Mastering clutch control can be difficult when you start to learn how to drive.  This is actually one of the areas that most students will struggle with and you need to get as much practice as possible in.  

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There are some reminders and techniques that you can use to help you master clutch control.

How Does The Clutch Work?

Before you can control the clutch, you need to know more about it.  The clutch will have 2 friction plates that move apart when the clutch pedal is pressed down.  When this happens, the engine will be disconnected from the wheels.

This disconnection stops the power for the engine being sent to the wheels.  When the clutch pedal is released, the plates will move together and allow the power from the engine to reach the wheels.  This is known as the biting point.

As the clutch is released more, you will notice that more power is sent to the wheels from the engine.  Once you have released the clutch pedal completely, the plates will lock. When this happens, all of the power from the engine is sent to the wheels.  

Using The Clutch

The clutch is a key element in the operation of a vehicle.  There are a number of things that the clutch can be used for while you are driving including:

• To move from one gear to another while you are driving

• To control the car when you are coming to a stop and prevent the car from stalling

• To stop the car when you are traveling at slow speeds or when you have to carry out maneuvers that require clutch control.  Clutch control is when you only half engage the clutch pedal and is a technique that drivers will need to know.

How To Practice Clutch Control

Knowing how the clutch works and what it can be used for is important.  However, you also need to know how to perfect your clutch control to get all of the benefits of this.  One of the best ways to practice clutch control is a hill start.

For this, you will need to find a road that has a fairly steep hill and is in a quiet place.  If you are working with a driving instructor, they will generally know where the best places to practice a hill start will be.  Once you are on the hill, you will need to press down on the clutch and put the car into first gear

You will then have to lightly press on the accelerator and use the clutch to find the biting point.  Your car is going to become louder at this point and try to move forward when the bite has been found.  At this point, you need to complete your 360 observations.  

If the road is clear, you should release the handbrake.  Your car should start to move and you can practice dipping the clutch to control the speed of the vehicle while keeping the gas steady.  You should try dipping the clutch in very small movements to keep the speed of the car as slow as possible. If the car starts to slow too much, you will need to raise the pedal slightly so the speed can increase.  

Practice Makes Perfect

Poor clutch control can result in your clutch burning out much faster than it should.  This will result in added expense as you have to replace it. A clutch is not cheap and this is something that you will want to avoid by practicing your clutch control.