How Does The Volvo Cone Clutch Work?

If you’ve driven a manual car before, then you know how important the clutch is. You simply cannot engage or change to a different gear without first stepping on the clutch. It also comes in handy when reducing speed or even when accelerating. In short, its main work is to transmit power from the flywheel connected to the Volvo engine shaft to the clutch shaft. From the shaft, the clutch is then transmitted to all the rear wheels through a gear shaft, a propeller shaft and a differential.

Clutch Categories

Clutches are divided into two main parts. There is the friction clutch, which has been around for close to a century. Then there is the fluid flywheel clutch which is not as old as the friction clutch but just a popular. The two categories differ in concept but are somewhat similar in design. The concept is all about capitalizing on the friction generated between two rotating shafts each time they come in contact.

Fluid Flywheel Clutches

They work on transfer of energy from one rotor to another by means of fluid coupling or a torque converter. That explains why fluid flywheel clutches are popular in high speed and high performance off road Volvo models. That’s not all though. Fluid Flywheel clutches are further categorized into five main parts. There is the cone clutch, the single plate clutch, the multi plate clutch, the semi centrifugal clutch and the centrifugal clutch.

The Cone Clutch

It is a special type of friction clutch used to either engage or disengage the engine shaft to the transmission box. It is also important to note that the cone clutch is one of the oldest types of Volvo clutches today. Compared to positive displacement clutches where were popular before the invention of friction clutches, the cone clutch is easier to engage and disengage.


The cone clutch design features an outer cone which is directly connected to the driving shaft as well as in inner cone which connected to the drive shaft. There is also friction lining at the inner area of the outer cone and the outer area of the inner cone. When these two come in contact, friction is generated. The friction is then converted to energy which is transferred to the drive shaft.

The Perks

The kind of driving experience you’ll feel after driving a Volvo model that still uses the cone clutch will most likely leave you asking for more. The perks are simply way too many ranging from a comfortable driving experience all the way to easy engaging and disengaging of the clutch. There is also the fact that cone clutch systems experience less wear and tear compared to the positive displacement clutch. Other perks include silent operation, high torque and ease of maintenance.

Point To Note

Clutch systems always call for regular maintenance. This leaves you with no choice but to take your car for regular servicing. Do this at least once every two months. For professional and expert services, be sure to take your Volvo to a licensed and approved Volvo mechanic.