5 BIGGEST mistakes people make while driving a manual gearbox-equipped car

In India, the market is driven by cost-effectiveness and when it comes to the cars, the sentiments of the consumers stay the same. While the automatic transmissions are slowly gaining popularity in the Indian market, the major portion of the market is still constituted of the manual transmissions. Well, manual transmissions can be fun to drive but because the driver has to control the gear lever, the clutch and the accelerator, not making perfect shifts or making mistakes can be quite easy. But if you know what all you can do wrong, you sure can avoid these mistakes. Here are the five biggest mistakes that most people make while driving a three-pedal car or a manual car.

Wrong use of the clutch

The driver can control the clutch completely in the manual cars and that can be fun. However, a few drivers can make a mistake while using the clutch. The clutch is an important link between the transmission and the engine and using it correctly is very important. The clutch has a complicated operation and the correct use of the clutch can lead to a higher life of the vehicle and higher fuel efficiency too.

Many drivers use the clutch half-heartedly by only pressing it halfway through. Pressing the clutch lever disengages the clutchplate completely and half-pressing it while changing the gear can cause grinding and that can reduce the life of the transmission significantly. Also, many people keep the clutch depressed even when it goes past the biting point, which causes abnormal wear and tear. Always press the clutch pedal fully and make sure that you’re using it in the right way.

Resting the foot on the clutch lever

Most Indian mass-segment cars do not provide a dead pedal, which forces the driver to rest their left foot on the clutch lever. There are many who keep it intentionally on the lever thinking that it will quickly to change the gear. However, it should be noted that clutch pedals can be sensitive and even the slightest pressure on them can keep the clutch pedal semi-engaged. This causes the clutch to wear down quicker than normal usage. If you’re driving a diesel manual car, this can be given a chance as the clutch lever of diesel cars are slightly harder than the petrol vehicles. However, everyone should make a habit of using the dead pedal and if it is not there, keeping the foot on the floorboard is a much better idea.

The gear lever is the armrest!

Yes, many of us unknowingly change the gear and keep the hand resting on the gear lever. This happens mostly with the mass-segment cars that do not offer an armrest. However, keeping the hand on the gear lever can change the ideal position of the gear lever and as it is connected to a series of ball bearings and springs underneath, they can get damaged with the constant pressure on the gear lever. It can again reduce the life of the transmission significantly.

Putting the transmission in reverse when the car is in motion

The reverse gear changes the direction of movement and when the vehicle is in the forward motion, putting it in reverse can be a fatal mistake for the transmission. When the reverse gear is engaged, a smaller idler gear is put into motion. If the vehicle has not stopped, this idler gear will grind and in some cases, can even break the transmission apart. So never ever put the car in reverse gear when going forward and vice-versa.

Engine lugging

There is a perception that if we keep the engine RPM lower, it will allow us to achieve higher fuel efficiency. This is why many drivers do a common mistake of driving in a higher gear rather than the right gear. Using a higher gear can cause engine lugging and it can negatively affect the car. Taller gears have a lower number of teeth, which allows the engine to relax at higher speeds and cruise on the highway. However, on the lower speeds, it negatively affects the engine as it has to do more work to move the car forward. This phenomenon is more evident in turbocharged cars. This is why one should always be in the power band while driving and not lug the engine.