Tips to improve clutch life
In manual transmission cars, the clutch serves as a link between the engine and the gearbox.The lifespan is dependent on the driving (usage, frequency) and driving conditions (roads, terrain, inclination, type of car)
Burnt out clutch leads to low fuel efficiency and reduced pick-up. If you are facing these, it’s time to inspect the clutch before it breaks down suddenly, leaving you with a possibly high towing charge depending upon where you are in the city or on a road trip.
There are some tips or habits that you can enforce while the clutch is still healthy to prolong its lifespan and get the most out of it.
Do not use the clutch pedal while waiting at traffic signals
If you have to wait at a traffic signal, shift the gear to neutral and release the clutch pedal. Holding the clutch pedal down for long periods can damage the clutch assembly. Having the brake engaged is enough for the car not to roll.
If you see a red light ahead or a slow down in traffic, slowly and steadily get ready for a stop and shift down as needed. Oftentimes, you'll find that the green light may turn or traffic will keep flowing ahead of you and you won't always have to come to a complete stop. This allows you to avoid clutch slippage and keep the engine idling smoother.
Never use the clutch & accelerator simultaneously
This causes the clutch to quickly overheat and 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.
Instead of using the clutch and accelerator to hold the car on an incline, apply brakes.
If you are stopped on an incline, use your hand/parking break to keep the car still while you engage the clutch and put the vehicle into gear. If you just hold the clutch down and roll backward while waiting for first gear to engage, it will put a lot of strain on the clutch and gear box.
Don't use the clutch to help with Braking
When you downshift smoothly and apply the brakes properly when coming to a slow down or full stop, it will put less force on the clutch assembly. It is one more way to extend the lifespan of your clutch. Brake pads are much less expensive than a new clutch.
Don’t ride 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 moving 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.
Examples of drivers riding the clutch is when they are in slow-moving traffic or when they are parallel parking. Sometimes it is unavoidable, but it shouldn’t be done excessively.
Don’t rest foot on the clutch
Many manual cars do not have a dead pedal. In such cars, resting the foot on the clutch pedal is a common practice. Driving through slow-moving traffic can mean keeping your left foot close to the clutch to be ready to shift gears. However, resting your foot on the clutch, even slightly, can cause unnecessary Wear.
Pull away smoothly
Unless you are in a race, there's no need to take off at full speed. Pull away smoothly and gently, and shift up naturally as you increase speed/RPMs. Your clutch life will be improved with this.
Don’t release the clutch too soon
Smoothness is important. 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.
If you are experiencing problems with your clutch, and if it prevents you from changing gear properly, it might be time to replace it. We at Caridifi are here to help in that case, get a quote here.
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