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How much of my bad noobie driving can my clutch take?


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Hi everyone,

Firstly, I just bought myself my first car. Its a 1999 Corolla CSi 1.6 sedan, with only 68k :D on the clock (Legit old driver).

I could not figure out where to post this, so mods feel free to move it.

So i don't know a whole lot about cars, and I have been doing my driving lessons in an Auto. I did some in a manual with my instructor, and had no problems after a little while (also a corolla), but I am having no such luck with my own.

My mum used to own a 79 corolla, and can drive a manual no problem, and says my car drives just like her old one did. However, when I sit down behind the wheel, I have a HUGE problem with getting the car moving. In First gear, when I try to get the car moving, It either stalls, or hops (sometimes softly, sometimes very HARD) before finally moving of the stop. Once its moving, I have no problem with shifting up or down, re applying the clutch, accelerating, everything is smooth. But when at a stand still, I cant get her to move out of first. If the car is facing down hill, then the wheels turn and I can engage the clutch no problems even in first and start her going. Its getting the revs of the engine to transfer to the wheels when still that I cant get. Its a little Easier in reverse (any explanations why?)

I have tried many methods, applying the accelerator as i release the clutch, revving the engine first to 1500 before releasing the clutch (causing bad hops, 1 or 2 before she moves), and have tried letting the clutch grab and then applying the power (just stalls).

I guess I will pick it up eventually, but my mum is driving me mad screaming about how im going to destroy the car by hopping it (she is a perfect manual driver), and stalling it, and everything, and how much of a bad driver I am because of this.

My question is: Assuming the clutch is in great condition (before I bought it, the tranny was perfect and the 5th gear feels like its never been used)... how much of my bad driving will the clutch take before its going to drop from the bottom of the car?

In the short term, if i am hopping it say 10 - 20 times a day trying to get a feel for it, which is not improving, how much can the car and its clutch take take??

She is in really good condition, and I don't want to hurt her :(

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when u start moving if you're still new to the car, rev to 2k and get go of the clutch slowly, when the car starts moving forward, hold the clutch there for 3 seconds and then fully let go of the clutch.

when u get used to it, u you can start rolling it from 800rpm ;)

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Hi everyone,

Firstly, I just bought myself my first car. Its a 1999 Corolla CSi 1.6 sedan, with only 68k :D on the clock (Legit old driver).

I could not figure out where to post this, so mods feel free to move it.

So i don't know a whole lot about cars, and I have been doing my driving lessons in an Auto. I did some in a manual with my instructor, and had no problems after a little while (also a corolla), but I am having no such luck with my own.

My mum used to own a 79 corolla, and can drive a manual no problem, and says my car drives just like her old one did. However, when I sit down behind the wheel, I have a HUGE problem with getting the car moving. In First gear, when I try to get the car moving, It either stalls, or hops (sometimes softly, sometimes very HARD) before finally moving of the stop. Once its moving, I have no problem with shifting up or down, re applying the clutch, accelerating, everything is smooth. But when at a stand still, I cant get her to move out of first. If the car is facing down hill, then the wheels turn and I can engage the clutch no problems even in first and start her going. Its getting the revs of the engine to transfer to the wheels when still that I cant get. Its a little Easier in reverse (any explanations why?)

I have tried many methods, applying the accelerator as i release the clutch, revving the engine first to 1500 before releasing the clutch (causing bad hops, 1 or 2 before she moves), and have tried letting the clutch grab and then applying the power (just stalls).

I guess I will pick it up eventually, but my mum is driving me mad screaming about how im going to destroy the car by hopping it (she is a perfect manual driver), and stalling it, and everything, and how much of a bad driver I am because of this.

My question is: Assuming the clutch is in great condition (before I bought it, the tranny was perfect and the 5th gear feels like its never been used)... how much of my bad driving will the clutch take before its going to drop from the bottom of the car?

In the short term, if i am hopping it say 10 - 20 times a day trying to get a feel for it, which is not improving, how much can the car and its clutch take take??

She is in really good condition, and I don't want to hurt her :(

Not surprised you're having issues with the clutch, out of all the cars I've owned/driven the AE10x has by far the heaviest clutch. When learning to drive in it (did most of my hours in the Camry but did some in the 102 as well) I found the best technique was to dial up about 1500rpm, then slide the clutch pedal out about 5cm or so (maybe a little less) so that the engine picks up the clutch and starts to move forward, then after holding it at that 5cm mark for a couple of seconds then gently ease the pedal all the way out - throughout this time the rpm should be staying relatively constant or dips down a little bit (~1200 or so for instance).

The clutch itself can take a decent amount of abuse, especially if it has been granny-driven all it's life - my '97 AE102 has done almost 335,000km and it is still on it's original clutch.

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I think mine is a 101 But i know they have mostly the same bits. Im just worrying because she drives like a dream and even better then my Instructors 09 Levin. I have not tried the hold at the friction point for a few second method... never heard of it...:)

from the little bit that i know, would holding it at the friction point for a few seconds as it grabs, essentially wear the clutch a little, but give the tranny a few moments to engage and roll the wheels a little bit?

Any detail anyone can give me would be great!!! Better for me to learn now?

Please keep the posts coming

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As it's a 1.6L it'll be an AE101, for the most part they are the same as a 102 (apart from 200cc, different brakes, and a different gearbox and ratios (but same family)).

Holding the clutch at the friction point for a second or two was the first thing I was taught, it gets rid of kangaroo-hopping and you'll quickly learn exactly how much you need to let it out before it bites. Personally I think it is a much better method to initially learn as the old "smoothly let the pedal out as you push the accelerator in" method is too much for a learner to handle straight up.

But yes, the whole point of holding it at the friction point with a small amount of revs is to let the clutch slip a _little_ bit but still engage drive, which makes it much smoother than lots of revs and clutch slip (as you try to release the clutch too slow), or not enough revs and hopping (when you release the clutch too quickly).

If you practice it somewhere out of the way (industrial estates are good as they have little traffic and nice wide areas too) then it only takes a few sessions to get the hang of it, which is a blink of an eye as far as the life of the clutch is concerned.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

thanks everyone. I have been using the method as told above and find its working really well. Now I just need to get my supervising driver (mum) to shut up... any hints?

thats a tough one lol im one month away from my fulls and my mum still wont "shut up" ahaha

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