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Hey guys,

I'm new to the forum. I just picked up my brand new 2012 Mustang GT about a week ago. I'm also new to driving stick. I've managed to get a pretty good handle on it over the past week.

I still have a few questions that I'm not sure of...

1. Are hard starts bad for your clutch?? Obviously if you're reving up to 5k+ rpm and dropping the clutch - you're putting some wear on your clutch. But, what about at 3k??? still bad?

2. In traffic, I find it useful to slowly release the clutch - allowing the clutch to pull the car (not giving any gas). It moves the car at a slow speed which is perfect for stop and go traffic. Is this bad for the clutch? someone told me that its not good to let the clutch pull the car. Is that right?

3. When downshifting (which I'm still trying to get used to). I find that the car shoots forward quickly as I release the clutch before it begins to slow down in the lower gear. What am I doing wrong? Am I reving too high?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks.
 

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1. if its considered a "hard start" then yes it only lowers the life of your clutch. Its hard on everything though not just your clutch.

2. yes slowly releasing the clutch is considered more wear and tear because it creates much more friction and heat. When theres more heat on the flywheel the more likely you are to have it warp.

3. Use your brakes. Its much easier to replace your brakes to than it is to replace your clutch. Your not driving an 18 wheeler.
 

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Great to have you here , enjoy the site :yup:
 

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Practice practice practice and then more practice.:bigthumbsup

BTW I downshifted all the time with my LS1 T56, and the original clutch lasted to 149K miles. When it was replaced with an LS9 twin disc it still had plenty of life left on it.
 

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If the car lurches forward when downshifting, you are giving it too much gas.

Letting the clutch pull you from a stop with no gas probably isn't the best thing you can do to your clutch, but the RPMs and torque are so low you'd have to do it for a long time before you started melting anything. The clutch can take a fair bit of abuse.

Shocking the drivetrain (dumping the clutch) is bad for the clutch (and the rest of the system) no matter what the RPM is. Even at the drag strip, you'll get the best launch by slipping the clutch. If you dump it, you'll either bog the engine down or spin out forever. I know this from experience - my best time dumping was 13.5; my best time slipping was 12.75.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the info.

So, what do you suggest I do when driving in traffic?
When you need to move up slowly and then stop again. The prob is, I can't even fully engage the clutch before I have to begin stopping.
I don't get my foot complete off the clutch before I have to disengage it again. Is that okay?

Its similar to when I'm reversing. When in reverse I have to RIDE the clutch because if I complete get off the clutch, the car is moving too quickly. Is this bad?

Like I mentioned earlier - I'm new to driving stick. Any helpful tricks would be appreciated.
 

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If the car lurches forward when downshifting, you are giving it too much gas.

Letting the clutch pull you from a stop with no gas probably isn't the best thing you can do to your clutch, but the RPMs and torque are so low you'd have to do it for a long time before you started melting anything. The clutch can take a fair bit of abuse.

Shocking the drivetrain (dumping the clutch) is bad for the clutch (and the rest of the system) no matter what the RPM is. Even at the drag strip, you'll get the best launch by slipping the clutch. If you dump it, you'll either bog the engine down or spin out forever. I know this from experience - my best time dumping was 13.5; my best time slipping was 12.75.
As I am also new to driving stick can you tell me the difference in slipping the clutch and dumping the clutch? Great thread for us newbies! Thanks!
 

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I'm a newbie, so you probably want someone to confirm this...
I believe the main difference is...

Dropping the Clutch - bring your revs up (somewhere between 3k-5k) and QUICKLY release the clutch.

Slipping the Clutch - Give a bit more gas than you normally would when taking off (maybe 3k) and then slowly release the clutch. This allows you to have more control of the car - i.e. control wheel spin, acceleration speed, etc.

I don't believe either are good for your clutch though.
 

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dont worry about it... good clutches are only about 1500 on this car lol

honestly, dont over think it, its the best bet.. if your a "car guy" listen to your car.. it will tell you when you downshift or up shift.

when i got my first car with a manual (not sure if this is your first or not) , i would simply go out and just drive. find up and down hills to start and stop on.. and big parking lots to practice taking off smoothly.. before you know it, you'll be a pro!
and if not.. as long as you think you are, thats all that counts!!:gringreen
 

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There's really no right or wrong way. Just learn your car. Learn the feel and how it behaves. Bottom line: things should feels smooth for every day driving.
 

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Thanks for the info.

So, what do you suggest I do when driving in traffic?
When you need to move up slowly and then stop again. The prob is, I can't even fully engage the clutch before I have to begin stopping.
I don't get my foot complete off the clutch before I have to disengage it again. Is that okay?

Its similar to when I'm reversing. When in reverse I have to RIDE the clutch because if I complete get off the clutch, the car is moving too quickly. Is this bad?

Like I mentioned earlier - I'm new to driving stick. Any helpful tricks would be appreciated.
Honestly, dude, the clutch is a wear item. No matter how you drive it, no matter how perfect your engagements are, the clutch is still eventually going to wear out. Just like brake pads.

Sometimes I do all the things you just listed. Especially the reverse thing; I frequently have to ride it myself. But again, at engine speeds barely above idle you'd have to ride it for literally half an hour before you started heating the clutch up. So don't worry about it. You have to slip the clutch to get moving; that's how clutches work.

As I am also new to driving stick can you tell me the difference in slipping the clutch and dumping the clutch? Great thread for us newbies! Thanks!
I'm a newbie, so you probably want someone to confirm this...
I believe the main difference is...

Dropping the Clutch - bring your revs up (somewhere between 3k-5k) and QUICKLY release the clutch.

Slipping the Clutch - Give a bit more gas than you normally would when taking off (maybe 3k) and then slowly release the clutch. This allows you to have more control of the car - i.e. control wheel spin, acceleration speed, etc.

I don't believe either are good for your clutch though.
Pretty much that. Dumping it means you just slide your foot off the side of the clutch pedal and let it spring up. Slipping the clutch is the same thing you do when pulling out from a red light, just at 3-4k rpm and launching a lot harder.
 

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3. When downshifting (which I'm still trying to get used to). I find that the car shoots forward quickly as I release the clutch before it begins to slow down in the lower gear. What am I doing wrong? Am I reving too high?
When this happens, do you feel pushed forward yourself or do you feel pushed back into the seat? That will determine if you are revving too high or not revving high enough on the downshift. After a while, you get used to what RPMs you should be at to go down a gear at the speed you are going and you can rev match. A good rev matched downshift won't have you accelerating or sharply decelerating (where you get thrown forward in your seat).

But in general, it's better to just put it in neutral and coast to a stop using your brakes to stop you instead of the drivetrain. I do rev match downshifts when I'm slowing down to take a turn briskly though, not coming to a completely stop. Or if I just want to make some noise and hear some pops and burbles as I'm stopping. ;)
 
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