Driving a manual vehicle means the added responsibility of responsible clutch use; this single component on your car can be easily worn or misused, and can cost thousands of rands to have it repaired or replaced.
Why not mitigate having to get this done at all? Here are the top tips to help you prolong the life of your clutch:
This is the first rule of using your clutch responsibly: avoid keeping your foot on the clutch at any time that you are not changing gears.
Your clutch pedal should be depressed fully, or not touched at all. If you’re into that habit of “riding your clutch”, you are creating extra, unnecessary wear on a very expensive car part.
Keep from rolling backwards when you’re starting from a stopped position on an incline by using the handbrake until you engage the clutch. Then, shift into first gear and carry on.
Using your clutch to keep stationary at a robot or to prevent you from rolling back is not only going to place undue stress on this component, but it will also go a long way in helping you burn through petrol faster than the speed of light.
Begin slowing down in advance when you see stopped traffic, a red light or another reason you’re going to have to stop ahead.
By the time you reach the traffic or intersection, you might not need to stop at all, allowing you to drop the clutch on your idling engine and avoiding clutch slippage.
No need to “dice” the guy next to you; pulling off from a stationary position in a slow and controlled manner will allow you to release your clutch without any unnecessary speed, and eliminates the possibility of “grinding” your gears.
Don’t use the clutch to save your brakes
Your clutch costs more to replace than brake pads do. Use the clutch as intended!
Raise the vehicle’s RPM by engaging the throttle a bit as you release the clutch when downshifting. Doing this will not only save wear on your clutch, but it will also make the transition smoother.
Leaving your car in gear when parked on a hill will prevent your car from rolling, but the stress can also shorten your clutch’s lifespan. As a rule of thumb, always ensure your parking brake is engaged before moving away from your vehicle.
Anytime you stop at a red light, put your car into neutral and release the clutch. Keeping the clutch pedal depressed when it’s not in use is a sure-fire way of reducing its longevity!
Related Tags: Clutch and Brake Specialist
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