Commute quandary

Hi All

I have a 2005 Skoda Octavia and drive 23 miles to work on an A road. This road includes traffic lights, roundabouts and villages so I stop and start a lot. I drive this route twice a day and it usually take me an hour to get to work. My left leg has started to hurt a lot when driving, I suspect this is due to the clutch work involved in my stop / start commute.

Today I took the motorway route which is 40 miles in distance. It took me an hour to get to work so all’s ok there.

My question is: Which route should I take?

A road - 23 miles, stop / start with leg pain averaging 40MPH or so. 1 hour.

Motorway - 40 miles, 70MPH average. 1 hour.

Which would be the better drive for my car. This higher mileage route or the shorter route.

I think I know the answer but I wanted some opinions.

Thanks in advance.


If you plan on keeping your car until it dies then take the long route. If you plan on trading it in at some point then take the short route.

It depends on what your priority is.
If it’s to save money, then bloody_knuckles’ advice will serve you best at trade in time.
If it’s comfort to you, then take the highway.

It’s up to you really. If it was me…I would take the longer, more comfortable route.

Highway, from a wear and tear on you and the car perspective.

Given the distance is a whopping 73% MORE for the highway route, I doubt you’d save enough fuel to make this the more economical choice on fuel alone. Add in the cost of a clutch replacement 2-3 times faster driving A roads and that should make up the balance the cost of fuel for the extra miles.

This is one of the disadvantages of manual transmissions as we age. My knees just don’t allow it anymore. I’d say you really need to trade cars to get an automatic but take the long way for now. But really an hour to go 23 miles? Maybe you could change your schedule to avoid the traffic.

The leg pain would make my decision for me.
I remember Skoda cars on the road in the US but could find on record of them being sold here.
Finally in a Wikipedia article I found a record that matched my memory. Skoda arrived in 1959 and left in 1960. Their 4 cylinder car cost more than a full sized American V8.

I don’t think Ray is in the US. Americans don’t usually refer to roads as “A roads” and we don’t get Skodas here so I’m guessing Ray is paying LOTS more for his fuel that we are.

Yep, with the A road and the round-abouts and the Skoda, gotta be in Europe somewhere. Seems to me the Skoda is the cheaper version of a VW. At least I was told it has the same drive train and everything but cheaper.

I suspect you are in the British Isles somewhere. A friend of ours there lives in Swansea, Wales and has an Octavia which is now a Chech-built Volkswagen.

I would take the most comfortable route and be able to be less tires at work. Having driven in the UK, I appreciate the comfort of a Motorway.

I’m presuming this post isn’t 100% serious. But if it is, I would take the car back to the shop that did the clutch work and ask if there’s a different style clutch-kit available that isn’t so hard to press to change gears. Or maybe it is even more simple than that, the clutch linkage needs a lube, or just needs to be adjusted.

Edit: One of the Car Talk episodes had a caller w/this same problem. He apparently asked for a “heavy duty” clutch to be used when the original one conked out. Thinking a “heavy duty” one would last longer. But he didn’t realize “heavy duty” also meant more difficult to press. He said with all this exercise pushing on the clutch pedal, his left leg was getting a lot bigger than his right and his pants no longer fitted properly … lol

George , what clutch work?

Best for your car? Leave 10 minutes early, and go 65 mph the long way.

Volvo … I may have misinterpreted what the OP meant when they mention “clutch work” in the original post. I think on a re-read they actually mean the physical work involved with pushing the clutch pedal.