I want to do the least wear on my clutch on a manual car. I only recently passed the test and I wonder if I ever learnt to use the clutch efficiently.

Here's how I change gears:

  • foot of gas press clutch pedal fully in (as normal)
  • select gear
  • pull clutch out a little to bite point and wait to feel the gear has engaged
  • only now add gas

Everyone I know always adds gas though while releasing the clutch after selecting gear. Because I wait to feel the gear engage and only then add gas, especially on hills, this means their is a notable loss in momentum and my driving is always slower than most.

Who of us is wearing the clutch out more?

On another note, I'm not happy with my hill starts but I don't want to do more wear to the clutch. Here is my process / how I was taught (hill starts as in fully stopped / handbrake applied)

  • (Handbrake is on) press clutch, select gear 1 (as normal)
  • add what I feel is enough gas
  • bring clutch out to get bite
  • now release handbrake (car stationary)
  • go as normal.

EVERYONE I see will instead pull the clutch up and press the gas simultaneously all while releasing the handbrake, so they accelerate nice and quick while I'm going much slower. But it was how I was taught... to do one after the other rather than all at once.

I don't know who is right in all this. I know I'm much slower and pee of people behind me at traffic lights that only stay green for a few seconds. Most of all though I want to do the least damage to my clutch.

Any advice?

  • 1
    This isn't a badly written question or anything, it's just that driving technique questions are off-topic for this SE. If you really want to discuss this, you should ask over at The Pitstop, which is MVR&M's version of a chat room '-) – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 May 14 '15 at 23:55

First of All , To wear down a modern Clutch plate before its end of life you got to do a lot more than what you have mentioned above.

Driving styles vary from person to person but the way you have mentioned is the style of a typical beginner, Once you are experienced enough with the manual tranny it will become second nature and you will do "ALL AT ONCE" approach.

All at once will keep the momentum of the car seamless and is better for the clutch.(Don't worry after a few hundred miles you will also do the same)

To answer your Actual question, To wear down the clutch you need to perform drastic down shifts in the pursuit of better acceleration , Though there are many causes, for a everyday commuter down shifting to achieve acceleration when you are in higher RPMs tend to wear out the clutch faster , but even still to break it its not that easy so chill out.

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  • While changing gears, I only let the clutch out fully before adding any gas because I thought while adding gas when pressing the clutch would wear the clutch out faster, but you're saying this isn't the case? And with the hill starts, am I also wearing the clutch out more by doing it my slow pace? – Dave May 17 '15 at 0:46
  • Theoretically yes it will wear out the clutch , practically will take around 50,000 miles or more to notice any change in the wear of the clutch let alone break it. Most modern cars can take up much more punishment than what you are worried about doing. I shift gears like a crazy person its been around 35000 km and still clutch is fine. – Shobin P May 18 '15 at 5:15
  • Plus your full depressing and releasing clutch action before gas will make your ride jerky and will not be appreciated by your passenger. That said, I am sure that after a few hundred miles you will learn to do the clutch release + Gas action in perfect harmony, it will become a second nature. – Shobin P May 18 '15 at 5:18

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