Pilot Bearing vs. Throwout Bearing: What’s the Difference?

Pilot Bearing vs. Throwout Bearing: What’s the Difference?

If you’re faced with the task of fixing your car, it can be an overwhelming job. One of the most vital and complex parts is finding and selecting the right bearings for all the moving parts – if not done correctly it could cause significant damage to your engine. Two of those bearings you may have heard about—Pilot bearing vs Throwout bearing—but what are they used for? What’s the difference between them? In this article, we will answer these questions as well as talk about why certain modern brands offer unique benefits that should be taken into account when replacing these essential components.

What are Car Bearings Necessary for?

Car bearings are essential components in the inner workings of a vehicle. These tiny parts help to reduce friction and ensure smooth movement of your car’s wheels, axles, steering system, and transmission. Without them, your car would experience excessive wear and tear from the internal moving parts grinding against each other. That’s why it is important to have these bearings properly maintained and replaced when necessary. [1]

In order to choose the right type of bearing for your car, it is essential to understand how these bearings function in relation to your vehicle. There are several types of bearings that can be used including ball bearings, roller bearings, tapered bearings, and needle-roller bearings. Each type has its own set of pros and cons.

  • Ball bearings are the most commonly used in automotive applications. They offer high load-bearing capacity, low friction, and durability even when operated at high speeds. The ball bearing consists of an outer race, inner race, balls, and a retainer to hold them in place.
  • Roller bearings are slightly more robust than ball bearings and feature roller-shaped elements instead of balls. They can support heavier loads, but also require higher levels of lubrication to prevent wear and tear.
  • Tapered bearings are slightly less popular than ball and roller bearings due to their inability to withstand heavy loads for long periods of time. However, they have the advantage of offering precise alignment with other components in the car’s powertrain system.
  • Needle-roller bearings are the most common type of bearing used in automotive applications. They offer very low friction and have good load capacity, making them ideal for high speed operations. However, they can be susceptible to wear and tear due to their small size. [2]

When considering which type of bearing is best for your car, it is important to focus on the load-bearing capacity, friction levels, and wear resistance of each type. With this information in mind, you can make an informed decision on which is best for your car’s performance.

What are Car Bearings Necessary for?

How Often Should Bearings Be Changed?

Replacing bearings is an important part of routine maintenance for any vehicle. The frequency with which you should replace your bearings can depend on a few factors.

The most important factor when it comes to bearing replacement is the age and condition of your bearings. Over time, regular wear and tear will cause them to deteriorate, making them less effective and more prone to failure. So, if you notice any signs of wear or damage to your bearings, it’s best to replace them as soon as possible.

The type of bearing will also affect how often they need to be replaced. Certain types of bearings are more durable and can stand up to more use than others. Look at the particulars of the bearing when determining how often it should be replaced. [3]

The environment in which you drive is an important factor to consider when it comes to bearing replacement frequency. If you frequently drive in very dusty or dirty conditions, your bearings may need replacing more often than if they are exposed only to clean air.

What Is Pilot Bearing?

Pilot bearing is a device used to reduce the load on rotating shafts in an engine or machine. It acts as an intermediate between the crankshaft and connecting rod, allowing them to move independently of each other, while still transferring power from one to the other. Pilot bearings are typically made of bronze and come in various designs depending on their purpose. [4]

Advantages and Disadvantages of Pilot Bearing

Pilot bearings are commonly used in motor vehicles for a number of reasons. They provide smooth operation and reduce the amount of noise and vibration produced by the engine. These bearings are usually made out of bronze, although some models can be found with steel or aluminum components.


  • Pilot bearings are designed to take up the small amount of axial play present in the crankshaft, allowing it to move freely without any binding.
  • Pilot bearings are generally quiet and vibration free since most of their components are made out of soft metals such as bronze or aluminum.
  • They require very little maintenance and can last for a long time if properly cared for.
  • Pilot bearings are relatively inexpensive when compared to other types of bearings.



  • The soft metals used for pilot bearing components can wear quickly and need to be replaced more often than other types of bearings.
  • Pilot bearings are susceptible to damage caused by dirt, dust, and debris, so they need to be regularly inspected and cleaned.
  • Pilot bearings require a certain amount of axial play in order to function properly, which can be difficult to achieve in some applications.
  • The tight tolerances necessary for proper operation can make installation and removal of pilot bearings time consuming and challenging. [5]

What Is Throwout Bearing?

A throwout bearing is an essential component of a vehicle’s clutch system. It is responsible for disengaging the engine from the transmission when the clutch pedal is depressed in order to shift gears. A worn or damaged throwout bearing can result in difficulty shifting, grinding noises and premature wear on other components of the clutch system.

When replacing a throwout bearing, it is important to choose the right one for your vehicle. Throwout bearings come in various sizes and materials and some are specifically designed for certain applications. The most common type of throwout bearing is a roller bearing which can handle higher loads but requires more frequent maintenance than other types such as fixed-plate or sleeve bearings. It is also important to consider the quality of the bearing as some are built with inferior materials that will fail prematurely.

If you are unsure which type of throwout bearing is best for your vehicle, consult a qualified mechanic or auto parts professional to help determine the right choice for you. By choosing the appropriate bearing, you can ensure maximum performance and longevity from your clutch system. [6]

What Is Throwout Bearing?

Advantages and Disadvantages of Throwout Bearing

When it comes to bearings, throwout bearings are often used to ease the process of making high-performance applications. This type of bearing is a great choice for many applications, since they can provide durability and strength while maintaining a small form factor. However, these types of bearings also come with certain drawbacks that should be taken into consideration before deciding on them as part of your design. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of throwout bearings:


  • Increased resistance to wear and tear: Throwout bearings are constructed from durable materials, which allows them to withstand greater levels of use over time. This makes them an ideal choice for applications that require frequent maintenance or replacement.
  • Reduced noise production: Throwout bearings are designed to be quieter than traditional ball and roller bearings, making them a great option for applications that require minimal noise production.
  • Reduced friction: The use of throwout bearings can help reduce friction levels in the application, resulting in improved performance and greater efficiency.


  • Limited range of motion: Throwout bearings are limited in their range of motion, which means they may not be suitable for applications that require a wide range of motion.
  • Reduced load capacity: Throwout bearings are designed to provide strength and durability while maintaining a small form factor. However, this also means that they are not well suited for applications with high load requirements.
  • Increased cost: The use of throwout bearings can be more expensive than other types of bearings, making them less cost effective for applications with limited budgets. [7]

Key Differences Between Pilot and Throwout Bearings

Pilot and throwout bearings are two different types of bearings commonly found in automotive applications. While they share some similarities, there are several key differences between them that should be taken into account when selecting the right bearing for a particular application.

The primary difference between pilot and throwout bearings is their intended purpose. Pilot bearings are designed to support the crank or engine shaft, while throwout bearings are used to disengage the clutch from the transmission.

When it comes to construction, pilot and throwout bearings also differ in several aspects. Pilot bearings are typically constructed out of metal or graphite-lined composite materials, whereas throwout bearings are made with a softer material such as rubber or plastic. Additionally, the inner diameter of throwout bearings is typically slightly larger than that of pilot bearings to allow for more flexibility in the clutch system.

There are also differences between pilot and throwout bearings when it comes to installation. Pilot bearings are usually installed at the factory level, while throwout bearings must be replaced by a mechanic or other qualified professional. Additionally, because of their softer construction, throwout bearings generally need to be replaced more often than pilot bearings. [8]

When selecting a bearing for an automotive application, it is important to take into account the various characteristics of both pilot and throwout bearings in order to make the best choice. Depending on the type of application, either one may be suitable for the task at hand.

For more information on selecting the appropriate bearing, consult a qualified mechanic or other automotive specialist. With their knowledge and expertise, they can help narrow down the best choice for any automobile-related job.

Key Differences Between Pilot

Is It Worth Contacting a Mechanic When Changing Bearings?

When it comes to changing the bearings on your vehicle, there is a lot of debate as to whether or not you should contact a mechanic. On one hand, some people think that they can save money by doing the job themselves. On the other hand, there are many who argue that it’s more cost-effective and safer to go with a professional mechanic.

So, what’s the best option when it comes to changing bearings? The answer depends on several factors, including your level of mechanical knowledge and experience. If you have no prior experience working with car parts and don’t know how to properly remove and install the new bearings, then hiring a professional mechanic is definitely recommended. On the other hand, if you are quite knowledgeable about car maintenance and are confident in your ability to install the new bearing, then you may be able to save some money by doing it yourself.

In either case, however, it is crucial to ensure that you have the right type of bearings for your vehicle. Different types of vehicles require different sizes and styles of bearings, so it’s important to do a bit of research to check you’re selecting the right ones for your car or truck. Once you have the right bearings and are ready to install them, it’s important to follow all instructions closely and take the necessary precautions when installing them. [9]

How to Maintain the Car?

When it comes to owning a car, taking care of it is key. That means regular maintenance and upkeep throughout the lifespan of your vehicle. Here are some tips on how to maintain the car properly:

  1. Follow manual instructions for regular maintenance. This includes checking and replacing oil, air filters, spark plugs and other items as specified in the manufacturer’s manual.
  2. Have regular checkups at the service shop. This means scheduling a tune-up or other maintenance services as needed and rechecking your car’s condition on an annual basis to ensure that everything is in working order.
  3. Keep up with repairs as they come up – no matter how small they may seem. It can be tempting to ignore a small repair, but this could lead to more costly repairs down the line.
  4. Clean your car regularly with soapy water and wax it on occasion. This will help protect the exterior of your car from fading or damage due to weathering.
  5. Don’t delay when it comes to refilling fluids like oil, coolant, and brake fluid. Keeping up with these needs will help your car run at its best.
  6. Stay organized by keeping a record of all maintenance performed on the car – including when services were completed and what parts were used – in order to make it easier to track future needs or problems that may arise.
  7. Check your car’s tire pressure regularly. Properly inflated tires will help you get more miles to the gallon and increase the lifespan of your tires.
  8. Regularly check for signs of wear and tear, such as loose or worn parts or cracked hoses. Replace these items as needed to avoid further damage.
  9. Make sure that all electrical components are in proper working order. This includes headlights, taillights, turn signals and other electrical components.
  10. Schedule regular inspections with a certified mechanic to ensure that your car is up-to-date on safety features like brakes and steering systems. [10]

How to Maintain the Car?

How To Recognize When A Car Breaks Down?

Cars are complex machines and can be difficult to diagnose when something goes wrong. Knowing the signs of a broken-down car can help you avoid expensive repairs or even dangerous situations. Here is how to recognize when your car may need attention:

  • Unusual noises – If you hear any unusual grinding, squealing, or other strange noises coming from your vehicle, it could be a sign of trouble.
  • Unusual smells – If you smell burning oil or gasoline, check for leaks under the car and in the engine compartment immediately.
  • Dashboard warning lights – Many modern cars have dashboard warning lights that will indicate when something is wrong with your car. Check your owner’s manual to find out what each light means.
  • Unusual vibrations – If you feel your car vibrating or shaking, it could be a sign of an unbalanced tire, misalignment, or even a serious transmission issue.
  • Unusually rough braking – If your brakes are not functioning properly, it can be dangerous for both you and other drivers on the road. Pay attention to the feel of your brakes and have them looked at if you notice any issues. [11]

By familiarizing yourself with the warning signs of a broken-down car, you can save time and money in repairs. If something does go wrong, take your car to a qualified technician as quickly as possible so they can diagnose and fix the issue before it gets worse.


What is another name for a pilot bearing?

A pilot bearing is often referred to as a thrust bearing. This type of bearing provides support and stability for the shafts within an engine. It also reduces friction, allowing the shafts to spin freely while transmitting power from one part of the engine to another. Without a pilot bearing, there would be too much wear on the internal moving parts and eventually cause damage or failure. It is important to keep the pilot bearing lubricated and regularly checked for signs of wear or corrosion.

What is another name for a pilot bearing?

Is a pilot bearing the same as a spigot bearing?

No. A pilot bearing is an oil-lubricated part that aids in connecting the engine to its transmission. This type of bearing allows for smoother and less jerky shifts when you are driving. A spigot bearing supports the movement of the crankshaft and absorbs most of the load. It also acts as a guide to align the transmission with the engine and prevents any misalignment that may occur. Both of these components are essential for keeping your car running smoothly and should be properly maintained.

To ensure that both your pilot and spigot bearings remain in good condition, it is key to have regular inspections done by a qualified technician. During these inspections, they will be able to identify any wear and tear on the bearings and take action accordingly.

What is the difference between a thrust bearing and a release bearing?

A thrust bearing is a type of bearing that allows for the movement of two mating parts in one axis. It usually consists of flat faces separated by a fixed or adjustable distance and can be composed of metal, ceramic, or plastic. Thrust bearings are used to reduce friction between moving surfaces and absorb axial loads.

A release bearing, on the other hand, is a type of bearing found in manual transmissions and consists of two moving parts: an inner race and an outer race. The inner race contains a series of balls that are forced outward when the clutch pedal is pressed, allowing power to be transmitted from the engine to the transmission. The outer race surrounds the inner race and helps absorb vibrations caused by the engagement and disengagement of the clutch.

Both bearings are essential components of manual transmissions, but they serve different functions. While thrust bearings reduce friction and absorb axial loads, release bearings allow for the transmission of power from the engine to the transmission when the clutch pedal is pressed.

Do all manual cars have a pilot bearing?

No, not all manual cars have a pilot bearing. Generally speaking, manual transmissions with the input shaft supported by the transmission case do not require one. Automatic transmissions, on the other hand, normally use a pilot bearing that holds the torque converter in place when it is connected to the engine’s crankshaft. It is important to confirm what type of transmission your vehicle has before attempting to replace the flywheel or clutch. Additionally, it is crucial to check your car’s owner manual for specific instructions on maintenance and repairs.

Useful Video: What is a Throw Out Bearing? And Why Does it Make Noise?


After reading this blog post, you now know the key differences between the pilot bearing and throwout bearing – two essential components of a clutch system. The most notable difference is that the pilot bearing creates an interface between the transmission input shaft and main shaft so it can spin freely while transmitting motor power. On the other hand, the throwout bearing allows for clutch disengagement by pressing directly against the pressure plate so that it can move away from contact with the flywheel when necessary. Knowing these differences is crucial because incorrectly identifying or misplacing either piece could jeopardize your car’s overall safety and performance. Therefore, be sure to have a professional mechanic repair or replace either device if it’s not working correctly. Overall, you should strive to maintain both of these aspects of your vehicle in order to keep everyone on our roads safe and allow for optimal functioning of your vehicle!


  1. https://www.carthrottle.com/post/why-wheel-bearings-are-important-and-what-happens-when-they-fail/
  2. https://koyo.jtekt.co.jp/en/2019/09/column01-04.html
  3. https://www.counterman.com/watch-often-wheel-bearings-need-replaced/
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  5. https://www.atlas-blue.com/the-importance-of-a-pilot-bushing/
  6. https://www.cars.com/articles/what-is-a-throwout-bearing-442794/
  7. https://www.motortrend.com/how-to/what-is-a-throwout-bearing/
  8. https://carbasicsdaily.com/difference-between-pilot-bearing-and-throwout-bearing/
  9. https://www.tuningblog.eu/en/categories/tipps_tuev-dekra-u-co/defective-wheel-bearing-396590/
  10. https://www.artofmanliness.com/skills/manly-know-how/heading-out-on-your-own-day-21-maintaining-your-car/
  11. https://www.carsome.my/news/item/car-breakdown-signs