Keeping the clutch down for long periods? Thoughts and Opinions ... - HotUKDeals
We use cookie files to improve site functionality and personalisation. By continuing to use HUKD, you accept our cookie and privacy policy.
Get the HUKD app free at Google Play

Search Error

An error occurred when searching, please try again!

Login / Sign UpSubmit
Expired

Keeping the clutch down for long periods? Thoughts and Opinions ...

krazyasif786 Avatar
2y, 3w agoPosted 2 years, 3 weeks ago
Was just wondering. When people are driving and see traffic lights how do they deaccelerate eg if in fourth?
- I usually go down in gears ... so clutch down ... third... clutch down second ... then first ... Is this bad for the clutch?
- Was just reading that you should in fact just brake and go into first

Also, when coming to traffic lights is it ok to put the car into neutral and coast the car? Like if you are 20mph just pop it into neutral? Is that good or mechanically bad?

Was just wanting to know this.

Thanks
krazyasif786 Avatar
2y, 3w agoPosted 2 years, 3 weeks ago
Options

All Responses

(23) Jump to unreadPost an answer
Responses/page:
#1
Never heard that going down through the gears was bad for the clutch - if anything its putting extra load on the engine (as you are using it as the brake) but less wear on the brakes as you aren't braking fully with the brakes.

I do the same as you do and would have no reason to want to change - never had to replace a clutch for this. I'd say whats worse is those sitting with clutch at biting point when stopped and worse when on a hill. That can give real problems for the clutch leading to it slipping.
#2
You're not supposed to coast, either with the clutch down or with the box in neutral. There's a section in the highway code about it.

Is going down the gears bad for the clutch??? That all depends on how you do it, it's all about matching the engine RPM to the speed the car will be doing in the lower gear, so if you're doing 50mph in 5th and you select 2nd gear the clutch is going to have to be slipped to get the engine up to the speed required, this will wear the clutch a little.

As for leaving your foot on the clutch for extended periods, I would say it's not a good idea as the clutch release bearing will be engaged and wearing, plus the fingers of the clutch release mechanism can wear or lose their 'spring'

Edited By: andymagic on Nov 14, 2014 11:06
#3
I usually brake the car still in gear until it slows down then clutch, brake for full stop and neutral..

Never coast the car especially down hill. If you're driving down on a hill use higher gears..
#4
General principle is 'Brakes to slow, Gears to go' Don't use gears to slow down in normal driving.

approaching lights you should brake and block change depending on what happens - eg 5th - 2nd and go if the lights go green or just brake and into neutral as you stop. 1st gear should only be used to pull away.

You should never coast in neutral - very poor technique. limits your ability to control the vehicle.

As to sitting with the clutch depressed, yes it could I suppose weaken the clutch springs over time. Ideally you should halt and engage hand brake. Most important not to ride the clutch. Reality is that clutches these days are so much better than they used to be that you rarely hear of people wearing clutches out unless they are very bad drivers.
#5
So, this is my beliefs (note - i say beliefs - prove me wrong otherwise)

- Every time you use the clutch to change down to slow the car down (engine braking) it will wear the clutch very very slightly (hardly anything at all)
- You can coast the car when coming to a stop, however this reduces your braking power as you wont be using engine braking (so your brakes have to work harder and will wear quicker)
- Keeping your foot on the clutch makes your release bearing come into play, which will wear out eventually.
- You should never ever hold the car on the clutch 'biting point' as this really does wear the clutch out.

Generaly when i come to a stop (say from travelling at 35mph in 4th gear) - ill go straight from 4th gear to 2nd then into neutral (and handbrake on) it sems to be the best compromise
#6
You used to get taught to come down the gears as you were slowing. Now you get taught to brake and then change into the gear you need to accelerate away.
#7
Braking and then going from 5th to 2nd is the way I have always done it, if lights change or the junction is clear you can just accelerate up through the gears. If you need to stop just keep braking and go from second to neutral and then handbrake. Job done. :)
#8
Otto.uk
Never coast the car especially down hill. If you're driving down on a hill use higher gears..

Do you mean use lower gears going downhill?

Using Higher gears is going to cause you to speed up more, while using lower gears uses the engine compression to keep speed under control.
#9
Thanks everyone very informative :)
#10
I'll agree with everyone else's good advice and add that it is indeed the case that brakes slow, gears go. I learned to drive a car around a decade ago and it was all block changing down and up (e.g. 4th-2nd-N or 5th-3rd-1st-N), my instructor said that when the centre white line markings change/reappear coming up to a junction you'd change into third, or second depending on speed/gearing. In the last few years I did my motorcycle test and it is all about using the brakes to slow, until almost at a stop, then knock down through all the gears (or straight to N or 1 for cars). I was told this is because of developments in fuelling and gearbox design that meant you could significantly slow down in a high gear without such 'kangarooing'; it also means you get to use more of the engine braking which is kinder on all components. Naturally bikes/turbo cars are slightly different as you blip the throttle on down-shifts anyway.

It was mentioned a lot during emergency stops and swerve testing that focus should be instinctively to brake, reduce speed, then gear to get away/around. Like the other guys said "brakes slow, gears go"!
#11
paul1005
Otto.uk
Never coast the car especially down hill. If you're driving down on a hill use higher gears..

Do you mean use lower gears going downhill?

Using Higher gears is going to cause you to speed up more, while using lower gears uses the engine compression to keep speed under control.


I remember it like a push bike, a low gear spins faster engine side than at the wheels, taking away some drive to the wheels. Also, don't ride the brake down a hill, change down because long descents (over in Europe, or coming down from hilly areas in the peaks, scotland, wherever) will cause the brakes to overheat.
#12
Brake Slow - Gears Go, pretty much covers it, I remember my driving instructor (30 years ago) telling me that each use of the clutch will cause wear on the friction plate and the same was true of the the brake pads, but since brake pads were a lot cheaper to buy and have fitted, logical to wear the brakes pads and save the clutch.

7hom' comment about brake overheat is generally correct, but you have to work very hard to oh the brakes in a modern car.

Edited By: airbus330 on Nov 14, 2014 12:05
#13
Buy an automatic! :p
#14
Do you mean that you literally change down from fifth going through all the gears while holding your clutch down all the time? Or do you just hold it down when actually changing each gear. Either way is a bit wrong I guess. The first option would be silly because if you have the clutch down all the time the gears are not engaged, so you could just go from 5th to 1st and there would be no difference. If it is the second way then I wouldn't do that because you only really need to go through the gears when accelerating, when decelerating you should be able to go from say 60 right down to 20-30 in 5th without the car really having any problems, then you could stick it in 3rd if there is a bit of a que but you are going at a decent speed, or if going to a roundabout where it's clear just go straight from 5th to 2nd, then 1st if not clear at the last second.
#15
Also, when coming to traffic lights is it ok to put the car into neutral and coast the car? Like if you are 20mph just pop it into neutral? Is that good or mechanically bad?
When coating you don't have the engine to stop you, so if there actually was someone at the traffic lights and you needed to stop it would be harder
#16
Every time you change gear you're wearing the clutch very slightly, Every time you depress the clutch you're straining the release bearings, Every time you drive you're wearing the engine slightly etc.. etc...

The old way was to cycle through the gears, This is not taught as much now as we have sycromechs and better braking systems but it's sometimes better to use engine braking. i,e down hill etc...

I don't think you should worry too much about which style as they both have their pro's and con's etc... But coasting down hill and around corners is not good as you're not in control in these situations.

I was taught straight to the relevant gear, Judge the traffic lights and approach at an appropriate speed and gear etc.. I still go through the gears sometimes, Even though I wasn't taught that way.

Don't sit with it at biting point, That is a sure way to get through clutches.

Lot's of town driving, Stop/starting and constant gear changes will wear out components quicker than lot's of motorway driving, Hence why a lot of high mileage newish cars might be better value than low mileage city cars.!!!.
#17
I passed my test in 1995 and when learning I was taught to go down through the gears when slowing. I remember my dad saying it was wrong as I shouldn't do it that way!

Since passing though I have always block changed.

At the end of the day though if its your car then its up to you how you do it :)
#18
Coasting although not a driving offence as such means "legally" you are not in complete control of your vehicle and if you was involved in a serious accident could be used against you but very doubtful.

Over 30 years or more when cars where less technical and relied more on engineering you had to use gears more "effectively" (especially in HGV's) where you were taught "double clutch". Even in the army in 1980's it was taught from landrovers upwards.

With today's technology and improved braking/gearing it is doubtful that this "double clutch" is needed.

Using the gears to slow a vehicle will increase fuel consumption (including the environment) and wear on the clutch mechanism.

As a few others have said "The Highway Code" gives advice on what you should do,

My advice would be anticipate the road ahead. If in 4th gear and you see traffic lights or a queue of traffic ahead - take the foot of the accelerator and apply gentle braking pressure, if required, and dip the clutch and change to 2nd or 3rd depending on "your needs"(see anticipation) or come to a stop.
#19
Is engine braking where you just put you foot off the accelerator to slow down?

I do that a bit especially on motorways.

Is that not a good thing to do?
#20
krazyasif786
Is engine braking where you just put you foot off the accelerator to slow down?

I do that a bit especially on motorways.

Is that not a good thing to do?

Yes, Won't really do any harm for gradual slow downs, But say you're doing 70 and you slap it in second that would probably kill it eventually and wouldn't sound very nice, Plus your driveshafts would probably disintegrate.!!!.

Engine braking explained
#21
philphil61
Coasting although not a driving offence as such means "legally" you are not in complete control of your vehicle and if you was involved in a serious accident could be used against you but very doubtful.

Over 30 years or more when cars where less technical and relied more on engineering you had to use gears more "effectively" (especially in HGV's) where you were taught "double clutch". Even in the army in 1980's it was taught from landrovers upwards.

With today's technology and improved braking/gearing it is doubtful that this "double clutch" is needed.

Using the gears to slow a vehicle will increase fuel consumption (including the environment) and wear on the clutch mechanism.

As a few others have said "The Highway Code" gives advice on what you should do,

My advice would be anticipate the road ahead. If in 4th gear and you see traffic lights or a queue of traffic ahead - take the foot of the accelerator and apply gentle braking pressure, if required, and dip the clutch and change to 2nd or 3rd depending on "your needs"(see anticipation) or come to a stop.

You'd no doubt blame the parents, eh?
#22
shauneco
krazyasif786
Is engine braking where you just put you foot off the accelerator to slow down?

I do that a bit especially on motorways.

Is that not a good thing to do?

Yes, Won't really do any harm for gradual slow downs, But say you're doing 70 and you slap it in second that would probably kill it eventually and wouldn't sound very nice, Plus your driveshafts would probably disintegrate.!!!.

Engine braking explained

That was a really clear and well written webpage. Thanks, have passed onto my new driver children.
#23
Brake pads are cheaper and easier to replace than clutches. That is all.

Post an Answer

You don't need an account to leave a response. Just enter your email address. We'll keep it private.

...OR log in with your social account

...OR comment using your social account

Thanks for your comment! Keep it up!
We just need to have a quick look and it will be live soon.
The community is happy to hear your opinion! Keep contributing!