What happens if the clutch of the car in motion breaks?

The clutch is a vital part of a car. Without it, you can't change gears and something as basic as taking out the gear you have inserted to put it in neutral is impossible. At least, that's how it would be if we don't know some tricks that can help us if the clutch of the car in motion breaks.

If we find ourselves in that circumstance, the clutch pedal will sink and we will no longer have control over the gearbox. Something that condemns us to have the gear that we had engaged with the car pushing, unless we stall it with the brake or turn it off. Both solutions can damage the engine and cause some unnecessary risk situation. Therefore, here we tell you what to do to get out of the jam without causing a single damage to your vehicle if it runs out of clutch.

What to do if the clutch breaks while car running

The first thing you should do is stay calm. It is not a complicated problem if you do not aggravate it yourself with heavy braking or erratic trajectories in traffic. Take a deep breath and follow these steps:

Put on the emergency or warning lights: this way other drivers will know that something is happening and they will be able to keep their distance from you.

Analyze the situation: in this case it is simplified to see if you can stop on the road you are on or not. For example, you cannot stop on a highway or expressway. Yes you can stop on a road if it is not on a curve or any situation in which others do not have visibility. Yes you can stop on a street, as long as you do not obstruct the traffic.

If you can't stop: try to continue to a safe location. You're in gear, so keep going to the next freeway exit or to a place with no curves.

If you can stop: Slow down to near engine idle. More or less 1,000 rpm.

With the car coasting, give the throttle a small tap and gently push the gear lever right after. You will see that the gear can be removed by itself when you stop accelerating. So you can put neutral to stop the car safely and without damage.

This last step can be done at any rpm, it is not necessary for the engine to rotate at 1,000 rpm. However, it is about keeping the possibility of accelerating again until the last moment in case something happens. For example, that you are going to stop at a viewpoint of a mountain road and suddenly see that it is busy.

Of course, if you don't have time to do this and have to brake hard. Do not hesitate to use the brake even if you stall the engine. It is better to mistreat the mechanics of the car a little, than to end up stamped.

Shifting out with broken clutch

You can do the test with your manual car at any time. With the car coasting, try giving the throttle a little tap. You will see that if you push the gear lever right after, there is a point where the gear can be disengaged without depressing the clutch.

The explanation of why this happens is simple: while the motor moves the wheels, the teeth of the gearbox are pressed against each other, so the friction prevents you from being able to remove the gear.

The same happens if the wheels are the ones that move the motor (advance by inertia). The gears are tightened in the same way but on the other side of the teeth. In the images you can see a simplification.

However, if you give a little touch to the throttle, there is a moment when the gears are not tight on one side or the other. Specifically, at the moment you stop accelerating and change from one circumstance to another. Right between the motor moving the wheels and the wheels going to move the motor.

Can you drive with a broken clutch?

The clutch is there for something, so driving without it is irresponsible and dangerous for you, your car and those around you.

Call the tow truck and take your car to a garage to fix the problem.

That said, it is possible to drive with a broken clutch. You have to start the car by pushing or with a slope and then insert the gears without clutch. Which will cause damage to a car's gearbox and other transmission parts, even if done very well.

Expensive mistake: Anyone who drives like this will damage their clutch. And most of them do!

Almost all car owners commit this clutch error, pedaled too long, too little or not enough? This is how you use your clutch correctly, because if it breaks, it will be really expensive!

The clutch connects the engine and transmission and ensures that the power from the engine is transferred to the transmission and then to the road. The clutch and manual transmission are among the most vulnerable components in a car. To avoid an expensive clutch repair, avoid making these mistakes. And that happens to almost every driver. Do not you believe? We'll prove it to you.

Operator error: How to break your clutch

How long a car clutch lives depends primarily on the driver himself. If you follow certain rules when driving and clutching, you can look forward to a long service life, because changing the clutch is usually only necessary once or not at all in the existence of a car with "good driving".

So natural wear and tear is one thing, and whether you cause your clutch to die prematurely by driving incorrectly and using the clutch unnecessarily is another. We explain the worst operating errors here.

Mistake number 1: Clutch pressed constantly

Be aware of this the next time you drive. Are you one of those drivers who press the clutch at the red light and put it in first gear so that the journey continues as quickly as possible? According to the TÜV, doing so will damage your clutch more than you think.

If you constantly stand on the clutch, you permanently separate the engine from the transmission. This puts stress on the throw-out bearing. As part of the clutch, the throw-out bearing ensures that the force exerted by the clutch pedal is transmitted to the clutch discs.

"If a release bearing is defective, the clutch discs are no longer properly separated during the coupling process. As a result, the discs rub against each other".

So if you wear the clutch unnecessarily and too intensively, you have to reckon with a shorter service life for the expensive component.

What does that cost? You have to dig really deep into your pocket for a new clutch: Depending on the model, just the spare part costs up to 400 euros, plus installation costs of up to 400 euros as well. So if push comes to shove, you'll pay up to 800 euros for it in total.

Mistake #2: Constantly touching the clutch

Another mistake that can damage the clutch is constantly touching the clutch pedal lightly while driving. Often this happens unconsciously and in anticipation of a situation where you would suddenly have to depress the clutch. In this case, too, the clutch release bearing suffers because it is forced to rotate under load. And all unnecessarily!

We are more likely to make this mistake in stop-and-go traffic than on the freeway. Try driving more consciously and resting your foot next to the clutch pedal to avoid this mistake.

Mistake #3: Not fully depressing the clutch

The third typical mistake when operating the clutch is not depressing the pedal sufficiently. The recommends fully depressing the clutch pedal, i.e. as far as it will go, in order to avoid unnecessary grinding.

How to slow down a car smoothly

A manual transmission is fun when you're going somewhere. But what happens when you have to slow down the car? Or, do you have to make a stop?

It's easier with an automatic. You just have to hit the brake and the car will slow down. The transmission will catch up with the engine while the brakes force the car to slow down. When the stop is faster, the pressure on the transmission is increased so that it drops down to first gear without skipping the sequence.

Since the basic principle of driving a manual transmission is control, the power to slow the car down is all yours.

There are a couple of ways to do it. However, it will depend on the type of stop. One could simply ease off the throttle, slowly apply the brakes, put the gear lever in neutral, and coast to a stop. This is not recommended for all situations. It may be fine when driving at low speeds, but once you put the gear in neutral, you lose the ability to accelerate to avoid any last-minute problems that arise from the traffic around you. Your response time to maneuver will increase if you have to shift back into a positive gear and apply the throttle to avoid trouble.

The proper way to slow down your manual transmission equipped car is to downshift. When you take your right foot off the brake, you step on the clutch with your left foot and shift down a gear. You'll need to tap on the gas pedal to do a bit of rev matching before you release the clutch. Now step on the brake again to repeat the process until you reach at least third gear. The car should be slowing down and you should slowly apply the brakes to shift into neutral and stop the car.

When slowing down from a freeway, a little more work is needed. You will need to watch the speedometer and tachometer to gauge your downshifts. You may want to wait until you get to 35-40MPH before downshifting from sixth to fourth to third – using the brake, clutch and accelerator pedals correctly. Be careful if you slip to a much lower gear in downshift. You may end up revving the engine too high, which could cause problems on the road.

However, if you want to have a little fun, work the throttle a bit in the downshifts. So you can enjoy the wonderful noise that your Volkswagen makes and that is music to everyone's ears, even our TDI!

Shifting gears is an art in itself. Practice it a few times. Also, practice makes perfect.