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 Post subject: Burning Clutch???
PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:31 pm 
Junior Standardshifter

Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:19 pm
Posts: 23
Location: NorCal
Cars: 1995 Integra
Hello, I am 17 years old and been driving since I was 15. I recently purchase an standard transmission 5 speed integra. I have been practicing everyday but each time after several 1 - 2 hours of driving the clutch starts to release a burnt smell. I am not sure what is causing this.
Is it because in first gear I give it gas while the clutch did not hook yet? ( balancing the clutch n gas)

Is it because I release the clutch to slow after shifting into 2nd, 3rd, ect?

During parking practice.. once the clutch got into the hooking point, I give it gas to get the car moving but the clutch is still depress. Is this what cause the burning smell to emit ?

Following the question above, are we suppose to release the clutch slowly after it is hooked up? or do it in a decent pace?

Thank you in advance, I want to become a good standard transmission driver and drive it the correct way. I don't want to become ignorant in the way of manual transmission. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Burning Clutch???
PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 11:43 pm 
Master Standardshifter
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Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2006 8:01 pm
Posts: 3086
Location: GA
Cars: 91 MR2t, 88&86 Fieros
From what I know, "burning clutch" comes from holding the clutch at the friction point too much. On shifts you should release the clutch quickly, that way the clutch barely slips. Rev-matching or double-clutching can make it so you can pop the clutch on all shifts without the car jerking or shuddering. When you're launching you also need to make sure you release the clutch completely after it hooks up. Holding it at the friction point to make sure the car doesn't stall can burn the clutch.

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 Post subject: Re: Burning Clutch???
PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 11:50 pm 
Junior Standardshifter

Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:19 pm
Posts: 23
Location: NorCal
Cars: 1995 Integra
I see, but i am not racing... or what the term "launching" refers to. I mean just to get the car moving, I say maybe under 5 mph?, parking lot speed. Am I suppose to release the clutch right after it hooks? but if i did that, the car will not be smooth. This is on first gear btw.

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 Post subject: Re: Burning Clutch???
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:15 am 
Master Standardshifter
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Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2006 8:01 pm
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Location: GA
Cars: 91 MR2t, 88&86 Fieros
Honduh_integraTR wrote:
I see, but i am not racing... or what the term "launching" refers to. I mean just to get the car moving, I say maybe under 5 mph?, parking lot speed. Am I suppose to release the clutch right after it hooks? but if i did that, the car will not be smooth. This is on first gear btw.


Eh, on this site, getting the car moving is called a launch. No matter if its slow city driving or racing. "No-gas launches" certainly aren't very fast but they're still called launches :roll:.

Whenever I launch, I bring the clutch up to the friction point, and depending on how fast I need the launch to be I rev accordingly. Revving higher and slipping the clutch faster gives a very quick launch and that's what you want for racing. A slow launch means you need to rev low and slip the clutch slower, and that requires more feel for the car. Sometimes I won't give it any gas and slowly bring the clutch through the friction point/zone (its more of a zone than point because its an area of the clutch pedal's travel where the clutch is slipping/grabbing), that's called a no-gas launch. Normal launching though usually means bringing the clutch to the friction point, revving a little to 1200 or so RPM's, bringing the clutch through the friction point and then releasing it fully. That all happens much faster than it sounds, like you can bring the clutch to the FP and rev to 1200 at the same time, and then finish releasing the clutch.


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 Post subject: Re: Burning Clutch???
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:37 am 
Junior Standardshifter

Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:19 pm
Posts: 23
Location: NorCal
Cars: 1995 Integra
Ah, I am starting to see it now. Several other thing

The clutch is at the friction point (where the the car starts to move) I give it gas in order to get the car to move but I did not fully release the clutch because I would need to clutch in to avoid stalling. Basically to move up an inch or less, making minor adjustment in heavy traffic or extremely small parking space. Am I burning the clutch in doing this? I can understand by fully releasing the clutch i can be positive I am not burning the clutch but by moving at extremely low rpm, chances that I will stall are pretty high.

i am sorry if I confused you :?
I have never been good at explaining things

Thanks in advance.

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Last edited by Honduh_integraTR on Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Burning Clutch???
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:39 am 
Master Standardshifter
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Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 6:31 pm
Posts: 13970
Location: Coppell, TX
Cars: '12 Sonic 1.4T
It seems to me you may be keeping the clutch in a bit too long. For a normal launch in traffic, your foot should not be on the clutch for longer than 4 seconds. During the shifts, slowing down the clutch to smoothen out the shifts is fine, but if there's the smell of clutch, it's probably too long. Either this or your launches.

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 Post subject: Re: Burning Clutch???
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:42 am 
Junior Standardshifter

Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:19 pm
Posts: 23
Location: NorCal
Cars: 1995 Integra
So is it okay if I keep the clutch at the friction point in less then 3-4 second and give it gas in order to move then quickly depress the clutch fully again in order to avoid stalling?

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 Post subject: Re: Burning Clutch???
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 1:10 am 
Master Standardshifter
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Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 6:31 pm
Posts: 13970
Location: Coppell, TX
Cars: '12 Sonic 1.4T
When parking or moving a short distance in traffic? Yes. It's called feathering the clutch. You basically let out the clutch till it bites, meanwhile giving it appropriate amount of throttle. That all depends on how fast you wanna move. Be gentle at first. Clutch out, give throttle. Car starts to move. Clutch back in and roll in to a parking spot. I do this all the time when I parallel park in reverse.

As far as moving in traffic, there is another technique. If you have been used to an automatic, you know that most drivers creep inch by inch. Most of us or others driving a manual don't do it. It's pointless and provides additional clutch wear. You sit there in N and clutch out. Traffic moves up a little. You wait to open a bigger gap. If you see that everyone is stopped again, launch slow. Often in this case I would launch without using throttle at all. Just slowly letting out the clutch. In this case it's OK to do it more slowly as there is little torque applied since you're not adding any throttle.

I wasn't entirely clear in my last post. What wears the clutch is the amount of torque going though it while it's slipping. So, launching slowly and letting out the clutch slower does not wear the clutch too much as long as the RPMs are kept low. By low I mean under or around a thousand. Launching fast or at high RPM and letting it out slow will wear it much more.

It's difficult to say what's slow and what's fast because every car is different. Some cars that have higher torque can launch at lower RPM. You integra will generally need higher RPM launches as it's a smaller engine that doesn't make power until higher in the rev range. For example in my car, idle launch is quick and not an issue. Not so in an Acura TL, even though it has plenty of torque. That care needs 1200 or 1400 for a smooth launch.

The rule of thumb is such: as long as you are not launching at over 1800-2000k RPM consistently while being on the clutch for less than 4-5 seconds, you are doing well.

As you drive, you will see the timing for yourself.

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 Post subject: Re: Burning Clutch???
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:01 am 
Master Standardshifter
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Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2005 1:17 am
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Location: Florida
The smell of brake dust is similar to the smell of a burning clutch, so if you have been driving around for a while and braking a lot, it's possible that you aren't doing anything wrong and you're just smelling the brakes.

It could still be the clutch, though. Just a thought.


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 Post subject: Re: Burning Clutch???
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:07 am 
Master Standardshifter
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Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 6:31 pm
Posts: 13970
Location: Coppell, TX
Cars: '12 Sonic 1.4T
True. If he's practicing in the lot with constant stop and go, that would do it, too. Maybe both are smelling.

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 Post subject: Re: Burning Clutch???
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:04 am 
Junior Standardshifter

Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:19 pm
Posts: 23
Location: NorCal
Cars: 1995 Integra
Oh, thank you for all your advice and input. If you burn the clutch, does the smell immediately rise in the car?
(im guessing on how much you burnt it as well)
because the burnt smell rises after 1-2 hours of stop and go such like you said.

I will go out and drive tomorrow for several hour in the morning to get my daily practice in and let see if the smell will still rise.

Thanks again. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Burning Clutch???
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:08 pm 
Master Standardshifter
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Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 6:31 pm
Posts: 13970
Location: Coppell, TX
Cars: '12 Sonic 1.4T
Take it to the streets and don't worry if you stall and people honk at you. I remember I only had like 10 minutes of practice before I drove in traffic. Lots of stalling but makes you learn faster. :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Burning Clutch???
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:58 pm 
Master Standardshifter
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Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:36 pm
Posts: 14969
Location: Glocester, RI
Cars: '80 Buick LeSabre 4.1 5MT
Good advice above. Here's some more: Don't worry about it. Don't worry about being rough, don't worry about stalling, don't worry about a little clutch smell. Practice and forgetting what you're doing will help (it's better if it's done subconsciously) but you're not going to get that right away and that's fine.

You might want to accept a little roughness right now instead of trying so hard to be smooth. When it's all said and done, you want to be smooth without having to slip the clutch for too long, which is not a quick skill to learn. Anyway, if you're concerned about a burning clutch smell, try a faster release and accept some roughness, see if that helps.

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 Post subject: Re: Burning Clutch???
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 10:10 pm 
Junior Standardshifter

Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:19 pm
Posts: 23
Location: NorCal
Cars: 1995 Integra
Been driving for 2-3 hours, maybe more.. didn't keep track but I felt extremely confident there for there was no burnt smell emitting from the car when I was moving forward..

However, reverse is still killing me, I have a habit of riding the clutch at the FP and giving too much gas, If i put too much gas it goes to fast but if i don't put enough it stalls. considering I was practicing on a slight slope, it had to give more gas in order to go backwards.
I know some people say that first and reverse are the same but reverse to me is probably the hardest at this point :(

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 Post subject: Re: Burning Clutch???
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 10:12 pm 
Master Standardshifter
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Location: Chicago, IL
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With reverse, try getting to the friction point, clutching in, then repeating.

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