While there are many cars that are now automatic, there are still some that prefer the feel of a manual. For many, learning to drive comes with those dreaded two words… “clutch control.” You either have it, or you don’t, and for many, it’s a lot of practice to get right. But we are all guilty of giving our car a hard time, whether this is pointlessly revving the engine or changing gears too quickly. All this wear and tear can put your car out of service a lot quicker than you had planned! And the clutch is the one thing that is subject to a lot of friction. Clutches may last 150,000 miles, or they may last just 10,000! Either way, there are some things you can do to improve your clutch, change your driving habits, and save some money!
Don’t Ride The Clutch!
The act of riding the clutch, in other words, keeping it partially pressed down, which you may do while waiting to go up a hill or steep road, causes so much friction. The clutch pedal pushes the pressure pad against the clutch plate which wears the clutch out faster. The way to prevent this is to keep your foot off the clutch unless you are changing gear or stopping the car.
Change Gears Intelligently
By this, I mean to plan ahead and change gears only when you need to. It’s a part of when you learn to drive a new car to get a feel for the gears and to change up and down in gear smoothly. You don’t need to keep the clutch down for a long time when changing the gear, just put your foot down, change gear, and take the foot off. There are auto mechanics, like gsmautomotive.com.au, that can repair the clutch and get it back to its original state. But it pays to know how to use the clutch properly, and this is by changing your gears intelligently. While it is only a couple of seconds at a time, think about how many times you change gear during the course of a journey and how this can easily add up over time. You also don’t need to change the gear more times than it is necessary. If you can see down a long road, you will be able to plan ahead and see the obstacles coming up so you can maintain a consistent speed rather than changing gear every couple of minutes.
Stay In Neutral When You’re Stopped
It’s a very common thing, especially when you’re waiting at the traffic lights impatiently, with a noisy family in the back bickering and arguing, to have the brake down and the car in first gear, ready to zoom off as soon as the lights go green. Instead, go into neutral and use the handbrake. The best time to make the most of this is during rush hour as you will be stationary a lot of the time. Use the neutral gear where you can. It’s there so you may as well use it!