In manual transmission vehicles, the clutch system is the only link between the engine and the gearbox. Your daily driving habits have an intense effect on your car’s clutch system and are also a determining factor in its longevity. Putting unnecessary strain and pressure on the clutch will only cause it to wear prematurely and add to your car maintenance costs.
So, if you are someone who is habituated to riding the clutch, then it is high time you upgrade your driving habits so that you don’t have to take your car for a clutch repair before it’s time.
Signs That Your Clutch System Is Not Okay
• If your vehicle is going through clutch slippage, then you might notice a lag or a jerk when the vehicle picks up. The RPM starts rising more than required. In this case, the entire clutch assembly might need replacement. However, it varies from car to car and depends on whether it has a hydraulic clutch or a direct clutch.
• If the car is not able to shift gears properly, this is an indication of a damaged clutch. While trying to shift a gear, it will not slot into gear right away and require effort.
• When you release the clutch pedal, you might notice a sharp chirping noise, which goes away after you press the clutch again. It is caused due to worn-out clutch release bearings.
• Accumulation of grease, oil, or dust causes shuddering of the engine when you change gears at low speeds. It is a possible sign of clutch failure. In this case, the clutch friction plate assembly and the pressure plate need to be repaired or replaced.
Driving Habits That Damage Your Clutch System
A clutch can last anywhere between 70,000 kilometers and 100,000 kilometers if taken well care of. But, it will get damaged and worn out before time if you do not avoid the following driving habits:
Riding The Clutch
Resting your left foot on the clutch pedal while driving is a habit that will cause your clutch to wear out quickly. Even a slight pressure causes unnecessary heat and friction and leads to the wearing out of the clutch plates. Thus, make sure to press the clutch only while shifting gears.
In-gear While Idling
People often keep their vehicles in first gear while they are stopped. Keeping the clutch pedal pressed down while idling and having the brake engaged at the same time only adds to the wearing out of the clutch system. So, remember to put your car on neutral and take your foot off the clutch while you wait for that traffic light to turn green.
Slow Gear Shifts
Slow gear shifting is usually a problem with amateur drivers. If you take more time than required to shift the gear while keeping the clutch pedal pressed, it will cause the clutch to be damaged on time. Just remember this – press the clutch pedal, shift the gear immediately and release the clutch right away.
You might be passionate about racing, and this might lead you to speed up your car by aggressively shifting through the gears. Continuing this behavior will only wear down the clutch of your car. High-performance sports cars are generally designed to endure this kind of pressure, but your average manual transmission car is not.
So, the next time you think of racing through the gears, bear in mind that it can lead you to replace the clutch plate or even the whole clutch system.
Engine lugging refers to when you are running your car in a higher gear and driving slowly. When you do this, your clutch suffers the consequences and gets damaged. Always make sure that you are driving in the gear that is recommended for a certain speed.
Resting Hand On Gear Lever
Many people have the habit of resting their hands on the gear lever while driving. By doing this, you only put constant pressure on the gear forks, which then slows down the rotating collar and damages it. Only put your hand on the lever when you are making gear shifts, or else soon you might have to spend your money at car repair shops.
Not Using Handbrake When Parked
When you leave your car in gear when parked, the clutch system goes through unnecessary strain. It might be necessary to do it on slopes and uneven surfaces. Otherwise, it is better to use a parking brake or handbrake to prevent the car from rolling instead of keeping it in gear.
By now, it should have been clear to you how several bad driving habits affect your clutch components and wear them down. Thus, it is recommended to avoid these at all costs and make serious changes in your driving habits.
If you are looking for a car service provider in Perth to get your clutch system repaired or for regular maintenance, you can consider Car Service Perth who have qualified auto mechanics experienced in car repair and maintenance.