In some ways, a centrifugal clutch is the one device that makes small, gas-powered tools and conveyances possible. Effectively the centrifugal clutch does the same job as a torque converter, allowing an engine to idle at low rpm and engage at higher rpm where it makes adequate power. Without one, you’d have to manually disengage the clutch on your lawn mower, chainsaw or moped every time you slowed down, much as you do in a manual-transmission car. But centrifugal clutches are touchy things by nature; the smallest maladjustment can drastically change their performance and engagement rpm. Periodic adjustment to account for wear on the springs and clutch material is fairly simple in most cases.

Step 1

Locate the clutch on your engine; consult your owner’s manual if necessary. If there is a cover over the clutch, remove the fasteners that hold it to the clutch and pull it off.