Clutch abuse, or not? - Project C

Hi,

I was in the passenger seat with swmbo last night when I noticed her driving style with the clutch seemed unusual. We drive on a 70mph road before coming to a roundabout and taking the 3rd exit, so slowing right down. About 150 yards out from the roundabout she put her foot on the clutch, soon after put car into 2nd and then left foot on clutch all the way until she was hafway around the roundabout.

This seems like it might not be the most mechanically sympathetic way of doing it, but perhaps she was taught to drive this way as she passed a few years after me. Any thoughts?

Thanks

Clutch abuse, or not? - FP

Doesn't seem good to me. I was taught you do not depress the clutch except when changing gear and the idea of in effect coasting some distance with no drive to the wheels suggests a lack of control.

Apart from that, keeping the clutch depressed with the engine running wears the thrust bearings.

Surely your good lady should be changing down through the gears, but not as low as second - third would be OK unless it's a very tight roundabout.

Clutch abuse, or not? - John F

I was taught .....coasting some distance with no drive to the wheels suggests a lack of control.

So was I. Utter rubbish. I coast all the time, wherever and whenever I can. I knock it into neutral far from roundabouts and slip roads, judging distance and deceleration so brakes are hardly used. It saves fuel (please don't reopen this physics debate - it has long since been argued out) and mechanical wear and tear. The 'ride and glide' technique is well known in the USA and works well on our undulating speed-retricted A roads.

Clutch abuse, or not? - RT

I was taught .....coasting some distance with no drive to the wheels suggests a lack of control.

So was I. Utter rubbish. I coast all the time, wherever and whenever I can. I knock it into neutral far from roundabouts and slip roads, judging distance and deceleration so brakes are hardly used. It saves fuel (please don't reopen this physics debate - it has long since been argued out) and mechanical wear and tear. The 'ride and glide' technique is well known in the USA and works well on our undulating speed-retricted A roads.

NOTHING Americans do can ever be quoted as good practice anywhere else!

Like most, I was taught never to coast - my newish VW has a "Coasting" feature built in - most un-nerving coming off the throttle for a motorway junction and then barely slowing down at all - mine is now permanmently switched off and gives better fuel consumption - that's because coasting has the engine idling at 800rpm using a little fuel - engine-braking has the engine at 1,000-2,000rpm with all fuel cut-off, on a diesel anyway - not on a petrol as the cat has to be kept hot.

Clutch abuse, or not? - daveyjp
Coasting down slip roads etc is far different from having no drive when going around a roundabout.

Lets just say there is no way the driver in the OP would pass their driving test using such a technique.

Edited by daveyjp on 20/08/2017 at 10:38

Clutch abuse, or not? - SLO76
"Utter rubbish. I coast all the time, wherever and whenever I can. I knock it into neutral far from roundabouts and slip roads, judging distance and deceleration so brakes are hardly used. It saves fuel"

It used to be quite common to try to save fuel by rolling downhill out of gear but it’s not recommended as you don’t have full control:

You can’t suddenly accelerate out of a tricky situation.

You lose engine braking and risk overheating your brakes.

Your information is out of date John. Back In ye olden carburettor fed days coasting did save fuel but not with any modern fuel injected engine. Fuel and ignition systems are effectively combined and controlled by the Electronic Control Unit (ECU). When you take your foot off the accelerator the ECU cuts the fuel supply to the injectors anyway so there's nothing to be gained by coasting.

Clutch abuse, or not? - John F
Your information is out of date John. ............. When you take your foot off the accelerator the ECU cuts the fuel supply to the injectors anyway so there's nothing to be gained by coasting.

The laws of physics don't date, SL. Your observation of fuel cut-off is immaterial - it merely provides greater engine braking.

A car engine needs more energy to rev quickly than slowly. Whether that energy comes from fuel or the kinetic energy of the car, it still has to be supplied and paid for.

Clutch abuse, or not? - SLO76
"The laws of physics don't date, SL. Your observation of fuel cut-off is immaterial - it merely provides greater engine braking.

A car engine needs more energy to rev quickly than slowly. Whether that energy comes from fuel or the kinetic energy of the car, it still has to be supplied and paid for."

Exactly John so why not use that engine braking which uses no fuel instead of wasting energy idling the engine and burning brakes?
Clutch abuse, or not? - John F
Whether that energy comes from fuel or the kinetic energy of the car, it still has to be supplied and paid for.

" Exactly John so why not use that engine braking which uses no fuel instead of wasting energy idling the engine and burning brakes?

As far as possible, I don't. As stated above, I judge distance and deceleration so I don't waste energy burning brakes.

All mechanical braking, whether engine/transmission braking or pressing brake pads onto metal transfers energy to internal kinetic energy ('flywheel' effect of spinning metal) and heat (friction of bearings, pistons scraping cylinders and pumps sloshing oil and water around and hot discs or drums). All this energy has cost money. End of today's physics lesson.

Clutch abuse, or not? - RT
Whether that energy comes from fuel or the kinetic energy of the car, it still has to be supplied and paid for.

" Exactly John so why not use that engine braking which uses no fuel instead of wasting energy idling the engine and burning brakes?

As far as possible, I don't. As stated above, I judge distance and deceleration so I don't waste energy burning brakes.

All mechanical braking, whether engine/transmission braking or pressing brake pads onto metal transfers energy to internal kinetic energy ('flywheel' effect of spinning metal) and heat (friction of bearings, pistons scraping cylinders and pumps sloshing oil and water around and hot discs or drums). All this energy has cost money. End of today's physics lesson.

Lesson #2 - regenerative braking - not restricted to EVs and hybrids but commonly used on modern cars with smart alternators - Hyundai/Kia have been using it since the '00s and I doubt they were the first - my later VW uses it.

Clutch abuse, or not? - Andrew-T
Your information is out of date John. Back In ye olden carburettor fed days coasting did save fuel but not with any modern fuel injected engine. Fuel and ignition systems are effectively combined and controlled by the Electronic Control Unit (ECU). When you take your foot off the accelerator the ECU cuts the fuel supply to the injectors anyway so there's nothing to be gained by coasting.

SLO, you may be forgetting that John is still in his carburettor-fed car?

So am I, for my regular trips to Welsh Wales in my 205. Being Welsh Wales, there are several longish downhills - up to a mile or more - with few junctions, which are very tempting and suitable for steady 40-50 mph freewheeling. Visibility is good too. On the other point, I never coast up to junctions or roundabouts, changing down to third, usually.

I remember visiting the national parks of Utah way,way back in the 1960s, and coasting in my (t)rusty 1100 for over 10 miles at a similar speed. The only real no-no is not to turn off the ignition :-(

Edited by Andrew-T on 20/08/2017 at 16:35

Clutch abuse, or not? - SLO76
"SLO, you may be forgetting that John is still in his carburettor-fed car?"

His TR7 yes but the Focus and A8 are modern ECU controlled injected engines.
Clutch abuse, or not? - bolt

I was taught .....coasting some distance with no drive to the wheels suggests a lack of control.

So was I. Utter rubbish. I coast all the time, wherever and whenever I can. I knock it into neutral far from roundabouts and slip roads, judging distance and deceleration so brakes are hardly used. It saves fuel (please don't reopen this physics debate - it has long since been argued out) and mechanical wear and tear. The 'ride and glide' technique is well known in the USA and works well on our undulating speed-retricted A roads.

One time I agree with you, most of the older drivers from years ago drove like that, coasting where possible, never did any cars any harm and saved fuel, I do the same and have done for years without any problems, as for not being in control as has been mentioned utter rubbish

Clutch abuse, or not? - Engineer Andy

My mum also does this 'depress the clutch when braking' technique, and thus always brakes far earlier than anyone else because the car has no engine breaking effect. She also says she was taught that way and no cannot change the (for want of a better word) 'habit'. When my sister or I drive her and my dad about on occasion, she often 'holds on for grim death' as we brake, presumably thinking we're doing so too late, despite both of us not being fast drivers (not slow) or braking later than the average competent driver.

I won't bother to get into a debate with a certain party about how coasting is NOT a good idea for car, occupants or others, as doing so would be a waste of my time as he 'isn't for turning' whatever I or anyone else says or provides evidence to back up such arguments.

Clutch abuse, or not? - John F

I won't bother to get into a debate with a certain party about... coasting .... as he 'isn't for turning' whatever I or anyone else says or provides evidence to back up such arguments.

See my latest post above, Andy. When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir? (hats off to Keynes)

Clutch abuse, or not? - Engineer Andy

I won't bother to get into a debate with a certain party about... coasting .... as he 'isn't for turning' whatever I or anyone else says or provides evidence to back up such arguments.

See my latest post above, Andy. When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir? (hats off to Keynes)

How do you know I'm talking about you? I would refer to RichT54's post below if you want evidence. I'm done on this subject.

Clutch abuse, or not? - FiestaOwner

Hi,

I was in the passenger seat with swmbo last night when I noticed her driving style with the clutch seemed unusual. We drive on a 70mph road before coming to a roundabout and taking the 3rd exit, so slowing right down. About 150 yards out from the roundabout she put her foot on the clutch, soon after put car into 2nd and then left foot on clutch all the way until she was hafway around the roundabout.

This seems like it might not be the most mechanically sympathetic way of doing it, but perhaps she was taught to drive this way as she passed a few years after me. Any thoughts?

Thanks

Don't like to criticise, but sound dangerous. She's not in proper control of the vehicle. Don't believe an approved driving instructor would teach her to drive like that.

Could you persuade her to do an IAM assessment? www.iamroadsmart.com/courses/drive-check-plus

Don't envy you trying to suggest this though. Good luck.

She could even go on to do the IAM test and then become a member. Then she could criticise your driving!

Clutch abuse, or not? - FiestaOwner

Just read John F's post above. Sounds like the IAM assessment course has another candidate!

Edited by FiestaOwner on 20/08/2017 at 10:48

Clutch abuse, or not? - gordonbennet

Sounds like a lightly skewed result of modern driver training, stay in high gear right to the junction then select an appropriate gear to set off or continue if a moving start is suitable, all she's doing wrong far as i can see is pressing the clutch down a trifle early.

No i don't agree with it but this is how even lorry drivers are being mistaught now, the mantra is brakes to slow gears to go, new drivers are not even being taught engine/auxilliary braking techniques in appropriate gears so expect further Bath tragedies in due course.

As for coasting, it used to be a big no no though most lorry driver's of old used to make considerable use of 'Irish Overdrive' by chucking it out of gear and allowing the vehicle to roll, sometimes for miles at a time...well it appears it's no longer a no no because many new lorry automated manual (the vast majority in Britain are now AM) boxes have a dubious fitment called eco roll, which effectively allows the vehicle to coast with the engine on tickover.

If i happen to drive a lorry with ecoroll i switch the damned thing off, together with hill hold, i'll be in control the vehicle thanks all the same.

Edited by gordonbennet on 20/08/2017 at 11:11

Clutch abuse, or not? - FiestaOwner

Sounds like a lightly skewed result of modern driver training, stay in high gear right to the junction then select an appropriate gear to set off or continue if a moving start is suitable, all she's doing wrong far as i can see is pressing the clutch down a trifle early.

No i don't agree with it but this is how even lorry drivers are being mistaught now, the mantra is brakes to slow gears to go, new drivers are not even being taught engine/auxilliary braking techniques in appropriate gears so expect further Bath tragedies in due course.

As for coasting, it used to be a big no no though most lorry driver's of old used to make considerable use of 'Irish Overdrive' by chucking it out of gear and allowing the vehicle to roll, sometimes for miles at a time...well it appears it's no longer a no no because many new lorry automated manual (the vast majority in Britain are now AM) boxes have a dubious fitment called eco roll, which effectively allows the vehicle to coast with the engine on tickover.

If i happen to drive a lorry with ecoroll i switch the damned thing off, together with hill hold, i'll be in control the vehicle thanks all the same.

I find this modern technique quite worrying. I've experienced brake fade on light vans, when I didn't have much driving experience (I wasn't coasting). But having experienced this I altered my driving style. I dread to think what brake fade on an HGV is like.

Clutch abuse, or not? - craig-pd130

a big no no though most lorry driver's of old used to make considerable use of 'Irish Overdrive' by chucking it out of gear and allowing the vehicle to roll, sometimes for miles at a time...well it appears it's no longer a no no because many new lorry automated manual (the vast majority in Britain are now AM) boxes have a dubious fitment called eco roll, which effectively allows the vehicle to coast with the engine on tickover.

If i happen to drive a lorry with ecoroll i switch the damned thing off, together with hill hold, i'll be in control the vehicle thanks all the same.

I've never heard "Irish overdrive" before, but I have heard coasting in neutral referred to as "Yorkshire 5th" ;-)

My 225xe's 'Eco Pro' mode allows coasting above 30mph, below that speed coasting is disabled and regeneration mode kicks in, which is fairly easy to get used to (the box is a conventional torque-converter auto).

Clutch abuse, or not? - Manatee

That was my thought too GB. Nothing wrong in principle with not going down through the gears, maybe the lady was fearful of waiting until she reached the 'hazard' and then picking a gear so formed the habit she now has.

I don't go down the box either, but neither do I use a lot of brakes. Lift off in good time, arrive at hazard, dab of brakes if necessary, pick a gear and away.

One benefit of that in a line of traffic is that the cars ahead that rush up to the roundabout then brake like hell are just out of the way by the time I get there, and in the absence of any other traffic I can keep rolling through the roundabout.

It's poor practice and she should try to change it. No chance that she was taught to do that by anybody qualified.

I use lower gears on steep hills of course.

Clutch abuse, or not? - FiestaOwner

Perhaps regular assessment should be mandatory for ALL OF US in order to keep driving. How about every 10 years?

Clutch abuse, or not? - RT

Perhaps regular assessment should be mandatory for ALL OF US in order to keep driving. How about every 10 years?

Yes - starting at age 30!

Clutch abuse, or not? - FiestaOwner

Perhaps regular assessment should be mandatory for ALL OF US in order to keep driving. How about every 10 years?

Yes - starting at age 30!

Yes, I agree.

It's ALL age ranges that have driving issues. I certainly wouldn't target older drivers.

Clutch abuse, or not? - Wackyracer

Perhaps regular assessment should be mandatory for ALL OF US in order to keep driving. How about every 10 years?

Yes - starting at age 30!

In Russia I believe it's every 10 years from the date you pass your test. Doesn't seem to have improved their driving on the whole.

But, I would like to have compulsory retesting for all.

Clutch abuse, or not? - badbusdriver

I believe the facility to 'freewheel', was quite common on older cars. Not sure all that had them, but I do know that the old Saab 96 had it. When I was working at a Saab dealer from '90 to '95, believe it or not, there were at least 2 96's who's owners had them serviced by us. I remember delivering one back to its owner but scaring the s*** out of myself approaching a junction and realising that the freewheel was switched on!. There was a switch under the dashboard to activate it, but I can't think why you'd use it in a built-up area. But on the other hand, I know for a fact that it made a big difference to the average mpg on a long drive on open roads. Driving along in top gear, come over the brow of a hill, lift off the throttle and you're away. The aerodynamic shape of the 96 coupled with the tall narrow tyres meant you could freewheel for some distance in the right conditions.

Oh, and by the way, John F doesn't say he goes across roundabouts in neutral, just while on approach. And I am pretty sure these days, learner drivers are taught to do the same thing except simply pressing the clutch down, changing into the appropriate gear once slowed right down or stopped at the junction or roundabout.

Clutch abuse, or not? - RichT54

And I am pretty sure these days, learner drivers are taught to do the same thing except simply pressing the clutch down, changing into the appropriate gear once slowed right down or stopped at the junction or roundabout.

The Highway Code doesn't approve:

Rule 122

Coasting. This term describes a vehicle travelling in neutral or with the clutch pressed down. It can reduce driver control because

  • engine braking is eliminated
  • vehicle speed downhill will increase quickly
  • increased use of the footbrake can reduce its effectiveness
  • steering response will be affected, particularly on bends and corners
  • it may be more difficult to select the appropriate gear when needed.

Clutch abuse, or not? - galileo

As mentioned above some older cars were fitted with a 'freewheel' function, Rovers certainly (up to late Fifties, I think), Saabs were orginally two-strokes, which may be why they had freewheel option retained when four-stroke engined?

Clutch abuse, or not? - Bianconeri
It's interesting watching a hybrid at work. Given half a chance the hybrid system will shut the petrol engine down and use the car's kinetic energy and recovered electricity. It happens regulatly when cruising (even at 70 mph on the motorway) and always when slowing for roundabouts and the like. Plus as you slow down, whether on the brakes or 'naturally' you put some charge back into the battery.

Of course all systems are 'on', you are in gear and the petrol engine will kick in if you need the power or the battery gets too low. The basic design parameter seems to be 'whatever I am doing, can I find a more efficient way to do it?'
Clutch abuse, or not? - kiss (keep it simple)

My grandfather had an early Saab 99 with freewheel (J reg, so probably 1970 or 71). I believe it was discontinued soo after. Another problem with depresseng clutch and coasting around roundabouts is that if the engine stalls you lose power steering; potentially catastrophic.

Clutch abuse, or not? - Nomag

I think what the OP detailed leaves his partner out of control on the roundabout.

I have only be driving 19 years, and was taught the "gears to go, brakes to slow" technique. However, ever since passing I have made use of engine braking one way or another. I understand the arguments that brakes are cheaper to replace than clutches, but just feel so much more in control by changing down.

I do very much apply this depending on the situation, unlike my father, who is in his 70s now, and has no mechanical sympathy, but was taught to change down the gears, and insists that 2nd gear is for roundabouts, regardless of their size or the fact he is driving a turbo diesel!

Clutch abuse, or not? - Andrew-T

I have only be driving 19 years, and was taught the "gears to go, brakes to slow" technique. However, ever since passing I have made use of engine braking one way or another. I understand the arguments that brakes are cheaper to replace than clutches, but just feel so much more in control by changing down.

I don't think you need worry about your clutch because of gearing down and using engine braking. I have done that since being taught in the early 60s, and I have never needed to even consider any clutch work on my cars. Clutches wear out because of repeated hill starts (maybe unavoidable for some), taking too long to engage drive while revving the engine, or (worst of all) resting one's foot on the clutch pedal.

Clutch abuse, or not? - gordonbennet

Clutches wear out because of repeated hill starts (maybe unavoidable for some), taking too long to engage drive while revving the engine, or (worst of all) resting one's foot on the clutch pedal.

Not forgetting the thrashers who use massive revs and literally drop the clutch in, from stationary and when going up the gears.

On my journey home there is a set of lights at one roundabout (edit and at the next roundabout two miles on which can see 2 or more light changes to cross at busy times) where a surprising number of people attending the steering wheel of their vehicle hold the vehicle on the clutch on the slight inclines for the whole period, its these idiots that really need hill hold and auto parking brakes.

Edited by gordonbennet on 21/08/2017 at 11:04

Clutch abuse, or not? - craig-pd130

Saabs were orginally two-strokes, which may be why they had freewheel option retained when four-stroke engined?

Exactly - the old 2-stroke triple motors had petroil lubrication, and descending long gradients with the throttle shut but with the engine revving at 3,000 or so meant very little lubrication for the mains, big ends, small ends and cylinder bores, risking crank failures or piston seizures ...

Clutch abuse, or not? - argybargy

There's a very steep hill close to where we lived when I passed my driving test. Because I'd never been taught any different, I thought it might be a good idea to turn the engine off when going down this hill to save fuel. Seriously. Of course, the steering lock activated right away and I had to slam the brakes on sharpish to avoid parked cars.

On another occasion I was driving a fire engine round a sharp corner, and elected to coast rather than powering on out of the bend. The resultant feeling of lack of control caused the officer in charge who was sitting next to me to shout "PUT THE POWER ON!" And that for me is the main problem with negotiating bends, roundabouts etc with the clutch dipped: lack of control. Clutches can be replaced, but ending up wrapped round a lampost or upside down in a ditch is a bit more serious.

Edited by argybargy on 21/08/2017 at 10:39

Clutch abuse, or not? - argybargy

Yeah, I expected that confession to kill the thread. ;0)

Clutch abuse, or not? - bolt

There's a very steep hill close to where we lived when I passed my driving test. Because I'd never been taught any different, I thought it might be a good idea to turn the engine off when going down this hill to save fuel. Seriously. Of course, the steering lock activated right away and I had to slam the brakes on sharpish to avoid parked cars.

On another occasion I was driving a fire engine round a sharp corner, and elected to coast rather than powering on out of the bend. The resultant feeling of lack of control caused the officer in charge who was sitting next to me to shout "PUT THE POWER ON!" And that for me is the main problem with negotiating bends, roundabouts etc with the clutch dipped: lack of control. Clutches can be replaced, but ending up wrapped round a lampost or upside down in a ditch is a bit more serious.

I think thats what you call going from one extreme to the other, but in my case the freewheeling is almost impossible to do now due to too much traffic about, and so many t***s driving you cannot take anything for granted

slightly off topic but anyone noticed the amount of drivers that cut most corners off now, to the point they could take your front end off if notcarefull?

Clutch abuse, or not? - Andrew-T

<< anyone noticed the amount of drivers that cut most corners off now, to the point they could take your front end off if not careful? >>

They are probably free-wheeling ....

Clutch abuse, or not? - bolt

<< anyone noticed the amount of drivers that cut most corners off now, to the point they could take your front end off if not careful? >>

They are probably free-wheeling ....

Mmmm, good try I dont think

Clutch abuse, or not? - barney100

Glad I drive an auto....I think the corner cutting could be in part the gradual increase in car size. I think the new Mini looks bigger than the old Maxi.

Clutch abuse, or not? - Avant

Having had both, I was interested to look it up.

You're right:

Maxi length 4013 mm, width 1616 mm

Mini 5-door length 4005 mm, width 1932 mm.

The Maxi was one of the roomiest cars in its class (we had two of them), and had far more legroom and boot space than the Mini. It makes you wonder where the space has gone, given that both have transverse engines. Safety protection will be some of it, no doubt.

Clutch abuse, or not? - barney100

Very interesting info.

Clutch abuse, or not? - Manatee

Having had both, I was interested to look it up.

You're right:

Maxi length 4013 mm, width 1616 mm

Mini 5-door length 4005 mm, width 1932 mm.

Good grief, that's a whole foot wider if it's not to do with mirrors. [just looked it up - it is - without mirrors the MINI is 1727 not 1932 - still over 4" wider].

Clutch abuse, or not? - RT

Having had both, I was interested to look it up.

You're right:

Maxi length 4013 mm, width 1616 mm

Mini 5-door length 4005 mm, width 1932 mm.

Good grief, that's a whole foot wider if it's not to do with mirrors. [just looked it up - it is - without mirrors the MINI is 1727 not 1932 - still over 4" wider].

When the BMW Mini was first announced, I unkindly said that BMW didn't style it they just photocopied the original plans, zoomed up by 30% and built to those plans - later versions have grown even bigger.

I recently saw a Ford Cortina mk2 on the M42 - it looked tiny compared to everything.

Clutch abuse, or not? - Manatee

Pal of mine has a Vanden Plas 1100 he's going to sell. It looks incredibly small (and low).

Everything was, really. And very lightly built, well into the 80s.

I got quite carried just then away looking at dimensions and weights. No wonder my 1987 Ford Orion 1.6 was fast with its 90bhp - it only weighed 890 Kg.

I am in the process of buying a Mk4 MX5. Mazda has gone to some lengths to make it light (100Kg less than the Mk3.75),it is a very small car, and a 2 seater of course. It weighs 975Kg without driver. Lots more kit of course, and much better for having a crash in I hope.

Clutch abuse, or not? - Andrew-T

Pal of mine has a Vanden Plas 1100 he's going to sell. It looks incredibly small (and low).

Everything was, really. And very lightly built, well into the 80s.

I got quite carried just then away looking at dimensions and weights. No wonder my 1987 Ford Orion 1.6 was fast with its 90bhp - it only weighed 890 Kg.

And well into the 90s, as the Pug 205 was made until 1995/96. The heaviest model was the cabrio 1.6, which came in at 935kg, about 50Kg more than the Gti. and 10 more than the Dturbo with its heavy lump. Yes, my car does look small, but at least I can see well out of it ...

Clutch abuse, or not? - Andrew-T

The Maxi was one of the roomiest cars in its class (we had two of them), and had far more legroom and boot space than the Mini. It makes you wonder where the space has gone, given that both have transverse engines. Safety protection will be some of it, no doubt.

Yes, Avant, I clocked up five Maxis altogether, and I can't say any of them gave much trouble, but I did move one on pretty smartly when a screwdriver went rather too easily into one of the sills. I would say crumple zones and all the rest of it is the main reason. Cupholders and airbags internally.

Clutch abuse, or not? - FP

"... anyone noticed the amount of drivers that cut most corners off now, to the point they could take your front end off if notcarefull?"

I prefer to count drivers rather than weigh them. However, you have a point.

It's mostly due to people being too lazy to use their steering wheel, and/or slow down sufficiently to let them manouvre properly. It's the same with mini-roundabouts and at junctions, where people are on the wrong side of the road for some distance, simply because they will not take the trouble to get things right.

Clutch abuse, or not? - Slow Eddie

I prefer to count drivers rather than weigh them.

Judiciously put, FP!

Clutch abuse, or not? - RT

"... anyone noticed the amount of drivers that cut most corners off now, to the point they could take your front end off if notcarefull?"

I prefer to count drivers rather than weigh them. However, you have a point.

It's mostly due to people being too lazy to use their steering wheel, and/or slow down sufficiently to let them manouvre properly. It's the same with mini-roundabouts and at junctions, where people are on the wrong side of the road for some distance, simply because they will not take the trouble to get things right.

How did we cope before power-steering?

Clutch abuse, or not? - Engineer Andy

"... anyone noticed the amount of drivers that cut most corners off now, to the point they could take your front end off if notcarefull?"

I prefer to count drivers rather than weigh them. However, you have a point.

It's mostly due to people being too lazy to use their steering wheel, and/or slow down sufficiently to let them manouvre properly. It's the same with mini-roundabouts and at junctions, where people are on the wrong side of the road for some distance, simply because they will not take the trouble to get things right.

How did we cope before power-steering?

We drove more slowly and looking ahead more? Also had smaller cars that didn't need power steering. My 1996 Micra never needed power steering. Its those drivers of Austin Princesses I always felt sorry for - my Dad said that they were horrible without power steering and you needed to be a strong person to drive them. I think many cars nowadays have over-assisted power steering, with little actual 'feel' for road conditions; the same goes with a lot of cars' clutches - that Suzuki Celerio I drove for a day or so as a courtesy car had, as far as I could tell, no biting point unless you were crawling along.

Clutch abuse, or not? - Andrew-T

How did we cope before power-steering?

We drove more slowly and looking ahead more? Also had smaller cars that didn't need power steering.

And how did we cope without power steering when the temperature got down below zero (that's zero Fahrenheit = -18°C ) ? We slowed almost to a stop for corners and then wished for a knob on the wheel, as on a forklift.

Clutch abuse, or not? - Avant

"How did we cope before power-steering?"

We had thinner tyres and smaller wheels. The first time I became really aware of the need for power steering was when test-driving a Volvo 340 - must have been sometime in the late 1970s or early 80s. Ferociously heavy steering and an inadequate 1.4 Renault engine (which in fairness was fine in the Renault 5 which we bought for SWMBO instead).

Clutch abuse, or not? - RT

"How did we cope before power-steering?"

We had thinner tyres and smaller wheels. The first time I became really aware of the need for power steering was when test-driving a Volvo 340 - must have been sometime in the late 1970s or early 80s. Ferociously heavy steering and an inadequate 1.4 Renault engine (which in fairness was fine in the Renault 5 which we bought for SWMBO instead).

We did get used to heavy steering though - back in the '90s SWBMO had a Nova 1.2 while I had a Cavalier SRi, neither with PAS - I got so used to the Cavalier's heavy steering that the lightness of the Nova came as a shock. On a later Cavalier that did have PAS I got a similar shock when the cambelt failed, stopping the engine, and I had to get across 3 lanes of congested motorway.

I do find though that PAS removes most of the steering feed-back - particularly SUVs some of which actually tell you on the display unit where the steering is pointing as you've no idea otherwise.

Clutch abuse, or not? - John F

"How did we cope before power-steering?"

Caster angles (self centring effect) were probably less, with deleterious effect on handling and stability, although hardly relevant to the normal low speed driving conditions of today.

It's just another unnecessary expense for many light town cars which really don't need it. My TR7 doesn't have it, and it's no problem even with the over-engineered heavy engine and gearbox at the front.

Clutch abuse, or not? - galileo

"How did we cope before power-steering?"

Caster angles (self centring effect) were probably less, with deleterious effect on handling and stability, although hardly relevant to the normal low speed driving conditions of today.

It's just another unnecessary expense for many light town cars which really don't need it. My TR7 doesn't have it, and it's no problem even with the over-engineered heavy engine and gearbox at the front.

I had 1960s Ford Zephyrs/Zodiacs with cast-iron 6 cylinder engines up front and good-size tyres, steering was light and smooth, thanks to recirculating ball steering boxes: the downside was the gearing meant 4 1/2 turns lock to lock.

 

Ask Honest John

Value my car