Clutch Care Advice For New Manual Drivers

Swapping from an automatic to a manual can be a daunting task at first, and by far, the biggest change is the addition of a third pedal: the clutch. The clutch is a vital part of all cars, but in manual cars, it is directly controlled by your actions. Due to this constant interaction, it is much easier to wear the clutch out in a manual, and it is necessary that you are aware of its limitations. If you want your clutch to last as long as possible, then here are a couple of pieces of advice you should follow.

Find The Sweet Spot

Releasing the clutch too quickly or staying on it for too long can both be detrimental to it over a long period of time. It is important that as a driver, you do not fall into a bad habit of releasing too early or too late, but rather experiment until you find the best spot for releasing the clutch. This can take some time and really only can be learned through practice, so just be aware of it while learning. If you aren't exactly sure if you are releasing correctly and don't want to damage the clutch, then ask an experienced manual driver to watch you for a drive, as they will likely have a better read on it than you. 

The Handbrake Is Your New Best Friend

If you are swapping over from an automatic, you might not realise just how important the handbrake is when using a manual. In manual cars, the handbrake is used in many stop-start situations to avoid putting undue strain on the clutch and regular break. Figuring out how to do handbrake starts on hills and throughout traffic stops is important if you want to keep your clutch in good condition for as long as possible. Before you take to the road on your own, it is always advisable that you take a few lessons with someone who can give you pointers on your handbrake usage.

Clutch Repair

Everyone is going to make mistakes when it comes to driving, and that is okay, as long as you learn from them. A clutch repair can range from a couple of hundred dollars to well over a thousand, but for most jobs, it sits around the $500 mark, if not a touch higher. The best way to minimise this cost is to get your clutch repair done as early as possible and to not persist with a clutch that is obviously worn and behaving strangely. As with many problems found in cars, the sooner you deal with it, the less expensive it is for your back pocket. If you get your car routinely serviced (every six months), then clutch repair becomes even less of an issue.