In the manual transmission cars, the clutch is the most important and the only link between the engine and the gearbox. The clutch also goes through a lot of wear and tear and has to be replaced after a period of time depending your driving style. There are many bad habits that can destroy the clutch much earlier than the expected life. Burnt out clutch leads to low fuel efficiency and slower acceleration. We gather 5 points that can destroy the clutch and should not be done in any scenario.
Slipping the clutch for more pick-up
Often while driving manual cars, we do not release the clutch pedal completely. The combination of half engaged clutch and accelerator will let the engine rpm to rise quickly but would not transfer all the energy to the transmission. The result? The clutch slips. Slipping the clutch causes overheating and heavy damage to the clutch plates while making them unusable much before their expected life.
Also, slipping the clutch would not make your car accelerate faster. The transmission is only getting some part of the power that engine is generating during this half clutch drives. The sound of the engine tricks you into thinking that the car is going faster but that is not the case.
Always release the clutch smoothly and as quickly as possible to get the best acceleration.
Pro Tip: The wheelspin is achieved by slipping the clutch but you have to release the clutch quickly after you reach the sweet point when the wheels start to spin to get a longer spin. Remember, every wheelspin shortens the life of the clutch substantially.
Riding the clutch
Riding the clutch happens when you do not release the clutch pedal completely. It is different from slipping the clutch. If the car is already in motion and has gone past the biting point where the clutch input is not needed yet the clutch is slightly depressed is called riding the clutch. During this, the clutch is not fully engaged causing it to slip a bit and abnormal wear happens.
Resting the foot on clutch
Many manual cars do not have a dead pedal. In such cars, resting the foot on the clutch pedal is a common practice. Even though diesel cars have a slightly harder clutch and you can afford to rest your foot on it, if you take care that your foot is not depressing the clutch pedal at all, the situation is different with petrol cars. The clutch is very light in petrol cars and even the slightest weight on the pedal will cause it to disengage the clutch partially, causing it to slip and wear quickly.
Pro Tip: Make it a habit to rest your left foot on the floorboard is there is no dead pedal. It will save the clutch and a fully engaged clutch also increases the fuel efficiency of the car.
Releasing the clutch too soon
Smoothness is the word here. Releasing the clutch too soon will make your car jerk while putting excessive pressure on the engine and the transmission. This overheats the clutch and deteriorates the clutch quickly. To understand this in a better way, the clutch is pressure plate that transfers the engine power to the transmission. The engine flywheel is always revolving when the engine is on. When stationary and the clutch is in neutral, the transmission and the engine flywheel are disconnected.
When the first gear is engaged and the clutch is released slowly, the clutch plates starts to engage, which in turn moves the transmission and car moves ahead. If the clutch is released quickly, the transmission, which is stationary will apply opposite force and the clutch will wear off much quicker than normal usage. Releasing the clutch quickly can also do serious damage to the transmission.
Pro Tip: With regular driving, you will find the biting point of the car’s clutch. Many clutches have an early biting point, while some of them do not engage until the very end. If you find the point, you will be able to control the car in a better way without stalling it or jerking it.
Using the clutch pedal during traffic signals
If you know that you’re not going to move in next 20 seconds. Stop and put the car in neutral. This disengages the clutch completely. Holding the clutch pedal down for long periods can damage the ball bearing in the clutch assembly. Even though the bearings can be replaced but that can be done only after the whole set-up is taken out. Also, you save your left foot from unnecessary pressure by not holding down on the clutch for too long at the signals.
This happens during climbing an incline. We tend to use clutch and accelerator to hold the car on an incline instead of applying brakes. This causes the clutch to quickly overheat and sometimes fail instantly. This also brings down the life of the clutch drastically. The clutch transfers enough power to the transmission to keep the car from rolling backwards but at the same time, the clutch is slipping and generating excessive heat causing a huge damage in the process.