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Old 08-25-2005, 09:25 AM   #1
Xymox
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Unhappy stop and go traffic for miles on end -- arrival of smelly clutch

Late afternoon yesterday I was in bumper-to-bumper traffic in the city for miles. I noticed after I got out of traffic and parked the car, it wreaked of burning clutch. So I took it real easy on the way home later that evening and let the car sit all night. On my way into work this morning I still smell the burning clutch stench. It wasn't as strong as the day before, but it was still prevelant.

My question is, did I do some terrible unsightly damage to my clutch? I searched NASIOC extensively and it appears this problem can and will happen from time-to-time. I guess I'm sorta looking for re-assurance from the older kin. I was so paranoid I pulled my tranny dipstick and saw the fluid level was just barely above low, so maybe I should top'er off.

Thanks, guys.
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Old 08-25-2005, 09:29 AM   #2
lionken07
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you probably slipped your clutch a little too much...but that's fine your clutch should still last you a good amount of time. Try driving in between rush hours if you can. Either very early or very late.
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Old 08-25-2005, 09:33 AM   #3
Xymox
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Thanks, lionken07. This was a freak back-up for miles and it didn't help that part of the jam took place on a decent size hill. I'm just utterly anal with car care and already thinking to myself "maybe it's a good idea to drain the tranny fluid and re-fill."
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Old 08-25-2005, 09:55 AM   #4
balajc
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my brake pads are going to outlast my clutch NYC/Long Island highway stop & go driving
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Old 08-25-2005, 10:17 AM   #5
VSG
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You did absolutely no damage. Wore out the clutch a bit, but that is a wear item.

I've never had any problems with stop and go, with regards to wearing/smelling the clutch. I did go through stop and go traffic on a really steep hill after having the car (my first manual) for about a month, though. I learned really quick about the engagement point and hill starts that day
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Old 08-25-2005, 10:36 AM   #6
24
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You shouldn't smell your clutch after stop and go traffic. I never have, anyway.
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Old 08-25-2005, 10:47 AM   #7
Xymox
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcmomentum
You shouldn't smell your clutch after stop and go traffic. I never have, anyway.
That's great for you. But like I said, after doing extensive searching on NASIOC I came up with 7 page indexs of "burning clutch smell". When you hit stop and go traffic on a summit/hill and it's creeping for miles, you might smell your clutch for the first time.
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Old 08-25-2005, 11:03 AM   #8
BeeGee
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My strategy in traffic like that is to wait until there's a pretty good gap in front of me before moving, the people behind me be damned. It's not like they're going anywhere, anyways. I can usually keep it in 1st and just roll without ever having to stop.
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Old 08-25-2005, 12:18 PM   #9
CrashTestRacer
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I don't think it's damaging your clutch, just wearing it more than it needs to be worn.

Slip it less, and it won't smell. You're using too much clutch or too much gas from a start.
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Old 08-25-2005, 01:37 PM   #10
Stanley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeGee
My strategy in traffic like that is to wait until there's a pretty good gap in front of me before moving, the people behind me be damned. It's not like they're going anywhere, anyways. I can usually keep it in 1st and just roll without ever having to stop.
same here, especially on hills.
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Old 08-25-2005, 02:50 PM   #11
pf777
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xymox
Late afternoon yesterday I was in bumper-to-bumper traffic in the city for miles. I noticed after I got out of traffic and parked the car, it wreaked of burning clutch.
Learn how to shift better! I drive in LA hell traffic every day and never smell my clutch burning. In my subaru or any other cars I've driven.
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Old 08-25-2005, 02:59 PM   #12
Xymox
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pf777
Learn how to shift better! I drive in LA hell traffic every day and never smell my clutch burning. In my subaru or any other cars I've driven.
My orginal question: My question is, did I do some terrible unsightly damage to my clutch?

I didn't ask for your two cents on how to shift better. I asked if I did any unsightly damage.

Far too many times people can't answer the question but for some reason instead of hitting the "back" button, feel compelled to offer an unrelated comment. You're better off just hitting reply and typing "I like Cap'n Crunch".
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Old 08-25-2005, 03:04 PM   #13
tool1128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balajc
my brake pads are going to outlast my clutch NYC/Long Island highway stop & go driving
ahhh I see you drive on the long ass parking lot they call the 495 as well?
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Old 08-25-2005, 03:04 PM   #14
pf777
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I like Cap'n Crunch.


You knew that was coming.

But seriously, you shortened the life of your clutch a little bit. Not the end of the the world as long as you don't make a habit of it. You don't want to slip your clutch all the time, just like you woundn't want to launch it at 6K rpms at every red light or lock up your brakes every time you come to a stop.
So you probably should practice your shifting.
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Old 08-25-2005, 03:09 PM   #15
Xymox
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Honestly, I'm fine at shifting. This is no honda/acura gearbox, but it's fairly easy to navigate (unlike my old E30 bimmer). I really think being stuck on a fairly steep incline going up the summit is was got her all hot and bothered.

I do have a nasty habit of decellerating and rev matching. I never over-rev when I downshift coming to a stop. But just to prolong the life of my clutch (and because I'm now paranoid after yesterday's incident), I'm going to break the habit (before I break my clutch).
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Old 08-25-2005, 03:14 PM   #16
pf777
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I learned to drive on the hills of San Francisco. Lots and lots of practice.
Stop and go on the hills can be a bitch, it definitelly takes it's toll on any car and driver.
My rule is to leave the clutch alone as much as possible. Quick in and out, without being jerky. Also, when starting on a hill, you can always use the e-brake to be safe.
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Old 08-25-2005, 03:19 PM   #17
Xymox
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Okay so my clutch will be fine and the smell with eventually disappear. Thanks.




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Old 08-25-2005, 03:21 PM   #18
Snitt
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I never smell burning clutch anymore, either. The first month of driving, though, it was a nice daily smell, since I learned how to drive stick on my WRX. So far so good after 54K miles! I have about 44K miles on my uppipe/intercooler hoses, 20K miles on Cobb's AP stage 1, and 4K miles on Cobb's AP stage 2.
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Old 08-25-2005, 03:30 PM   #19
Xymox
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Look at this guy, another "can't answer your question, but here is my favorite breakfast cereal."

You guys are too much. No really.
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Old 08-25-2005, 03:41 PM   #20
ekw
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unless you were surrounded by a white cloud of clutch smoke
OR your clutch seems funny (slippy, grabby, different) the next day,
it is unlikely any 'real' damage was done.

i like a variety in my cereals.
and juice too.
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Old 08-25-2005, 03:56 PM   #21
BeeGee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xymox
Look at this guy, another "can't answer your question, but here is my favorite breakfast cereal."

You guys are too much. No really.
Don't take it personally, it's just the way things work in most internet forums. You got the information you were looking for, and in that sense you're luckier than most.
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