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

India is one of the largest automobile markets in the world. Since sometime now, sales of automatic transmission cars have been on rise. They are easier to drive and many time deliver better fuel efficiency than their manual counterparts. However, a true enthusiast would always say that a slick shifting manual gearbox is better than any other type of transmission.

That said, there are many things that people generally don’t know while operating manual gearboxes no matter how much they have used them. Here are the five biggest mistakes that people do while driving manual gearbox equipped cars.

Use the clutch improperly

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

Manual cars keep the drivers more engaged because of the constant operation of the clutch lever and it is very important. The clutch is the link between the engine and the transmission. The seamless operation of the clutch ensures high mileage, long life of the engine, transmission and the clutch itself. Many people press the clutch lever only half while changing gears.

Pressing the clutch halfway makes the transmission gear grind and it reduces the life of the parts significantly. Also, If the car is already in motion and has gone past the biting point of the clutch and yet if the clutch is slightly depressed, then it is called riding the clutch. During this, the clutch is not fully engaged causing it to slip a bit and abnormal wear happens.

Using the clutch pedal as dead pedal

Many manual cars do not have a dead pedal. Many people driving such cars rest their left foot on the clutch pedal. Even though diesel cars have a slightly harder clutch and you can afford to rest your foot on it, provided you take care that your foot is not pressing 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. One can overcome this problem by making it a habit to rest the foot on the floorboard. Over time, it becomes a habit and your foot will not feel out of place.

Using the gear lever as an armrest

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

Many budget cars do not come with armrests and people tend to keep their left hand resting on the clutch lever itself. Resting your hand on the lever may seem harmless, but the gear stick is connected to a lot of springs and ball bearings underneath that help it to move and change the position.

Resting your hand on it means putting external pressure on it. The force from the weight of your hand can make the springs loosen up over time or grind the ball bearings much quicker. It brings down the life of the transmission parts and it is not cheap to repair.

Putting the car in reverse gear when in motion

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

It is imperative to understand that putting the car in reverse gear without bringing it to a complete stop can have drastic consequences. Many people have a habit of putting the transmission in reverse while the car is still moving forward. Putting the car in the reverse gear bring in a third small gear called the idler. It changes the direction of the motion of the gear, which puts it in reverse. Engaging the reverse gear when the car is still moving forward grinds the gear badly and can deeply damage the transmission.

Lugging the engine (Driving the car in higher gear at low rpm)

There is a common notion that driving the car in higher gear will drive high mileage. While it is a true fact, many people try to up shift at lower RPMs. Keeping the gear in higher position and driving the car at a slow speed will put a negative impact on the transmission. The high gear means a lower number of teeth on the gearing, which relaxes the engine but the lower gearing does not have enough power to accelerate and if you try to do that, it can do severe damage to your car’s mechanicals over a long period.