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Riding the Clutch

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T0X1C
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#1

Posted 26 April 2013 - 05:26 PM

Well I recently passed my drivers test, in order to pass you need to do the whole handbrake thing when you stop and the rather pointless and tedious "five point check" when you take off. I passed and like 95% of drivers I will never do the pointless crap you need to do to pass (like checking your mirror every 5 seconds) ever again.

I find the handbrake start takes a little long for my liking, I find it much easier to ride the clutch. In case you don't know what this means (so don't answer the question), riding the clutch means engaging the clutch just enough so that you don't roll back, but also don't move forward. You're essentially holding the car in place without the brake/handbrake.

My dad gets very annoyed when I do this, he knows his cars so normally I would listen to him without a 2nd thought. He says it will wear the clutch out quickly and that I shouldn't even do it on flat ground. On the other hand I know a lot of people who ride the clutch.

My cousin has been driving for years and always rides the clutch, even on the steepest hills. He's never had a problem with his clutch. My 1st driving instructor rode his clutch as well, a DRIVING INSTRUCTOR. All of my friends who drive ride the clutch (except 1) and they haven't had any problems. My best friend's dad is a motorhead and never complains when he rides the clutch.

So how many of you guys ride the clutch when stopped? Have you experienced a lot of problems as a result? In your opinion is riding the clutch really that damaging?

Don't know if it matters, but I drive a small hatchback. Ford Figo.

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#2

Posted 26 April 2013 - 05:41 PM

Well i always ride it. But if you hold it for too long they will certainly become hot. And generally, adding all the times the clutch is engaged over time, without fully taking off IS gonna wear it out EVENTUALLY. It's just a bit more sensible to try and avoid it. But that's in a perfect world lol. If you drive a car, let's say, a couple of years, chances are you'll never wear it out so much that you actually break it, but it certainly wears it out faster.

And i'm not even that big of a petrolhead, this is just common sense. The clutch is made to accelerate from standing still, only using it for, like a sec. Riding it, for example in traffic jams, is not the best option...

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#3

Posted 26 April 2013 - 05:42 PM

QUOTE (Mm9090 @ Friday, Apr 26 2013, 12:26)
Well I recently passed my drivers test, in order to pass you need to do the whole handbrake thing when you stop and the rather pointless and tedious "five point check" when you take off. I passed and like 95% of drivers I will never do the pointless crap you need to do to pass (like checking your mirror every 5 seconds) ever again.

I find the handbrake start takes a little long for my liking, I find it much easier to ride the clutch. In case you don't know what this means (so don't answer the question), riding the clutch means engaging the clutch just enough so that you don't roll back, but also don't move forward. You're essentially holding the car in place without the brake/handbrake.

My dad gets very annoyed when I do this, he knows his cars so normally I would listen to him without a 2nd thought. He says it will wear the clutch out quickly and that I shouldn't even do it on flat ground. On the other hand I know a lot of people who ride the clutch.

My cousin has been driving for years and always rides the clutch, even on the steepest hills. He's never had a problem with his clutch. My 1st driving instructor rode his clutch as well, a DRIVING INSTRUCTOR. All of my friends who drive ride the clutch (except 1) and they haven't had any problems. My best friend's dad is a motorhead and never complains when he rides the clutch.

So how many of you guys ride the clutch when stopped? Have you experienced a lot of problems as a result? In your opinion is riding the clutch really that damaging?

Don't know if it matters, but I drive a small hatchback. Ford Figo.

Just because their clutch hasn't failed doesn't mean it wont. When you ride the clutch you are only partially engaging it. Which means you are allowing it to still turn and slip which basically means you are grinding it. Small bouts of this you can sometimes get away with. If you do it to often you will "burn it out" meaning you'll fry the friction plate and potentially cause damage to the flywheel. This can also cause metal shavings to collect in your transmission which can lead to other problems.

So, your Dad is right. Don't ride the clutch.

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#4

Posted 26 April 2013 - 05:45 PM

Dem automatics.

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#5

Posted 26 April 2013 - 05:49 PM

I only use it when parking on a steep hill.

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#6

Posted 26 April 2013 - 05:53 PM

I guess the consensus so far is try not to ride the clutch? I think until I get more confident and can take off faster I'll ride it in traffic so as to not hold up traffic and bring a barrage of abuse unto me lol.gif When driving on quiet roads I'll use the handbrake when stopped on a hill blush.gif

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#7

Posted 26 April 2013 - 06:02 PM

Try driving without the clutch,fun times. biggrin.gif

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#8

Posted 26 April 2013 - 06:22 PM

Not sure if I like the sound of that, I've never really done it (but then again I haven't really driven much since my test..). Using the handbrake seems easy enough for me, I still manage to be able to pull away from lights and stuff quicker than other people.

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#9

Posted 26 April 2013 - 06:23 PM

QUOTE (VF94 @ Friday, Apr 26 2013, 18:02)
Try driving without the clutch,fun times.  biggrin.gif

I hope you're joking. You have such little control over the acceleration of the car without control of the clutch; the challenge makes driving much more interesting and fun.

I wouldn't get into the habit of riding the clutch if I were you, OP. But the occasional hill now and then is fine I think, and makes driving much more fluent. For example, it'd be a bad idea to ride the clutch in front of freshly-red lights just to wait, but an ideal situation would be on a quiet give-way which is on a slight hill.

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#10

Posted 26 April 2013 - 06:24 PM

Having gone through the same K53 test as you have, a huge congratulations. That test is so strict and stupid. It's based on an old UK test, which have since become very lax and much easier (in the UK). They don't even have that inspection+yard test anymore... but we still do in SA. So stupid.


"Mirror, Blind Spot, Mirror, Check, Mirror, Blind Spot". f*ckthatsh*t.

The worst thing is when you approach a Stop and have to do say a left turn in that test:

Mirror, Blind Spot, Indicator. Stop. Handbrake. Full observation (turn your head 360 around the f*cking vehicle), gear, clutch control, handbrake up, turn (with stupid push-pull method), check left blind spot AGAIN, drive off.

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#11

Posted 26 April 2013 - 06:32 PM

QUOTE (Adriaan @ Friday, Apr 26 2013, 18:24)
That test is so strict and stupid. It's based on an old UK test, which have since become very lax and much easier (in the UK).

Actually the opposite is true. Over the years the test has had more sections added to it and the volume of traffic on the roads has increased. Anyone who claims that the test was more difficult back in their day is talking rubbish in my opinion. If that was the case why does it take people considerably more lessons to pass the test nowadays compared to in the past.

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#12

Posted 26 April 2013 - 06:35 PM

QUOTE (Adriaan @ Friday, Apr 26 2013, 20:24)
Having gone through the same K53 test as you have, a huge congratulations. That test is so strict and stupid. It's based on an old UK test, which have since become very lax and much easier (in the UK). They don't even have that inspection+yard test anymore... but we still do in SA. So stupid.


"Mirror, Blind Spot, Mirror, Check, Mirror, Blind Spot". f*ckthatsh*t.

The worst thing is when you approach a Stop and have to do say a left turn in that test:

Mirror, Blind Spot, Indicator. Stop. Handbrake. Full observation (turn your head 360 around the f*cking vehicle), gear, clutch control, handbrake up, turn (with stupid push-pull method), check left blind spot AGAIN, drive off.

Essentially, they want you to drive looking everywhere except the road in front of you confused.gif It's ridiculous how many people fail because they forget the stupid things.

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#13

Posted 26 April 2013 - 06:41 PM

QUOTE (Adriaan @ Friday, Apr 26 2013, 14:24)
Having gone through the same K53 test as you have, a huge congratulations. That test is so strict and stupid. It's based on an old UK test, which have since become very lax and much easier (in the UK). They don't even have that inspection+yard test anymore... but we still do in SA. So stupid.


"Mirror, Blind Spot, Mirror, Check, Mirror, Blind Spot". f*ckthatsh*t.

The worst thing is when you approach a Stop and have to do say a left turn in that test:

Mirror, Blind Spot, Indicator. Stop. Handbrake. Full observation (turn your head 360 around the f*cking vehicle), gear, clutch control, handbrake up, turn (with stupid push-pull method), check left blind spot AGAIN, drive off.

The test I did here in the US was really stupid as well.

Here's how it went.

-Where is the hanbrake? Good.
-Turn on the headlights and windhield wipers. Good.
-Start the engine. Good.
-Put the car in drive. Good
-Pull up to the Stop sign and stop. Good.
-You have 3 minutes to parallel park within 1 foot of the curb. Good.
-You have 3 minutes to back into that space. Good.
-Now for the road course.
-What did that sign say back there? Good.
-You used your turn signal. Good.
-You chose to make a right turn on red. Good.
-Now back to the DMV
-You saw the hidden stop sign. Good.

Congratulations, you are now an officially licensed driver in the state of Maryland.

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#14

Posted 26 April 2013 - 07:38 PM

QUOTE (OverTheBelow @ Friday, Apr 26 2013, 18:23)
QUOTE (VF94 @ Friday, Apr 26 2013, 18:02)
Try driving without the clutch,fun times.  biggrin.gif

I hope you're joking. You have such little control over the acceleration of the car without control of the clutch; the challenge makes driving much more interesting and fun.


I've had clutch cables break on me more than once so sadly I am not joking,matching revs can be a real pain in the ass.

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#15

Posted 26 April 2013 - 08:16 PM

TH400 reverse manual valve body, problem solved. #f*ckaclutch!

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#16

Posted 26 April 2013 - 10:14 PM

I ride the clutch when im in my dads car but i dont do it for long periods at a time, say no more than 10 - 15 seconds. However when im in my car i never do it as its a automatic so i cant. Yes ...... pointless that i even wrote that tounge.gif

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#17

Posted 26 April 2013 - 10:29 PM

Couple quick pointers I know of, I don't drive manual anymore so i'm a little rusty, I plan to buy another manual soon though.

- Don't use the clutch to hold yourself in place on an incline like you said, that is just putting excess wear on the clutch and it's going to be expensive to fix.
- Don't use the gears to slow down, EVERYONE does this saying "Save your brakes." Okay what do you think is gonna cost more to fix? Clutch or brake pads? You need to rev-match to the lower gear, or try to.
- It's cool to ride the clutch, it makes no difference, just make sure you press it all the way down, or have it all the way up.

Here's a guide I just searched up, it actually has pretty much the same sh*t I just said.

http://www.edmunds.c...ansmission.html

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#18

Posted 26 April 2013 - 10:56 PM

Wow, a great deal of myths are being perpetuated in this thread.

Riding the clutch is bad because of no other reason than it leaving you temporarily out of full control of the vehicle. It's looked down on by most advanced drivers and is an automatic fail in an ARDS licence test (that's an advanced driving qualification designed for club-level motorsport). Very bad practice brought on by nothing other than laziness.

I would also like to rebut several things fin4life has said:

1) There is absolutely nothing wrong with using the clutch for gradual creeping in stop-start traffic. The wear on the clutch plate and mechanism created by doing so is trivial in comparison to the progressive stretch in the handbrake cable created by repeated application. Given that the service life of most clutches is about 100,000 miles or 10 years use, the additional wear costs are negligence at worst, bordering on non-existent.

2) Within reason, using gear ratios to decelerate can be highly beneficial. In regular driving, it has relatively little effect. However in adverse condition driving, it is invaluable. When driving on snow and ice in particular, using gears to control speed avoids triggering the ABS and/or ESP and therefore it is possible for a good driver to decelerate much more rapidly without locking the wheels or risking losing control. It is also highly useful in fast road and track driving as the use of gears and clutch in combination permits a greater degree of lateral adjustment when slowing. You can decelerate through fast corners without understeering in a fast driving environment by using the gear ratios to your advantage- and that's quite aside from using opportunities created by deceleration to keep the engine within the peak power band. Put simply, you want to drop to the right gear as part of the slowing process, utilizing the deceleration and keeping the engine in its sweet spot.

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#19

Posted 26 April 2013 - 11:05 PM

Some modern vehicles have a valve they open up that prevents engine braking. It bugged the hell out of me on a Tiburon.

But yeah, riding clutch is bad, not so much for the clutch as it is bad as a driving practice. I also don't understand why you'd ever need to. It really doesn't take long to shift into correct gear, and even on a steep hill, the timing required to release brake, shift, and rev-up is not enough to put you into collision hazard if you know what you're doing. And if you can't do that, then use the damn hand-brake until you learn to drive.

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#20

Posted 27 April 2013 - 12:31 AM

QUOTE (sivispacem @ Friday, Apr 26 2013, 22:56)
Wow, a great deal of myths are being perpetuated in this thread.

Riding the clutch is bad because of no other reason than it leaving you temporarily out of full control of the vehicle. It's looked down on by most advanced drivers and is an automatic fail in an ARDS licence test (that's an advanced driving qualification designed for club-level motorsport). Very bad practice brought on by nothing other than laziness.

The reason it's bad to ride the clutch is simple: It can and WILL burn out the clutch quicker. When you press the clutch down, it slides the throw-out bearing and causes the pressure plate to bump the clutch-plate against the flywheel and, through friction, engage the transmission input shaft. By riding the clutch to stay immobile when on an incline, the clutch is pressed to where the car doesn't move. The downside to this is that flywheel is constantly spinning at engine RPM. So if your car idles at 1,000 RPM, the flywheel spins at 1,000 RPM. This causes the flywheel to spin at that speed against the clutch-plate freely while still somewhat engaging the transmission (hence the "not moving" bit). In other words, the clutch-plate is sandwiched between the pressure plate (what puts pressure on the clutch-plate to move it) and the constantly spinning flywheel. This leads to excessive heat on the clutch and eventually the burning of the clutch-plate material and heat spots on the flywheel.

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#21

Posted 27 April 2013 - 08:03 AM

QUOTE (Devyl @ Saturday, Apr 27 2013, 01:31)
The reason it's bad to ride the clutch is simple: It can and WILL burn out the clutch quicker. When you press the clutch down, it slides the throw-out bearing and causes the pressure plate to bump the clutch-plate against the flywheel and, through friction, engage the transmission input shaft. By riding the clutch to stay immobile when on an incline, the clutch is pressed to where the car doesn't move. The downside to this is that flywheel is constantly spinning at engine RPM. So if your car idles at 1,000 RPM, the flywheel spins at 1,000 RPM. This causes the flywheel to spin at that speed against the clutch-plate freely while still somewhat engaging the transmission (hence the "not moving" bit). In other words, the clutch-plate is sandwiched between the pressure plate (what puts pressure on the clutch-plate to move it) and the constantly spinning flywheel. This leads to excessive heat on the clutch and eventually the burning of the clutch-plate material and heat spots on the flywheel.

There's a distinction between riding the clutch, which is unnecessary, and feathering it, which is effectively the same practice but done in a controlled manner. I'm fully aware of the mechanics of how a clutch works and the principles of how it can become damaged, but the actual mechanical wear on the clutch plate from common-or-garden clutch riding is minimal at best, unless you engage in it very frequently or aggressively. A more serious point of potential failure in everyday use is the release bearing- no matter what degree of actual contact or slip between engine and drive-train, any amount of clutch applied unnecessarily will put undue pressure on the release springs and bearing. A worn or slipping clutch can be mitigated and managed by a good driver without an issue for weeks, months or even longer. A release bearing failure basically puts an end to your journey then and there.

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#22

Posted 27 April 2013 - 08:57 AM

QUOTE (sivispacem @ Saturday, Apr 27 2013, 08:03)
There's a distinction between riding the clutch, which is unnecessary, and feathering it, which is effectively the same practice but done in a controlled manner.

You must've missed the title of the thread:

QUOTE
Riding the Clutch Is it really that bad?

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#23

Posted 27 April 2013 - 09:50 AM

Only old people ride the clutch. Stap it.

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#24

Posted 27 April 2013 - 02:20 PM

QUOTE (Devyl @ Saturday, Apr 27 2013, 09:57)
QUOTE (sivispacem @ Saturday, Apr 27 2013, 08:03)
There's a distinction between riding the clutch, which is unnecessary, and feathering it, which is effectively the same practice but done in a controlled manner.

You must've missed the title of the thread:

QUOTE
Riding the Clutch Is it really that bad?

A lot of people seem to be talking about feathering the clutch rather than riding it. Plenty of posters have cone in and said "I ride the clutch" and then gone on to explain a perfectly normal use of it.

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#25

Posted 27 April 2013 - 04:35 PM Edited by Lurch, 27 April 2013 - 05:37 PM.

QUOTE (Mm9090 @ Friday, Apr 26 2013, 13:26)
I find the handbrake start takes a little long for my liking, I find it much easier to ride the clutch. In case you don't know what this means (so don't answer the question), riding the clutch means engaging the clutch just enough so that you don't roll back, but also don't move forward. You're essentially holding the car in place without the brake/handbrake.

That's not really riding the clutch. That's actually the proper way to pull out on a hill and the one that schools will teach. The handbrake method is impractical on a lot of vehicles as you don't always have (a working) one there to use. Better to have a method that you can transfer to any vehicle you drive. Now you don't want to use nothing but the clutch to hold you in place for any lengthy amount of time, but using the clutch to do that for a second or so isn't too bad for it. A lot of people here (though some do) just don't seem to have a f*cking clue on this matter.

Riding the clutch refers more to when you're giving a car considerable throttle while the clutch is still party engaged. It's a good way to burn it up. Admittedly, I still ride the clutch in certain cars. In my friends turbo miata with an ACT 6 puck (basically an on/off switch), it's about the only way to start out in it without either being really jerky or spinning the tires. Still not good for it, but street driving on a race clutch, there's really not much you can do.

Also, anyone saying compression braking wears anything is a f*cking moron. Please riddle me what the point of a jake brake is then. It's way less wear on a clutch (which you don't even have to use to do so) than braking is on your brakes.

Also nothing wrong with rev matching and not using the clutch. It's less wear on the clutch. In some vehicles, you can actually shift it smoother or quite a bit faster this way. It just requires a bit of skill. I'm guessing the people that are speaking against it probably don't have any.

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#26

Posted 28 April 2013 - 02:43 AM

QUOTE (Lurch @ Saturday, Apr 27 2013, 16:35)
. Please riddle me what the point of a jake brake is then.

A Jake Brake is when a diesel engine opens its' exhaust valves in the piston cylinders. It keeps the pistons from acting like a spring and moving the vehicle forward. When there's no "pressure" to rebound the piston, the engine looses power quickly.

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#27

Posted 28 April 2013 - 05:50 AM

I was basically saying it's the diesel equivalent of compression breaking a gas engine. There's no real negative effects there.

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#28

Posted 28 April 2013 - 06:31 AM

QUOTE (Lurch @ Sunday, Apr 28 2013, 05:50)
I was basically saying it's the diesel equivalent of compression breaking a gas engine. There's no real negative effects there.

Just helping people in this thread who might not know what it is or how it works smile.gif

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#29

Posted 29 April 2013 - 11:36 PM

Whats the point? Put your foot on the dead pedal where it belongs if you're not using the clutch. And engaging it a little bit to keep from rolling back or to move forward in bumper to bumper traffic is called slipping or feathering the clutch, not riding.

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#30

Posted 30 April 2013 - 12:01 AM

Yeah I wouldn't even have called the OPs terms of his question as an issue of "riding the clutch". I always figured riding the clutch to be a bit of a case of lazy foot or improper pedal release. What the original question seems to concern is a pretty simple case of clutch control. I guess in that case it seems to be a normal use of a manual gearbox and clutch. I am however totally prepared to admit that excessive and continuous use of the method he suggested could cause increased wear. In response: Riding the clutch (my definition) = bad, Riding the clutch (OPs situation) normal use.




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