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Old 13th December 2007, 16:11   #1
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Question learning to drive, need some advice about proper clutch usage

Hi,
Have been going to driving classes and simultenously practicing it on my 800. I need some suggestions/clarifications to learn a good (read better) habit. This is how I start the vehicle:
a.)[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Cold start/normal start:

Check for neutral, if geared ,slot into neutral. Depress acc. Pedal fully 3-4 times(to clear any gasoline in cylinder- read somewhere , may not make sense for cold start but I still do it). Then start the engine with one fine and quick turn of key(1-3secs), pull and release choke( mine is a carb 800) knob 2- 3 times to maintain the idling.
After idling for 2-3 minutes, slot into first gear and slowly release clutch – at one point the car starts forward , then release clutch fully and car continues to move(works on any near flat surface- I mean car moves without any accelerator push at all).But user manual reads that while releasing clutch , when you hear a change in engine sound , give some accltr push to keep it running smooth, then car starts smoothly forward. But practically this kind of hearing to engine is very difficult to me , most of the time I end up doing it abruptly or very delayed and end result is a stall with a jerk.
So, these days I am just allowing it to roll without accl at all and then after a few meters,if needed I will accelerate or else if it’s a incline down then slotting into 2nd and releasing clutch slowly will keep the vehicle moving in 2nd.( many times I had moved into 2nd gear without accelerating at all, is it bad??)(I mean is it a must that engine should be revving to change gear?)
Of course , many times while doing this kind of slow clutch release , car just jerks and stalls(if clutch release is not smooth- am still learning you see), so are such frequent jerking and staling because of insufficient engine speed harmful to either clutch/engine?? Ofcourse once am some weeks experienced, I may not do that, but just want to know.


b.)Now, if it is an incline up, it is then that I face problem.
I will depress clutch fully and then when say like about 1/10 of clutch is yet to be released I push accl pedal, some times it works but if incline is more steeper, I have to rev more before fully releasing clutch. Now my worry is , will revving engine while clutch is still engaged cause clutch wear.
c.) At driving school, when the road is potholed or at speed breakers, they instruct to depress clutch fully and coast in 2nd gear . clutch need to be released only when movement is too slow. Well, personally I think this causes more clutch wear- holding clutch fully down while engine/vehicle is running, doesn’t it?
d.) in similar situations what I do is, shift to 1st gear and slowly coast along with clutch released and no pumping on gas pedal. Only when some force is needed I will push accl/gas pedal. I feel this is more sensible, is not it? Though coasting in first gear may mean more fuel consumption, I think it is good to engine and clutch , is it not so?
e.) the user manual suggests that engine should be started with clutch fully depressed, but some times (when in neutral) I do start without using clutch. I think its ok because , using clutch is needed if vehicle is in gear only, am I right?
d.) also when going down a steep incline i almost always use engine breaking ( i use 1st or 2nd gear as the case may be) and only if neccesary i will use foot brake. So , in long run will such engine breaking ruin the engine/gear box?( see they will be strained to hold back the vehicle )





So, please advice me regarding my questions / errors .

p.s have searched in this section and found some threads on identifying clutch wear but couldnot figure exact answers to my worries-so has to post a new thread, is the information is already available in some other thread, pardon me and post the link please.
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Old 13th December 2007, 17:01   #2
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Default The New Driver

[/quote]

b.)Now, if it is an incline up, it is then that I face problem.
I will depress clutch fully and then when say like about 1/10 of clutch is yet to be released I push accl pedal, some times it works but if incline is more steeper, I have to rev more before fully releasing clutch. Now my worry is , will revving engine while clutch is still engaged cause clutch wear.
c.) At driving school, when the road is potholed or at speed breakers, they instruct to depress clutch fully and coast in 2nd gear . clutch need to be released only when movement is too slow. Well, personally I think this causes more clutch wear- holding clutch fully down while engine/vehicle is running, doesn’t it?
d.) in similar situations what I do is, shift to 1st gear and slowly coast along with clutch released and no pumping on gas pedal. Only when some force is needed I will push accl/gas pedal. I feel this is more sensible, is not it? Though coasting in first gear may mean more fuel consumption, I think it is good to engine and clutch , is it not so?
e.) the user manual suggests that engine should be started with clutch fully depressed, but some times (when in neutral) I do start without using clutch. I think its ok because , using clutch is needed if vehicle is in gear only, am I right?
f.) also when going down a steep incline i almost always use engine breaking ( i use 1st or 2nd gear as the case may be) and only if neccesary i will use foot brake. So , in long run will such engine breaking ruin the engine/gear box?( see they will be strained to hold back the vehicle )





So, please advice me regarding my questions / errors .

p.s have searched in this section and found some threads on identifying clutch wear but couldnot figure exact answers to my worries-so has to post a new thread, is the information is already available in some other thread, pardon me and post the link please.[/quote]

Answers to your queries:
b. No
c.Control acceleration and use clutch only when speed goes down quite low(so low that the vehicle might stall).Yes,clutch would wear out if the clutch is depressed with engine running
d.correct
e. The load on the engine is least if you depress the clutch,even with gear in neutral.So a cold start is always recommended with gear in neutral,handbrake on and clutch depressed.
f.Good practice..no damage to engine or gear box

To sum up,use the clutch only when needed viz.to prevent engine from stalling in gear,to change gears.Whenever you have to slow down,decelerate and shift to lower gears gradually(use the engine power to brake) and then brake as necessary.

Happy Driving.Ask for more tips if required.
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Old 13th December 2007, 17:22   #3
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I think the best thing to do is find someone who you know is a good experienced driver, preferably a professional, and go out with them. First, let them drive and have them tell you what they are doing, each and every little step, and why. Then you drive and listen to them. Learning by doing from a good driver will be infinitely more beneficial to you than all the writing, and misunderstandgs, you are about to recieve from the well intentioned "experts" on this thread.

Good luck and please be careful...DD
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Old 13th December 2007, 17:40   #4
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Originally Posted by DirtyDan View Post
I think the best thing to do is find someone who you know is a good experienced driver, preferably a professional, and go out with them. First, let them drive and have them tell you what they are doing, each and every little step, and why. Then you drive and listen to them. Learning by doing from a good driver will be infinitely more beneficial to you than all the writing, and misunderstandgs, you are about to recieve from the well intentioned "experts" on this thread.

Good luck and please be careful...DD
Hi DD,
its true that having an experienced good driver( i don't think professionals(read racers) do well in city driving :-) ) ; in my case i find time only in the early mornings and late nights. So, around that odd hours i don't think even a close friend will volunteer to help me daily. Thats why am learing it on my own, ofcourse through online help like this.
Thanks vigsom for the helpful answers, regarding (b) are you sure that revving engine slightly while clutch is still engaged does no harm??but then it is the same as half-clutch riding ,no??
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Old 13th December 2007, 18:17   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deetee View Post
so are such frequent jerking and staling because of insufficient engine speed harmful to either clutch/engine??
If done frequently, I would guess it is harmful.
Quote:
Originally Posted by deetee View Post
b.)Now, if it is an incline up, it is then that I face problem.
I will depress clutch fully and then when say like about 1/10 of clutch is yet to be released I push accl pedal, some times it works but if incline is more steeper, I have to rev more before fully releasing clutch.
Right way is to use the handbrake.
Quote:
Originally Posted by deetee View Post
Now my worry is , will revving engine while clutch is still engaged cause clutch wear.
Yes, it would if you are talking of half clutch. If the clutch is fully disengaged, revving the engine shouldn't cause clutch plate wear.
Quote:
Originally Posted by deetee View Post
e.) the user manual suggests that engine should be started with clutch fully depressed, but some times (when in neutral) I do start without using clutch. I think its ok because , using clutch is needed if vehicle is in gear only, am I right?
Depressing the lucth is a safety measure and it would also ensure slightly lesser load on the starter motor.
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Old 14th December 2007, 09:42   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deetee View Post
Thanks vigsom for the helpful answers, regarding (b) are you sure that revving engine slightly while clutch is still engaged does no harm??but then it is the same as half-clutch riding ,no??
Some harm is done... but you have to accelerate just enough and release the clutch gradually for the car to move.The ultimate aim is not only to disallow the engine to stall but also not to move like a rocket.I cannot say more by words..will need to demonstrate this !!!!
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Old 14th December 2007, 10:35   #7
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Originally Posted by deetee View Post
Depress acc. Pedal fully 3-4 times(to clear any gasoline in cylinder- read somewhere , may not make sense for cold start but I still do it). ........... pull and release choke( mine is a carb 800) knob 2- 3 times to maintain the idling.
!!! Have never done these myself.

Once you get used to driving, you won't pay attention to procedures anymore and become 'unconsciously competent'.

These are the four stages of competence vis-a-vis driving:

1) Unconsciously incompetent (they have never tried it, so they think it's no big deal)
2) Consciously incompetent (have tried it, so now they know how tough it is. Some get discouraged and drop off at this point).
3) Consciously competent (have learned the tricks, but is conscious of it all the time - "hey, don't talk to me while I am driving!")
4) Unconsciously competent (well, that's what most of the seasoned drivers are. Driving isn't an ordeal anymore, and comes naturally like any other activity such as walking or running).

These stages aren't very discrete, so one can exist at any point in the continuum.

Sorry about all the funda; I know it didn't help you any bit, deetee.
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Old 14th December 2007, 12:37   #8
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Sorry about all the funda; I know it didn't help you any bit, deetee.
Hey no problem, i can understand that unconsiously competent thing because, day by day am picking up- i mean my driving habits are becoming more smooth. Intially i used to jerk and stall the vehicle 3-4 times before pulling off in 1st gear, now most of the times i do it smoothly.also things like engine braking are falling in place smoothly -but still still only thing that scares me off is how to drive in a stop n go traffic on inclines up. my driving instructor doesnot seem to be bothered about this.So , have to try this myself after some time(with some one beside me). there is a 40-45 degree incline near my home, I can practice on that but 80% of the time there is no traffic on that( people just avoid it.)So, what ever i do, i still have to test my skills in actual traffic.
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Old 14th December 2007, 13:52   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deetee View Post
there is a 40-45 degree incline near my home
I think you overestimated that. 40-45 is way too steep!

Yes, it's just a matter of time before you master the art.
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Old 16th March 2010, 19:57   #10
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Default Basic question regarding clutch

Hi,
I am a new driver, and I have a very basic (and somewhat embarrassing ) question to ask regarding starting a car.

I completed my driving school lessons about a month back, and needless to say, they were quite BAD. In my own new car, I realize how different things are when the co-driver doesn't manipulate the clutch/brake/accelerator constantly.

So anyway, my question is this. In my driving school Santro, when I let out the clutch in first gear, the car used to move automatically, and quite easily.

However, in my new car (Chevy Beat), this doesn't look as effortless. Most of the times, the car stalls if I attempt to start without any accelerator use (especially if there's any hint of a slope).

A temp-driver I've employed is telling me that for any starts, a little amount of gas is a must. I'm a bit confused - can someone clarify things here

I stalled my car quite a number of times since I've never had much practice starting the car with simultaneous use of the clutch and accelerator at my driving school!
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Old 17th March 2010, 07:38   #11
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Hi quadmaniac, a little pressing of the gas pedal will be required, to get moving.
Maybe, the idle speed was higher in your Santro, which allowed you to get going without much of a push on the gas pedal. Or, more probably, the clutch was already worn out, allowing quicker release without stalling!
Also, try releasing the clutch pedal a bit more progressively (partially release the clutch to allow the vehicle to start moving just a little, before fully releasing the clutch after it picks up some speed). But don't overdo this, to avoid damage to your clutch.
All the best!

Last edited by mooza : 17th March 2010 at 07:44.
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Old 17th March 2010, 07:41   #12
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Yeah, they could have had the engine idling speed set higher so it felt like that. But in each car this amount of gas for moving into 1st gear differs and you learn as you go along.

It also depends on how many are in the car.
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Old 17th March 2010, 09:51   #13
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This has been a confusing topic to me always & hence I'm adding my thoughts & asking my questions on clutch.

My WagonR's idle RPM is about 900 (without A/C), when I release the clutch gradually, I mean real gradually, my car moves just fine & I don't need to pedal the gas & subsequently I can shift the gear to 2nd too. I'm sure I don't need to step the gas, but if I step on the gas pedal, yes, then I don't need to cautiously release the clutch, I can release it normally while the car moves.

This is an observation I've noticed with several other cars like Santro & Omni too.

Question - isn't it normal that the cars starts moving when the clutch is released cautiously on the first gear?
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Old 17th March 2010, 10:16   #14
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My 2 paise:

The movement of the vehicle, when the clutch is releases (without any acceleration given) is dependent on the power (torque) of the vehicle and how much of it is required to move from its current position.

On level ground, most vehicles will move without acceleration given. But on up-slopes, the engine must be able to pull itself, at the idling RPM, up that slope. This is where diesel engines will perform better than petrol ones.

Example being, my house parking come out to a sloped road. I can get my Alto out to the road (from the parking spot) without acceleration. But to move up the slope I have to give acceleration. Whereas, the neighbors Indica moves up the slope without any acceleration.

Would suggest all not to experiment with this; do not take too long to release the clutch. Releasing cautiously and slowly might not be the best thing, since the situation is similar to riding clutch, for some time. Try to get the foot completely off the clutch and the vehicle moving at the earliest.
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Old 17th March 2010, 10:25   #15
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^^^ Yes, I'm aware of all the above points @Happywheels & appreciate you for confirming them.
Now looking @quadmaniac's question, he should also be able to release the clutch gradually & keep the car moving without stalling right? May be the effort could be slightly more with Beat compared to driving school's Santro and and effort from gas pedal isn't actually required right?

Last edited by aargee : 17th March 2010 at 10:27.
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