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Old 01-29-2013, 12:08 AM   #1
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Driving a Manual Trans Properly

I have driven Manuals almost entirely until the last 10 years. Now I am back in a manual trans and while surfing the web started to see comments about some do’s and don’ts:

1) Coasting with clutch depressed causes through out bearing damage.

Yes, NO, not that much. Is having the clutch depressed always hard on the Trough out bearing?

2) Coasting in Low Range with Clutch depressed will cause the clutch to over rev and destroy the clutch.

True?

3) with clutch out and gears in neutral.
This one stumped me. The only thing I found was coasting in Neutral can damage transmission but this was under the Automatic section of the manual.

I was surprised that not a lot in info on the Manual Transmission in the Owners Manual.

Any input on these items?

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Old 01-29-2013, 12:18 AM   #2
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I've been driving manuals for nearly two decades. Not that it makes me an expert but here's my 2 cents:

1) and 2)....Not really sure about potential damage, but why would you coast with the clutch depressed anyway? If you're coasting for any considerable length of time, pop it in neutral and release the clutch pedal.

3) I coast in neutral with the clutch out all the time. That's my version of Eco mode. Never damaged any of my transmissions.

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Old 01-29-2013, 12:20 AM   #3
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not necessarily damage, but wear... same if u mean just riding the clutch while cruising.. contact between clutch-release mech. & throwout bearing = wear...as to the second question,,, the clutch is mounted directly to the flywheel, so spins @ engine rpm .. as to Q#3, i suggest following o-manual... some u can & some u can't...
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:25 AM   #4
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Well I am getting 21.5 MPH so I like coasting. I will just have to remember to do it with the clutch out. Here is the article I read. Its not the first time i saw this. I have seen similar comments. If course it could be just sprading more dis-informaton.

Exploding Clutch - Tech Tip
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:40 AM   #5
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Use the clutch to move between gears or neutral - that’s it. Don’t keep you foot on the clutch (coasting, at a light, etc.) as you put excess wear on the throwout bearing. I helped my son replace the clutch in his car and within a year his clutch wasn’t working right. Took it apart again and the throwout bearing was gone. I asked if he kept his foot on the clutch at lights. He said yes. He doesn’t do that anymore…

On the article… I wouldn’t be surprised if his throwout bearing blew up because he keeps his foot on the clutch a lot (at least he did in his little write-up)…
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:47 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by daedalus View Post
I've been driving manuals for nearly two decades. Not that it makes me an expert but here's my 2 cents:

1) and 2)....Not really sure about potential damage, but why would you coast with the clutch depressed anyway? If you're coasting for any considerable length of time, pop it in neutral and release the clutch pedal.

3) I coast in neutral with the clutch out all the time. That's my version of Eco mode. Never damaged any of my transmissions.
coasting in neutral uses gas to keep the engine revving. coasting in gear uses ZERO fuel. leave it in the gear you were in and just let the engine slow you down.

also coasting in neutral is illegal is most countries because you have no control if you need sudden acceleration. never coast in neutral. there's no benefit whatsoever.
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:42 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by irjeep View Post
I have driven Manuals almost entirely until the last 10 years. Now I am back in a manual trans and while surfing the web started to see comments about some do’s and don’ts:

1) Coasting with clutch depressed causes through out bearing damage.

Yes, NO, not that much. Is having the clutch depressed always hard on the Trough out bearing?

2) Coasting in Low Range with Clutch depressed will cause the clutch to over rev and destroy the clutch.

True?

3) with clutch out and gears in neutral.
This one stumped me. The only thing I found was coasting in Neutral can damage transmission but this was under the Automatic section of the manual.

I was surprised that not a lot in info on the Manual Transmission in the Owners Manual.

Any input on these items?
1. The ONLY time the throw out bearing does anything is when your foot is on the clutch pedal; so, with that, yes, stepping on the clutch causes increased wear on the bearing over not stepping on the pedal.
2. Stepping on the clutch and coasting with the TC in low range CAN cause the clutch itself to disintegrate. Not saying that it is automatically going to happen, but it certainly can. Just imagine for a minute. I have like a 96 to 1 gear reduction in 4L and 1st gear and redlined it will probably do 3 mph.. If I am going down a steep grade, and step on the clutch and allow JEEP to freewheel up to like even 10 mph, the clutch disk itself is rotating at probably like 18000 rpm. How do I know this??? Some dumb kid when he was about 19 years old did it to a F250. Only he was climbing a steep hill, spun out, and just stepped on the clutch and let it coast backward. Yup, it left me on foot! No clutch! So if you want to coast, just slip the tranny in to neutral. Better yet, in these situations, you have much more control over the vehicle with the tranny in gear and the clutch engaged.
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:36 AM   #8
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I'm guilty of waiting at traffic lights with the clutch pushed in and jeep in gear. This is from habbit of driving a motorcycle 90% of the time where it is standard practice to do this for safety. Allows you to be able to move the bike quickly if someone comes flying into the intersection and doesn't see you sitting there. (Has saved my butt several times.)
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:51 AM   #9
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On my 1998 TJ, I was guilty of all three Clutch infractions. The only thing I never did was to rest my foot on the clutch pedal (ride the clutch). But, I would coast in gear and leave the clutch depressed while in gear (in traffic mostly) all the time. I was the third owner of that Jeep and it had 150,000 miles on it with the original clutch installed. I had all the paperwork for every service and maitenance ever preformed. I guess they just doen't build them like they used to.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:03 AM   #10
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I've always coasted in neutral in my car (same for sitting at red lights). I'm in gear a bit more on my bike....but not too much more.

Basically, the only time I touch the clutch is strictly when I'm shifting.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irjeep View Post
I have driven Manuals almost entirely until the last 10 years. Now I am back in a manual trans and while surfing the web started to see comments about some do’s and don’ts:

1) Coasting with clutch depressed causes through out bearing damage.

Yes, NO, not that much. Is having the clutch depressed always hard on the Trough out bearing?

2) Coasting in Low Range with Clutch depressed will cause the clutch to over rev and destroy the clutch.

True?

3) with clutch out and gears in neutral.
This one stumped me. The only thing I found was coasting in Neutral can damage transmission but this was under the Automatic section of the manual.

I was surprised that not a lot in info on the Manual Transmission in the Owners Manual.

Any input on these items?
1)Eh, no not really. I wouldn't sit at every light with the clutch in or coast for miles with the clutch in..but it's not going to grenade too fast.

2)For this you happen the shifter must be in a gear [clutch being driven by the axles]. So 4-low, in gear, clutch in, coasting CAN destroy the clutch by over-revving. More likely in a Rubicon than a non-Rubicon however.

3) Clutch out, in neutral, will do nothing really. Engages the clutch to the flywheel and the trans just turns with no load..
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:48 AM   #12
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coasting in neutral uses gas to keep the engine revving. coasting in gear uses ZERO fuel. leave it in the gear you were in and just let the engine slow you down.

also coasting in neutral is illegal is most countries because you have no control if you need sudden acceleration. never coast in neutral. there's no benefit whatsoever.
Huh?

If you're coasting in neutral the only gas you're using is to maintain engine idle. It's no different than sitting still as far as the engine and fuel consumption is concerned.
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:05 AM   #13
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I've always heard that costing with the clutch depressed while in gear is bad for the transmission

Coasting with the clutch depressed while in neutral should cause no harm at all
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:08 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Goofyjumper View Post
I'm guilty of waiting at traffic lights with the clutch pushed in and jeep in gear. This is from habbit of driving a motorcycle 90% of the time where it is standard practice to do this for safety. Allows you to be able to move the bike quickly if someone comes flying into the intersection and doesn't see you sitting there. (Has saved my butt several times.)
I NEVER sit at a red light in neutral on any bike for the reasons given above. I will start to make it a conscious effort to unlearn that habit in my Jeep.
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:27 AM   #15
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Huh?
If you're coasting in neutral the only gas you're using is to maintain engine idle. It's no different than sitting still as far as the engine and fuel consumption is concerned.
The ECM will ENTIRELY cut off fuel
delivery to the engine when coasting
in gear...
If you have one of the scanners/diagnostic
tools pulgged into the OBD-II port, you can
see the instantaneous MPG peg as the injector
pulse width drops to zero (i.e. NO fuel at all
is flowing to the engine)...
If you depress the clutch, fuel is required
to keep the engine turning...
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:32 AM   #16
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Huh?

If you're coasting in neutral the only gas you're using is to maintain engine idle. It's no different than sitting still as far as the engine and fuel consumption is concerned.
That's my understanding as well. I thought coasting in gear would use more fuel since the engine is reving at higher rpm's. I do use engine braking when I want to slow down.

I should clarify that I don't coast in neutral if there are cars around...I do it when the road is pretty clear.
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:09 AM   #17
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Hypermilers will tell you, and I have confirmed in my work Impreza, what sporty952 said in note 15. I have a good long hill to test this near my house, I should test it in my Jeep just the way I did in my Impreza - take foot off all pedals when at speed at top of hill, and reset MPG meter. Watch it shoot up to insane numbers. My recollection is that the ceiling on the readout in the Impreza was 73mpg. Do I get brownie points if I take of pic showing a similar unrealistically high MPG readout in my Jeep? My best 90 mile mild up and down NH hills round-trip MPG readout so far has been 24.1 (I do understand the dash readout isn't felt to be terribly accurate)

I never coast in neutral. Up until I got the Impreza and read hypermiler techniques, I would occasionally coast with the clutch fully depressed - generally only on long gentle hills outside of traffic and only when I was getting low on gas.

I always press the clutch pedal fully down at stop signs, lights, etc.

In 20+ years of driving only manual, somewhere in the vicinity of 500k miles driven, in a variety of cars and trucks, I have had exactly ONE clutch fail due to wear.

I think there is always something new to learn and one person's anecdotal evidence is not scientific proof. That said, my personal experience says that throwout bearing wear is not a sufficient factor for me to change my driving habits and start putting the trans in neutral at lights/stopsigns. What anyone else does about this doesn't matter to me unless they are driving my Jeep!
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:13 AM   #18
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The ECM will ENTIRELY cut off fuel
delivery to the engine when coasting
in gear...
If you have one of the scanners/diagnostic
tools pulgged into the OBD-II port, you can
see the instantaneous MPG peg as the injector
pulse width drops to zero (i.e. NO fuel at all
is flowing to the engine)...
If you depress the clutch, fuel is required
to keep the engine turning...

I didn't say the clutch was depressed. Pop it in neutral, let out the clutch, and the only fuel being used is to idle. Idling doens't use that much fuel to where it would create any more than a negligible difference in overall fuel mileage.


Point being, coasting in neutral isn't going to hurt the transmission. Question #3 in the OP.
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:14 AM   #19
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Okay, I learned something new. So from a fuel economy standpoint it's better to coast in gear?
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:25 AM   #20
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I'm guilty of waiting at traffic lights with the clutch pushed in and jeep in gear. This is from habbit of driving a motorcycle 90% of the time where it is standard practice to do this for safety. Allows you to be able to move the bike quickly if someone comes flying into the intersection and doesn't see you sitting there. (Has saved my butt several times.)
^^^^ Being in neutral is dangerous. Even says not to do it in the owner's manual.
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:08 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WXman

^^^^ Being in neutral is dangerous. Even says not to do it in the owner's manual.
Why is being in neutral with your foot on the brake more dangerous than clutch in with your foot on the brake?
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:25 AM   #22
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I don't see anything dangerous about coasting. I coast a lot with the clutch out of course. I can go further in neutral than leaving it in gear. That in itself is reason enough to negate any possible fuel advantage leaving it in gear might have.
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:38 AM   #23
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I don't see anything dangerous about coasting. I coast a lot with the clutch out of course. I can go further in neutral than leaving it in gear. That in itself is reason enough to negate any possible fuel advantage leaving it in gear might have.
Agreed it only seems dangerous if you don't know how to put it back into gear.
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:40 AM   #24
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Okay, I learned something new. So from a fuel economy standpoint it's better to coast in gear?
It is better from a fuel economy standpoint, but more importantly it preserves driveability for safety.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WXman View Post
^^^^ Being in neutral is dangerous. Even says not to do it in the owner's manual.
See above. "Driveability" If you're coasting in neutral, and an emergency maneuver is required, you could be at risk of not getting power to avoid a collision. If you're in gear already, all you have to do is hit the accelerator. ++ Chances are if that kind of scenario "pops", your probably more likely to mis-shift into the wrong gear, and either prohibit yourself from completing said manuever, damage your drivetrain, or both.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkjeeper06 View Post
Why is being in neutral with your foot on the brake more dangerous than clutch in with your foot on the brake?
If you buy into the above statement about coasting in gear... then neutral coasting is more dangerous than coasting with the clutch in.
If you're coasting with the clutch in, or "freewheeling". Then you're losing the fuel economy already mentioned... and you're losing all the engine braking, which translates to a.) faster wear on your brakes, b.) less ability to engage power smoothly.

My position... don't do either. Coast in gear at all times.
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:36 PM   #25
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't slowing down using engine braking mess the synchronizers up?
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:53 PM   #26
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't slowing down using engine braking mess the synchronizers up?
Nope. You're thinking about downshifting, not engine braking. Basically, just leave the jeep in whatever gear it's in and take your feet off of all the pedals. This means that the wheels are driving the engine and no fuel is used.

Say you're driving in 5th at 55mph and you see a traffic jam up ahead. Just leave it in 5th until the rpms hit about 1000 and then clutch out to neutral and stop. Some people downshift from 5th to 4th to 3rd...etc. This is pretty much pointless unless you're going down a super steep hill as you inevitably are adding wear to the clutch and trans and using gas to revmatch the engine. You aren't a big rig, brakes are cheap; just leave it in gear. Don't put it in neutral.
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:54 PM   #27
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The only way to spin your clutch faster than your engine can turn would be to have it gear and accelerate with clutch disengaged while coasting downhill.

Now apply some common sense, if your coasting downhill in 1st gear down a really long steep hill with the clutch disengaged, would you really leave the lever in 1st as you accelerate to 30-40-50MPH? So as you're spinning the clutch to 20,000+ RPM's, if you incidentally decide to engage the clutch the engine will try and match it's speed. Doesn't sound like good things will happen.
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:54 PM   #28
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This is a great topic!

So from what I gather, and to sum up.

Coast in gear vs, coast in neutral. (clutch out)

Gear:
Safer
Harder on equipment
Using more fuel (yes/no?)

Neutral:
Unsafe
No wear (yes/no?)
Uses more fuel (idle volume, vs. full ECM fuel shutoff)
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:56 PM   #29
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Greetings from across the pond.

Coming from a country where 90% of our vehicles are manual transmission, I have to say that I have never heard anyone obsess so much over driving a manual as the Americans seem to.

I have driven fire trucks, semi-trucks (as you call them), panel vans and my own vehicles over the best part of the last 40 years, most of them manual transmission. The fire trucks had a 'crash gearbox' which required you to depress the clutch twice on each gear change and didn't have synchromesh gears.

I have driven over a million miles and have never had a clutch fail on me dramatically. Wear and need replacing yes, but when you consider what it does, that is hardly suprising.

Driving schools in England teach engine braking using the gears as a matter of course. It is accepted normal driving practice.

If manual transmissions and clutches were as much trouble and had as many problems as some of you guys seem to believe, they would have stopped making them years ago.

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Old 01-29-2013, 01:09 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeeps_and_Boats View Post
This is a great topic!

So from what I gather, and to sum up.

Coast in gear vs, coast in neutral. (clutch out)

Gear:
Safer YES
Harder on equipment NO
Using more fuel (yes/no?) NO, USES NO FUEL AT ALL

Neutral:
Unsafe YES
No wear (yes/no?) Idle usually means more wear, but it's really no different
Uses more fuel (idle volume, vs. full ECM fuel shutoff)YES

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