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4 Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Big Rig's Clutch

A Clutch
When you drive a big rig for a living, you depend on your truck's clutch to deliver the right amount of power to your transmission. However, if you find that you are frequently having to have your rig's clutch rebuilt or even replaced, take a look at your driving style to make sure you are not making one of the following mistakes that can prematurely wear out a clutch.

#1: Using the Clutch Only When Taking Off

Whenever you take off from a dead stop, you most likely rely on your clutch to provide enough power to the transmission so that your truck can gain enough momentum to roll with the speed of the surrounding traffic. However, once you are driving down the highway, you may neglect to use your clutch. Instead, you simply use the shift stick to put the truck into the gear you want.

However, whenever you shift without using your clutch, you subject the rubber seal on the flywheel to tearing and ripping. Also, the gears within your transmission start to strip, damaging not only the clutch but also this necessary component of your truck's engine.

#2: Driving in the Wrong Gear

Periodically, you may have to rev up your engine and make your truck go faster, either to get up to speed in high-volume highway traffic or to avoid a potential accident. When you give your engine the extra fuel, you may neglect to shift gears, making the motor and transmission run rough.

While sometimes driving in a gear that is too low for your speed is unavoidable, it is best not to make this a regular practice. When you neglect to drive in the appropriate gear, your engine and transmission will not be in sync. This will put a tremendous strain on your clutch, which will make it burn up faster.

#3: Skipping Gears When You Upshift

Along with driving in the wrong gear, another mistake you should avoid while driving your rig on the highway is skipping gears whenever you upshift. If you are picking up speed because of a decline, you may decide that it is acceptable to shift from a lower gear straight to the top gear.

However, if you skip gears whenever you upshift, the clutch and flywheel could become misaligned. Because they are no longer working in sync, you will start to notice a vibration or jerking whenever you try to shift up or down.

These vibrations or jerks are a result of the clutch having to bear the full load of the rapidly changing speeds. Eventually, your clutch will either burn up or come apart from the extra tension.

#4: Pushing Down on the Clutch Pedal Halfway

Whenever you are in a hurry to get moving or even tired from a long haul, you may find that you are only depressing the clutch pedal halfway. When you push down on the pedal only halfway, it is often enough to engage the clutch. However, if you do this often, your clutch will burn up quickly.

If you do not fully depress the pedal, the clutch will only partially engage. As a result, the flywheel will be subjected to added friction that will burn up the seals. Also, the gears within your truck's transmission will slip, causing a disconnect between the clutch and the gears' mechanisms.

If you avoid the above mistakes while driving your heavy-duty truck, you can decrease the likelihood of your clutch burning up. However, if you suspect that your clutch is going bad, contact Clutch & Brake Xchange Inc. to see about having it rebuilt or replaced.