Advanced Clutch Technique or Engine Reving?


Over the years I have learned to pulse the gas when I use the clutch - especially in the lower gears. I feel this is an advanced clutching technique and I don’t even know I’m doing it usually. My girlfriend accuses me of causing harm to her Toyota P/U when I do this. I argue that she stalls her P/U more often than I do and that the stalling does way more damage than the pulsing. Can you confirm or deny that gently pulsing the gas when shifting into lower gears is an effective and harmless technique?


Revving the engine slightly between gears helps match engine revs to transmission speed when shifting DOWN, but it does nothing but waste gas when shifting UP.

How can she stall the truck when shifting down?

If you are revving the engine when shifting from first to second, second to third, etc., STOP IT. This is not “advanced clutching technique.” Just shift the gears.


i was talking about upshifting. and she stalls the truck because it is tricky to apply just the right amount of gas when shifting with a tight clutch. all it takes is just a little less gas than is needed to stall the engine. that’s why i pulse the gas. it’s a gentle pulse, and it seems to allow for a more controlled acceleration while releasing the clutch and engaging the gear.


She is stalling on upshifts because she is trying to shift too soon. Ask her to get another 5 mph out of the truck before shifting.

She is complaining about your “gentle pulse” because it is actually considerably more than necessary. If it were actually as gentle as you believe it would even not be noticeable.

Here’s the answer to your dilemma: It’s HER truck. Do things her way. No arguments!


My girlfriend accuses me of causing harm to her Toyota P/U when I do this.

That is the really important thing. It is not whether you are doing harm or not, it is her perception of what you are doing to her car and it will become very painful to both of you if the clutch or transmission goes out, no matter why it does it. Don’t argue the point, practice breaking your habit when in her car. It may be the best present you could buy for her and you.


Ummm…not sure just what you mean by ‘pulsing’. Thought you were double-clutching at first, which will actually take some of the wear off the synchronizers if you really know how to do it, but now I think you are actually slipping the clutch a bit, which is really bad. A clutch is either in or out with a slight exception of getting underway from a dead stop. It honestly sounds like you both need to re-learn stick-shifting from a real pro like a good mechanic or race car driver. And what exactly is a ‘tight’ clutch? One that is not properly adjusted? How many miles on this beast? Have the synchros and clutch already been wornout from poor technique? I have had to re-teach a number of drivers…some were shifting thru the gears as hard and fast as they could thinking they had a racing tranny (goodbye synchros), some were slowing down the car by downshifting instead of braking (goodbye synchros), a lot of cars had no clutch free-play at all…goodbye disk and throw-out bearing, etc, etc. If you have no idea where in the travel of the clutch pedal the friction point is you should switch to an automatic. Try a crash-box with no synchros from the old days…if you can drive that with crashing the gears then you can drive a stick. Remenber, synchros are actually miniature clutches and can wear easily if abused and result in hard shifting


Unless necessary for unusual driving conditions, pulling a trailer, etc., it would be good to make a habit of driving “uneventfully.” This means that few “spikes” occur in any parameters. A half full glass on the dash would remain nearly level and the tachometer would never “spike” between gears. I am not quite sure what the issue is but if driven correctly shifting should be very uneventfull.