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Five Things You Should Never Do In A Manual Car

21 March 2023

If you’ve been driving for a long time, it’s likely your technique has changed and you’ve probably forgotten a lot of what your driving instructor taught you.

However, it’s important you practice good driving habits to ensure safety and to prolong the life of your car.

Certain bad habits can cause car parts to wear quicker – meaning it costs you more in the long run.

Here are five things you should never do in a manual car...

Don’t leave your car in gear at a red light

When traffic is moving quickly, you might not feel the need to release the clutch and disengage the gear stick in your car. This not only tires out your legs, but also places additional pressure on the clutch, which can result in unwarranted damage. It's better to shift your car into neutral and pull on the handbrake to keep it stationary.

Some people may argue that they don’t want to slow down traffic by changing gears and pulling the handbrake. However, it only takes a few seconds to shift your car back into gear when the traffic lights alter and it saves the pressure from your clutch.

Never use the clutch to hold your car on a hill

When you stop on a hill, you need to make sure your car doesn’t start rolling back. Rather than applying the handbrake, some drivers may try to hold their car in place by keeping the clutch at biting point. This action causes premature wear and tear on the friction material of your clutch disc. This is because the clutch will be spinning at one rate, while the engine's pressure plate is rotating at another.

If you need to stop on a hill, activate your handbrake to keep your car stationary until it's time to move. 

Don’t coast your vehicle in neutral

It used to be common practice to save fuel by taking your car out of gear when driving down hills. However, the fuel system in modern cars means that coasting is no longer beneficial to energy efficiency and fuel consumption.

Rule 122 of the Highway Code says coasting can reduce the driver's control, as it can increase the speed of going downhill. It also isn’t safe to drive with your car out of gear, because you have less control over the vehicle.

When your car isn’t in gear, you aren’t able to accelerate out of a tricky situation and you lose engine braking – running the risk of overheating the brakes when going downhill.

Don’t rest your hand on the gear stick

It might be a common habit for some drivers, but it’s something you should never do. You should always avoid resting your hand on the gear stick while driving, it can cause unnecessary wear and tear to the gearbox.

Even the slightest pressure can result in the selector forks rubbing against the rotating collar, causing wear to the components over time. This can eventually lead to gear shifting issues or even complete failure of the gearbox.

For safety reasons, it's important to keep both hands on the steering wheel while driving. This helps you maintain better control of the vehicle, and allows you to react quickly to any unexpected situations that may come up.

Never rest your foot on the clutch pedal

Usually caused by incorrect seat positioning, ‘riding the clutch’ is a quick way to wear down your clutch pedal and cause a costly repair bill.

When you press down on the pedal, it disengages the clutch disc from the flywheel, allowing you to change gears. When you rest your foot on the pedal, it causes the clutch to partially engage, which results in unnecessary slippage and friction between the clutch components. This can cause the clutch to wear out more quickly, resulting in expensive repairs.

Resting your foot on the clutch pedal can lead to a decrease in fuel efficiency and cause your clutch to overheat, which can eventually lead to complete failure. It's best to keep your foot off the clutch pedal when not using it to ensure the longevity and smooth operation of the clutch system in your vehicle.

Adderley Green Garage offers car repair, servicing and MOT services in Longton, providing car repairs, professional MOT services and more. We combine expertise and experience with fair prices and fast turnaround times to give you quality car services across Stoke-on-Trent and the surrounding areas. We offer general vehicle repairs, or you can book your next MOT test online.

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