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Five Ways To: Preserve Your Clutch

Your clutch is probably a part of your vehicle that you rarely think about: until you have to replace it. Replacing a clutch can be expensive, so follow our top tips to extending the lifespan of your clutch.

  1. The biggest, most important rule – the golden rule - of a manual vehicle is: don’t ride the clutch. Unless you are performing a hill start, the clutch should be all the way down, or your foot should be off it entirely. Keeping the clutch partially depressed will cause costly damage.
  2. If you are performing a hill start, let the handbrake take the strain. Keep the handbrake on and rev the engine; when you reach biting point, slowly release the handbrake as your foot rises off the clutch.
  3. Slow down in plenty of time to save some clutch strain; if you slow down enough, you may not need to stop. This is a habit that will save the clutch and fuel.
  4. Accelerate slowly and steadily. You may be in a hurry, but accelerating rapidly and changing through the gears aggressively can cause unnecessary wear on several components, including your clutch. Get into the habit of keeping revs low to maintain smooth, fluid driving motion.
  5. Don’t use your clutch to brake. When braking, let the engine do the work. Take your foot off the accelerator and slowly brake. Don’t hover on the clutch; only depress the clutch if you start to travel too slowly for the gear that you are in (in which case, use the clutch to disengage the engine and change gear). The exception is an emergency stop or heavy braking: by applying the clutch and brake, hard, at the same time, you will stop your vehicle from stalling.

The important thing to remember when it comes to clutch usage and care is that the less you use your clutch, the less wear it will endure. So only engage it when you need to and when you do disengage the clutch, make sure that you do so carefully and gently. If you think that your clutch may be worn, contact a reliable local mechanic; they will be able to advise you on any work that needs to be done to ensure that you can stay on the roads safely, and with complete peace of mind.

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