Name us something that’s more satisfying than being able to change gears while your car? If this doesn’t get your heart racing and make you feel like you’re more in tune with your car, we don’t know what will. Get to grips with double clutching and the technique required – you don’t want to miss out!
What is double clutching?
Also known as granny clutching, the term “double-clutching” has been flying around for donkeys now but do you actually know what it means? The long and short of it is that it’s a technique used in manual transmissions and it’s a technique of shifting. You were more than likely taught this by your driving instructor. It’s all about methodically sequencing up or down through your gears.
If you’ve got an automatic then this will probably just go all over your head. Essentially, the purpose of your clutch is to act as a buffer between your engine and transmission. So when your speed is mismatched, your clutch is like the middleman who hooks the two systems up together.
So what does this mean in real life? To understand it more, let’s say we’re driving along in fourth gear, but we’re slowing down and need to drop it to third. What do you do? We put our toe down on the clutch and shift the engine to a higher speed. When you do this, the engine rotates by itself and the clutch and transmission are still rotating together having a party of their own. Then comes along neutral. So say you go to neutral before going to third, now the clutch and transmission are going at their own paces and not together.
Double-clutching here means that you’re releasing the clutch while still in neutral. A fun fact about double shifting too is that it is used for downwards shifting but not up. We know, weird right? Turns out you can only directly affect your engine’s speed when it isn’t in gear by cranking on the accelerator, which double-clutching isn’t used for. If it was, this would mean you’d have to drop your engine’s speed to the wheels, which let’s be real, isn’t going to happen because then you’d have to wait for the engine speed to drop.
Double-clutching is long gone these days, not that you would probably even notice anyway but no one really uses this technique anymore. Our transmissions have advanced these days and technology has changed. We’re no longer living in the past, thank god and we have included synchronizers to be part of the process now too. These babies sit comfortably between your gears and clutch and help to match their speed without any dodgy shifting
Now you know what is, can you really be bothered with it? No, we didn’t think so. It’s one of those things that most people don’t really think about and is something certain large vehicles tend to do these days. Don’t get us wrong, there are a few rare occasions where it might be used like with racing, but you don’t tend to see it with everyday road use, but there’s no harm in knowing what it is and how to do it.
How to double-clutch?
It’s all about the timing. It may look easy, but it’s sometimes not as straightforward and clear-cut as it may seem. Here’s a glance at the 5 steps you might want to have a gander at if you’re a beginner to get you going:
1, The key is knowing when you’re ready to change the gears. Don’t be an early bird and go diving in feet first before you’ve listened to the engine revs.
2. Foot down, the clutch is like your new best friend, and place it in neutral. When your gear shifter is in neutral, take your foot off and give it a rest.
3. Before jumping the gun and you go changing up, hit the clutch again. Accelerate the engine up to the speed for the gear you want to shift to.
4. Hit that speed? Boom! You’re ready to change into the next gear, whenever you’re ready.
5. Once you’ve done that, you can take your foot off the clutch and you’re done. One-nil to you.
Why is good to know about double clutching?
That is a very good question. Yes, you might not use it, but it’s a good thing to know about when you’re driving because it can help give your vehicle a bit more life, especially if it’s getting a bit wrinkly. These days modern gearbox cars don’t need you to shift like this, but back in the day, it was very much needed.
These days, the synchro in most modern cars cover the input and output speed of your car, which brings your shifting a little bit more even. This also prevents an excessive amount of exhaustion too, which can come into play if the input and output are not levelled.
The main thing is keeping your synchro happy and healthy. If you can do this then you’re on to a winner. A healthy synchro, which can be really good for your transmission’s lifecycle. Neglect your synchro, then your clutch or transmission could fall ill because it’s exhausted and no one wants that.
Practice makes perfect
The more you practice, the more you’ll get the hang of it, like with anything in life. If you’re looking to give your car an extra life, then this could be the way to do it and have fun on your drive at the same time. Long-life double-clutching and the life of your car,
Master this technique and you and your car will be sorted. Your car’s components are never something you should take lightly, that goes for double-clutching too. You’ll be double-clutching and smoothing out your ride in no time.