Menu

Clutch contol

Clutch control or holding the clutch pedal partially engaged (down) may be necessary when manoeuvring at slow speed and good clutch control only comes with practice. 

Unfortunately, many learners are not given enough the opportunity to practice the 'clutch control' technique as often as necessary so resort to driving automatic cars as an alternative. 

It should be noted, slipping the clutch to compensate for being in too high a gear at low speed is bad driving practice and should be avoided. 

It is essential at an early stage to understand what the meaning of the biting point.  This is when the two clutch plates make contact and the load on the engine increases. 

Being able to sense the biting point is a crucial part of clutch control as well as making sure the clutch plates engage fully and smoothly.  If the plates come together too quickly the engine could stall or the vehicle may jump out of control. 

You'll learn with practice to judge the biting point exactly through seeing the front of the car lift, feeling and hearing the engine speed drop. 

The feel of the clutch will vary with different vehicles and will change as the clutch wears. 

Simple exercises can be practised to get accustomed to the finding the biting point and clutch control.

Find a suitable area that minimises outside distractions and whilst the car is stationary, practice lifting the cutch (slowly) to feel the car lift and the engine noise change.  This exercise should be repeated as often as required until you are satisfied. 

When your confidence in find the biting point has developed well enough practise clutch control by simply moving forward and stopping by lowering and raising the clutch pedal no more than the thickness of a pound coin.  clutch control the thickness of a pound coin

It is essential that the car moves very slowly for this technique to be effective, if the road conditions dictate (downhill) or the speed increases too much, use the brake pedal. 

Avoid being pressured to move on too quickly without understanding or practice.