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Discussion Starter #1
So I have SCOURED the internet (with no luck) looking for a concise answer to this question; What is the best way to release the clutch to prolong the life of the clutch? But Specifically, If I will be off the clutch at 5 MPH (idle) regardless of how I release it, is there a best way?

The main options that come to mind are;
Hold the RPMs at like 3000 and release the clutch quickly dropping the RPMs down to idle as the car speeds up to idle (Clutch is Slipping at high speed)
Feather the clutch out without gas (Clutch is slipping for a long period of time)
or a more aggressive start without the RPMs exceeding ~1500 and dropping down to idle as I get off the clutch. (Clutch is slipping with a high pressure)


this is my first forum post! get hype
-Carl
 

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In my Mazda 3 I'll usually rev up to about 12-1500 RPM and then let the clutch out fairly slowly as the car begins to move to ensure a smooth start. Obviously have to optimize if I'm starting on a hill. I wouldn't recommend dumping the clutch (per your 3000 RPM dropping statement) unless you're racing or in launch control mode. Also letting the clutch out without any gas is basically the same thing as hill-holding with the clutch so I'd say probably not either. My Mazda 3 has almost 60k miles and I've been using the 12-1500 RPM technique since I bought the car new, and I haven't had any issues with my clutch or transmission. Just my two cents.
 

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Ok well the least amount of slippage possible is the answer, along with least amount of time slipping when the clutch disc has a lot of pressure on it. The best way to look at it is if you rev the engine up higher then you are more easily able to slip the clutch with more pressure. I don't rev my vehicle at all using the clutch unless I am on an incline then you have to. If your not stalling the car or never have then you are using too much throttle in a sense. The best way to describe it is the closest you are to stalling the easier you are on the clutch. This is where you have both, low speed and low pressure.

Starting isn't your only cause for wear, don't forget about rev matching each gear, up and down, you shouldn't feel any shock in the drivetrain this is how you know you nailed the correct correlation from engine speed to trans input speed.

In all honesty though if you drive decent and don't slip the clutch with excess then the clutch will last a long time, atleast over 4 years. There are certain clutches where dumping them is a must, like Ceramic clutches. They do not like to be slipped. I sold my Balt SS to a kid and in 2 months it was done, they grip so hard its ok to dump them because when you do they immediately stop slipping. OE clutches usually use and organic material sometimes a mixture of Kevlar, they will slip even under high pressure, or in a dumping situation. When your clutch isn't slipping it isn't wearing.


Best way to describe it is, the closest you are to stalling the better it is on the clutch and you should always be walking that line of smooth engagement and clutch chatter, with out stalling.
 

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I take off quick. 2200 rpm half dump the clutch.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Op, have you ever driven a manual transmission car before?
Yup
To give you an idea of where i'm at; I've driven manual since 16, but I just graduated college in May and I didn't do much driving over the last four years. I'm currently driving a 2012 GTI (6-speed manual). My rev matching is smooth, and i'm working on heel-toe. My heel-toe definitely needs work still, but it is almost as smooth as my rev matched downshifts.

My main problem with all of the points that were addressed is; at the end of each scenario, the car is moving the same speed, so wouldn't the clutch wear be the same for all? (light pressure for a long time vs. heavy pressure for a short time)
Obviously this is all happening on flat ground
 

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I have no doubts that the clutch in the RS will go for 100k+ miles when driven properly on the stock tune.
 

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My main problem with all of the points that were addressed is; at the end of each scenario, the car is moving the same speed, so wouldn't the clutch wear be the same for all? (light pressure for a long time vs. heavy pressure for a short time)
I understand where you're coming from with this thought, but it's wrong. Let me apply your train of thought to another example. It's not unreasonable to imagine burning through a set of stock brake pads after a long weekend of racing, but I've gone 80,000 miles on a set from regular commuting. Certainly the 50-75 miles or so that you racked up racing over the weekend involved burning off a lot more energy than 50-75 miles of commuting, but I think it's obvious that the total energy dissipated over 80,000 miles is going to be far greater. The reason being that when the friction material heats up it wears faster. It's easy to burn through a set of pads in a day if you overdrive your car.

Given that, the best way to save your clutch is to spend the least time slipping at the lowest speed differential between the engine and the trans, with the least amount of pressure. Obviously, low pressure and low time are mutually exclusive in our application so you have to pick the better of two evils. If you used your clutch like an On/Off switch you probably could make it last a long time, but you're going to blow up your trans which is going to be more expensive to replace. So the idea is to minimize the wear on both components as much as possible. I believe the generally accepted method is what @rambo3500 described. Keeping the engine RPMs low, but high enough that you're not slipping the clutch for an excessive amount of time which builds up heat.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I thought heat wasn't as big of a deal. Thanks for the info!
 

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I have always just "Rev Matched" my shifts in every manual I have owned. Granted this is done via experience with sound and feel but, I have never once had a tranny or clutch problem in any of my vehicles.

I will say my 70 Chevelle has a monster of a clutch in it and it feels like you have to stand on it to push it in, however that was by design!!! :cool: you can do a massive hole shot and lift the front wheels in 1st, 2nd & sometimes 3rd. But you have to be driving her REAL HARD!!!! I have only caught all 3 gears in the air maybe 3/4 times at most. 1sr & 2nd all day, but she will fly regardless!

Love that car!!!
 

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I have always just "Rev Matched" my shifts in every manual I have owned. Granted this is done via experience with sound and feel but, I have never once had a tranny or clutch problem in any of my vehicles.

I will say my 70 Chevelle has a monster of a clutch in it and it feels like you have to stand on it to push it in, however that was by design!!! :cool: you can do a massive hole shot and lift the front wheels in 1st, 2nd & sometimes 3rd. But you have to be driving her REAL HARD!!!! I have only caught all 3 gears in the air maybe 3/4 times at most. 1sr & 2nd all day, but she will fly regardless!

Love that car!!!
Sounds Like Chevy did the clutch correctly; Oldsmobile didn't. Same clutch, same brakes, for the 442 model with 365 HP 455 cu.in engine as standard Cutlass. I bought a lot of clutches on that car. I am not sure about lifting the front end or how you could substantiate that but the 442 would burn rubber in the first 3 gears. Those were the days of muscle cars and cheap gas and high insurance rates. :rolleyes:

Rev matching is good! - either you doing it or engine automatic rev matching
double clutching is good!
Heel and toe is good!


YMMV,

MidCow3

P.S.- Answer to OP long clutch life = MODERATION Most of the time have the clutch fully-engaged before WOT or even moderate acceleration.



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So if you're on a really steep hill you still shouldn't hold yourself with the clutch and gas? E-brake technique instead? Also on my older VW gettting going without gas is a real pain in the butt I always rev it up a little and as i'm coming off the gas come off the clutch then reapply the gas?
 

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So if you're on a really steep hill you still shouldn't hold yourself with the clutch and gas? E-brake technique instead?
Nope that puts on unnecessary wear and tear. Keep your foot on the brake and be quick with your feet when it comes time to accelerate. You should use the e-brake technique if the hill is REALLY steep and you have some jackass who stopped 3 inches behind you.
 

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ya i have a ridiculous hill in the area that i went up by accident like my second day driving stick, oops! If i'm not balancing i come off the clutch a little until its catching a little then go to the gas to take off, is that ok? i'd have to be lightning quick otherwise lol and to me wouldn't that put even more stress on it if i'm rolling backwards then trying to take off?
 

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ya i have a ridiculous hill in the area that i went up by accident like my second day driving stick, oops! If i'm not balancing i come off the clutch a little until its catching a little then go to the gas to take off, is that ok? i'd have to be lightning quick otherwise lol and to me wouldn't that put even more stress on it if i'm rolling backwards then trying to take off?
A little bit is usually fine. If there's a traffic light ahead and I see it turn green I'll come up on the clutch a bit and then quickly move my foot over to the gas to minimize the rollback. I don't drive on too many hills though so take my advice with a grain of salt lol. Any San Francisco stick shift drivers on here? They'll have a ton of hill starting experience! :D
 

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Focus ST clutches are so different than what I'm used to. Regular Focus is much closer but still way better. ST clutches you can start without gas no problem but it's almost like an on/off switch there's no transition or wide "sweet spot" for lack of a better word.
 

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Yeah the friction points differ from car to car so it takes a bit of getting used to. But as long as you're not putting too much strain on the transmission/clutch it should be just fine.
 

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Focus ST clutches are so different than what I'm used to. Regular Focus is much closer but still way better. ST clutches you can start without gas no problem but it's almost like an on/off switch there's no transition or wide "sweet spot" for lack of a better word.
Do you own an ST or did you just test drive one? I think once you own it for a couple weeks you get used to where the engagement point is.
 

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So if you're on a really steep hill you still shouldn't hold yourself with the clutch and gas? E-brake technique instead? Also on my older VW gettting going without gas is a real pain in the butt I always rev it up a little and as i'm coming off the gas come off the clutch then reapply the gas?
E-brake technique is the best. The focus will automatically do this. It has "Hill Assist". It uses the ABS to brake the car when it senses a hill. The only thing is you have to get used to the fact that it doesn't instantaneously disengage the brake. So you either feather the clutch a little more or give it a little more gas. What you described with your older VW is normal. I don't think it's recommended/normal to try and start using 0% throttle. I typically bring my car up to about 1200-1500 RPM and slowly release the clutch while maintaining a small amount of throttle. When upshifting the Focus will automatically hold the engine speed for your next gear up. I personally find this annoying because you can't skip shift without waiting for the car to let go. For downshifts you have to do it all on your own. Blip the throttle a certain amount depending on what gears your shifting between. 2->1 requires a bigger blip than 6->5.
 
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