A clutch is one of the most important components of a manual transmission vehicle. The primary function of the clutch is to transfer torque from one shaft to another. Furthermore, a car clutch works by engaging and disengaging the power transmission from the driven shaft to the driven shaft.
Most manual transmission cars often come with clutches that are designed to last for up to 100,000 miles before being replaced. However, you need to understand that a clutch will only be able to last for that long with a good driving style. With a poor driving style, it’s possible to get the clutch damaged before covering 30,000 miles.
Holding the clutch down for too long is one of the few ways to indirectly damage the clutch. It can cause the “throw-out bearing” of your clutch to wear out. If this happens, you’ll find it hard to disengage your car engine temporarily from the manual transmission. Unfortunately, that could lead to low engine performance.
What exactly will happen if you hold down your car clutch too long? Does holding the clutch damage it? How long is the ideal time to hold down the clutch? These are some of the questions that I’ll be addressing in the rest of this article. So, without wasting any time, let’s dive right in.
What happens if you hold down your car clutch too long?
According to the official DVSA guide to driving, holding your car clutch down is a driving style that enables drivers to coast their cars. The technique involves keeping your vehicle in motion without being driven by its engine.
In technical terms; when you hold down your clutch, the connection existing between your vehicle’s wheels and its transmission will become disengaged – automatically. In this case, you’re only coasting your stick-shifting car.
In case you don’t know, coasting your car or holding your vehicle’s clutch down is a poor driving style because it’ll reduce your control of the car. What if, as you continue coasting your car something bad happens on the way, how will you keep your vehicle in good balance? By holding your clutch down, you’ll most likely find it hard to keep a gear engaged, especially if something unusual happens.
Here’s what will happen
As you now know, holding the clutch down can hurt your vehicle in a couple of ways. But what exactly will happen if you end up holding it for too long?
One of the few components of a car clutch is throw-out bearing. The component, which is also called the clutch release bearing, is the last piece in the series of parts that make up the clutch linkage from the pedal to the clutch assembly.
The throw-out bearing usually works by coming between the clutch pressure plate and the stationary clutch fork in manual cars. It functions by sending a linear thrust force to the church pressure plate from the pedal. Let me pause there and talk about the connection between “throw-out bearing” and “holding down the clutch.”
Here’s the thing; when you hold down your car clutch for too long, it’s the throw-out bearing that will suffer the pain. The longer you hold down the clutch, the more the bearing will wear out. Unfortunately, with a wear-out throw-out bearing, you’ll find it difficult to disengage the engine from the transmission, temporarily. The result of that is the manual transmission car will fail to deliver high performance when you’re driving it.
The bottom line is holding the clutch down for too long will most likely damage the throw-out bearing, resulting in low performance when driving your car.
Does holding the clutch damage it?
Holding the clutch alone can introduce a couple of issues to your manual transmission car. As earlier mentioned, holding the clutch down when driving will make you coast your vehicle. However, this style is not safe for driving a stick-shifting car.
Here’s why; when you hold down your clutch, your control over the car will be reduced. This is dangerous, especially if something unexpected happens. At this point, you’ll find it hard to engage the gear.
Don’t get it twisted; holding the clutch down for too long will not directly damage your clutch. It’s the throw-out bearing that will suffer the pain. However, by minimizing how long you hold the clutch down, you can always prevent this issue.
Furthermore, coasting is inevitable when driving. Any time you change gear, you’ll certainly hold down the gear for a little while. To avoid damaging your clutch’s throw-out bearing in the process, try and reduce how you hold down the clutch.
The bottom line is that holding the clutch down for a short period will certainly not damage your clutch. The damage will only surface when you hold the clutch down for too long – and that’s where the throw-out bearing will come in to suffer for the poor driving style.
How long should you hold down the clutch?
Here’s the thing; as a driver, the best way to determine how long to hold down the clutch without damaging the clutch release bearing is to listen to your car. If you’re the type that pays attention to your car, you should be able to identify the different sounds coming from it.
That said, when holding down your clutch, you need to pay attention to the sound of your car. As soon as you hear a vibration from your car, it’s a sign you need to come fully off the clutch. You’ll feel the car vibrate when there’s no more slippage In the clutch.