Things to Remember When you Own a Manual Transmission Fitted Car

  • May 16, 2016

MANILA: It's like another side of the coin, before this article we wrote one on automatic transmission and things one should avoid while driving it. And over the time, we felt that we should write a similar article on Manual Transmission, the gear system that covers more than 52% of the global market.

Now, it's a known fact that automatic transmissions have only recently become mainstream and before its wide availability and knowledge, customers were a bit sceptical about their working and response and preferred to go for a manual transmission instead. Also, the thing with automatic transmission is that they are way too independent (doing all by itself), making driver completely dependent and eventually turning them into lazy potato. That's the same reason why auto enthusiasts don't favour AT’s, they instead love manual transmissions that make them feel no less than a superman, with all the powers in their hand.

Further in developing countries like ours, we still have a major proportion of MT fitted cars running on the road. These includes both the yesteryear (the one owned by our parents) and current (we as buyers) generation cars. So, it becomes more than important to inform you about some Do's and Don'ts of the Manual gearbox. And believe us, you wouldn't want to overlook them as neglecting them can result in some serious internal wear and tear.

Our main motive behind writing this article is that manual gearbox has a complicated mechanism working inside that many don't understand. This makes it all the more important to know what basic mistakes one should avoid while driving one? Below you'll find five simple day-to-day driving practices that'll not only improve you as a driver but will also gift your car with a long healthy life ahead.

1. Don't confuse your gearbox to an armrest -

don't confuse your gearbox with armrest

This one is the most common driving mistake made by the commuters. Now, some believe that resting their hand on gear box gives them a better driving position, allowing them to shift between gears whenever needed. But it's here, where the problem starts, unknowingly what you are doing is putting excess pressure on the 'selector fork' (take it as a device that helps in gear changing process). Surprisingly, even the user manual that comes along with the car reads 'Do not use the gearshift lever as a handrest. This may result in premature wear of the transaxle shift forks'.

Know the harm, you are doing -

Pressing up against the gear knob causes early wear and tear of the selector fork. And we are sure you'll want to be the last one doing so.
One another good reason to avoid putting your hand on the gear knob is that such a driving posture don’t give you full control over the vehicle as compared to the position when both your hands are resting on the steering wheel, especially in a competitive driving environment.

2. Neutral is the best choice when car is stationary

throwout bearing & diaphragm disc.

Another common driving error that we come across more often is leaving your car in gear at a stop light. Now people believe that it's better to leave the car in gear than putting it in neutral, coz it's just a matter of few seconds when they would again require putting the car in gear. What happens in this process is unnecessary engaging of the throwout bearing in the diaphragm disc.

Know the harm, you are doing -

When you press your leg against the clutch, all you are doing is inserting the throwout bearing in the diaphragm disc. This process is of no use when the car is at a stationary position. Thus, it's better to put your car in neutral when at a stop light, to avoid unnecessary wear out of throwout bearing.

3. Never use a clutch to hold the car when travelling uphill

This has been observed as a standard driving practice when people are moving uphill. What is usually seen is that driver play between the clutch and throttle in order to avoid car from moving backwards and allowing the car to move uphill at the same time. But believe us, this practice is very bad for your car's health, as the clutch disc is the car’s part you are harming the most here.

Know the harm, you are doing -

Now, try and imagine this, there are two plates, one representing the clutch and another one the throttle you are passing on to the engine. When moving uphill, what happens is, you give different amount of pressure on both the plates that are in close proximity to each other. And in this process, what happens is the creation of heavy amount of friction on the clutch plate that wears it out badly.

The question is, if not this then what actually is the right driving practice under such a scenario. Now, there are two good options that can guide you through a scenario like this. First, a lot of modern cars these days come equipped with 'Brake Hold' that tend to hold the car on steep roads and prevents the vehicle to go backwards. Thus giving you enough time to accelerate and move forward.
Secondly, if your car misses on the 'Brake Hold' feature then we have the handbrake at your rescue. It more or less works the same way, preventing your vehicle to roll down and giving you enough confidence to change the gear and move forward.

4. Throttle works proportionally to engine rpm

engine and throttel

Yes, it's true, engine rpm and throttle go hand in hand. It's like if you are asking your machine to give away a particular output then you should also provide it with the means to do the same. Pushing the boundaries don't work in automobiles, they are machines that are tuned to give away a particular output on a particular setting.

Know the harm, you are doing -

Now, such a practice will harm the internal machinery beyond limits, as you are asking it to give away outputs that it is not meant to deliver. So, guys don't be lazy, downshift whenever you are in need of speed and upshift when you want to go easy on the road.

5. Never rest your foot on the clutch pedal

foot on clutch pedal

Another common driving mishap people around the world tend to make is rest their foot on clutch pedal. Now this practice has not one but as many as four ill-effects on your car's health.

Know the harm, you are doing -

First of all resting your foot on the clutch panel puts your clutch disc at work, slightly if not fully. Secondly, you are not putting down full power and lastly, you are also wearing out the clutch plate in the process.

Also, remember we talked about throwout bearing, this ill-practice of yours will again lead to its premature ageing.

That's all we have to guide you on a manual transmission and things to avoid with the same. Believe us these small yet simple driving practices will benefit your car’s health by manifolds.


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