Clutch Failure Caused By Poor Driving Habits
There are many reasons which contribute to clutches failing on a vehicle.
In this article we describe several of the primary reasons caused by poor driving habits.
Firstly, we need to understand what function the clutch plays in driving the car. With the car in neutral the ignition is turned on and the car starts and begins idling. At this point the driver can accelerate as much as he/she wants but the car will stay where it is. It is only when the clutch is depressed and the first gear selected that the engine is connected to the gearbox. All that engine power is now transmitted to the wheels and the car will begin moving.
Poor Driving Habits Cause Clutch Failure
- Riding the clutch – keeping your foot on the clutch all the time while driving
- Keeping the clutch engaged – particularly when the car is at a stop street instead of placing the car in neutral
- Drag racing – using high acceleration and then “popping” the clutch for fast takeoff
- Overloading the car – or pulling a heavy trailer can cause you to ride the clutch to get moving
- Riding the clutch on an uphill – using the clutch and accelerator as a brake while on an uphill rather than using the handbrake
- Learner drivers – instinctively riding the clutch all the time out of fear of stalling the car
Symptoms Of Clutch Problems
There are several tel-tale signs to watch out for which indicate your car’s clutch is beginning to fail:
- Not being able to select a gear
- The clutch starts to shudder
- Grating noise when changing gear
- Car is slow to respond when accelerating
- There is no drive at all (no forward movement)
Quick Tips On How To Look After Your Clutch
- Avoid resting your foot on the clutch pedal – it causes continuous wear
- Stop depressing the clutch pedal while in neutral – it weakens the diaphragm springs, stretches the clutch cable and wears out the thrust bearing
- Ensure you fully push down the clutch pedal when changing gears – it avoids damage to the gears and causes excessive friction
Take immediate action if you notice your clutch is beginning to shudder or there is difficulty changing gears!