Book online or Call us on 01604 666 700
clutch control, woman driving car

How To Master Car Clutch Control

Clutch control is one of the toughest aspects of driving and can occasionally cause trouble for experienced drivers as well. 

The clutch is a crucial component of your car that connects the engine to the transmission, allowing you to smoothly shift gears and control the power transfer when driving. 

While some are able to grasp clutch control during their first driving lesson, for others, it poses an infuriating struggle to keep the car from stalling. However, good clutch control is a driving skill that you will need to master if you are looking to drive a manual car. 

With this in mind, we’ve curated the ultimate guide of clutch control tips to help you overcome any problems and make every journey a smooth one. 

Let’s begin! 

What is Clutch Control?

learning clutch control, closeup of cutch and brake pedals

Clutch control is the act of using the clutch by partially engaging it or using it alongside your accelerator to control the speed of your vehicle. Essentially, it is the mastering of this power transfer that helps you maintain control of your vehicle at low speeds.

Clutch Control Tips Every Driver Needs To Know

1) Find the Biting Point

Are you experiencing issues with frequent stalling of your car? The best thing you can do is start from the basics. One of the pivotal aspects of clutch control is finding the “biting point” i.e. the point at which the clutch engages. 

Begin by finding a quiet stretch of flat road to practise on. If you’re new to driving, make sure you’re with a passenger who is over the age of 21 and has had their driving licence for a minimum of 3 years. 

Once you’re ready to begin, ensure the handbrake is applied, gently press down on the clutch and switch to first gear. Next, slowly release the clutch pedal. 

As your car reaches the biting point, you will start to feel a slight resistance as it fights against the handbrake to move forward. Now, repeat this process a few more times until finding the biting point becomes muscle memory.

Once you manage to get this under control, you can work on other aspects of improving your clutch control. 

2) Start to Accelerate

clutch control tips, close up of hand shifting gears

Achieving a smooth start is a key aspect when learning clutch control. Once you’ve mastered finding the biting point, it’s time to bring in the accelerator pedal.

To avoid any jerky movements, apply steady pressure on the accelerator while gradually releasing the clutch pedal. As you release the clutch and push down on the accelerator, there will be a moment wherein your car is near enough still. 

Once you release the handbrake and lightly press the accelerator (after taking your foot off the clutch), you will move forward. 

With pulling away smoothly, it’s all a matter of balance. If you want to build more confidence in controlling your clutch, practise this a couple of times in an empty car park or on a quiet road.

3) Switch Your Shoes

If you’re still struggling with clutch control and can’t seem to consistently change gear without stalling, it may not be your fault but rather your footwear’s. While often overlooked, your choice of footwear could be what’s making your journey of mastering clutch control more challenging.

Clutch control largely depends on your ability to feel the pedals properly and move your feet without any restrictions. If you’re wearing thick-soled shoes that are not too flexible, you will not be able to get a good feel of the clutch and biting point. 

In comparison, wearing a pair of flat shoes with a thin sole will allow you to better gauge the biting point, push down on the accelerator and set off. 

The next time you plan on driving, choose your footwear carefully. Or alternatively, you could also carry along a pair of appropriate shoes to change into when driving to help you better utilise the clutch.

4) Don’t ‘Ride’ the Clutch

struggling with clutch control, woman driving

“Riding the clutch” involves keeping your foot on the clutch pedal for a long period, beyond what is necessary. This is detrimental and accelerates the effects of wear and tear. 

If your car’s clutch feels high, inconsistent or looks worn, book an appointment with In Town Automotive, to get it repaired and restore your car to prime condition. 

To prevent this issue, only press down on your clutch when you are shifting gears or coming to a stop. When driving, keep your foot off of the clutch so that the components can fully disengage. This will reduce heat and prolong the life of your clutch mechanism.

5) Remember That All Clutches Are Different

If you’ve just bought your first car or recently changed your car, you might experience this or another car issue. While it may appear peculiar for this problem to have arisen out of nowhere, there is a simple explanation. 

All clutches are different. Your old car may have had a higher biting point and as such you may have needed to move your foot higher off the clutch to find it. In comparison, your new car may have a lower biting point and require less movement. 

As you may have been used to the higher biting point, you may find yourself struggling with clutch control, and your car surging forward without meaning to. Whenever you switch cars, you will have to adjust to a different biting point. As such, we’d suggest revisiting our first tip and practising finding the new biting point until your muscle memory catches up.

Contact In Town Automotive For Clutch Tune-Ups and Car Maintenance

Clutch control may appear challenging initially, however, with patience and practice, you too will be able to master it. With our helpful tips, it won’t take long for you to smoothly transition between gears and maintain expert control of your vehicle.

If you are experiencing more technical clutch-related issues, you might need to service your vehicle and have a professional take a look at it. We can assist you with that!

At In Town Automotive, we provide you with an unparalleled car servicing and maintenance experience. With our many years of experience in the industry, our technicians are well-qualified to inspect and solve any issues your vehicle may be experiencing. 

As an award-winning garage in Northampton, we pride ourselves on being experts in repairing tyres, brakes, air-con servicing, exhaust systems and so much more!

If you want to learn more about us, visit our services page or contact us to book an appointment today!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top