What is Dumping the Clutch?

Many car owners who use automatic transmission cars won’t understand what dumping the clutch means or how it feels. And if you are one of them, and you have heard the term “dumping the clutch,” I’m sure you have been wondering what is dumping the clutch and what does it really do? 

If you own a manual transmission car and have never tried dumping the clutch or don’t even know what it is. It’s probably a good thing. Why?

As interesting as dumping the clutch sounds or feels, it’s not good for your car. You will find out how and why you should never try. 

What is Dumping the Clutch, and How does it Work? 

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Dumping the clutch is a driving technique quite alright. But it’s not a technique you do all the time. Yes, it is beneficial, especially for car racers, but you have to think twice before using it. 

Dumping the clutch is a technique most drivers use to get their cars moving from a halt or to increase their car’s acceleration. It is done by releasing the clutch pedal so fast, which causes the pedal to engage quickly without wasting time. When your foot slips off a very depressed clutch pedal, it can lead to dumping the clutch, which causes your clutch to engage immediately. 

Dumping the clutch is not all that bad. It has some benefits, which are why the technique is used even if it is bad for the car’s part. You will get to see these benefits soon. But before then, what is a clutch? .

What is a Clutch? 

The clutch is a device in your manual transmission car that helps couple your car’s engine to the transmission. It has two main functions in manual transmission cars.  

The first is that the clutch helps the car’s transmission from one gear to another. How does this work? Let’s find out. 

When a driver wants to shift from one gear to another, the driver uses the clutch to disengage the transmission from the engine. By doing that, the car’s transmission can then be shifted into a different gear.

A clutch’s other function is allowing a manual transmission car’s engine to idle, even when the car’s transmission is not turning. 

Types of clutches 

There are two main types of clutches, each of which has different characteristics and ways of action. There are: 

  • Dry clutches
  • Wet clutches
Dry clutches 

The dry clutches are more common than the wet clutches. It couples the car’s engine to the transmission by using friction generated between two very flat surfaces. 

Wet clutches 

The wet clutches are not as common as the dry clutches. Instead of flat surfaces, they use oil as lubricants to couple the engine to your car’s transmission and cool it down. [1]

Pros and Cons of Dumping the Clutch 

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Remember when we mentioned that dumping the clutch was not all bad? That’s right. It’s not a harmful driving technique. However, it becomes very detrimental to some of your car parts if you do not know how to dump a clutch properly.[3

Let’s look at the pros and cons of dumping the clutch before proceeding to see how you can properly dump a clutch without harming your car’s transmission or engine. 

Pros of dumping the clutch 

One of the main pros of dumping the clutch is that it allows your car engine to rev up to very high RPMs before it engages the transmission — these benefits car racers who will have to attain a very high acceleration from a stop.[3]

Other Pros of dumping the clutch include: 

  • It helps to prevent your car’s engine from stalling, especially when you want to shift into the first gear.
  • It helps the car to start moving after it has stopped 
  • It helps in causing the tires to spin 
  • It helps the driver to attain maximum acceleration faster 
  • It helps the car driver maneuver and turn the car in very sharp comers.  

Cons of dumping the clutch 

  • Dumping the clutch is bad for your car because it causes the clutch to wear out easily and faster.
  • If dumping the clutch is done too suddenly, it can make your engine stall 
  • It can lead to burnout
  • Dumping the clutch can harm your car’s engine and transmission if you do it the wrong way. 
  • It could lead to less vehicle control

Is dumping the clutch bad for your car? 

This is a tricky question; depending on how you look at it, the answer is yes. Dumping the clutch is bad for your car. Apart from the several cons attached to this technique, dumping your car’s clutch literally means you slam the car’s gear with the transmission. And there is no way this doesn’t sound like trouble. 

Because of this sudden change in the car’s direction and speed, lots of stress is placed on the transmission. When too much of that happens, the transmission can either become faulty or go totally bad.

In situations where your car does not have strong traction, dumping the clutch can cause burnout. But if you have strong traction, you might not experience burnout, which does not mean you are entirely free. 

Dumping the clutch can affect your car’s motor mount if your car has strong traction and the horsepower is a lot. The motor mount helps to reduce the vibration that comes from your car’s internal combustion engine and stabilizes it. It can also affect the car’s half shaft, causing it to break. 

Also, the act of dumping your car’s clutch can also damage your clutch, your car’s engine, and the drivetrain. So, avoiding dumping your car’s clutch is best to keep it in excellent condition. Well, except you are into racing and trust your car’s traction. 

Best practices in dumping the clutch 

Dumping the clutch might harm your car, but that is if you don’t know how to go about it. Fortunately for you, we will see how to do this to avoid causing damage to your car’s part. 

If you want to dump the clutch of your car, then you will have to depress the clutch pedal with your foot. Take it all the way down, then release it very fast. While doing this, remember to feed gas to your car. 

The time you release the clutch pedal is very important when dumping the clutch. If it is released too fast, your car will jerk. If it is too slow, the engine will stall. 

The best time to dump your car’s clutch is when your car’s engine is at its best or almost close to its best torque output. Ideally, this is between 2,000 RPMs and 4,000 RPMs for most cars. When you dump the car at this point, acceleration would be at its best, and you won’t lose traction. 

Also, never attempt to dump the clutch when you are about to shift gears. Doing this would cause lots of wear and tear on the engine, transmission, and clutch. This can ultimately cause these parts to break down and is also dangerous and can lead to accidents. 

4 Wrong Things People Do with Clutches 

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Dumping the clutch is not the only risky behavior car drivers do with their clutches. There are others. Some might not be as dangerous as dumping the clutch. Others are far worse and have more serious effects on the clutch and your car’s gearbox, which is very expensive to fix. 

Some of these include: 

Holding the clutch while waiting in the traffic

This makes your legs very tired and places unnecessary stress on the clutch, leading to excessive wear and tear. 

Resting their hands on the gear

Leaving your foot on the clutch is bad, like leaving your hands on the gear. When you shift gears, your gear’s selector fork helps select the gear. It does this by communicating with several rotating parts. When you consistently rest your hands on it, you might unknowingly add pressure to the gear’s selector fork, which transfers most of it to other car components. 

In the long run, this can increase the pace at which the car’s parts wear out and lead to very noisy gears or difficulty selecting gears. As much as possible, after selecting the gear, return your hands to the wheel as they should be. 

Using the clutch on a hill to suspend the car

When you have the handbrakes, why use the clutch? Many would argue using the clutch biting point is most effective. But what if you don’t find it on time? 

Flooring the car with low engine revs

Flooring the car at low engine revs is like asking the car to do two opposing actions simultaneously. Low revs mean slow and steady, right? Then why floor the car? Shouldn’t you at least shift to a more comfortable gear? Knowing when to floor your car and the right gear is safe for the car and your budget. 

These are not all the wrong things people do with their clutch. Others include: 

  • Resting their foot on the clutch 
  • Costing in neutral to attempt to save fuel 
  • Releasing the clutch too soon sends the car jerking and puts pressure on the transmission and engine.