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 reason 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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This will cause the throwout bearing to be in contact with the release spring too frequently and this will increase the wear and tear of the bearing because of the rotating movement of the spring.

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

The driver ought to hold the clutch tightly so as to disconnect the transmission from the engine which in turn allows you to switch between gears appropriately, after selecting the appropriate gear; you can then release the clutch pedal.

If the driver removes his foot before the process is complete, the powertrain and transmission will re-engage thereby causing an unsteady movement. Also, the clutch will rub against the flywheel if the clutch pedal is released too slow thereby resulting in clutch slippage which in turn ends in the wear of the clutch.

From the above illustration, it’s clear that there’s no way you can avoid wear and tear on the clutch system but there are clutch-releasing techniques you can adopt to reduce the corrosion rate.

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

According to reports from car experts, if your vehicle is in gear even while the engine is turned off will induce stress on the clutch. So, the best way to beat this is by utilizing the parking brake.

This help ensures that the clutch pedal isn’t overactive even while the engine is switched off.

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?

No, It’s not advised that you drive with a bad clutch as it could result in harm, damage, or death to yourself or other road users.

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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