Clutching on to old techniques

Whilst I like to think I am a good driver there have always been two skills that I have been proud of. Parallel parking and holding a car on the clutch: neither skill seems prevalent in the US (thanks mostly to large parking spaces and automatic transmissions).

But the MINI is very difficult to hold on the clutch. And when I do manage it, holding it on a hill, say, when I try to pull away its if the engine is upset with me and stumbles or seems to slip. One time in Vegas I was stuck at a red light for what seemed ages, holding the car on the clutch, and when I tried to pull away the car just would not move. After a while it did but I was scared for a while.

The MINI motoring manual even says that you should not use the clutch to hold the MINI on an incline but this goes against all my previous driving experience and I find it hard to do.

2 thoughts on “Clutching on to old techniques”

  1. By “holding on the clutch” you mean keeping the car stationary by slipping the clutch? I don’t blame the MINI for being cranky about that… 🙂

    I remember learning to drive in my dad’s old (’84?) gutless Ford Ranger. One of the first times out, I had to stop on a *steep* hill in Ithaca, NY in traffic. I managed to neither roll into the guy behind me nor kill the engine (which made both occupants of our vehicle and the surrounding drivers and pedestrians quite happy). I remember sweating profusely, however.

    I do consider it to be something of a cop-out, but when I’m in tight confines in my 5-speed Jetta (the MINI’s on order) I use the hand brake. That just seems easier on the car all-around…

  2. I’ve done the clutch hold before. Wicked smell, but effective…

    Fast forward from the day I did that alot about 8 months. Getting the transmission replaced and all that. Turns out I had a few flat spots on the flywheel and clutch. So, my recommendation is to not really do that. 😀

    Weird for me too since I did it in every other standard transmission car I ever owned.

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