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I am very familiar with driving a manual and plan on getting a 5-speed, although I was never really clear on certain aspects of clutch operation and expected lifetime.

I am understanding of the ways a clutch can get abused and fried if you do not engage it properly, such as in prolonged stop-and-go traffic. The friction between the clutch plate and engine is fierce if the clutch is not fully engaged. That I understand, but I some people say you should not "ride the clutch" or keep it in all the way while you are idle, because this can wear it out. I don't see how that is possible if you are stopped and idling and have the clutch pedal down all the way ... it is not anywhere near connecting to the flywheel if it the clutch is fully engaged, right? You could sit there forever and not "wear it out", correct? I had some friend (not sure he was too smart) say he wore his clutch out by holding it down at stoplights (or so someone told him). I've never had to maintain a car with a manual transmission, so I don't know what causes unnecessary wear and tear on them. It's not going to stop me from buying one, I just want to know how to treat it the best.
 

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I also heard you shouldn't hold your foot over the clutch while driving and not to press it in as it will wear it out when stopped.

Don't know more than that ...

Can some more seasoned MT drivers pitch in their $0.02?
 

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so how would you avoid this, without stalling.....when coming to a full stop

i don't see any other way
 

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some people say you should not "ride the clutch" or keep it in all the way while you are idle, because this can wear it out. I don't see how that is possible if you are stopped and idling and have the clutch pedal down all the way ... it is not anywhere near connecting to the flywheel if it the clutch is fully engaged, right? You could sit there forever and not "wear it out", correct?
- "Ride the clutch" is different that what you describe. Ride the clutch is taking unecessary long time to disengage/engage the clutch. This will wear the clutch plate.

- Sitting at the stop with your feet pressing the clutch can't wear the clutch plate (the plate that connects to the fly wheel by friction) as you correctly pointed out, however it will wear the release bearing (that's the part that presses against the pressure plate and "releases" the disc). But it's OK to do it now and then (e.g. when you know and anticipate the green light)
 

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avergae life epxectancy from a clutch varies between manufacturers, but I'd say you should get atleast 50,000 miles from one, but I would say closer to 70K with proper care and driving (and not letting people learn on it :))
 

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so how much do you think a clutch replacement would cost for the mazda3???
 

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My dad hasn't replaced the clutch in his Tacoma yet and he has 250,000 Miles on it.
 

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Yeah I know someone with a old toyota pickup with more than 200k on the original clutch. It all depends on how you drive it.

I always just pull it out and into neutral without pressing the clutch and avoid down shifting unless to accelerate or deccelerate quickly. Just a little bit of advice (from the guy with the 200k+ clutch) that I choose to follow.
 

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do you guys take your turns with the clutch pressed fully down?
ex: going 80km/h in 5th, press clutch fully, use the break accordingly, make turn, begin to release clutch and give gas in 2nd.

or do you guys downshift when going into turns?

is either of these bad for the clutch in the long run?
 

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never go around curve with the clutch pressed down. You should always downshift before the corner. While being in the corner, the engine compression should be fully used to modulate the speed, because the brake applies an even force on the outer and inner wheels, and this is not a good thing during cornering. In addition, you are ready to accelerate without jerking when exit the corner.
 

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I have had two long service vehicles with manual transmission and have never worn out a clutch. The most recent was a Nissan pick up purchased brand new 1993. I traded it in 2001 with 150,00 mi. At a full stop I would put the truck in 1st gear and hold the clutch all the way in and wait for the light to change. Of course I had to have my other foot on the brake to keep from rolling. Or I could partialy engage the clutch while moderating the gas peddle just enough to keep me in place neither moving forward or rolling back. THIS IS BAD!! It is very abusive to the clutch. The only time I did this is on a very steep incline. A case when the time it took to get from the brake to the gase would cause me to roll backward a great distance possibly causing me to bump the vehicle behind me. Very rare circumsance. My proceedure for turning is to depress the clutch, downshift and apply the brakes for a controlled turn. Release the clutch and accelerate out of the turn.
 

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'clutching'

I've been thinking about my shifting more since I bought this car. Is it bad for the transmission to shift into neutral without depressing the clutch???

My previous car had 242,000 miles on one clutch (a 93 protege).
 

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I also don't understand why others are changing their clutch as low as 60K to 70K miles. My old '92 Accord had 146K miles on its original clutch when I sold it, the last 60K of those were driven fairly hard.

I think it may cause more wear on the synchros if you shift without using the clutch. Just press the clutch and eliminate any doubt or worry.
 

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Re: 'clutching'

MazdaExperienced said:
I've been thinking about my shifting more since I bought this car. Is it bad for the transmission to shift into neutral without depressing the clutch???

My previous car had 242,000 miles on one clutch (a 93 protege).
On a manual transmission? ALWAYS press the clutch to switch gear. INCLUDING putting it in neutral.
 

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Clutch wear is pretty simple, the clutch wears out any time the clutch pedal is not out all the way or put down all the way. Although when shifting you should still allow your clutch to engage smoothly otherwise a sudden engagement will happen, makes your car jerk forward and it puts a lot of unnessecary force on the clutch.
 

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don't get into the bad habit i have. when i'm on a hill i like to hold the clutch right at the friction point while giving it just enough gas to hold the car in place :) needless to say my car has 140K miles and i need to replace the clutch for a 2nd time soon.
 

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When stopped on a hill, what I normally do is use the hand brake. When the light is about to change, put it in 1st gear, get it to the friction point with the clutch & throttle, then release the hand brake when you're ready to go.

Now a question, for all those with a manny Mz3:
- Does the drive-by-wire throttle on the 3 allow you to rev match when downshifting or heel-toeing? Since it is electronic, it is technically possible for the system to prevent this from happening (eg. to save gas).
 
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