Is Your Driving Style Doing a Number on Your Gearbox?
Most cars on the road today come fitted with an automatic gearbox. Manufacturers think that this is the most attractive solution for the majority of buyers, as they don't want to bother with the "hassle" of changing gears by themselves. Yet some drivers like that challenge and opt to get a car fitted with a standard gearbox instead. While this can certainly provide them with some more variety behind the wheel, why do they need to be as careful as possible whenever they change those gears?
Accounting for Style
Engineers put a lot of effort into car design and make sure that the individual components fitted are as durable as possible. After all, they want the people who buy those cars to be happy and to come back, in the future, to buy again. With this in mind, carmakers want to avoid any type of mechanical breakdown and manufacture those parts accordingly.
Yet they can't always take into account the driving style of the individual owner and this can have a significant effect on the durability of the gearbox. The component parts may not last as long as they should if the technique is not as good as it could be, and this will lead to a variety of different problems.
Matching the Engine
In order to use a manual gearbox as smoothly as possible, the driver should try to time their gear change so that they select the gear that is most appropriate for the actual speed of the engine. Certainly, the clutch is designed to take a lot of that guesswork out of that equation, as it will disconnect the gearbox from the engine at the most appropriate time. However, engagement and disengagement can, over time, lead to excess wear and tear and, ultimately, failure.
If you are finding it difficult to change gears and there appears to be some resistance, then the clutch mechanism may be "dragging" and failing to release. This may be due to issues with the pressure plate or the release bearing and these may have been worn down by your driving style.
Every time that you change gears, you should do so calmly and precisely and should never let the clutch pedal back out with a bang. Some people do this without thinking about it, but it can send a tremendous amount of shock through the system, and this will lead to excess vibration and component failure. There are a number of individual springs and rivets fitted within the friction plate, and they can break, leading to poor operation.
Remember, if you want to get the most use out of your car with the least added cost, you will need to look after it—and this includes your gear changing style. If you suspect that you have issues right now, then you should take the vehicle in for a full car service as soon as possible.