Prevent Early Clutch Wear And Tear
Your car or truck's manual transmission needs regular maintenance to ensure its long life. Some maintenance can be done at home, while others should be performed by a professional. Keeping up with your manual transmission's maintenance, combined with good driving habits, ensures that your clutch remains trouble-free for a long time. Here are some tips for keeping your manual transmission healthy.
Monitor Your Fluid
Your manual transmission's fluid reduces friction and heat damage to the internal parts such as the hypoid gears. However, most manual transmissions don't have a dipstick or any other easy way to check the fluid. In some cases, you can stick your finger into the fill hole and see if you touch any fluid. Check your manual for the exact location of the fill plug. Often, the fill and drain plug is located on the same side of the transmission. If you open the wrong plug, then you may risk draining the fluid out.
Keep Your Foot Off the Pedal
Riding the clutch (as in leaving your foot on the clutch pedal) and other bad habits can contribute to overheating your clutch and premature wear. You are pushing the pressure pad and making contact with the clutch without full engagement. This causes unnecessary friction. You could wear down the clutch material faster. You also put extra stress on the clutch cable. Even if you are in stop-and-go traffic, try to keep your foot off the clutch unless you are using it to shift.
Many people say that you shouldn't downshift when coming to a stop because it wears out the clutch prematurely. Instead, you use your brakes to stop without downshifting because they are less costly to replace. However, keep safety in mind when you decide to downshift of not. In some cases, it's safer to downshift or use engine braking, especially at fast speeds or going downhill.
Have Your Clutch, Pedal, and Cable Checked
Even if you are not having trouble with your manual transmission, have it inspected at least once a year. At this time, the entire transmission needs to be looked over, especially moving parts like cables, pedals, and the clutch. Bring your vehicle in for inspection any time you notice burning smells because that could indicate unusual wear or damage.
Driving a stick shift can be fun and practical, but manual transmissions need regular maintenance to keep them responsive. Signs that you have a problem include difficulty getting into gear, slipping, and overheating.
To learn more about if you need clutch repair, contact an auto service near you.