You could unintentionally be harming your manual transmission clutch without even realizing it. Certain driving habits, some of which even make sense at the time, can actually damage the internal clutch mechanisms, wearing down the part much faster than normal. Ultimate Auto Repair can help if that happens. In the meantime, avoid the following four things to extend the life of your clutch.
Don’t Ride It
Stuck in traffic? Just learning how to drive a stick? All of these things tempt you into riding the clutch and what that means is you’re leaving your foot on the clutch pedal and keeping the pedal partially engaged, i.e. slightly depressed at all times. When you do this, you never allow the clutch to fully disengage, and this wears it down quickly. Take your foot off the pedal when you’re done shifting.
Don’t Force the Gears to Shift
Another problem with riding the clutch is you don’t get a good feel for the clutch catch. This will lead you to force the transmission into gear before the clutch is completely engaged or disengage the clutch (lift it up) before the transmission is completely in gear. “If you can’t find it, grind it” is not a good approach to operating a manual transmission. Make sure you don’t force the transmission into gear.
Don’t Use the Clutch to Stay Still
If you are stopped on an incline, you may have learned a fun, little trick to prevent your vehicle from stalling or rolling back and this is to ride the clutch while you’re riding the accelerator. This is murder on your vehicle’s clutch. Rather than ride the two pedals, set the parking brake. Once it’s okay to go, gently release the parking brake while you accelerate and disengage the clutch pedal.
Don’t Burn the Clutch
Finally, burning the clutch means you put it under too much pressure. Using the clutch and accelerator to prevent rollback as discussed above is one way to burn your clutch. The other way is to overload your vehicle past its weight-bearing maximum and then drive it as you normally would. Keep your vehicle under its maximum load capacity and baby the clutch if you are towing a heavy load.
Ultimate Auto Repair in Jackson, MI, can help if you think your clutch has reached the end of its lifespan or you have other concerns about your manual transmission. Call us to set up an appointment.