Hill starts - bell boy
Just seeing another thread on clutches has made me think about how people misuse a clutch because in the words of alan sugar
"they aint got a ***** clue
Theres a hill near me and half way up is a cross roads too,every morning without fail theres a crash of some sorts there,i go out of my way to avoid this junction,
Because people of today have no clutch control,specifically women im afraid,they come up to the junction are frightened to death of stopping and so try to keep the car rolling,they pull their front ends out see a car coming from either side and then to capitulate the problem they boot the accelerator,all this does is give them wheel spin and the vehicle bearing down on them has nowhere to go but to hit them/

I advocate that all new pupils should be able to demonstrate to a driving test examiner that they can do clutch control.
Interestingly i sell quite a few small autos to women for the very reason they cant get their heads round gear /clutch slip /hand to gear to steering wheel control

i am not looking to start an argument on women drivers by the way,i am just putting my point of view forward from day to day fact
Hill starts - andyp
I have always thought that to use a clutch properly you need to understand how it works. That way you will understand more why holding the car on the clutch for 5 mins (my OH !) is not a good idea !
Hill starts - Lud
You could order a 2CV or Dyane, and very likely the Ami 6 and 8, with a supplementary centrifugal clutch that ran in series with the conventional one. It would disengage at idle speed, and you could keep the car in gear while it was at rest. Press the loud pedal and it would smoothly (by 2CV standards) engage and move the car off. All gearchanges on the move used the conventional clutch, as once the engine was spinning above idle speed the centrifugal one remained fully engaged.

It wasn't very expensive, but it did make the flywheel, already a heavy item in the 2CV, even heavier. It preserved the conventional clutch lining too, but its own bob-weight friction shoes could wear out eventually with fairly dire results if you ignored the metal-to-metal noise for long enough (as I once did).

The device did make urban driving a lot more relaxing though, and the sort of drivers bell boy is talking about would have found it very reassuring.

Edited by Lud on 24/04/2009 at 14:32

Hill starts - jetta
After watching my wife ruin a new clutch while attempting to make a hill start I made sure her next car had an automatic transmission. Having spent more than 20 years attempting to teach her proper clutch use I had to admit defeat and go with plan B.
Hill starts - Lygonos
My manual Subaru Forester has a 'hill-holder clutch' - once you hit the brake pedal with the clutch depressed, you can release the brake and the car sits until you release the clutch. No clutch wear and tear necessary.

This fantastically effective device is basically a ballbearing in a tube - no electronics or fancy stuff to go wrong, and it can be adjusted if necessary by turning a nut.

A clutch is basically a brake that is allowed to slip in a (usually) controlled manner - you wouldn't drive along the motorway with your foot on the brakes for a mile if you didn't have to, so why do it to your clutch on hills ?

Should be on every car.
Hill starts - Rattle
I have burnt out a clutch so I am being very careful in my Corsa now. I no longer hold down the clutch at lights, I just stick in nautral. On a hill I leave it in nautral with hand brake on then as the lights start to change get the biting point release handbrake put preasure on gas and of I smoothly go.

Funilly enough hill starts become a lot easier since treating it like operating a big plate rather than how I have been taught.

I like to think in the last month I have become very good at clutch control because I know I don't want to burn another one out.

I actually rather enjoy hill starts now, there is something wonderful about moving off very slowly without any roll back at at all.

PS hill starts are still covered in the test but I don#'t even remember if I had to it in my test because its such a trivial part of it.
Hill starts - Alby Back
I have the opposite problem. My wife is an excellent driver. Superb in fact. Confident, skilled and with great mechanical sympathy. She can park anything from a supermini to a transit van with pinpoint accuracy. She also holds an IAM qualification.

Like many blokes I of course believe my own driving skills to be unimpeachable. However, when we are in a car together and I am drving she can't help but mutter under her breath things like "that was a third gear corner really" "you could have overtaken there" and so on.......

Very irritating.......

Hill starts - Hamsafar
I once heard an old man say that manuals should be banned for safety reasons and I thought he was a berk, but while I don't yet agree with him, I'm much closer to that position these days when you see how people perform with them.

Edited by Hamsafar on 24/04/2009 at 15:48

Hill starts - redviper
Although guilty of it myself, i take great care not to hold the clutch - BUT i have to constantly tell SWMBO not to hold the clutch in my Astra, as she very often does. and when I do comment on it I get

"well my Seat could do it with no problems"

to wich i reply

"i dont care - put it neatrual and put the handbrake on"

However she does the following in her Auto C4

Increases the revs, and keeps it steady, so that it holds, just like holding a clutch in a manual, but of course without the pedal - as im not that clued up on Auto's is she lilely to Damage it / is there still a "clutch" system to burn out?

Hill starts - Old Navy
I was taught, (car tests Australia and UK, HGV3, 2, and 1), that the clutch pedal should be fully depressed or your foot should be off the pedal. Whats wrong with stop, handbrake on, carry out hill start ? It works for me, I havent worn out a clutch in over 40 years of driving.
Hill starts - daveyjp
If the C4 has an automated clutch automatic, rather than a torque converter, she is doing the same damage as riding the clutch on a manual.

A clutch pack for an automated manual isn't as cheap as a new handbrake cable or a set of brake pads!

Doesn't anyone else find it more relaxing to put handbrake on, select neutral and just sit there with the engine ticking over?
Hill starts - Old Navy
Yes, me!
Hill starts - daveyjp
Old Navy - like you I've never had a clutch replaced (sorry I've had one done, but that was on a car which had done 79,000 before I bought it).

Neither has my dad who taught me to drive and since than he's had about 8 driving school cars each covering over 100,000 miles.
Hill starts - sierraman
Yes me!

And me.Holding a torque converter auto by increasing the revs,why would anyone do that when all you have to do is increase revs as you release the h/brake?It will overheat the fluid if nothing else.In tandem with Lud's thread it seems people think modern cars are indestructible and can be abused outrageously.
Hill starts - redviper
Yes me, when i take the C4 out i put on the handbrake im not sure what type of auto it is though - anyways I know for sure that if it does go, then i cannot be blamed for it, Ive told her before about it - cant do more than that really - however in my Astra its strictly banned lol!
Hill starts - GroovyMucker
Doesn't anyone else find it more relaxing to put handbrake on select neutral and just
sit there with the engine ticking over?

But-but-but what's the footbrake for then?


Actually, I find it difficult to do it any other way.

But I rarely see anyone else able to manage the (apparently advanced) coordination technique required to achieve this.
Hill starts - bathtub tom
>>sit there with the engine ticking over

And waste all that fuel?

I prefer to gamble on the starter motor lasting until I sell the car. ;>)
Hill starts - Old Navy
But-but-but what's the footbrake for then?

Dazzling the driver behind with your brake lights of course! :)
Hill starts - b308
I'm another that uses neutral and handbrake when at lights...
Hill starts - Old Navy
One driving instructor (HGV) told me to treat time stopped at traffic lights or in traffic as a few minutes or seconds "rest time", Handbrake on, neutral, relax. Odd the things you remember from years ago.

Edited by Old Navy on 24/04/2009 at 17:28

Hill starts - stan10
Exactly the reason that i never get too close behind anyone on even a small gradient, i always leave plenty of "rolling room".

Hill starts - redviper
my driving instructer used to tell me he could not understand why people sit and hold clutches/sit with their foot on the brake - he said he liked to (and i should learn to, which i do) handbrake on, feet of pedals - and relax! :-)
Hill starts - Old Navy
Exactly the reason that i never get too close behind anyone on even a small
gradient i always leave plenty of "rolling room".

Are you saying that I cant hillstart a laden 40odd ton truck without crushing a matchbox placed behind a wheel ? Or most people cant clutch control ?

Edited by Old Navy on 24/04/2009 at 18:27

Hill starts - stan10
Sorry ON, my comment was to bell boys original post, ( i would probably still leave a gap behind your 40 tonner though, so that you can see me and know that i am there. :)
Hill starts - Old Navy
Sorry ON >>

No problem :)
Hill starts - Alby Back
I always use neutral + handbrake for all but momentary stops. I also have never had to replace a clutch or DMF despite driving many hundreds of thousands of miles in cars which are allegedly prone to this failure.Is this a coincidence ?
Hill starts - Lud

" ... 'then I felt it moving again,' Mr ***** added. 'The brakes weren't all that good following a standard cheap service from (name withheld for legal reasons) but fortunately I am a cyclist so my legs are fairly robust. Even so I could feel the sole of my trainer wearing away as I brought the truckload of dangerous toxic technology to a shuddering halt.'

'I blame the prime minister,' Mr ***** added tearfully. 'Can I have the money now?' "
Hill starts - bell boy
Lud when i get this bad i always go on holiday

your trusted servant
bellboy ;-)
Hill starts - Dave_TD
I had the clutch replaced on my Octavia at 205,000 miles - only because it was more than halfway worn, therefore worth doing while the gearbox was being replaced! That car (like my lorry now) had the wonderful characteristic of having enough torque at idle to pull away without touching the accelerator - I never stalled it.

My lorry's clutch disintegrated last year at only 585,000km ;-)
Hill starts - gordonbennet
There's another reason many people can't perform hill starts these days and thats because many popular car engine's are useless at low revs and will stall at the slightest provocation, petrol and diesel.
So possibly knowing the ease with which these cars stall, the driver gives the thing more boot and a bit of clutch slip, and hey ho the FWD things then wheelspin like billio.

(the car that performs very well in this respect is the little 3cyl C1/107/Aygo, that little thing will pull like a good 'un from very low revs and is almost impossible to stall)

I delivered a new small very popular car about a few weeks ago, the delivery point was the other side of a low bridge so i had to park one side and drive the thing several hundred yards.
I kid you not, from taking it off the truck and putting the gear away to getting shot of it i'd stalled it no less than 6 times, the only way to start without stalling was to give it enough gun to cause wheelspin...
This must have been the base small engined jobbie, and i wouldn't give you a thankyou for it.
This same car when fitted with automated manual box can't make it onto transporters either without great difficulty.

Old school diesels are the most driveable IMO at low speeds, and the extra engine weight helps to counter wheelspin.
Hill starts - b308
It seems to be a trait of the smaller diesels, GB, I've always found that the larger VAG TDis can do the "no accelerator" starts but the 1.4 TDi whilst it would do it, wasn't very keen!

I wonder with the petrol engines if its a case of trying to get as much power out of them as possible thats causing the lack of low end torque... Fi's 1.4 Polo is the 60bhp one and is very tracktable at low speeds, as is the 1750 Maxi, but both are not very fast! Perhaps there's a connection?
Hill starts - gordonbennet
I wonder with the petrol engines if its a case of trying to get as
much power out of them as possible thats causing the lack of low end torque...

I've thought this for a long time B3, and with diesels more so as they've become very popular, for some reason younger (especially) drivers are obsessed with ''brake'' which i believe is the current word and all important, completely forgetting the more important torque available below peak....the lugging power that makes a car nice to drive in the real world.

How many people actually test a potential car properly and only find out the thing's gutless once they own it.

I probably feel the effects of this lack of torque more than most through trying to load these cars on the transporters without resorting to high revs and clutch slipping.

The first really popular car that was difficult to load was the early 1.4 carb' mk5? Escorts (last shape pre facelift), ISTR they were one of the lean burn engines, had to get a run up to get them on...not good, and there were thousands of the things on rental fleets.
Peculiarly the 1.3 was better.
The carb' 1.4 was quite short lived if i remember and i think it was fuel injected soon after which made a huge improvement, but the 1.8 petrol in that car was one of the nicest cars i'd driven of that era, effortless power.

Hill starts - Old Navy
had to get a run up to get them on...not good >>

I hope you did a brake test first, I had a chuckle at the thought of you trying to stop before going off the front.

Edited by Old Navy on 25/04/2009 at 09:59

Hill starts - gordonbennet
I hope you did a brake test first I had a chuckle at the thought
of you trying to stop before going off the front.

It could be quite hair raising ON, but usually the danger was hitting the cars already on.
The transporters of the time had much steeper approach angles than the new stuff....eeh they don't they're born today.

I won't say where but the situation your suggest has occured frequently fairly recently, not to me i hasten to add, inexperienced (inexpensive?)...that's as much as i dare say.;)
Hill starts - sierraman
I wonder with the petrol engines if its a case of trying to get as
much power out of them as possible thats causing the lack of low end torque

This an engine fact,multi-valve engines produce less torque than two valvers.Giving a friend a lift recently he commented on my staying in a higher gear than he would for the situation,I told him I could do this as I had the advantage of only eight valves and thus more low down grunt,which is what I would want for an estate.
Hill starts - Woodspeed
Which is why my "classic" 8v Golf GTi Mk2, is so much nicer than the 16v, and quicker to 80 MPH too.
Hill starts - Andrew-T
I wonder with the petrol engines if its a case of trying to get as much power out of them as possible ..

Or is it because the electronics make the engines idle on virtually no fuel?
Hill starts - mike hannon
The C3 diesel I drive regularly has some sort of anti-stall device fitted, which I notice very occasionally when I (accidentally!) leave it in second when travelling very slowly. I thought, because my experience of modern cars is limited, that something like that was a common fitting these days. I don't think it's necessarily effect for hill starts though.
Hill starts - mike hannon
I don't think it's necessarily effective for hill starts though.

What's the point of a system that lets you call up and edit a message, then tells you you're too late?

Ask Honest John

Value my car