Clutch & automatic transmission
Whether you drive a manual or an automatic, it's important to keep your car's transmission running smoothly. Automatic transmissions need regular servicing to ensure maximum performance, economy and service life. Manual transmissions also need servicing although this usually includes less complicated tasks, such as replacing the fluids and/or making minor adjustments.
How do the clutch and automatic transmission systems work?
Clutch: In a car, you need a clutch because the engine spins all the time, but the car's wheels don't. In order for a car to stop without stalling the engine, the wheels need to be disconnected from the engine somehow. The clutch allows us to smoothly engage a spinning engine to a non-spinning transmission by controlling the slippage between them. A clutch works because of friction between a clutch plate and a flywheel.
Automatic transmission: There are two big differences between an automatic transmission and a manual transmission:
- There is no clutch pedal in an automatic transmission car.
- There is no gear stick in an automatic transmission car. Once you put the transmission into drive, everything else is automatic.
The key difference between a manual and an automatic transmission is that the manual transmission locks and unlocks different sets of gears to the output shaft to achieve the various gear ratios, while in an automatic transmission, the same set of gears produces all of the different gear ratios.
Clutch and automatic transmission components
Clutch: A clutch consists of a cover, a clutch plate, a flywheel, a pressure plate, a diaphragm spring and a throw-out bearing.
Automatic Transmission: Inside an automatic transmission, there is a complex assortment of parts in a fairly small space. Among other things there are a planetary gear set, a set of locking bands, clutches, a hydraulic system, and a large pump to move transmission fluid around.
The warning signs
Some of the signs that there are problems with your clutch and automatic transmission include:
- Clutch slips and does not transfer engine power to the wheels.
- Clutch won't release properly.
It's important to note that it's only when the clutch disc is slipping against the flywheel that wearing occurs. So, if you are the type of driver who slips the clutch a lot, you'll wear out your clutch a lot faster.
- Leaking fluid.
- 'Check Engine' light comes on.
- Jarring transition into next gear.
- Car 'hesitates' or 'refuses' to go into gear.
- A whining, humming or even a slight buzzing sound.
Clutch and automatic transmission components repairs
All Kmart Tyre & Auto Service stores are equipped with high-technology engine management scanning equipment to access your car's systems and identify faults. The system generates codes for Antilock Braking Systems, airbags, transmission and other systems. As cars develop technically, more sophisticated equipment is now required to perform even simple tasks, like resetting service lights, performing a wheel alignment or rotating the wheels. All work is backed by our industry-leading Australia-wide guarantee.