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Old 08-24-2008, 07:28 AM   #2
Lil bastard
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Du Monde
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The longer you hold the clutch, the longer it is wearing against the flywheel. The clutch compound is softer and so it wears.

You should really engage as soon as you can without jarring it or stalling the engine. As soon as the clutch and flywheel are fully engaged and turning together, the better.

The is a specific rpm at any speed and gear combination where the flywheel and the clutch are turning at or near the same rate. Shifting at these points will cause the least wear. It takes some learning to discover where these rpms are, but when you hit them, you'll notice very little disturbance or shudder, the clutch just seems to slip right in.

People who double-clutch use this technique, where they 'blip' the throttle to match revs with the clutch. This not only saves the clutch, but wear to the synchros, bearings and cv joints too. Racers use it because they can keep the engine in it's 'sweet spot' and don't have to build the revs/power again.

There are other things you can do to baby the clutch too. Don't hold the clutch in at stoplights or signs, go into neutral and release the clutch completely. Don't ride the clutch, get you foot off the pedal as soon as you can and don't get on it until the very last moment. Don't use the clutch to hold the car on an incline or hill. And in city driving, anticipate your stops and downshift as little as possible, coast (in gear w/o lugging the motor) and use the brakes to slow/stop the car. All these things will reduce wear on the clutch and extend it's useful miles.
1990 Porsche 964 Carrera 4 Cabriolet
1976 BMW 2002
1990 BMW 325is
1999 Porsche Boxster
(gone, but not forgotten)

Never drive faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!
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