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Clutch pedal when starting car
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# 1
Bravehearted
Old 04-03-2012, 6:25 PM
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Default Clutch pedal when starting car

Are there some cars esp. US cars that require clutching down, otherwise wont start?

I see people doing/saying this. I know I dont.

Or is it some old school method of driving - like shifting down through ALL gears ?

Last edited by Bravehearted; 04-03-2012 at 6:28 PM.
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# 2
frugalmacdugal
Old 04-03-2012, 6:27 PM
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Hi,

I think it may be to stop car jumping forward or back on starting, incase it was still in gear.
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# 3
thenudeone
Old 04-03-2012, 6:34 PM
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When you press the clutch it removes the connection between the engine and the gearbox, so it slightly reduces the amount of friction and so makes it easier for the electric starter motor to drive the engine round until the petrol/diesel starts igniting.

It's also good practice because in case the car has been left in gear.
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# 4
thescouselander
Old 04-03-2012, 6:44 PM
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Yes, my car (an Audi) does this - there are more and more cars with this feature now. I guess its a safety feature to stop the car moving forward if the car is still in gear.
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# 5
Notmyrealname
Old 04-03-2012, 6:52 PM
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Its to cater for the stupid.
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# 6
flang
Old 04-03-2012, 7:07 PM
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Yep, our old chrysler did this and would not start unless the clutch was depressed. I always depress now as like others have said it reduces strain on the starter and ensures the vehicle is not left in gear
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# 7
dggar
Old 04-03-2012, 7:43 PM
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Do they not teach drivers to check the gear shift lever is in neutral before switching on the ignition any more? (and that the hand brake is engaged.)
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# 8
mugwump
Old 04-03-2012, 7:45 PM
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I had an Opel Astra on hire in Spain last week and you had to depress the clutch to start.
My Megane requires a foot on the brake.
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# 9
neilmcl
Old 04-03-2012, 7:47 PM
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BMs don't start without the clutch depressed.
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# 10
Obukit
Old 04-03-2012, 7:57 PM
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Had a Mercedes A class with this last week, not a big problem but you can bet at some stage the microswitch will wear out and that one stupid switch will strand you in the middle of nowhere.
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# 11
Horseunderwater
Old 04-03-2012, 8:01 PM
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Read the booklet that comes with your actual car and find out the recomended starting procedure. Not every car should have clutch pressed in. Mine should not. It is one of the reasons why you hear many drivers having problems starting a car in the first place as they get into a habit of doing what they think they should do and wear out parts that were they operated correctly would last longer if they bothered to read the flippin booklet first. My car citroen berlingo 2000 model. OH has a fiesta diesel and most diesels used to need the coil light on dash to go out first, not his fiesta. He read instructions! But we think previous owner did not, hence we had some injector problems 2 years ago and a rather large bill.
However, many older cars can and will start better by pressing in clutch pedal, but if manual says no, knock out of gear first, then start it. I leave mine in gear as drive has a slope down to road. Added safety. And I know more than many female drivers would or do as I am a bus driver who has had many years experience of engines, clutches and other things that can and do go wrong.
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# 12
Joe Horner
Old 04-03-2012, 8:05 PM
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A lot of new cars are starting to do this for safety.

From the car's point of view, it's not a particularly good thing. It's true that it slightly reduces starter load, which used to matter with old starters, 6V batteries and gearbox oil like treacle, but with modern starters, 12V systems and much thinner oils it's not really a benefit - if our starter won't handle the extra load then there's a problem with it!

On the other hand, pressing the clutch puts a BIG thrust load on the crank-shaft. Basically, the clutch is trying to push the crankshaft out of the other end of the engine. What stops the crank moving is the thrust bearings, which are basically soft metal plates that it pushes against. Once the engine is running they're lubricated by oil being squirted between them and the crank but, at start-up, it's metal-to-metal contact.

So, putting a load on them at start-up may reduce wear on the starter very slightly, but it will also increase wear on the crank thrusts. Personally I'd rather end up replacing a starter than stripping an engine!
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# 13
atrixblue.-MFR-.
Old 04-03-2012, 8:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mugwump View Post
I had an Opel Astra on hire in Spain last week and you had to depress the clutch to start.
My Megane requires a foot on the brake.
megane have clutch deprssion to start or brake pedal. if it wont start off the clutch the wires in the sensor have either snapped or the sensor itself is broken.
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# 14
Ich
Old 04-03-2012, 8:10 PM
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Vauxhall/Opels with electrical handbrakes require the clutch pedal to be pressed before they start. Trouble is that if you press the acceleratotr at the same time the handbrake releases!
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# 15
thefishdude
Old 04-03-2012, 8:11 PM
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i allways press clucth but thats because i allways park and leave my car in gear, i was taught that way and my dad also does park in gear so them together and its ingrained in my soul. the only vechile i dont is the works 7.5tonne truck cause it wont start in gear it lock out the ignition even with clutch down.
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# 16
mugwump
Old 04-03-2012, 8:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atrixblue.-MFR-. View Post
megane have clutch deprssion to start or brake pedal. if it wont start off the clutch the wires in the sensor have either snapped or the sensor itself is broken.
Strange response! Both vehicles are starting as designed, either clutch or brake subject to vehicle. There are no faults with either.
Both vehicles tell you what needs to be pressed.
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# 17
chib
Old 04-03-2012, 8:35 PM
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I was taught by my instructor to depress the clutch before starting and always have done.

My last car (Toyota Auris) required the clutch to be depressed and my current car (VW Passat) does the same - it also needs the doors closed and seatbelts clicked in before the electronic handbrake will release automatically.
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# 18
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Old 04-03-2012, 8:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chib View Post
I was taught by my instructor to depress the clutch before starting and always have done.

My last car (Toyota Auris) required the clutch to be depressed and my current car (VW Passat) does the same - it also needs the doors closed and seatbelts clicked in before the electronic handbrake will release automatically.
My Toyota Auris also (unsurprisingly!) needs the clutch to be pressed down
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# 19
Tigsteroonie
Old 04-03-2012, 8:55 PM
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I used to occasionally drive a company Freelander, that needed the clutch pedal depressed before the engine would start.
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# 20
vikingaero
Old 04-03-2012, 9:10 PM
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Most manual cars with starter buttons require clutch down before they will start.
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