Which Pedal is the Clutch?
Clutch foot pedals are only used on cars with a manual transmission. The clutch is the pedal on the left side and can be remembered by using A, B and C from right to left:
- A: for Accelerator
- B: for Brake
- C: for Clutch
Which Foot do you use for Clutch?
Use only your left foot to operate the clutch pedal. You’ll never want to brake and accelerate at the same time, so use your right foot to operate the brake or accelerator pedal.
How to Press the Clutch Correctly
To ensure you have good control of the clutch, operate the pedal by pressing it all the way to the floor by using the ball of your foot placed in the centre of the pedal and with your heel resting on the floor. This helps to prevent your foot slipping off the pedal when pressing it.
You can always press the clutch pedal down as quickly as you wish, but will often need to release the pedal slower, particularly when moving off from a stationary position. This is to prevent stalling the engine.
When learning to drive, it often helps to wear shoes with a thin sole as this helps you to get a better feel of the pedals. Ensure you set a seating position that enables you to comfortably reach the clutch pedal when fully pressed down (see car cockpit drill).
Do you have to Push the Clutch in to Start a Car?
It’s generally considered safer if you push the clutch in before attempting to start a car. This is because if the car is in gear and you do not push down the clutch pedal before starting, your car may lurch forward as you turn the ignition key.
As such, many modern cars now have sensors on the clutch pedal that will not allow the vehicle engine to turn over before the clutch pedal is fully pressed down. A message or warning symbol is displayed on the car’s dashboard reminding the driver to push the clutch down if they forget.