Posted on: 23 November 2015
The clutch is the stand-out feature of manual transmissions. It helps to detach the transmission from the engine to allow for speed adjustments. Unfortunately, incorrect use of the clutch can lead to its premature wear, resulting in necessary repairs, an expensive undertaking that every manual car driver should know about. In this article, therefore, learn what to do to avoid having to replacing your clutch sooner than you have to.
Press all the way in when engaging gears
When engaging a gear, be sure to press the clutch all the way in, to the floor. This ensures that the clutch plate has been fully disengaged from the engine. Failure to do this can cause the clutch to still be in contact with the engine during shifting, a situation that can cause considerable wear on the clutch.
Release clutch fully after engaging gear
After engaging a gear, release the clutch fully. Keeping the clutch pressed slightly after shifting as a way to ensure you do not stall the car damages the clutch as well as. That's because it exposes it to the rotations of the engine which causes undue friction on the clutch plate. A slight delay is releasing the clutch is understandable, especially when starting from first gear; however, once the car picks up, the clutch should not be pressed at all.
Do not apply any pressure to the clutch when doing normal driving
A common mistake many manual car drivers make is to keep their foot on the clutch when driving (not even when engaging a gear). This is a serious overlook that causes premature clutch wear. Placing your foot on the clutch, or even just leaning your foot on it, wears the clutch, even though you may not realize it. For good measure, drive with your left foot on the ground and not on the clutch pedal.
In uphill starts, use the parking brake to prevent roll-back
The clutch suffers greatly in uphill starts. The driver is forced to jam the gas pedal while the clutch is depressed. To avoid this, use the emergency brake instead to keep the car from rolling back. When you wish to drive forward, engage the gas pedal and clutch, and then ease the brake as the car starts to move.
In start/stop situations, engage neutral instead of pressing the clutch
In urban driving, manual car drivers often have to make numerous starts and stops in traffic. This adds up to the clutch being depressed and released very many times, leading to increased clutch wear. To prevent this, try engaging the neutral gear during long stops. For example, when in traffic, at a stop light, or at a pedestrian crossing.
A well maintained clutch will save you from having to pay for a new one prematurely. More so, it will prevent frictional damage to your manual transmission; damage that requires even more costly rebuilds.For more information about caring for manual transmissions, contact a local auto shop.Share