Mastering Your Clutch Control in this year

Understanding how the clutch works must be done in a students first lesson. Without a good explanation the students can struggle with the rest of their driving career.

The clutch is a device for connecting and disconnecting the power from engine to the road wheels.  The clutch is made up of two round plates. One plate is connected to the engine and spins all the time the engine is running. The other plate is connected via the gearbox to the road wheels. The clutch is operated with the ball of the left foot. Always keep the heel of your foot on the floor and bend the ankle to control your clutch.  When your foot is away from the clutch pedal, the clutch plates are sprung loaded together which means the power can get from the engine through to the road wheel.

However as soon as you put your foot on the clutch pedal and push the pedal right to the floor. The plates separate making a disconnection from the engine and the road wheels. Now pushing the pedal to the floor to separate the plates is not a problem you can do this very quickly, the problem comes when you need to bring the plates back together again. You can not just bring the foot straight off of the pedal because the force of the plates springing back together could cause the engine to stop running or “stall” is what we call in the trade. So you need to bring the foot up slowly until the two plates just touch each other. The place at where the plates just touch we call the biting point. Now you will know when you have the biting point because when the plates just touch it will slow the engine down some what and you should hear the engine note slow down as well, that’s how you will know you have the biting point.

Then if you bring your foot up a millimetre more or so you will find the driving point the driving point is the bit when the car will just start to move. You will know when you have the driving point because if the  handbrake was on you will feel the back of the sit as the car tries to pull away.Once you have the driving point keep your foot still again until the car moves from a standstill to about a walking speed then you can take your foot fully away from the clutch and rest it to the side of the pedal. Do this method every time you move away and your clutch control will be easier and quicker.