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All About the Biting Point

All About the Biting Point

If you live on a hill or are accustomed to sitting in traffic, then you will be very familiar with your biting point. However, as with many things that we take for granted, we might know what something is, but not necessarily how it works. Using your clutch properly can help keep your car in good condition and help you to drive more smoothly. Here is what you need to know.

How it works

The clutch joins the drive shaft of your vehicle to the engine. When you put your foot down on the clutch pedal, the two plates that make up the clutch separate, meaning that the wheels are disconnected from the engine. This allows you to stop moving or change gear. As soon as you take your foot off the clutch, the two plates reconnect, joining your engine and wheels again.

The biting point

The biting point is the exact point at which the two clutch plates are starting to connect the engine to the wheels to create a forward motion. The clutch’s biting point is usually found when the clutch is partially compressed – usually around midway between full release and full depression. However, all cars are different and some have a much lower than normal biting point, whilst others have a much higher one.

Finding the biting point

If you are driving a new to you car or are a relatively inexperienced driver, it can help you to find the biting point of a car before you need to use it in traffic; doing anything under pressure can make it easier to make mistakes! With your clutch down, gently apply a little bit of pressure on the accelerator, to about 1500 revs maximum. Now, slowly release the pressure on the clutch. Listen to your engine and watch your bonnet; when the engine goes a bit lower and the bonnet lifts, you have found your biting point. If you lift your clutch higher, the connection will be made and a your car can move forwards, provided you take the handbrake off.

Hill starts

As always, when you are going up a hill, you will need a little more energy. When it comes to hill starts, this is still the case. Once you reach the biting point, lift the clutch a little bit more and make sure the engine has enough revs; now you can take the handbrake off and move away safely.

High biting point

If you notice that your biting point is very high, it may be a sign that your clutch is worn and needs to be replaced. Although this is not always the case, it is worth getting it checked out by your local mechanic. If the clutch is worn, they will be able to advise on the best time to replace it, but if it has been set high, they may be able to readjust it to a height that is more comfortable for you.

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