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Wednesday / 17 April 2024
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5 ways to extend the lifespan of your car’s clutch

The clutch is responsible for transferring power from the engine to the wheels and allows you to change gears and control your car’s speed.

Replacing this vital component is a big expense, but proper care and driving techniques will ensure that you can delay this unpleasant situation for as long as possible.

Third-party service plan provider MotorHappy has compiled a list of dos and don’ts that, if followed correctly, will assist in extending the lifespan of your car’s clutch.

Use the clutch like a switch

A clutch is meant to be either completely engaged or completely disengaged, like a light switch.

Therefore, keeping the clutch pedal slightly depressed – which is also known as “riding” the clutch – could wear it down and soon lead to troubles like false shifts, gears not changing properly, loss of power, and noise and heating issues.

There are instances where clutch riding is inescapable, such as when pulling away from a standstill, but it should be avoided wherever possible.

“Usually, drivers resort to clutch riding to drive a bit more smoothly,” said MotorHappy.

“Instead, time your gear shifts, acceleration, and braking in such a way that there is no jerking motion from the car. This is the most difficult technique to use but it is the safest for your clutch.”

Refrain from unnecessary revving

A common but highly damaging habit, especially for owners of performance vehicles, is to rev the engine when the clutch is still engaged.

The motor revs a lot faster if the clu tch is depressed and the high RPMs can be damaging when the pedal is let go again.

Therefore, changing gears and accelerating smoothly so that the RPM doesn’t spike is valuable to boosting clutch longevity.

Practice hill starts

Depending on your driving skill, pulling away on an incline often includes clutch riding which can be detrimental to its durability.

To avoid this, it’s better to use the hand brake, even when you’re in traffic or at a red light.

“Again, this is not something that comes naturally to most people and as such can be a bit difficult to implement,” said MotorHappy.

“However, not only is it the right way from the point of view of clutch longevity but also from the point of view of safety.”

Look out for early signs

Watching and listening for early signs that your car’s clutch isn’t operating to its full potential anymore will help to avoid more serious harm that may occur should you keep driving it inattentively.

If the gears are shifting too easily and the engine revs abnormally then it is a sign of a slipped clutch. Funny noises or a burning smell are other cues that it’s close to the end of its lifecycle.

If any of these signals are present in your car, avoid driving it if possible and take it to a professional for the necessary repairs, or risk having to replace it completely if the early warnings are ignored.

Keep calm

Aggressive speeding and hard braking result in huge amounts of force and stress on the different components of the car, including the clutch.

It’s better to switch to a more passive driving style that sees you accelerating slower and braking in advance rather than at the last second.

“This will allow you to avoid situations where you have to drop the clutch at high RPMs which leads to clutch slippage as well as more permanent damage,” said MotorHappy.


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