Throw Out Bearing
The throw out bearing is the integral part of the clutch. In essence, the throw out bearing is the part of the clutch that allows the gears of the car to shift. When you press on the clutch pedal, it sets off a chain reaction that puts the throw out bearing in play. The throw out bearing is also called (more tellingly) the clutch release bearing, and that’s exactly what it does. The throw out bearing releases the pressure that is normally on the clutch, which causes the power flow to stop and also allows the gears to shift. When you take your foot off of the clutch pedal, the throw out bearing goes back into place, which reengages the clutch, and resumes you ability to apply power to the transmission.
In order to understand exactly what a throw out bearing is and how it works, it’s important to know what a bearing is, what a bearing does, and what makes a throw out bearing different from other types of bearings.
A bearing, in the simplest since, is a device that allows two things to move relatively. In other words, it keeps two separate objects rotating in a way that is somehow unified. Usually, the aim is to get two points of the rotation to match each other at a certain time. In order to achieve this, the movement of the two objects needs to be constant in order to make sure that the points always meet at the same time. In the case of cars, the throw out bearing is affecting how the car handles explosive materials, so it is doubly important that it functions properly.
A throw out bearing belongs to a very specific subset of bearings, the first of these being a spherical (or rolling element) bearing. This type of bearing is designed to govern circular movements. The aim of spherical bearings is to allow a constant and relative rolling motion that rolls easily without sliding. Bearings in general have existed for a very long time; the earliest known spherical bearing was developed around 40 B.C. There are a number of types of spherical, the most recognizable of these being the ball bearing, which literally contains balls inside of it. Most other spherical bearing use cylinders in the same role; the ball bearing is designed for lighter loads only.
The throw out bearing is a thrust bearing. This is a further subset of spherical bearings that is designed to hold heavier loads – such as the pressure exerted by the clutch in a car. Thrust bearing are used in all types of electronic vehicles, whether they be cars or ships or space vehicles. The throw out bearing is a specific kind of thrust bearing that is used in a car’s clutch. As said earlier, thrust bearings are used to support heavy loads, and the throw out bearing can come under strong pressure, as one of the things it does is absorb the friction created by the pressure plate and the release fork in the clutch.
You’ll notice a problem with the throw out bearing immediately, as you’ll both feel and hear it when shifting. Also, if you’re changing your clutch, you’ll definitely want to change the throw out bearing as well, as this will help avoid any problems with installation. That isn’t a very hard job to do at home, assuming you have some degree of car literacy. If you do end up having problems with your throw out bearings, it’s important to change them immediately, or the lack of aid your clutch receives from the bearing can have a chain reaction of causing damage to the rest of the clutch system.