First car first problem

I have a 1993 ford ranger that had been used as a ranch truck. I got it as a gift. it has a manual transmission and when I start the car it is fine. it idles like it should however when I go from a stop to getting the wheels moving it runs high on the rpms and smells of rubber. I highly doubt its the clutch because it had a new clutch installed before given to me I just got the oil changed and air filter. I have looked and there was no oil leeks and nothing in the air filter me and my mom thought it was the belt but it still seems good and not making any noise. if any one could help it would be greatly appreciated.

Take your foot completely off the clutch pedal within 1 second of the truck moving from a stand still. In other words, get off the clutch pedal. My guess is you are burning up the clutch slipping it.

I agree.

More than likely the new clutch burned up because the clutch hydraulic system isn’t working properly.


well when I first had the problem it was when I was on my way home and there was a truck in front of me and almost stopped to turn and seeing this I applied the clutch and then the break as if coming to a stop. then I shifted from neutral to second because I was going like 10 mph. then in shifting the truck was normal till fourth gear where it revved then started to lose power and run on high. now I can give it a small amount of gas and then take the foot off the clutch.

That describes a burned out clutch.

If you keep driving the vehicle eventually the clutch will start slipping in 3rd, then 2nd, and then the vehicle won’t move at all.


is there any way that I could confirm that it is the clutch hydraulic, or burned clutch? without taking it in? especially not being a mechanic myself.

I just picked up on something in the title. “My First Car”.

Is this your first time driving a vehicle with a manual transmission?


well yes and no iv been driving the truck for about 3-4 months and have only stalled it 3 times in total

You need to find someone who can teach you how to drive a manual transmission vehicle. Until you get this right, you’ll be replacing the clutch every few months.


@thechilla I agree with @Tester a clutch can be ruined in minutes.

When my dad was teaching me to drive, it took a while to master the clutch. Not because I’m a slow learner. That’s just how it works.

I got my learner’s permit at 16 and immediately started driving with my dad. Every day. For one year. At least 1 hour a day, sometimes several hours. When I was 17, I had so many hours of practice, that I passed the driving test with a comfortable margin.

@the chilla
The key to mastering a manual transmission vehicle is to learn to feel the “friction point”, which is where the clutch just begins to engage. It’s approximately in the midpoint of the pedal travel, but every vehicle is slightly different. You’ll have no trouble figuring that out.

If you were on smooth flat pavement, the truck would begin to move even without stepping on the gas pedal. If you concentrate on really understanding where - in the clutch pedal’s travel - you reach that “friction point”, you can make a lot of progress in a short time.

A clutch gets burned out very quickly by holding the clutch AT the friction point for too long. Making matters worse, most people will teach you to “give it gas” right there. That’s how clutches get ruined. Don’t feel bad, this is what happens to almost everybody when learning to use a clutch, you’re part of the majority.

The right way is to wait an instant for the vehicle to begin moving, letting the clutch pedal come most or all the way up, before you touch the gas.

What the others here have suggested is that you’ve possibly been holding the clutch pedal part way down while stepping on the gas. A skillful experienced driver very rarely steps on the gas until the clutch pedal is fully released (up) or nearly so. The time interval between moving past the friction point and giving gas is so short that it seems to be simultaneous, it’s not, it’s one after the other. With experience, most drivers don’t have to think about it, but at first, it does take some concentration.

You mentioned that you’ve only stalled a few times…that’s a telltale sign that you’ve been gassing it right when the clutch was at the friction point. The result of that, unfortunately, is that your clutch has been worn thin. It may surprise you to know that it’s much better to let the clutch up TOO QUICKLY, even if the truck stalls, than to “slip the clutch” to prevent it from stalling. Your objective is to find the sweet spot between stalling and revving the engine while the clutch is at the friction point.

As soon as you can, I suggest you go to a quiet parking lot and practice getting the car moving in first gear entirely without stepping on the gas AT ALL. I’m absolutely serious about that. And you can do this entirely on your own, no need to bring along someone who will confuse you with well intentioned but bad advice, even if they are experienced at driving a stick shift. Do it alone, you’ll be much less nervous!

With the truck stopped and your foot off the gas, lift your foot slowly until you feel the friction point - where the truck just begins moving. Hold it there for just an instant, probably less than a second, then let the clutch come the rest of the way up. No gas. No gas! Stop the truck and do it again. Within a half hour, probably much less, you’ll have it mastered, I’m confident.

Once you have that down, then and only then, start adding the gas after you’ve passed the friction point. Gradually, you’ll reduce the time interval between friction point and adding gas until you have it perfectly synchronized. Soon after that, you won’t even have to think about it, your left foot will know what to do.

The same thing happens when shifting between gears. Depress the clutch, shift, lift the clutch to the friction point, pause an instant, release the clutch fully, step on the gas. Don’t worry if you’re not smooth, just don’t rev the engine with the clutch pedal partially depressed.

If there’s anything left on your current clutch, you may be able to get by for a while. If you don’t master it quickly, you’re sure to finish off the clutch soon.

It looks like a clutch problem. It isn’t holding.

Well said @WesternRoadTripper especially the comment about only killing it three times. In so doing he or she has killed the clutch.