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In a car, you need a clutch because the engine spins all the time and the car wheels don't. In order for a car to stop without shutting the engine down, the wheels need to be disconnected from the engine somehow. The clutch allows us to smoothly engage a spinning engine to a non-spinning transmission by controlling the slippage between them.
How Does a Clutch Get Worn Out?
The clutch only wears while the clutch disc and the flywheel are spinning at different speeds. When they are locked together, the friction material is held tightly against the flywheel, and they spin in sync. It is only when the clutch disc is slipping against the flywheel that wearing occurs. So if you are the type of driver who slips the clutch a lot, you will wear out the clutch a lot faster.
Another problem sometimes associated with clutches is a worn throwout bearing. This problem is often characterized by a rumbling noise whenever the clutch engages.