The clutch in your vehicle is subject to constant friction, so it’s no surprise that it may need a repair or replacement at some point.
The deterioration of your clutch can be sped up through poor driving habits and with it being considered a ‘wear and tear’ item, it won’t be covered by your warranty.
To help ensure you’re next clutch repair or replacement doesn’t come prematurely, take a look at 5 bad habits that are ruining your clutch.
Riding The Clutch
Riding the clutch is something almost every driver is guilty off, this usually happens when crawling in traffic. When your clutch isn’t all the way down or all the up – you are ‘riding it’. Whilst this is unavoidable at times, you want to ensure you engage the clutch smoothly when changing gear and bring it all the way up as you start moving.
If you are stuck in traffic, wait until the traffic begins moving before setting off instead of edging closer to the vehicle in front of you.
Incorrect Hill Starts
Ever noticed a funny electrical smell or noise after a hill start? Chances are that is your clutch burning. Often drivers will rev hard whilst riding the clutch to avoid rolling back whilst doing a hill start, but this technique can seriously damage your clutch.
When carrying out a hill start, engage your handbrake before finding your clutches ‘biting point’ and engaging slightly more revs than usual – once you feel the car pull forwards slightly, disengage your handbrake, release your clutch slowly and apply adequate revs to carry you up the hill.
Not Having Your Car Serviced Routinely
The most common cause of clutch damage or any damage to vehicles we come across is skipping regular servicing and putting off repairs. Catching signs of damage early ensure that you aren’t stung with costly repairs down the line – at Autocare, we recommend taking your car in for a full service once every 12 months or 12,000 miles.
Changing Gear Incorrectly
A common problem for new drivers is they find it hard to change gear quickly and smoothly, not doing so not only makes for a bumpy ride – but can damage your clutch and gearbox. When you are changing gear, be decisive, this will make the whole process a lot smoother.
If you’ve just passed your test, it might take some practice when driving a different vehicle to the one you learnt in.
Driving On A Damaged Clutch
You should never drive on a damaged clutch, not only is it very dangerous, but it can also cause further, more serious damage to your clutch and gearbox which will be expensive to repair.
Signs Your Clutch Is Damaged
Symptoms of a bad clutch come in many forms, here are a few of the most common indicators its time to have your clutch checked out:
- Difficulty changing gears
- Can’t get vehicle into gear
- Pedal making a mechanical or grinding noise when pushed down
- The pedal may vibrate or be hard to push down
- Smell of burning when shifting gears
- Higher biting point
Can I Repair The Clutch Myself?
Your vehicle’s clutch is made up of several different components which are all prone to different problems – diagnosing the problem itself can be difficult without expert help and using google to diagnose car problems often results in a broad range of potential problems.
If you are in the know, then it is certainly possible to repair your own clutch and fix them if you have the right equipment. When in doubt, don’t take the risk – call a repair centre instead.