Riding the Clutch: Definition and Prevention

Riding the clutch also referred to as clutch cling in layman terms simply means keeping your foot on the clutch pedal at all times while driving.

Car users should have come across the term “Riding the clutch” in one way or the other.

The clutch is a transmission component in manual vehicles that must be compressed by the driver before changing gears and during small speed maneuvers.

The clutch technique used by the driver has a major impact on how well the car performs. To provide a flawless and smooth driving experience, the clutch needs specific care from the driver.

In this article, we’re going to see where a driver could be Riding the clutch without a prior idea and possible Prevention techniques.

Riding the Clutch – Meaning

Riding the Clutch simply means resting your foot on the clutch pedal for no specific reasons thereby causing friction between the clutch system and the Flywheel (The clutch disk spins faster than the Flywheel).

This could further result in increased wear and tear in the clutch plate, throwout bearing, pressure plate, and Flywheel.

A typical example of Riding the clutch is when a driver rests his feet on the clutch pedal instead of the floor mat while in traffic.

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The throwout bearing can be kept in contact with the release spring despite the fact that this small pressure might not be sufficient to cause clutch sliding. As a result, the bearing wear will be hastened and the spring will continue to spin when it shouldn’t.

In other terms, what exactly does it mean to ride the clutch on a motorcycle? It is the practice of cycling while only loosely grasping the clutch cable.

The driver should depress the clutch pedal to disconnect the transmission from the engine in order to shift gears correctly. To restore engine power to the drive wheels, he will then shift into the correct gear and release his foot from the clutch pedal.

If the driver takes his foot off the brake too soon, the powertrain and transmission will reengage, causing a noticeable lurch. The clutch will slip against the flywheel, though, if he releases the pedal too slowly. Of course, clutch slippage in this circumstance results in early wear.

It is impossible to completely prevent clutch system component wear, though. However, the wear can be reduced by releasing the clutch with suitable manual driving (gearing/shifting) techniques.

How Do I Know I’m Riding the Clutch?

Riding the Clutch simply means engaging the clutch pedal unnecessarily, so, if you find yourself leaving your feet on your clutch almost every time then you’re definitely riding the clutch.

This applies to those who partially leave their legs on the clutch pedal instead of placing them on the floor.

Cared to know what happens If you ride the clutch. This will increase the friction between the Flywheel and clutch plate thereby causing increased wear and tear to the clutch systems. It’ll take little money out of your budget to be fixed by a mechanic.

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Riding the Clutch – Prevention Techniques

Here are some acts to adhere to in order to prevent, stop or reduce the rate at which you ride the clutch.

1. Change Gears Appropriately

You need to master switching between Gears to prevent riding the clutch.

Avoid delays that might cause you to further press the clutch pedal before applying the gears.

Likewise, don’t perform the switching action too fast but make sure you change Gears normally.

2. Engage your car in Neutral while in Traffic

Most persons are guilty of pressing and holding the clutch pedals while in traffic which isn’t supposed to be so.

The best practice is to put your car in neutral mode and wait for the traffic to clear while engaging the emergency brake.

3. Use the Parking Break when Parking

Even if the engine is off, according to many experts, parking a car in gears causes stress to the clutch. In order to avoid leaving your automobile in gear when you park, it is best to apply the parking brake. By doing this, the vehicle will remain secure and the clutch won’t be overworked when the engine is idle.

4. Make decisions before Shifting gears

Prevent frequent changing of gears because it’ll always require the clutch pedal input to take effect.

Make a decision on the distance of your journey and set a specific gear level. This will get your feet off the clutch throughout the ride, however, you might engage the brakes more often.

5. Implement Emergency Stopping

Emergency stopping prevents the frequent application of the clutch.

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However, it’s expedient that you avoid using it If you’re a beginner or while driving at night to avert road accidents.

6. Avoid resting your leg on the Clutch Pedal

While driving, limit the number of times your legs gets in contact with the clutch pedal while driving.

A clutch should either be totally depressed or totally loosened, partial contact isn’t recommended.


Q: Should I Apply the Clutch while applying the brakes?

Applying brakes to an automotive without engaging the clutch will likely cause the engine to stall.

This will also cause increased wear and tear on the clutch units. So, apply your clutches together with your brakes especially while driving at low speeds.

Q: Can I Drive with a Bad Clutch?

Driving a vehicle with a faulty clutch system could pose a greater threat to your life and that of other road users because the clutch might scatter leaving you stranded and also result in an accident if you’re on the highway.

Once you notice that your clutch is bad, it’s necessary you perform a speedy repair.


Riding the Clutch is simply an action that every car owner needs to avoid in order to have a long-lasting clutch system.

Discussed in this article are the meaning of clinging to the clutch, its causes, and possible ways to stop riding the clutch.

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