Even though the standard clutch is designed to last many years, it is a component of your vehicle that relies on the driver to use it appropriately to get the most years of use out of it. Because driving with a manual transmission relies so much on your input, you really do have to be careful with how you treat it during operation. Otherwise, you could end up needing to have your clutch replaced on a regular basis. Take a look at three things people do to cause their clutch to fail faster than what it should.
1. Leaving your foot parked on the clutch pedal too much.
If you constantly leave your foot propped on the clutch pedal, waiting to press it to change gears, you are actually preventing the clutch from releasing all the way. This means the clutch is never fully disengaged, and it is constantly under pressure, which will cause it to wear out much faster. It is always best to remove your foot from the clutch immediately after changing gears unless you are certain you will be clutching again in just a second or so. A lot of new drivers ride the clutch because they want to be ready when the gears need to be changed, but it is better to train yourself to hold your foot in a position where you can quickly hit the clutch when needed.
2. Using the clutch instead of the emergency brake on a hill.
If you must leave your car parked on a hill, it is always best to rely on the stopping power of the emergency brake. Even though you can probably keep the car in place by positioning the gears in the right spot, this is undue stress on the clutch that really shouldn't be. Therefore, the clutch will wear out faster if you rely on it to hold your vehicle in place.
3. Upgrading the engine without upgrading the clutch.
When a manual transmission is put into a vehicle, it is designed to specifically accommodate the power of the engine that is under the hood. If you make changes to your engine that will give it more torque or horsepower, your clutch will no longer match. This means that it will be harder on the clutch every time you change gears. Upgrading your clutch with a more capable version after engine upgrades is an all-out must if you do not want your clutch to wear out.
For more information on clutches, contact your local auto shop.