Good habits that could save you trips to the mechanic. <small> Cover image via Gawker </small>
Driving a vehicle with manual transmission, also known as a stick shift, can be both intimidating or enjoyable for many drivers young and old
Remember the number of times you <em>mati enjin</em> while learning how to drive? :P</p>
While driving a car with a stick shift can be a load of fun, there are things you should never be doing when driving a manual transmission car, like:
1. Don’t use the gear shift as a hand rest
As drivers, we only see the gear shift but what's happening in the manual transmission box is something not visible to us. Every time we change gears - the selector fork, which is situated within the manual transmission is pushed against the rotating collar, and the collar is pressed into the gear that you want to choose.
Resting your hand on the gear shift may cause the selector fork to come in contact with the rotating collar prematurely. In the long run, resting your hand as a form of habit can speed up that process and result in premature selector fork wear.
2. Don’t use the incorrect gear to gain speed
For manual cars, the top gear allows you to cruise at higher speed. However, to gain speed you would need to go through the gears progressively to prevent the engine from undue strain.
Using a lower gear at higher car speed may cause the engine to reach the redline prematurely. It’s better to progress to a higher gear before reaching the redline or when the gear indicator tells you to do so.
You may also strain the engine while driving in a higher gear, you throttle to gain speed. Due to the gearing disadvantage, it would not only be slow to reach a higher speed, but it would also put the engine under a lot of strain.
3. Don’t rest your foot on the clutch pedal
Often called 'riding the clutch', resting your foot on the clutch pedal would cause the clutch to engage only partially and hence creating more friction and wearing it out the clutch faster. <strong>This would not only reduce fuel efficiency, it might cause the clutch to wear out prematurely.</strong>
The best way to avoid this from happening is to keep your foot well away from the clutch unless you are actually changing gear. If need be, rest your foot on a dead pedal, a non-moving piece of rubber or metal that’s situated next to the clutch pedal.
4. Don’t leave your car in gear at the traffic light
Waiting at the traffic lights or junctions with the clutch down, first gear engaged and your foot on the brake can put unnecessary strain on the clutch. <strong>It is much better to change into neutral gear if you are going to be stopped for any length of time and to use the handbrake to keep the car stationary.</strong>
When you put your car in neutral at a stop light, you’re lessening the general wear on your clutch.
5. Don’t shift gears without using the clutch
The clutch disengages the engine from the transmission every time you push in the pedal. The clutch is the friction disc that is used to transmit power from the engine to the transmission. In order to shift gears, you have to disconnect the engine from the trans so you can shift.
Shifting gears without engaging the clutch not only damages the transmission system but has dire consequences on the engines as well.
6. Don’t use the clutch bite point to go uphill
While going uphill, many of us tend to hold on to the clutch bite point (the bite point is when the clutch plate engages the engine plate) to stay steady on the incline and prevent the car rolling backwards. <strong>This would result in great wear and tear to the material of the clutch and you would need to replace it prematurely.</strong>
Many manual cars these days have the hill hold feature that’s able to hold the car for about 2-3 seconds after the brake pedal is released, this gives sufficient time for the driver to make a switch from brake to race pedal and hence prevent the car from rolling backward.
Do you drive a manual car? What are some of the problems you face as a car owner? Let us know in the comments below!
Auto car owners, take note:
The weather has been pretty unpredictable these days…
All copyrights for this article are reserved to DIY