Clutch

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My last class was SUMMER 2011

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Home Parallel Park Hill Start Cornering Timing Turn Around Clutch Reference Points
First Time Standard Transmission Help
The concern: Just can't get the car going smoothly from a stopped position.


1:  Try This First:
1. Pull to the side of a level quiet road or parking lot.
2. Set the parking brake.
3. Put the vehicle in 1st (first) gear. (keep a "stiff" ankle)
4. Bring the clutch up to the friction point. (..stiff ankle)
...you will feel the back of the car go down just a bit.
...hold the clutch at this point for two seconds.
5. Depress the clutch. (to the floor).
...you will feel the back of the vehicle come back up.
6. Repeat (steps 4 and 5) three more times.

This teaches the student not only where the friction point is on the pedal but that it must be held for a few moments to get the vehicle in motion. We've all been over taught not to "ride the clutch" but we forgot that we need to "ride it" for a few seconds in order to get us going!


2:  Try This Next:
            at the side of a level quiet road or parking lot.
1. Put the vehicle in 1st (first) gear
2. Release the parking brake
3. Bring the clutch up to the friction point. (no gas!)
...the vehicle is moving "deliberately" forward
...ride the clutch at this point for one car length
4. Take your foot off the clutch and continue 2 car lengths.
5. Slow the vehicle with slight brake pressure. (Preparing to stop)
6. Depress the clutch (to the floor) when you are one car-length from intended stop.
7. Stop the vehicle with gentle brake pressure.
8. Repeat (steps 3 through 7) five times.

This teaches the new driver that the clutch (and friction point) are what engages the vehicle in motion. Too much too fast will give immediate feedback, as will too little clutch give the feedback that more is needed. Notice that "no gas" was given on this section of the exercise. Let's move on.

3:  and NOW:   Shifting from 1st to 2nd:
            at the side of a level quiet road or parking lot.
1. Put the vehicle in 1st (first) gear
2. Release the parking brake.
3. Bring the clutch up to the friction point.
...give a "whisper" of gas
...ride the clutch at this point for one car length
4. Take your foot off (away from) the clutch.
...giving slightly more gas as smoothly as possible
5. After traveling 3 car lengths come off the gas and depress the clutch...
6. Shift the vehicle to 2nd (second) gear.
7. Find the friction point briefly (one car length - ? - one second)
8. Accelerate with just a whisper of gas...
...and come off the clutch at the same time.
...travel a few car lengths...
9. Slow the vehicle with the brake. (Preparing to stop)
10. One car length before your stop: depress the clutch.
11. Stop the vehicle with gentle brake pressure.
12. Repeat (steps 3 through 11) again.

This gives the new driver a sense of starting the vehicle with the clutch and the gas without the pressure of traffic. It also gives us a starting point in shifting to a higher gear. Pausing at the friction point in second gear is a way of getting them to feel the clutch as they pass through the gears. If they "pause one-car-length" they will quickly learn that in second gear it's just a split second in time and in third gear it's less ! Fourth and fifth gear need little friction point attention, but let's remember we're in this lesson to get them off the stop line.

4:  Try This Incline Test
1. Pull to the side of a quiet road on a slight incline
2. Set the parking brake.
3. Put the vehicle in 1st (first) gear.
4. Check approaching (from behind) traffic.
5. Set blinker for a left lane change if clear (pulling away from curb req's a blinker).
6. Bring the clutch up to the friction point.
...the back of the car will go down just a bit.
...hold the clutch at this point.
7. Give a whisper of gas.
...or until you feel the back of the car go down.
8. Release the parking brake.
9. More gas and more clutch as needed.
...ride the clutch for one car length
ride the clutch for one car length

10. Stop, and try it a few more times....
...until you have a good feeling and awareness on a slight incline.

5:  Practice Works...  but the Real World is Different... TRY THIS!
From a stop (in a quiet area) have the adult count down from 5 (...or from 3)
    ... "3" "2" "1" and have the driver "GO" on "zero" !     
            (A new driver will "probably" stall... (anxious)... Adult should ask:  "Who's in charge?"
        Hint: on #3: mentally prepare (driver is alert and attentive)
                on #2: find pressure point
                on #1: a whisper gas
                at #0: ride the clutch for one car length as explained earlier
 ....the driver may count "0, -1, -2,- 3" as they start moving:

This confirms that "the Driver" is in control and NOT the passenger or "honking car" behind them.  Remember, to....

Smile !

You've Accomplished a Great Deal.

Congratulations !

 

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