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Manual Transmission Car

Top 7 Maintenance Tips for Your Manual Transmission Car

Car Manual Transmission

There are some people who prefer driving a manual transmission car, usually because of the control it affords the driver. It’s also more engaging, experience-wise, and offers that unique connection between man and machine (although it can get bothersome in traffic). In addition, manual transmission vehicles are more affordable to purchase and maintain compared to automatic ones.

That said, whether you drive stick or automatic, you need to take good care of your vehicle so you can count on its performance for years. If you own a manual transmission car, here are some simple tips to keep in mind:

Avoid Riding the Clutch

Riding the clutch is a bad habit that some drivers develop over the years. Essentially, this is when you rest your foot on the clutch pedal so that it ends up partially engaged. The problem with this is that the clutch is designed to only either be fully engaged or completely disengaged. Keeping it in an “in-between” status can put extra strain on the parts and result in premature wear and tear.

Fortunately, it’s easy to purchase new clutches and other gearbox components nowadays; in fact, you can even order them online so you can quickly replace damaged parts. Nevertheless, it’s expensive and wasteful to frequently buy new car parts when a simple solution exists to make them last longer.

Use the Brakes to Slow Down

There are drivers who downshift to slow down or stop their vehicle (e.g., when approaching a red light). However, this is another bad practice that can lead to premature wear and tear. In particular, this can damage both the engine and the gearbox. If you need to slow down or stop, use the brakes—they’re there for a reason!

Ensure that the Gear Is Engaged When You Shift

Sometimes, you miss the gear when you shift. This can be due to a lot of things, but the usual reason is that you release the clutch pedal too soon before the gear can engage. You can also miss a shift when you skip gears; this can be done safely, but not everyone is good at it. All of these can wear down the clutch quickly, which is why missing the gear is often called “money shifting.”

To prevent wasting money on expensive repairs and replacements, be careful when you shift. Make sure that the gear is properly locked into place before releasing the clutch.

Go Neutral When You’re at a Stop

When you’re at a stop, what do you do with the clutch? Do you keep it engaged or do you go on neutral? Some prefer the former, thinking that it will help them react faster when the light turns green. However, keeping the clutch engaged when the car is not moving can wear out the clutch and gears. To extend the lifespan of your car’s clutch and transmission system, make it a habit to go on neutral when idling.

Keep Your Hand Off the Shift Knob

Many drivers, whether they’re handling a manual or an automatic, tend to rest their hand on the shift knob while they drive. This seems harmless enough but it can actually damage the clutch fork. This part is what moves the throw-out bearing, allowing the pressure plate springs to engage the clutch to the flywheel.

With a broken or damaged clutch fork, you’ll have trouble changing gears or have a harder time stepping on the clutch pedal. It can also lead to clutch plate damage. You can avoid all of this by simply removing your hand from the shift knob after you’ve made a gear change. Besides, driving safety guidelines recommend you place your hands at the 9-and-3 position on the steering wheel.

Don’t Slam the Clutch

Perhaps in their attempt to feel like high-speed car racers, some drivers step hard on the pedal and crank their car into the next gear. Nothing will come out of this, except damage to your clutch, clutch fork, and synchronisers. This habit can also result in a jerky, bumpy ride, which is definitely not very racer-like.

In short, don’t slam and pop the clutch. Slow and smooth is the secret to driving fast and without a hitch.

Flush the Transmission Regularly

Your car’s transmission system won’t operate properly without the transmission fluid to lubricate the mechanical parts so they can move smoothly. The transmission fluid also conditions the gasket, maintains correct pressure, provides cooling, as well as prevents oxidation and rust. As you use your car, the transmission fluid can get dirty and contaminated. When this happens, you need to flush it out and replace it accordingly.

The ideal schedule for a transmission fluid flush is once a year. However, if you drive often, you might have to replace the fluid sooner. You can also consult your car owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendation.

Last but not the least, have your car checked annually for any issues, transmission-related or otherwise. This way, you can stop a problem before it gets worse and you can save money on otherwise costly repairs and parts replacements.

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