By Jeremy Rochow
Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Driving a manual is fun, but the cost of replacing your car’s clutch isn’t. Here, our experts share their wisdom on how you can help your clutch last longer and avoid a costly bill.
1. Embrace hill starts
Incorrect hill starts in a manual can put unnecessary strain on your clutch and gear box.
If you’re stopped on an incline, use your hand/parking brake to keep the car stationary while you engage the clutch and put the vehicle into gear.
2. Pull away smoothly
Unless you’re an F1 driver, there’s no need to take off at full speed.
When the light turns green, pull away smoothly and gently and shift up naturally as you increase speed – your clutch will thank you for it.
3 Don’t ride it
It can be tempting to ‘ride the clutch’ while driving or stationary in traffic – that is, keeping slight continual pressure on the clutch while in gear.
When engaging the clutch, a whole host of parts come into play, and keeping it engaged unnecessarily means they’ll wear out quicker.
Luckily, the solution’s as easy as keeping your left foot on the floor when you’re not shifting gears.
4. Don’t grind your gears
That scraping, spine-tingling sound your car might make occasionally when you’re changing gears can damage the transmission.
For this reason, you should put your foot down on the clutch fully and shift through gears as smoothly as you can.
5. Maintain it
Like any part of the car, your clutch needs to be looked after. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines, which you’ll find in your vehicle manual, for fluid levels and check-ups.
If you get your car serviced regularly, the mechanic should also check the clutch operation to ensure it’s in good working order.