The interface for a car is pretty simple. Turn the wheel left to turn left, use the brake pedal to slow down, mash the noise pedal to go faster. That sort of thing. The problem with this simplicity is we forget the technology operating underneath the soft plastics and supple leathers of the cabin. So, what sort of mistakes do we make every day that can harm our vehicles?
Driving without servicing
This should go without saying. There is an entire industry dedicated to maintenance and repairs for a reason. That being said, ignoring or putting off maintenance happens far too often.
Transmissions are some of the most complex pieces of your car, and generally tells you when it is not happy. Grinding noises, shudders, hesitating shifts or juddering in the clutch pedal can all be indicative of emerging issues in your transmission.
Don’t hesitate to get it checked
Yes, mechanical repairs can be expensive. No, it won’t go away on its own. When a transmission part fails, the end bill can escalate incredibly quickly. The transmission is many small moving parts in a small space. If one part breaks, it can damage the rest in very short order.
Neglecting the handbrake
The handbrake is a beautiful thing. Use it.
When drivers have been in automatics for a long time, they can forget how crucial a handbrake is to a manual vehicle. The classic example is when waiting on a hill for a red light to change. With an automatic, you lift your foot brake, press the accelerator and off you go. This action works fine for an automatic, but manuals work differently.
Poor driving technique in a manual can find the driver leaving the clutch at the grabbing point. Just enough to stop rolling backwards, not enough to move forward. What is happening in the transmission is the pressure plate and the friction plates are touching, but are moving at different speeds. This builds friction and heat very quickly, wearing out your clutch much faster than under normal use. What you should be doing instead is engaging the handbrake to hold the car, enabling you to engage the gears when the light turns green, minimising the damage and wear to your vehicle.
Leaving your car in gear while stopped
Conflicting arguments, old habits, caution. Doesn’t matter, leaving your car in gear at traffic lights can cause accelerated wear on your transmission. When you stop and remain in gear, drivers will have to hold down the clutch pedal. What this does is push the throw bearing onto the diaphragm spring, separating the pressure plate from the clutch plates. This is normal functioning of the transmission. However, your vehicle is designed to do this action quickly, engaging the clutch, change gears, release. Holding the parts in tension can put unnecessary strain on your clutch, accelerating wear.
Have concerns about your transmission’s health? Hearing scary sounds when driving? Contact us today to get the fault looked at early. Our expert team will find the fault and hopefully save you the hardship of bigger issues in the future.