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When You Drive, Where Do You Put Your Left Foot?

Did you know that your driving behaviour can have an effect on the amount of money you spend on maintenance? This is especially true for people who tend to rest their left foot on top of the clutch pedal when they are driving along the road. What problems could you encounter if you are guilty of this behaviour or are a little aggressive when you change gear?

Normal Operation

As you know, for a vehicle equipped with a manual gearbox to operate correctly, the driver must be able to disengage the engine from the transmission from time to time. They need to ensure that the gearbox input shaft stops spinning so they can select the proper gear and reconnect the power.

How Things Work

Many vehicles are equipped with a cable that runs from the clutch pedal to the gearbox casing. There, it connects with a fork mechanism and release bearing that separate the clutch plate from the engine flywheel to begin the process.

Unnecessary Wear and Tear

If you keep your foot on top of the clutch pedal to "be convenient," you will exert a small amount of pressure without realising it. This behaviour will contract the cable to a degree and will cause the release bearing to spin without reason. Eventually, that bearing will start to wear out prematurely, while the cable may also stretch. As time goes by, this will make it more difficult for you to disconnect the engine when needed unless a mechanic adjusts the cable and services the clutch.

Rough and Ready

Some people are a bit rough when they depress and release the clutch pedal or may accelerate hard without reason. These activities can also place additional wear and tear on the individual clutch parts, and they could fail prematurely in this situation.

Better Behaviour

It's always good to keep your left foot planted firmly on the floor and only touch the clutch pedal when it is absolutely necessary. Try to be as smooth as possible when engaging and disengaging the clutch, and you should not run into any problems at all.

Regular Inspection

When you take your vehicle in for a regular service, the mechanic will always inspect the release bearing, pressure plate and cable. If needed, they'll make any small adjustments, but ordinarily, you should not need to spend too much time on clutch repairs if you modify your driving behaviour.

For more information, contact a car mechanic near you.