5 Bad Driving Habits That Are Damaging Your Clutch
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5 Bad Driving Habits That Are Damaging Your Clutch

The clutch in your vehicle is subject to constant friction, so it’s no surprise that it may need a repair or replacement at some point.

The deterioration of your clutch can be sped up through poor driving habits and with it being considered a ‘wear and tear’ item, it won’t be covered by your warranty.

To help ensure your next clutch repair or replacement doesn’t come prematurely, take a look at 5 bad habits that are ruining your clutch.

Riding The Clutch

Riding the clutch is something almost every driver is guilty of, this usually happens when crawling in traffic. When your clutch isn’t all the way down or all the way up – you are ‘riding it’. Whilst this is unavoidable at times, you want to ensure you engage the clutch smoothly when changing gear and bring it all the way up as you start moving.

If you are stuck in traffic, wait until the traffic begins moving before setting off instead of edging closer to the vehicle in front of you.

Incorrect Hill Starts

Ever noticed a funny burning smell or noise after a hill start? Chances are that is your clutch burning. Often drivers will rev hard whilst riding the clutch to avoid rolling back whilst doing a hill start, but this technique can seriously damage your clutch.

When carrying out a hill start, engage your handbrake before finding your clutches ‘biting point’ and engaging slightly more revs than usual – once you feel the car pull forwards slightly, disengage your handbrake, release your clutch slowly and apply adequate revs to carry you up the hill.

Not Having Your Car Serviced Routinely

The most common cause of clutch damage or any damage to vehicles we come across is skipping regular servicing and putting off repairs. Catching signs of damage early ensure that you aren’t stung with costly repairs down the line – at Autocare, we recommend taking your car in for a full service once every 12 months or 12,000 miles.

Changing Gear Incorrectly

A common problem for new drivers is they find it hard to change gear quickly and smoothly, not doing so not only makes for a bumpy ride – but can damage your clutch and gearbox. When you are changing gear, be decisive, this will make the whole process a lot smoother.

If you’ve just passed your test, it might take some practice when driving a different vehicle to the one you learnt in.

Driving On A Damaged Clutch

So what happens if you keep on driving with a bad clutch? Not only is it very dangerous, but it can also cause further, more serious damage to your clutch and gearbox which will be expensive to repair.

If you are experiencing clutch problems in the Chepstow area, give us a call on 01291 627 137 – we offer free clutch checks to diagnose the seriousness of the problem and have courtesy cars available whilst your car is in the garage.

Signs Your Clutch Is Damaged

Worn clutch symptoms come in many forms, here are a few of the most common indicators it’s time to have your clutch checked out:

  • Difficulty changing gears
  • Can’t get vehicle into gear
  • Pedal making a mechanical or grinding noise when pushed down
  • The pedal may vibrate or be hard to push down
  • Smell of burning when shifting gears
  • Higher biting point
  • Weak acceleration

Can I Repair The Clutch Myself?

Your vehicle’s clutch is made up of several different components which are all prone to different problems – diagnosing the problem itself can be difficult without expert help and using google to diagnose car problems often results in a broad range of potential problems.

If you are in the know, then it is certainly possible to repair your own clutch if you have the right equipment. When in doubt, don’t take the risk – call a repair centre instead.

Clutch and Brake Repairs At Autocare Chepstow

If you are struggling with clutch problems, or think it’s about time you took your car in for a service, give one of our expert team a call today on 01291 627 137 to book in for your free clutch and brake check  at our garage in Chepstow.


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  • Ethan Hansen
    February 14, 2019, 7:32 pm REPLY

    I found it interesting how you mentioned how riding the clutch can cause lasting damage to your clutch. I recently taught my son how to drive a manual and after our session, I realized that the clutch has been wearing down for a while. I will keep this in mind as I search for a mechanic that works on clutches!

  • Braden Bills
    February 20, 2019, 2:35 pm REPLY

    I didn’t know that not having my car serviced all the time could be causing damage to my clutch! Maybe it would be a good idea for me to get a professional to help me out with this. That way I can ensure that it lasts me a long time.

  • Penelope Smith
    June 17, 2019, 11:19 pm REPLY

    I liked that you explained that if there is a burning smell when I am shifting gears there could be a problem. It is good to know that it could sign that something is wrong with my clutch. That is good for me to know because I just recently got my first car.

  • Mindy Jollie
    August 27, 2019, 8:32 pm REPLY

    That’s good to know that not having a car serviced regularly does affect and possibly damage your clutch. I have a tendency to put off repairs to be able to better afford them later on, but I imagine that that can actually be counterproductive to the car’s longevity. I’ll have to make sure that my car’s braking and clutch are functioning well when I take it in to get serviced.

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