Difference Between Pilot Bearing and Throwout Bearing!

Many of us may not be familiar with the differences between a pilot bearing and a throwout bearing. Both bearings are necessary for the smooth operation of a vehicle’s transmission. These two essential parts of an automotive system can be confusing. It is good to understand the difference between them. In this blog post, we will examine the differences between a pilot bearing and a throwout bearing.

What Is Pilot Bearing?

A pilot bearing is designed to support an axle or a rotating shaft, allowing it to rotate freely in a fixed position. In a car, a pilot bearing is typically located between the transmission and the drive shaft, providing support and alignment for the transmission and allowing it to rotate freely.

The pilot bearing is a crucial part of a car’s drivetrain, as it prevents uneven wear on the transmission components and helps to ensure a smooth and consistent operation. Without a properly functioning pilot bearing, the transmission would not be able to rotate freely and would instead cause uneven wear and tear on the transmission components.

Pilot Bearing

What Is Throwout Bearing?

A throwout bearing, a release bearing, is essential to a car’s manual transmission system. It is responsible for disengaging the clutch when the driver shifts gears. This is an integral part of the car’s transmission system, allowing the driver to shift gears without grinding or slipping.

The throwout bearing is most commonly found in manual transmission vehicles. It is mounted onto the transmission bell housing and is in contact with the clutch release bearing. When the clutch pedal is depressed, it moves the clutch release bearing and causes the throwout bearing to spin. This spinning motion of the bearing disengages the clutch and allows the vehicle to shift gears.

Throwout Bearings

Differences Between Pilot Bearing and Throwout Bearing


The primary function of a pilot bearing is to act as a guide, helping to keep the transmission input shaft in place and allowing it to spin smoothly while in operation. It sits at the midpoint of the crank and the transmission. It is typically made of metal.

A throwout bearing, on the other hand, is designed to act as a clutch release bearing. It is responsible for releasing the clutch, allowing the driver to shift gears when needed. Throwout bearing is mounted between the clutch release lever and the pressure plate’s fingers.


Designs of pilot bearings and throwout bearings are very different from each other. Pilot bearings are typically circular or cylindrical, designed to fit into the transmission and provide a guide for the input shaft. Throwout bearings, on the other hand, are usually flat or oval. This flat design helps it to fit between the clutch release lever and the pressure plate’s fingers.


The cost of pilot and throwout bearings can vary greatly depending on the model of the vehicle. Pilot bearings are usually more expensive than throwout bearings, but the cost varies greatly depending on the make and model of the car. Pilot bearings tend to be more costly than throwout bearings, but the price can vary dramatically depending on the make and model of the vehicle.


Pilot bearings and throwout bearings are both essential parts of manual transmissions. Pilot bearings are typically used in manual transmissions, while throwout bearings are used in manual and automatic transmissions.


Both pilot and throwout bearings should be checked for wear and tear regularly. If the bearings become too worn or damaged, they can cause problems with the transmission, such as shifting problems or grinding noises. Inspecting the bearings regularly and replacing them to ensure optimal transmission performance is essential.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Pilot Bearing


1. Allows for Speed Difference

The main advantage of pilot bearings is that they allow for speed differences between the engine and transmission. The engine and transmission have to turn at different speeds in a manual transmission, and the pilot bearing can make this easier. Without a pilot bearing, the transmission must be built to match the engine, which can be expensive and time-consuming.

2. Used in Racing Applications

Pilot bearings are also used in racing applications, such as drag racing, where the transmission must transfer power at high speeds. Without a pilot bearing, the transmission would have to handle the high speeds, which can be costly and time-consuming.

3. Prolongs Life

Pilot bearings can be customized with different types of greases and coatings. This can help to prolong the life of the bearing and make it more reliable. For example, if a specific type of grease is chosen for a particular application, it can help to reduce wear and tear and make the bearing last longer.


Subject to Wear and Failure

One of the main drawbacks is that they are subject to wear and failure. The bearing can wear out quickly and fail if not adequately lubricated. This can lead to a loss of power and potential damage to the transmission.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Throwout Bearing


1. Combines Multiple Parts and Components

Throwout bearings combine multiple parts and components into one compact package. Rather than building and assembling individual components, the throwout bearing allows all the parts to be put together in one unit. This reduces the overall cost of the system and makes it much easier to install and maintain.

2. Compact Structure

They are also very compact in structure, which makes them ideal for tight spaces and narrow engine bays. This allows them to be installed in small cars and other vehicles with tight space.

3. Control Driving

Throwout bearings offer precise control and soft driving. This means you can shift gears quickly and smoothly without worrying about the clutch disengaging too swiftly or too slowly.


Strange Noises

It can make strange noises when engaging the clutch pedal. This is because the throwout bearing is in constant contact with the pressure plate, which can cause it to vibrate and make strange noises.

Wrap Up

Pilot and throwout bearings are crucial parts in a vehicle’s transmission system. Pilot bearings support the input shaft and reduce friction, while throwout bearings are responsible for the engagement and disengagement of the clutch. Both parts are essential for a successful and smooth transmission operation.

Leave a Comment