Clutches don’t get a lot of consideration from owners of passenger vehicles these days.
Dual-clutch transmissions have pretty much put an end to the driver using the left foot for anything more than scratching the right one (which is probably flat on the floor while the car’s electronics and proximity cameras control speed and keep it within the lane at a safe distance from other vehicles and obstacles).
But where the idea of a couple of friction plates being pulled apart by a cable has long gone, clutches are still a vital part of any drive train, especially for commercial vehicles designed to handle big loads. Of course, in passenger vehicles clutches need to provide the smooth driving experience owners demand. The technology and electronics needed to keep a modern clutch performing at its best is staggering, especially as gearboxes become ever more complex. Yet, like so much of a modern car, it’s mostly taken for granted.
Braking systems are the same. Most drivers probably understand the concept of pads squeezing on a disc, but haven’t even the vaguest notion of what’s involved in creating the stopping power – power that’s protecting their lives every time they touch the pedal – or what’s involved in keeping it doing its job safely and efficiently. ABS is considered ‘normal’ and seldom checked for function by owners. Heat dissipation and the concept of calibration are mysteries.
The less the customer knows of how his or her vehicle works, the more imperative it is industry professional stay informed, so ACM has put together a comprehensive look at some of the very latest and best equipment and technologies available
to operate and maintain both clutch and braking systems. It’s a big slice of information that’ll help keep you and your workshop up-to-date with two crucial automotive functions in a constant state of development.