Here’s How to Destroy Your Manual Transmission (And How to Make it Last)

Slipping the Clutch is One of the Fastest Ways to Blow Your Shit Up

Take slipping the clutch, the term for what you do when you slowly lift your foot off the pedal to engage the clutch, but you don’t fully engage it, and you leave it hovering in a weird gray area.

You might do this while easing your way into gear, you might do this while stopped on a hill so you when you restart you don’t roll back, you even might do this inadvertently while shifting in higher gears.

But whenever you do it, Wyatt says, it will accelerate wear and tear of the clutch, even if some clutch-slipping (as minimal as you can stand it) is necessary, like when you’re starting in first gear from a stop.

The reason? Clutch-slipping heats everything up, and all that heat on your clutch can fry it. If you do it for too long, you’ll destroy your clutch in the space of a few hours.

“The longer you spend in that gray area the less life you’re going to get out of your clutch,” Wyatt says. “You could get a couple of hundred thousand miles out of a clutch if you want to, or you could burn it out in an afternoon.”

The best release of the clutch pedal when shifting is quick but not too quick, since you also don’t want to just dump it into gear, both to keep the ride smooth and to protect the gears. Still, Wyatt said that if he had to choose between slipping and dumping, he’d go with dumping, since gears are pretty tough, and clutches less so.


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