I have a Toyota Etios Liva, about 1 year and 3 months old. I do not know how to drive, and have learnt about car basics from the manual given with cars.

Firstly, consider this situation: I am driving on a highway, and after accelerating to a certain speed, I do not want to accelerate further and want the car to move on Inertia for some time. So, which should be done: depressing the clutch pedal fully and keeping it depressed, or changing the gear to neutral? Which is better for the health of the car? I'm asking this because often I have to go on long drives, and though I do not know how the drivers coast, I had to change the clutch plate once, which clearly indicates that there was some problem in driving. I'm asking what'she right for my car, so that I can instruct my driver accordingly.

Secondly, while starting the car, it is advised to keep the gear in neutral and press the clutch fully. What is the necessity of depressing clutch in this situation? I understand the use of clutch while changing gears while driving, but during engine start, why is that necessary?

N.B.: The car is a petrol one, and I live in Kolkata, India.

1 Answer 1


For 1, keep it in gear and use a neutral throttle - coasting is not always good practise. Errors in re-selecting a gear can cause catastrophic damage (one case I saw the driver selected 3rd instead of 5th at 130mph - we enjoyed re-building his engine... He did it again 3 weeks later :)!! )

For 2, depressing the clutch while starting disconnects the gearbox from the engine reducing the load on the starter motor making it easier to start.

  • We'll put across. Which car's engine was rebuilt twice within 3 weeks? Jul 2, 2017 at 6:53
  • What does neutral throttle mean? Jul 2, 2017 at 7:11
  • neutral throttle means enough throttle to not slow down, but not enough to accelerate. you need to be able to sense or feel it.
    – Solar Mike
    Jul 2, 2017 at 7:38
  • The engine was in an XR3i.
    – Solar Mike
    Jul 2, 2017 at 7:39
  • So, what is the conclusion: neutral gear or clutch? (keeping in mind the fact that coasting is not a good option for car health) Jul 2, 2017 at 10:27

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