How to make your car clutch last longer

How you drive your car is the main factor in how long the clutch will last. Since the replacement will be a big expense, you may want to adjust your driving style to help look after the clutch and make it last a bit longer. 

Your clutch is responsible for transferring power from the engine to the wheels, allowing you to change gears and control your vehicle’s speed. It can be quite easily looked after with good vehicle maintenance and driving skills. It is, after all, a mechanical device and knowing how it works will allow you to keep it in top shape so that the car feels just right. Below, we have compiled a list of simple things you can do to help you increase your clutch lifespan, ensuring it performs at its best for a long time.


The clutch is meant to be operated either completely engaged or completely disengaged. Keeping the clutch pedal slightly depressed (known as “clutch riding”) should be avoided. There might be cases where you must do a bit of clutch riding, especially when starting to move from a standstill, but in all other cases, avoid it. Clutch riding reduces the efficiency of the clutch by wearing it down and soon you will experience all sorts of troubles like false shifts, gears not shifting properly, loss of power and a lot of noise and heating issues.  

Usually, drivers resort to clutch riding to drive a bit more smoothly. Instead, time your gear shifts, acceleration and braking in such a way that there is no jerking motion from the car. This is the most difficult technique to use but it is the safest for your clutch. 


Another rather common but highly damaging habit that most drivers have is revving the engine when the clutch is still engaged. The engine revs a lot faster when the clutch is engaged, and the high RPMs encountered in such cases can be damaging to the clutch. Time the gear shifts and acceleration in such a way that the RPM never spikes, and the entire operation takes place smoothly.  

Then some willfully rev the engine with the clutch depressed to make noise and "feel the power" of their car but this can cause damage. Also, remember the clutch assembly is an expensive part of the car and you are destroying it for just a few moments of fun. 

  Aggressive driving, especially from a stop, puts huge amounts of force and stress on the different components of the car, including the clutch. 

The clutch is supposed to be engaged when the engine is at idle RPMs. Always be aware of the conditions around you and start slowing the car down well in advance of when you must stop. This will allow you to avoid situations where you have to drop the clutch at high RPMs which can lead to clutch slippage as well as more permanent damage.


If a novice driver is put on a hill-climb situation without any previous know-how then they will inadvertently end up riding the clutch. Clutch riding on a hill climb is even more detrimental to the clutch and should be avoided at all costs. The answer is to use the hand brake instead of riding the clutch. Again, this is not something that comes naturally to most people and as such can be a bit difficult to implement. However, not only is it the right way from the point of view of clutch longevity but also from the point of view of safety. 


Keep an eye and ear out for signs that the clutch is not operating in an optimum manner. The most important thing to watch out for is a slipped clutch. If the gears are shifting too easily and the engine revs abnormally then it is a sign of the clutch having slipped. Also, watch out for noises or a burning smell. If anything feels wrong with the clutch then do not keep driving your vehicle. Instead, have it checked by a professional so that corrective measures can be taken immediately before the clutch is damaged beyond repair. (A Vehicle Maintenance Plan through MotorHappy will help you budget for unforeseen vehicle expenses. Click here to find out more.) 

The clutch is one of the most vital parts of a car and with these tips, you can ensure that it keeps performing at its best for a long time.

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