Manual transmissions are fun to drive, but sometimes that fun can get you into trouble.There are a handful of things you might be doing that will kill your clutch prematurely. Here’s what they are so you can make sure you don’t do them.
Ride the Clutch
This is something that everyone does from time-to-time. The reason why it’s so common is that most people don’t even realize they’re doing this. When you do this, you keep your foot on the pedal and never allow it to fully disengage. In other words, you don’t allow it to go back up completely between gears. This wears the mechanism down, so make sure you engage and disengage fully each time.
Another surefire way to ruin your mechanism before its time is to shift prematurely. In other words, you force your vehicle into the desired gear even though the clutch isn’t completely engaged. You may also release the pedal too soon, thinking that your vehicle is in gear when it isn’t. Signs you’re doing this include grinding noises and jerking as you shift gears. You’ll feel it if you aren’t shifting right.
One of the worst things you can do is to prevent rollback on an incline with the clutch instead of the brake. Some people like to test their driving ability by switching pressure between the clutch and accelerator to prevent their vehicles from rolling. This really wears down the parts. Rather, set your parking brake until you can move forward up the hill to prevent rollback.
Burning the Clutch
Finally, don’t burn the mechanism by trying to haul loads that are heavier than your vehicle is designed to handle. Only load up or tow what you can, i.e. pay attention to your vehicle’s weight loads. If you are just under the maximum load limit, shift carefully, paying attention to how your clutch feels with the added vehicle weight. Make sure to engage and disengage the clutch slowly so you don’t burn it.