Sitting with clutch depressed - good? - nickd01
My dad always told me to start the car with the clutch depressed; less strain apparently. I've always done this as it kind of made sense.
However when I'm sitting in stop-start traffic, even stopped at lights sometimes, I also sit with the clutch depressed - either in gear or neutral.
The question is, am I damaging something somewhere? Surely I must be stretching or wearing something doing this? On my old car, depressing the clutch in used to stop an annoying rattling; I think someone mentioned it might have been an "idler gear" ? I guess it's been habbit since then....
Sitting with clutch depressed - good? - Malcolm_L
Starting the car with the clutch depressed is is good advice, you're disconnected from the gearbox which even in neutral saps some power.

You're not damaging anything by keeping the clutch depressed - however you will probably shorten the life of the clutch bearing.

If you're in neutral at traffic lights, why bother depressing the clutch?

I guess you're right - it's a habit!

Sitting with clutch depressed - good? - nick
You'll wear out the clutch release bearing pretty quickly. The bearing doesn't cost much but fitting it will cost £££ on many cars.
It's also dangerous to sit in gear with the clutch depressed. If you foot slips, or you're hit up the backside, and you release the clutch, off you go into the car in front. The safest way to sit at lights etc, in a manual car, is in neutral, feet off the pedals, hand brake on.
Sitting with clutch depressed - good? - DL
Take it out of gear like I'm always telling the missus to do!!!

--
groups.msn.com/honestjohn - Pictures say a thousand words.....
Sitting with clutch depressed - good? - glowplug
Would it also weaken the pressure plate, making the clutch slip prematurely?

Steve.
Sitting with clutch depressed - good? - Cliff Pope
I'm sure it doesn't do any good to any of the clutch components, least of all the release bearing.
But then neither does clanging it back into gear in one's haste to get away once the lights change.
Sitting with clutch depressed - good? - king arthur
I'm sure it doesn't do any good to any of the
clutch components, least of all the release bearing.
But then neither does clanging it back into gear in one's
haste to get away once the lights change.


Well a good driver would anticipate when the lights are about to change and wouldn't need to do this... :)
Sitting with clutch depressed - good? - Cyd
One should be able to watch the opposite lights at most sets and as soon as you see them start to change you can then move into gear ready for ones own lights to change.

Sitting in gear or neutral in any gear reduces the life of all the components in the clutch chain from your shoe leather to the clutch plate. As mentioned elsewhere it's also unsafe and would lead to a test failure.

Keeping the car in neutral with the clutch released also keeps the gearbox mainshaft spinning and so maintains splash lubrication in the 'box when not moving and so is good for the box.

Pressing the clutch during engine start is good (especially in winter) because it removes the gearbox load from the starter / battery circuit (both physically and electrically).
Sitting with clutch depressed - good? - L'escargot
One should be able to watch the opposite lights at most
sets and as soon as you see them start to change
you can then move into gear ready for ones own lights
to change.


Cyd, always nice to see instances of drivers learning from experience and alert observation. Doubt if they even mention things like this during modern driving instructions. It appears that too many people these days have a blinkered approach to driving ~ if it's not in the book, they don't do it.

It's all about anticipation. When I'm in a queue of stationary traffic, I put my car into gear when the car two or three cars in front of me starts to move. I leave my handbrake on until the last second though.
--
L'escargot by name, but not by nature.
Sitting with clutch depressed - good? - JOHN 2002
My problem is with drivers who don't do it even though it is in the book.......like indicating at junctions for instance, which seems to be optional to an increasing number at present.
Sitting with clutch depressed - good? - Davy_S {P}
"My problem is with drivers who don't do it even though it is in the book.......like indicating at junctions for instance, which seems to be optional to an increasing number at present."

Didn't you know ...... we're all mind readers!!
Sitting with clutch depressed - good? - Civic8
Didn`t you know we are getting better at it.I don`t think
Sitting with clutch depressed - good? - John S
Cyd

Yep, exactly what I do, and it gives just enough time. Always brought up when learning on my Dad's car to minimise the time the clutch is depressed (Don't sit there with your foot on that clutch son!), for exactly the reasons you describe. I always view putting the car in neutral as one of the easiest things you can do to minimise wear and costs on the car. That some modern cars have the clutch slave cylinder in the bellhousing acting directly on the thrust bearing is another good reason to use neutral.

As for starting the car though, I never bother to depress the clutch. I certainly don't do it in the Minor as the drag from the carbon ring thrust bearing is far greater than that of the gearbox. Depressing the clutch on that slightly slows the idle speed!

Regards

John S
Sitting with clutch depressed - good? - wemyss
John,
Agree with all you say but with respect not the one about not depressing the clutch on startup.
Not for any technical reasons but for safety. There could just be the occasion when it happens the car was in gear and the handbrake wasn?t firmly on and someone was standing in the front or behind the vehicle.
With a diesel in particular it wouldn?t stall but simply start the engine and move off in gear.
Reminds me of an accident which happened at an Army camp many decades ago. The Army had a scout car at the time named I think a Ferret. It had a RR engine with a preselect gearbox and sadly a soldier was crushed by one being started whilst in gear.
Apparently the lever could be in neutral but still in gear. A driver started the engine and the vehicle went forward against a wall where the lad was standing. I do recall a notice was placed after this incident in the vehicle giving instructions to the driver that before starting the engine the clutch must be depressed X number of times.
Not the same I know but I personally think it always safer to have the clutch down.
alvin
Sitting with clutch depressed - good? - John S
Alvin

Fair point. I'm always careful not to leave the car in gear, but I have been caught out when we had a Saab which had to be in reverse to remove the ignition key. Good handbrake so no damage other than the enduring shame of the eyes raised to heaven by 'er indoors, who was the regular driver of said car!

Yes, preselector gearboxes, as also used in the old London buses. I sure these could be left in gear, because of the way the system works, whilst the lever could be placed anywhere in the gate - it isn't directly conected to the selector mechanism of course. I think depressing the selector pedal, not strictly a clutch as these used a torque convertor {'fluid flywheel' as it was called}, does disengage the drive. Never thought of it as a safety hazard, but it certainly is, as you say.

Regards

John S
Sitting with clutch depressed - good? - prelude
Hi I would not recommend you sit in traffic with clutch depressed. From a safety point of view - if anyone should back end you - evan at lo speed you will instinctively take you foot off the clutch and drive forward - possibly into the car infront or crossing traffic. This will more than offset the minimal wear cost of other bits and pieces but hold the clutch out.

 

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