New driver here. I drive ford fiesta 2019, petrol, car is around half year old, 5k km.

Sometimes when I need to maneuver slowly in 1st gear or reverse (for example in a parking lot or a very slowly moving traffic jam), and I try to set my clutch to a biting point, it starts doing this weird noise (I think around 440 Hz). This does not happen always, but sometimes, could be once per week. Might be also connected with the wet or cold weather. The sound is not loud, but distinguishible, and I feel some small vibrations through clutch pedal, which I do not feel otherwise.

When this happens, the car is not moving - I have to press clutch down more, and press like half of the gas pedal for it to start moving, still slowly. This is especially visible when in reverse - I can't get enough speed and the car is moving like 1 cm per sec max.

As I said I am a new driver and I am now worried that I was using my clutch incorrectly and now have damaged it.

Before I often did such maneuvering with no gas and by keeping my clutch on a biting point, also controlling the speed with break, though I'm trying not to do that too often and only when I need slower speeds.

  • A 2019 with 5km should still be under manufacturer's warranty. I suggest you take it to your local dealer and have them check it out.
    – jwh20
    Dec 10, 2019 at 12:02
  • @jwh20 Sure. I just wanted to sanity-check my worries. I do not have much experience with cars, and I might be just exaggerating things.
    – MRP
    Dec 10, 2019 at 12:07
  • Is it a petrol or diesel? Dec 10, 2019 at 13:02
  • @motosubatsu petrol. Sorry, forgot to mention. Added to the question
    – MRP
    Dec 10, 2019 at 13:08

2 Answers 2


Most manual petrol cars don't really have sufficient torque at idle to move on clutch alone, and what you describe sounds about normal for a car that's about to stall (if the clutch were raised further without applying more throttle). Some can creep on the clutch alone but it's a fine line to walk - and you won't move particularly fast.

While it has worked for you previously this can be attributed to the newness of the clutch friction material.

From your description the only point that would flag to me as a mechanical area of concern is the amount of throttle you say you have to apply (half throttle is significant!), but this could be attributable to depressing the clutch too far.

  • Thanks for the answer! Reading your answer it sounds like it's me who needs more learning on how to control clutch. It is a relief that this sounds normal and I probably don't have to drag my car to the dealer/service. I will still discuss this with him, but probably on our next planned meeting instead of making an appointment right now
    – MRP
    Dec 10, 2019 at 13:25
  • I mostly agree with this answer, but I just wanted to point out that in my opinion, almost all modern manual petrol cars should have enough torque at idle to move without any throttle. You might just have to do it really gently for some lower power examples. Modern cars all have some sort of idle air control mechanism, so even if you initially don't have sufficient torque, the car will add throttle for you so that you can move without throttle input of your own. Dec 10, 2019 at 14:30

If you are not confident yet in using a clutch, it may be beneficial for you to ride with a friend or family member that you trust and has excellent driving skills and carefully observe how they manipulate clutching. Riding through town up and down hills and braking should be paid special attention to.

  • I'm rather confident in using clutch (again I rode 5k already), meaning that I do not think when I use it and I (almost) never stall. This doesn't mean though that the way I use it is correct. Unfortunately, I'm rather old than other people that just start to drive (I'm 30)- I have a family to drive and neither me nor my friends have time for this. I'm coming from a huge city where it was unnecessary to drive, so I never did and I started to drive only when I moved. To make matters worth, I have a big time gap between getting a license and starting actual driving.
    – MRP
    Dec 11, 2019 at 8:16
  • But other than me constantly worrying that I'm doing something wrong, I think I'm doing OK
    – MRP
    Dec 11, 2019 at 8:17
  • One thing to add: I've tried to find some good instructional videos on the topic, but usual things I find on youtube is for the people that just start to drive. They concentrate on how to make your car move, which I normally do fine. I'm worried mostly that I'm overholding the clutch or working with it inefficiently, breaking something in the end. And then I start to worry about every additional noise I hear or when I feel the car behaves differently than it behaved before. I guess it's like a hypochondria but for cars, idk :/
    – MRP
    Dec 11, 2019 at 8:27

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