Manual transmission cars are fitted with a clutch, while automatic vehicles rely on a torque converter to control friction between the transmission and the engine. While they perform a similar role, they require a different level of maintenance.
The way you drive your manual transmission vehicle significantly affects the durability of the clutch. Considering that a clutch replacement costs around $1,000, you should make an effort to keep your clutch in good condition for longer period. Here are a few ideas to extend the lifespan of our clutch.
1. Avoid riding the clutch
The first and most important rule of long clutch life is keeping your foot off the clutch pedal. The clutch pedal should be either fully depressed or completely untouched. Keeping it partially engaged causes undue wear.
2. Don’t use your clutch to hold your car’s position on a hill
To keep your car from rolling backward when starting your vehicle on an incline, use the handbrake to keep it still. Engage the forward gear and step on the gas till around 3,000 RPM as you slowly release the clutch, and then release the handbrake.
3. Slow down when you anticipate stops
Start slowing down early as you approach a red light, junction, stopped traffic, or any other reason that may require you to stop ahead. This will allow you to drop the clutch as you idle the engine, and help avoid clutch slippage.
4. Avoid rapid clutch engagement and disengagement
Keep your RPM low when pulling away from a stopped position and avoid revving the engine by targeting an RPM of about 1100. You should also avoid slipping the clutch more than is needed.
5. Don’t use the clutch to stop the car
Don’t try to save your brakes by downshifting fast. It is more expensive to replace a clutch than brake pads. For smoother downshifts, try to match the engine’s speed to the driving-wheel speed by engaging the throttle a bit (to raise the car’s RPM) as you release the clutch. This will make the transition smother and prevent wear on your clutch.
If your car is experiencing clutch clips, or if you notice other signs of clutch damage like failure of the clutch to release or clutch noises, you should bring your car Pro-Tech Transmissions for expert service.
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