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How to maintain your vehicle's clutch

15th February 2024

Unlike automatic vehicles, a manual car can experience issues with the clutch. A failed clutch can be costly and hard to replace, as it requires reaching the clutch by removing everything from the engine bay.  

Whilst it's only natural for the clutch to experience some wear and tear, there are ways to minimise this by maintaining your vehicle's clutch. Find out more in our helpful guide.  

What does a clutch do?

The clutch is broken down into three elements: 

  • The clutch plate 
  • The pressure plate 
  • The flywheel 

It allows the driver to change gear, come to a stop and brake all whilst the engine is still running. It does this by separating the engine from the wheels.  

Tips to maintain your vehicles clutch

Shift gears smoothly

Most modern vehicles have a component in place that prevents you from moving into first gear if the car is moving too fast. If this is forced, the component could break – leading to more damage overall.  

We recommend shifting gears quickly and smoothly, keeping the pedal firmly pressed when changing gears to ensure you don’t force the gear stick into moving if it doesn’t move into place easily. This will reduce the amount of wear on the gearbox and gear stick, which can also be costly to replace. 

Avoid keeping your foot on the clutch

Also known as ‘riding the clutch’, this is one of the quickest ways to wear out the clutch altogether. This happens when the driver keeps their foot on the clutch pedal when it’s not required often slightly pressing down on the pedal without realising, which releases the clutch plates from each other. This releases them enough to start slipping and wearing against each other, causing further long-term damage.  

Don’t overdo the biting point

Most drivers rely on holding onto the biting point when at junctions or stop-start traffic, doing this partially engages the clutch to hold the vehicle steady which puts a lot of strain on the clutch – leading to premature wear and tear. 

We recommend keeping your vehicle in neutral, using your handbrake and brakes to keep your vehicle from rolling back when in traffic or at traffic lights.  

Try not to jolt the engine

As you shift down in gears, we recommend matching the revs of the engine to the suitable gear. If you over-rev the engine as you shift into gear, the lower gear will cause sudden engine braking which will jolt the vehicle. This puts a lot of strain on the clutch as a lot of friction is caused from the rate of the two spinning parts. Continuously jolting your engine may cause further damage to other components of your vehicle, such as the suspension and brakes.  

Regular clutch maintenance with Merityre 

Regularly servicing your vehicle can help to maintain your clutch by identifying any signs of damage or wear and tear. Get in touch with a member of our helpful team for more information, or locate your nearest Merityre Specialist branch today.