How to Take Care of Your Car’s Clutch

Do you know how to take care of your car’s clutch? If you’re not maintaining your car’s transmission, you may have serious problems in the future. Whether you need to learn how to shift properly, how to stop on a hill or how much weight your vehicle can tow, we suggest you break these habits to protect your car’s clutch in the future.

Here are our best tips to protect your car’s clutch and maintain your car’s transmission:

  • Avoid riding the clutch: Riding the clutch means keeping your foot on the pedal while driving, rather than fully depressing and disengaging the clutch. This wears out your throw-out bearing faster than normal. Only press the clutch when you need to, and keep your foot on the floor when driving.
  • Don’t let your vehicle overheat:  Overheating is death to your engine, transmission and clutch. Excessive heat leads to too much wear and tear. In turn, components wear out faster, and your fluids may not be able to cool the engine and transmission efficiently.
  • Test your thermostat: Watch your car’s thermostat carefully. It should go up steadily as you drive, then stay at a constant temperature during operation. If you notice anomalies in the thermostat, it can indicate problems with your clutch. Take your vehicle in for repairs if you notice this issue.
  • Perform regular vehicle maintenance:  Preventative maintenance is the greatest gift you can give yourself. Regularly maintaining your care ensures that your car is ready to go the distance when you need it. Every week, drive with the radio turned off, and listen for odd noises or other indications that you might have a problem.
  • Change your fluids: Regular maintenance also includes changing fluids. Your oil, transmission, brake and wiper fluids should all be changed regularly. They all perform important lubricating and cooling functions, which will impact your clutch performance directly or indirectly.
  • Don’t tow more than you can handle: Before you start towing anything (be it a boat, other vehicles or a trailer), make sure that your vehicle can handle the load. If it can’t, you run the risk of burning out the clutch before its time.
  • Learn to properly stop on a hill: Some people use their clutch instead of a brake when stopping on a hill. This is a bad idea. Don’t rely on your clutch. Use your regular brake to stop, and, if you need a backup, hit the emergency brake. This will prevent you from rolling backwards.

Understanding how to maintain your car’s transmission is an important part of general vehicle maintenance. For the most part, it’s a matter of common sense: Don’t push your vehicle; keep up with basic preventative maintenance; watch for signs of strange behavior. However, you may notice other issues over time. When that happens, make sure you take your car into Pat Doll Automotive LLC. We can help you keep an eye on your clutch, perform any repairs you may need and keep you on the road for years to come. Call today to get started.