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Clutch Repairs: Tips to Expand Your Car Clutch’s Lifespan

Let’s face it- Clutches are notoriously susceptible to wear and can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars to replace. While most car clutches are rated to last 10,000 miles before requiring replacement, the lifespan of your clutch mostly depends on how it’s driven.

With that in mind, if you drive a manual transmission car, here are some tips to expand the clutch’s lifespan and save yourself both time and money in the long run:

So, let’s get started:

1.  Don’t Ride Your Clutch

Riding the clutch refers to when you press down the clutch pedal partially without being completely engaged. By riding the clutch, you add unnecessary stress between the flywheel and clutch disc, creating more friction and eventually burning out your clutch plate quickly.

The best way to prevent this problem is to ensure you always keep your foot off the clutch whenever you’re pressing on the accelerator and only use it when changing gear. Your car’s clutch pedal should either be completely engaged or completely untouched. Applying even the tiniest bit of pressure could lead to clutch issues, which can reduce its lifespan over time.

2. Never Release the Clutch Too Soon

The problem with releasing your clutch too early is that it not only makes your car jerk but also puts excessive strain on the transmission and engine. As a result, the clutch ends up overheating and wearing out faster.

The best way to enjoy a smooth ride without jerking or stalling while also ensuring the longevity of your car’s clutch is by identifying the clutch’s biting point. Slowly and gently release the clutch pedal, hovering over the bite point area before lifting. While this can be tricky at first, it will help improve your clutch’s longevity in the long run.

3. Don’t Use The Clutch To Hold Your Car On A Hill

While many people hold on their vehicles at a biting point to keep them from rolling backwards on a hill, it isn’t a good idea since it wears out your clutch. Clutches usually have a friction material sandwiched between the fly wheel and pressure plates.

Holding your car steady on an incline using the clutch means the clutch and the engine’s pressure plate are spinning at different speeds. As the two speeds synchronize, the friction material on the clutch disc wears out due to excess friction and burn out. This, in turn, wears out your clutch.

Instead of using the clutch to keep your car stationary, put it in neutral and apply the handbrake or parking brake until it’s time to move off. Latest manual car models come equipped with a hill-hold feature that keeps your car steady for some time after releasing the brakes, allowing you to press down the accelerator without rolling down a hill.

4. Don’t Rest Your Foot On The Clutch

The clutch pedal should only be used when necessary. Resting your foot on the clutch pedal when not in use applies pressure to the throw out bearing that comes into contact with the pressure plate of the engine, creating excessive friction. Over time, this can lead to the clutch wearing out prematurely, requiring costly clutch repairs. It also reduces your car’s fuel efficiency and mileage by many folds.

Never treat your car’s clutch paddle as a footrest. Instead, put your vehicle in neutral and remove your foot from the clutch completely whenever you stop.

5. Be Decisive About Gear Changes

Don’t change gears more often than necessary, as this helps significantly reduce the number of times you use your clutch. For instance, if the road ahead is clear, you can maintain a constant speed without having to change gears every other minute.

While doing this helps reduce the number of times you use the clutch, it could overwork your breaks. So, the best way to extend the shelf life of your clutch is by not using your gearbox to slow down. To slow down without applying too much strain on your clutch, downshift smoothly and then apply the brakes.

6. Never Put Your Car In Gear At A Traffic Stop

Most people argue that leaving that car in gear allows them to move right away if needed. While this might be true, it’s not always a great thing to do. Whenever you put your car in gear at a stoplight, the clutch will also be engaged.

Pressing the clutch for too long could potentially wear out the clutch disk and release bearing. Eventually, this damages your clutch, requiring you to immediately repair or replace it, which can be incredibly expensive.

To save yourself from the costly clutch repair or even clutch replacement, always put your car in neutral whenever you’re sitting at a stoplight. This helps prevent your clutch from experiencing unnecessary wear and tear and extends its lifespan.

7. Ensure Routine Maintenance of Your Car

While observing the above-mentioned driving techniques could help extend the lifespan of your clutch, not maintaining your car may potentially wear down the clutch. Ensuring routine maintenance of your car can help increase the lifespan of all components, including the clutch. Also, it’s always best to take your car to the best local repair shop for clutch service for flywheel replacement and other services.

Conclusion

Though some of these driving techniques sound complicated, you’ll develop a natural feel for them with a little practice. Adopting these techniques will help extend the lifespan of your clutch and save you from costly clutch repairs. Proper clutch control will also improve your car’s fuel efficiency and save your brake pads from premature damage.

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