One of the things that you might not have realized on your standard vehicle is that you can easily extend the life of your car’s throw out bearing. This is done by reducing the amount of time that you have the clutch engaged.
The way that most people drive puts far too much stress on the throwout bearing, which results in more car repair costs.
For example, on a standard vehicle, people depress the clutch the entire time that they are at a red light. Instead, they should put the vehicle in neutral and release the clutch, which reduces the amount of stress on the throw out bearing considerably.
One of the most important things that you should be aware of when it comes to the design of your engine is a process called encapsulation.
Encapsulation simply put, refers to the idea that while a group of intricate and sensitive parts might be very complex and detailed, they are usually “encapsulated” in one easy to understand interface.
Clutch systems are perfect examples. They are very easy to use as a whole, but are made up of a complex system with many different parts.
From a car owner’s point of view, the clutch system would be almost impossible to fix because everything is encapsulated.
One of those problems is a bad throwout bearing. Luckily, there are symptoms – most notably throwout bearing noise – that are associated with this problem so you can usually determine fairly quickly that it’s going on and take steps to correct it.
How Does the Clutch Work?
First, we have to go over what a throwout bearing actually does. Understanding how this part works in association with the clutch will help you to understand and identify the symptoms and problems that can be caused by it.
The first thing that you need to know is the transmission system in your vehicle consists of four different parts.
First is the pressure plate, followed by the flywheel, the clutch plate and the throwout bearing.
The crankshaft connects the flywheel to the engine and the clutch plate is connected to the gear system via what is called the gearbox shaft.
These two plates come in contact with each other and become interlocked because of the friction across both of those services.
This allows the transmission of the rotating power of the engine to move from the flywheel to the clutch plate and gear system and then finally to your car’s tires.
A pressure plate is used to keep these two plates in contact with each other. It is attached to the flywheel with rivets and it rotates along with it. It consists of a diaphragm spring mechanism which allows the release of the clutch plate on or off the flywheel.
The spring mechanism is controlled through the driver’s input via the clutch pedal. When a driver presses the clutch pedal, hydraulics get activated and that pushes a release fork which pushes the throwout bearing onto the center of the diaphragm spring.
As it gets pushed in, a number of pins within the spring cause it to pull the pressure plate away from the clutch disc – this is what separates the clutch plate from the fire will and interrupts the transmission of power.
As you can see, the clutch system is extremely complicated and that means that if you’re throwout bearing goes out, the repair bills are going to be pretty high.
Signs of a Bad Throwout Bearing
Let’s take a look at some of the most common symptoms that can indicate a bad throwout bearing.
As we’ve seen, the throwout bearing works by adding pressure to the diaphragm spring so the engine can be disconnected from the gear mechanism whenever you press the clutch. Luckily, that means that you can tell if the throw out bearing is bad when the clutch pedal is operated.
A Throw Out Bearing Noise
One of the most common symptoms of this problem is a specific kind of noise.
You may hear a whirring sound, a rattling or grinding noise that happens whenever you depress the clutch. This noise will fade away when you release the clutch. These noises are going to be the first thing that you hear when you’re throwout bearing starts going out. You will not be able to recognize any other signs until after it gets past this stage.
So a throw out bearing noise should not be ignored!
If the problem is not resolved, other symptoms will start to develop. For example, the clutch pedal will become extremely stiff, it will be difficult to shift gears and eventually, you will not be able to use your transmission at all because the clutch will fail completely.
If you believe that your throwout bearing is going bad, then you should take it to a mechanic as soon as possible to get it replaced.
While some people may want to do the work themselves, this is not recommended because as we have described here, the clutch is an extremely complex piece of machinery and very difficult to work on.
One of the most difficult parts of the repair requires the removal of the clip assembly from the ball pivot located in the bell housing in the flywheel. This allows access to the faulty throwout bearing. However, most people are not able to do this repair themselves due to a lack of tools and technical knowledge.
We’re certainly not about to provide a guidance note because it is far too complicated to summarize. You should definitely let a qualified mechanic replace your throwout bearing for you. It is worth the cost.
Hopefully that was helpful.
What Did you do when you had similar problems? Let us know below.
Check out this awesome post on the subject by Edmunds for more information.