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Old 01-10-2005, 02:37 AM   #1
InstantKarma
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2004 VUE 2.2L
Default 5-speed driving habits...

I decided to make a separate thread for this question. Sorry for the possible redundancy for some of you.

The question is:

When you come to a complete stop with your 5-speed and you know you are going to be stopped for awhile (i.e. red light, line of cars at a stop sign, drive-thru, rush-hour traffic, etc.) do you leave your VUE in gear with the clutch pedal pressed to the floor, or do you shift into neutral and let the clutch pedal back up?

I have heard differing schools of thought on this. I have been of the "Shift into Neutral and Get Off the Clutch Pedal" school my entire driving life, but recently have been dissuaded by some saying that leaving the clutch pedal on the floor at a stop won't hurt/abnormally-wear anything. I had always been under the impression "things" were still turning inside and keeping the clutch pedal on the floor would put undo wear on the "clutch guts."

So...how do YOU drive your 5-speed??

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Old 01-10-2005, 06:24 AM   #2
Ken Baker
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Default Re: 5-speed driving habits...

I'm not a mechanic but leaving the clutch depressed compresses the springs on the clutch plate and puts a force on the throw-out bearing. This is what can wear. There is a force on it only when the clutch is disengaged. There will be no wear and tear on the transmission.

Just make sure the clutch peddle is all the way to the floor or you will have the clutch plate slipping on the pressure plate. This is exactly what you don't want. Not depressing the clutch all the way makes for difficult shifting particularly from nuteral into first gear. I think some of the shifting problems mentioned here are caused by this.

If I have a long wait at a light I put the car in nuteral and take my foot off the clutch. I don't think it matters all that much one way or the other which method you use.

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Old 01-10-2005, 06:35 AM   #3
Mistomax
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Default Re: 5-speed driving habits...

I've always been of the school of thought where if you're not using it to actually shift gears, or to start off, get your foot off of it. All the way off.

Some say it's better to hold the clutch in at a stoplight from a safety standpoint. You can move more quickly if you need to. Maybe that would apply in a few isolated situations.

Then it seems to me I heard part of a Click & Clack phone conversation where some guy was saying that with hydraulic clutches, it doesn't matter if you keep your foot on it or not because of something or other I didn't hear and/or don't remember.

Anyway, I keep my foot off of it, and my clutches have all had 150,000 miles on them when I've gotten rid of the vehicles they belong to.

...
I wasn't looking for a Vue--now I have one.

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Old 01-10-2005, 08:28 AM   #4
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Default Re: 5-speed driving habits...

I've never had to replace a clutch (or throwout bearing) in 30 years of driving, and until recently, all my daily drivers were manuals. I've always had the school of thought that when you depress the clutch, push it all the way in, and don't drive with your foot resting on the clutch pedal. I've also always left the clutch depressed while idling, inless it was a long period of time.
Your going to have something spinning when idling, and putting it in neutral with the clutch out still spins the input shaft of the tranny. I guess it just matters which you want to spin.
If you really want to save the clutch, learn to drive without using it except at stops. If you match your engine speeds properly, you can upshift/downshift without using the clutch. I did this for years on older vehicles before synchromesh was perfected.

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Old 01-10-2005, 10:05 AM   #5
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Default Re: 5-speed driving habits...

Chalk me up as a shift-into-neutral guy. Unless I'm only pausing at a stop sign (and have already downshifted into 1st gear), I put it in neutral. It's so much of a habit, I even do it in stop-and-go traffic. I made it a habit after my first manual car had some kind of mechanical clutch failure at around 100k -- for the first 50k or so, I held the clutch in. I have no idea if that was related to the failure, but haven't had any problems with the three manuals I've owned since.

...
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Old 01-10-2005, 06:38 PM   #6
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Default Re: 5-speed driving habits...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghostrider
If you really want to save the clutch, learn to drive without using it except at stops. If you match your engine speeds properly, you can upshift/downshift without using the clutch. I did this for years on older vehicles before synchromesh was perfected.
I've found this is much more difficult to do with a sychromesh tranny. I think it's best to go ahead and use the clutch unless you've got a non-synchromesh (found pretty much only on tractor-trailers these days).

...
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Old 01-10-2005, 06:52 PM   #7
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Default Re: 5-speed driving habits...

If I know I'm going to sit there a while, it's easier on the leg muscles to let up on the pedal.

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Old 01-10-2005, 08:00 PM   #8
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Default Re: 5-speed driving habits...

Foot off, in neutral, leg rested.
It probabally doesn't make that much difference but whenever the clutch pedal is down parts are wearing, but engaging and disengaging the clutch the extra times wears other parts also, so its a wash on wear IMO.

DJ

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Old 01-10-2005, 08:31 PM   #9
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Default Re: 5-speed driving habits...

Quote:
Originally Posted by VUEnumber1
If I know I'm going to sit there a while, it's easier on the leg muscles to let up on the pedal.
Very true!

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Old 01-10-2005, 09:46 PM   #10
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Default Re: 5-speed driving habits...

Quote:
Originally Posted by runerx
Foot off, in neutral, leg rested.
It probabally doesn't make that much difference but whenever the clutch pedal is down parts are wearing, but engaging and disengaging the clutch the extra times wears other parts also, so its a wash on wear IMO.

DJ
Right-O.

In the grand scheme of things it probably doesn't make much difference either way.

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Old 01-10-2005, 11:44 PM   #11
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Default Re: 5-speed driving habits...

I shift to Neutral unless the stop is going to be brief. You would likely have to always hold down the clutch for years to wear anything out, but there is the occasional throwout bearing that dies early.

I also figure that it is a little easier on the engine bearings to not stay on the clutch all the time, and I usually try to hold down the clutch no more than neccessary during cold starts for the same reason.

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Old 01-11-2005, 12:36 AM   #12
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Default Re: 5-speed driving habits...

I know I don't drive a VUE, but I always shift into neutral, unless I'm not going to be stopped for long.

...
Brandon

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Old 01-11-2005, 07:23 PM   #13
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Default Re: 5-speed driving habits...

I've got an auto now, but I've always put it in neutral. My left leg would get enough of a workout in the gridlock. I'd also let idle in neutral for 30 seconds or so after a cold start- it made the first few shifts easier than if I didn't.

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