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What is Clutch Driving?

The practice of clutch driving in the Philippines is one that is widespread, but thankfully, not popular. Yet the few who practice it really should refrain from doing so. Clutch driving is discouraged for many reasons, some of the most prominent being that the offending car increases both carbon pollution and noise pollution. Thankfully, the latter can be mitigated through the use of mufflers in the Philippines. However, the problems that could potentially be caused by clutch driving can only be solved by avoiding it altogether.


So for those who still have misconceptions about clutch driving, read on to find out more about this potentially self-destructive action:


steering wheel driving


Clutch Control


The clutch is a mechanical device that is pressed or released in order to disengage and engage the transmission from the engine.  A clutch is part of a vehicle’s engine that connects the engine to the transmission that allows the engine and the transmission to spin at the same time.  When your foot is off the pedal, the clutch plate is in complete contact to the engine and locks the transmission in place.  Pressing the pedal allows for the clutch plate to release contact on the engine and the transmission, allowing for the transmission gears to be switched.  Clutch control is a practice wherein drivers balance the speed of the vehicle through partially engaging the clutch plate through the clutch pedal with the gas pedal in order to smoothly transfer torque between gears spinning at different speeds.  This means that the driver balances the pressure between the contact to the engine and transmission, allowing the engine and the transmission to smoothly transfer and equalize at the same speed.




Clutch Driving in the Philippines


Public vehicles in the Philippines often have the smell of burning clutch plates in their engines, even emitting them through the smog from the muffler.  This is due to the heavy practice of clutch driving by professional drivers for public transportation.  In drag racing, slipping the clutch is done in order to launch the vehicle after the vehicle remains stationary for a time.  As soon as the traffic light signals a go, public vehicles in the Philippines often slip the clutch and launch themselves ahead of the motorcade like in a drag race.


Riding the clutch refers to keeping a slight, continual pressure on the clutch pedal while simultaneously engaging the gas pedal.  Professional drivers often practice riding the clutch in motion, keeping both the clutch pedal and the gas pedal engaged at the same time in order to quickly shift gears without having to correctly decelerate or accelerate their speed.  This practice will eventually grind your clutch plate and flywheel due to the constant friction between gears which may eventually lead to burning the clutch plate and the throw-out bearing.


Clutch driving is a common practice among professional drivers of public transportation.  Not only are they contributing to increasing carbon emissions through the clouds of dark smog coming from their vehicle’s muffler, the Philippines and the public transportation community lack responsibility and awareness of their surroundings.  Individual drivers should be more concerned with the community at large, and recognize responsibility among his fellow men.  Drive safe, and drive smart, for you and your countrymen.

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