As a rule, you should replace the clutch in a manual car every 30,000 to 100,000 miles. However, if you don’t treat your car right, you can end up wearing it out a lot sooner. You may unconsciously have a number of bad habits that are harmful to your car’s clutch. Here are a few habits to avoid.
Putting the Car in Gear While Stopped –
When you’re at a stoplight, or otherwise not moving for at least the next 20 seconds or so, then your car should be in Neutral. Leaving it in gear, or putting it in gear too soon (before the light turns green) will cause damage. Whenever you come to a stoplight, put the car in Neutral and take your foot off the clutch pedal until it turns green.
Riding or Slipping the Clutch –
The only time the clutch pedal should be pressed is as you’re shifting gears. Don’t leave your foot on the pedal in anticipation of your next shift. That includes while you’re driving, as well as while you’re stopped and in neutral. It’s easy to let your foot stay on the pedal without even thinking about it, or to drive with the clutch sort of half pressed. This is called riding the clutch, and it causes damage over time. Some people also leave the pedal half pressed between shifts deliberately, in an attempt to go faster. Not only does this not actually work to build speed, it causes overheating. To save your clutch, be aware of where your foot is and when you are and aren’t shifting gears, and only press the clutch when you need to.
Leaving Your Hand on the Gear Shift –
Just like leaving your foot idly on the clutch, it’s easy to leave your hand idly on the gear shift while driving, in anticipation of the next gear. Doing this results in undue pressure, which can keep the rotating collar from rotating and cause significant damage.
Clutch Balancing –
When you’re driving up a hill or incline, your car needs an extra boost of power to keep it moving forward. The clutch gives it more power, so the temptation is, when driving uphill, to use the clutch, in combination with the accelerator. This WILL give the car more power. It will also cause the clutch to slip and overheat. When driving on a hill, use the break, not the clutch.
Shifting Gears Too Fast of Too Slowly –
Some drivers, particularly ones inexperienced with a manual transmission, will shift gears very slowly. This will cause many of the problems listed above that come with lingering on the pedal when you shouldn’t, such as overheating and other damage. Likewise, you shouldn’t release the clutch too quickly. This gives your car a jerky motion as it moves, and can also cause stalling, both of which will damage both the engine and the transmission over time. It should always be a smooth, fluid transition from one gear to the next. Look for the clutch’s bite point, when the two plates meet. Right at the bite point, the engine’s sound will change, and the front of the car will lift up a tiny bit. With practice, you’ll be able to hear and feel the bite point of your car easily, which will help you make smoother, more fluid gear shifts.
Taking care of your clutch and breaking your bad habits is important. Not only will it help your clutch last longer, it will give you a better, smoother driving experience overall. And when you do finally need to replace your clutch, you can call us, to make sure the job is done right.
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Our world and the auto industry evolve more and more every day. Technology continues to improve, making our lives easier. In today’s auto industry, you may think that manual transmissions have become less popular. While that is true, there are many makes and models that are still being made with manual transmissions today. Many people believe an automatic transmission is easier and more convenient when driving. On the other hand, a lot of people also believe that the exhilaration and adrenaline of a manual transmission is unmatched. The ability to control the speed of your car while hearing the roaring sound of the engine is still attractive. Here is a list of cars that still use a manual transmission!
The Honda Civic Type R
It surprises a lot of people when they learn that Honda Civics are still made in stick shift models. This car is known for being reliable and safe, but this Type R (R for racing) is equipped with a manual transmission for full control!
The Dodge Challenger
The Dodge Challenger has become the perfect example of a muscle car over the past several years. The reason this car is one of the most popular muscle cars is for its strong, reliable build that gives the driver complete control with a manual transmission.
The BMW 2 Series, M2
German car companies have always been in their own category. BMW has developed a great reputation for producing the world’s most iconic luxury cars. The BMW 2 Series M2 is one of the many reasons why. This car still comes with a manual transmission that gives anyone who drives it the feeling of power and luxury that is unrivaled.
The Subaru WRX
This reliable Japanese car uses a stick shift that allows the driver to control the engine in an unparalleled way. The WRX is one of the few an affordable cars now-a-days that offers manual transmissions.
The Chevrolet Corvette
Chevrolet has made MANY reliable cars over the past 100 years. Including the most famous, the Camaro. But the Corvette is Chevrolet’s most known model and is a beacon of innovation and technology in the industry from its inception to today! Chevrolet has moved many models away from manual transmission, except for the Corvette. This car still comes with a stick shift that allows the driver to feel the power that has made the Corvette so famous.
While there are only a few cars on the road today that still use manual transmissions, it will never fully go out of style. Anyone who loves cars appreciates the thrill and control of a manual transmission!