Do Automatic Transmissions Have Clutches?
Most people think of a clutch as the pedal in a manual transmission that you depress to disengage the engine from the transmission when you're shifting gears. But automatic transmissions don't have a clutch pedal. So do they have clutches at all?
Yes, automatic transmissions do have clutches. But they're not the same kind of clutches that you're used to seeing in manual transmissions.
In a manual transmission, the clutch is a mechanical device that physically disconnects the engine from the transmission. This allows you to shift gears without damaging the transmission.
In an automatic transmission, there is no physical disconnect between the engine and the transmission. Instead, the automatic transmission uses a series of clutches and bands to engage and disengage the various gears.
The clutches in an automatic transmission are made of friction material, such as organic or metallic materials. The friction material is sandwiched between two plates, which are then clamped together by a spring. When the clutch is engaged, the friction material creates a frictional force that holds the plates together. This allows the engine to transfer power to the transmission. When the clutch is disengaged, the spring separates the plates, which allows the engine to be disconnected from the transmission.
The clutches in an automatic transmission are controlled by a hydraulic system. The hydraulic system uses fluid pressure to apply and release the clutches. The hydraulic system is controlled by a computer, which monitors the speed of the engine and the transmission. The computer then sends signals to the hydraulic system to engage and disengage the clutches as needed.