If you’re learning to drive a manual car, for many learners, one of the hardest things to learn is the clutch. When you have mastered clutch control, you’ll be able to move off and change gears smoothly and stalling the engine should be a thing of the past.
To begin your first lesson on learning the clutch, you’ll need to start off in a quiet area, with a nice flat road. Your instructor or supervising passenger will usually drive you to an appropriate area to begin your first lessons.
In this learning the car clutch tutorial for beginners, we’re going to explain how to operate the clutch as simply as possible. You’re going to need to use the car clutch for:
- Moving off from a stationary position
- Slow moving traffic
- Carrying out a manoeuvre
- Changing gears
- Coming to a stop without stalling the engine
When starting out learning the car clutch, we need to start with moving the car off from a stationary position and stopping the car. To keep things easy, we will be keeping the car in 1st gear throughout the entire process.
Basic Knowledge of the Car Clutch
If you have a basic understanding of what the clutch is doing when you press the clutch pedal, it’ll help you an awful lot when learning how to use it. Some of the previous car clutch tutorials go into this in more detail, but here, we’re going to explain it in simple terms.
In this diagram, we can see a simplified illustration of the clutch. The clutch comprises of two separate discs which are made of friction material one disc is connected to the engine and the other is connected to the gearbox.
The disc connected to the engine is always rotating at the same speed as the engine, so when the clutch pedal is not pressed down, the two friction discs are forced together completing a link from the engine, to the gearbox and then to the road wheels.
When the clutch pedal is pressed down, the two friction discs separate, meaning the link between the engine and gearbox is broken. When the clutch pedal is pressed down, gears can be selected and changed.
In order for us to drive a manual car, one of the first things we need to learn is the clutch bite point. It’s important to know what the bite point is, how to find it and what to do once it is found. If you don’t do that, then you’ll end up stalling the engine. For the next tutorial, we’re going to do just that.
What is the Clutch Bite Point Explained
Having a basic understanding of what the clutch does when you lift up and press down the pedal will help with learning clutch control. Now, we shall explain what the bite point does and what you need to do.
How to Find the Clutch Bite Point
Now that we know what the clutch bite point is, we now need to learn how to find the bite point. This tutorial explains how to find the clutch bite point first using the handbrake, then as you gain in experience, the far better way which is without using the handbrake.