The clutch is one of the least maintenance-required parts of our engine, provided it is treated with care. Something fundamental, considering the amount of money that it can cost us to have to change the clutch of our car
When it comes to our vehicle, many times we have the tendency of not taking care of or not treating well those elements that we do not see. Unlike tires, headlights or engine fluids, which we can control easily and visually, there are other elements that we tend to put aside and think that they will not give us problems. Among them is the clutch.
This clutch, despite the little importance we give it, is the part responsible for transferring energy from the engine crankshaft to the transmission shaft of our vehicle. A catastrophic failure of that clutch can leave us stranded on the road, damage other elements of the engine and suppose a bill of several hundred euros, which can be much more if we are talking about a dual-mass clutch.
Luckily, so that we don’t have to look for the best clutch for our car ahead of time, we always have the option of knowing how to extend the life of that clutch and adopt habits that extend its useful life. Easy habits to implement in your daily driving and that your car will thank you for.
# 1 Tread thoroughly
The first thing you should do to make your clutch work better for longer is to always depress the pedal fully. The clutch activation system, except in vehicles with automatic transmission, is entirely manual, so that it is only activated when we step on the pedal. If we do not step on it completely, we are going to put unnecessary suffering on the clutch that, without a doubt, will have consequences in its useful life, by generating unnecessary wear. Something that, in the long run, will be a problem and can lead to premature failure of the clutch and the rest of the elements present in the system.
# 2 Give him his time
Just as important as stepping on the clutch fully is stepping on it at your proper pace. It is not a question of making the change of the clutch a discipline similar to the tea ceremony now, but we cannot stomp on it either. Depending on the type of vehicle, the clutch has a depressing time to facilitate its engagement and disengagement, which should be respected.
If we step too slowly we have many ballots that the gear scratches when we clutch, while if we do it too fast we will surely wear out all the elements present in that transmission system. So we should always make changes calmly and calmly, unless it is strictly necessary to avoid an accident, of course.
# 3 Everything in its place
Among the bad habits that many drivers have there are some that seriously affect the condition of the clutch and gearbox. We are talking about the mania of always keeping your foot on the clutch pedal, as well as the habit of using the gear lever as if it were the armrest. These two bad habits cause slack in the different components involved in the transmission system, so they should always be avoided.
To place the foot we have a beautiful footrest located to the left of the clutch, while if we want to support the hand we can always mount an armrest on the seat or resort to any other solution that prevents this clearly avoidable wear of the different elements involved in the transmission .
# 4 Use the neutral
The neutral or neutral position of our gearbox exists for a reason. It is the one that we must use whenever the vehicle is not moving and it is not expected to start moving in just a few seconds. When the gearbox is in this position all the clutch elements are disconnected, so that there is no transfer of energy between the engine, the clutch and the transmission shaft.
This position is ideal for moments like starting the vehicle, waiting in a traffic jam or at a traffic light, or when we have to leave the car stopped. This last case only has the exception of when we have to park in places with steep slopes, which for safety forces us to leave the clutch in gear.
The use of neutral is even more important in vehicles with Start and Stop technology, since if the gearbox remains engaged and with a gear engaged then the system will not activate. It is necessary to leave the clutch depressed and the gearbox in neutral for the engine to stop.
# 5 Listen to your clutch
Due to its characteristics, the clutch is one of those parts that, when it starts to fail, lets us know. For this it has different ways of doing it. One of them is through smell. When the clutch begins to fail, or is working beyond its possibilities, it is very likely that we will notice a strong smell of burning, which indicates that it is convenient to relax the gear or, if the smell persists, check the clutch and check its condition.
We also notice it by touch, since when the clutch fails it tends to harden. In this case it is necessary to check the entire system again for problems. Something similar happens when, despite leaving the clutch fully depressed, we notice how the car continues to advance or the engine is still engaged. It is one of the clearest signs that the clutch is not in good condition and requires attention.
In all these cases it is essential to act quickly, since if we do not do it we can aggravate the breakdown, increase its cost and even damage other elements of the engine, beyond the clutch itself. Something we can avoid if we listen to our clutch “when it starts to complain.