Wheeling puts a huge strain on your clutch. A worn clutch will affect the efficiency on how your car runs; it increases fuel consumption, and eventually fail, which means you, will not be able to change gear. The clutch in your vehicle allows you to switch gears while the engine is running. It locks the tyre and the engine gears together in order to move at the same speed.
A clutch’s ability to link the engine to the drivetrain is based on three factors:
- Torque Capacity – The torque capacity of a clutch should be more than the torque output of the engine. The volume over and above the engine’s torque output offsetsyour vehicle’s clutch wear.
- How well the clutch can handle heat – Off-road driving will cause your clutch to generate a lot of heat. For the most part, this hot environment will greatly affect the linings of your clutch. This is the reason that performance clutches are designed to adjust for the added heat, usually by using better lining materials.
- Drivability – For on-road and off-road vehicles, the clutch must demonstrate a smooth transition between the released and connected states. Clutches that grab quickly are better suited for drag racing. When driving on an unpredictable trail your vehicle’s clutch needs to be in perfect condition to help you be full control of your vehicle.
It is important to check your clutch fluid level and ensure it is replaced as recommended by the vehicle handbook. The fluid ensures the clutch operates smoothly and helps prevent wear and tear.
Do a regular inspection for any possibility of an oil leak from the clutch, especially at the bottom of the master clutch. A heavy load may lead to an oil leak due to the concentration of the load on the master clutch when you step on the clutch pedal. Whenever you see oil leaking from the engine and transmission connection, immediately have your car serviced by a mechanic who can fully assess clutch wear.
Cars do not look after itself, so here are some tips on how you can extend life of your clutch and ensure that it is working effectively:
- If you notice that your vehicle’s clutch pedal is giving way too easily or increasingly difficult to push against, there’s a great possibility that fluids might be leaking.
- Always start your car in low gear
- When idling for long periods of time, release the clutch and put the vehicle in neutral this will extend the life of your clutch.
- Avoid resting your foot against the clutch pedal even if you are in neutral; only have your foot on the clutch when you’re shifting gears.
- Try to avoid shifting gears down when stopping; use brakes instead to reduce your speed, this minimizes clutch wear.
Carrying out regular checks on your vehicle, and maintaining your clutch is the best way you can extend its life and ensure your vehicle runs reliably in between services.
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