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Automotive glossary: What is a Clutch?

Definition of Clutch: The clutch in motor vehicles serves for unlinking the drive of the wheels from the engine, resp. linking it, so that the engine power can drive on the the wheel and thereby the vehicle. Without an unlinking, it would be impossible with a normal gearbox to insert a gear for getting off. And also shifting gears would be difficult and affect the gearbox in a destructive way. In cars with manual gear change, the left pedal is for actuating the clutch. The pedal pushed down means the clutch unlinks, a releases pedal means the clutch links. On motorbikes, usually the left hand gear is for the clutch (but on scooters and mopeds it possibly actuates the rear brake). By pulling the lever the clutch unlinks. Clutches contain wear parts and thus have to be maintained.

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