to dictate when your transmission should take control and get things moving. This is especially true for those who drive manual, as the general operation of the car relies on your ability to deliberately control the on-and-off functionality.
As with everything else attached to your car — your brakes, your tires, your patience — the clutch is going to wear down over time, and there isn’t a set routine to how frequently it will need to be repaired or replaced. Does your vehicle jerk or rev high before switching gears? Does it have to be let out a good deal before it catches? If so, you’re likely in need of a trip to your (ahem) reputable repair shop. While it is possible to fix or change the clutch at home, it’s a fairly complex system to work with, and can easily be done incorrectly if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Its primary parts are the pressure plate (which provides the power from the transmission), the clutch disc (which is used to connect it to the engine), and the throw-out bearings (which are operated to engage and disengage the two as necessary). Depending on the severity of the wear (and possible tear) to the system as a whole, you may need some or all of these mechanisms replaced to restore proper functionality. If your clutch is hydraulic, there are also cylinders that may need maintenance.
While the parts themselves are relatively inexpensive, labor costs tend to drive the bill up when a fix is entrusted to professionals. Here at Earl’s, we don’t want you to be deterred from relying on experts for such a tricky bit of machinery — better to be safe than sorry! That’s why we strive for reasonable pricing without skimping on care. And if you simply need it adjusted for more comfortable use, we can do that, too!