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Riding the Clutch – A Detailed Overview

March 3, 2024 | Victor Lukasso

Riding the clutch, also called clutch cling in layperson’s terms, means keeping your foot on the clutch pedal while driving.

Car users should have encountered the term “Riding the clutch” in one way or another.

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

The clutch technique the driver uses significantly impacts 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 will see where a driver could be Riding the clutch without a prior idea and possible Prevention techniques.

Riding the Clutch – Meaning

Riding the clutch means resting your foot on the clutch pedal for no specific reason, causing friction between the clutch system and the Flywheel (The clutch disk spins faster than the flywheel).

This could further increase 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, increasing the wear and tear of the bearing because of the rotating movement of the spring.

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

The driver should hold the clutch tightly to disconnect the transmission from the engine, allowing you to switch between gears appropriately. After selecting the appropriate gear, you can release the clutch pedal.

If the driver removes his foot before the process is complete, the powertrain and transmission will re-engage, causing unsteady movement. Also, the clutch will rub against the flywheel if the clutch pedal is released too slowly, 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 means unnecessarily engaging the clutch pedal, so if you leave your feet on your clutch almost every time, you’re riding the clutch.

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

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You cared to know what would happen if you rode the clutch. This will increase the friction between the Flywheel and clutch plate, causing increased wear and tear to the clutch systems. It’ll take a little money out of your budget to be fixed by a mechanic.

Riding the Clutch – Prevention Techniques

Here are some acts to prevent, stop, or reduce the rate 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 press the clutch pedal further after applying the gears.

Likewise, don’t switch too fast, but make sure you change Gears typically.

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.

Alternatively, you can clutch and brake, then remove your leg from the clutch. However, press down the clutch before removing your legs from the brake pedal.

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, it will induce stress on the clutch. So, the best way to beat this is by utilizing the parking brake.

This helps ensure the clutch pedal isn’t overactive even while the engine is switched off.

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4. Make decisions before Shifting gears

Prevent frequent changing of gears because the clutch pedal input will always be required to take effect.

Decide 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.

However, it’s expedient to 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 get in contact with the clutch pedal.

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


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

Applying brakes to an automobile 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 with your brakes, especially while driving at low speeds.

Q: Can I Drive with a Bad Clutch?

Driving with a bad clutch is not advised as it could harm, damage, or death yourself or other road users.

You must perform a speedy repair once you notice your clutch is bad.


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

This article discusses the meaning of clinging to the clutch, its causes, and possible ways to stop riding it.

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Meet Victor Lukasso, the owner of V. Auto Basics. Through this blog, Victor Provides Insights on the latest tips, maintenance, repair, and techniques in the automotive world.