Is the throwout bearing being worn out or not?

So now i’m confused, I am a relatively new [standard transmission] driver.


Half of us seem to think it’s harmful to sit at idle with the car and gear and the other half of us seem to think it’s better to be in neutral, foot off the clutch.

I sit at lights with the car in neutral, foot off the clutch simply because I think it’s pointless to sit there with my leg extended in anticipation, not necessarily because I think it’s going to ruin the clutch or anything.

Maybe we have a good case study for an episode of Mythbusters here !

So does it wear out the TO bearing or not? It’s not going to change my driving style, but at this point I would like to know the truth.

Sorry for the typo: Revised the 3rd line.

Half of us seem to think it’s NOT harmful to sit at idle with the car and gear and the other half of us seem to think it’s better to be in neutral, foot off the clutch.

You’ll get both sides opinion wise no matter what.
I shift into neutral and into gear when I see the light changing.
Of course sitting at a light with the clutch pedal depressed will add wear to the throw-out bearing. How can it not?
Assume you’re sitting at one light for 2 minutes with the pedal depressed. Now consider how many seconds are involved in one gear change. Divide that into 2 minutes and you’ve just added X amount of clutch depressions to the total sum.
Multiply X how many traffic lights per trip and it’s going to add up.

Take a 100 cars used for strictly in-town driving and another 100 used strictly for highway use and see which group has the most throw-out bearing, and clutch, failures.

The other downside could be if you were sitting there in gear with the pedal depressed, foot off the brake, and a clutch cable snapped, the clutch hydraulics failed, or your foot slipped off while the mind was wandering.
JMHO anyway.

Many years ago my now-deceased dentist owned a custom 3-wheeler. While sitting at a light one night, in gear and with the clutch depressed, he was bumped from behind by a car. The lunge forward knocked his foot off the clutch, the trike shot forward into traffic, and he was killed instantly. Sounds like a good reason to leave it in neutral and concentrate on holding the brake pedal down instead.

I sure can't add anything to that.   As usual OK is OK

So let’s say keep it in neutral with the clutch depressed. :slight_smile:

Six one, half-dozen another. Is it adding more wear? Yes. Is it enough to worry about? Debatable in my humble opinion. The safety experts state you should leave it in gear so if rear-ended the clutch will engage, stall the engine and keep you from rolling into the intersection and getting creamed by a semi. Six one, half-dozen another. If you do mostly highway driving, the extra wear is probably the difference between replacing at 175,000 miles vs 185,000. If you do mostly stop & go city driving, then the difference will be greater. If you live in LA, it doesn’t matter as the freeway is stop and go.

Odds are the clutch plates will need replacing before the bearing goes. Not many people can drive a clutch anymore.

Somehow at a long light it’s more boring if you have to sit there holding that damn pedal down the whole time.

Well, since the only time the throwout bearing is under pressure is when you depress the clutch pedal, then that’s when there is wear on it. When the clutch is engaged, there is no wear on the bearing. If you sit at stop lights with the clutch depressed, there is wear on the bearing. If you sit at stop lights in neutral with you foot OFF the clutch pedal, there is now wear on the bearing.

Does it make much difference? Probably not. I used to sit at lights with the clutch pedal depressed, transmission in gear, waiting to go, but now days I shift to neutral and take my foot off the clutch. I figure, “What can it hurt?” I don’t really expect the throwout bearing to wear out either way.

When I was in California, the red lights seemed to lat about two minutes. Here in Tennessee, they only last about 30 seconds. In CA, I slip it into neutral and let out the clutch, here, I just hold the clutch in. I haven’t worn out a throw out bearing yet.

Don’t worry about it; do what you feel is comfortable regarding safety and readyness to move along when your light turns green. Yes, the TO bearing does not have infinite life. A mechanical engineer would likely size the TO bearing along with choosing a quality appropriate to the load and usage time to last about as long as the clutch friction disk.

At the risk of sounding negative, if you are going to worry about the TO bearing, why not shut off your engine to save on the alternator and water pump bearings as well as the crank main and rod bearings? And another thing, don’t drive your car as you are wearing out the wheel bearings.

yes you will clutch and trow out bear is spining let crazy freely and cluth is lightly rubbing against preser plate with pedal up the these parts are tight with each other . and keep an eye on green light and when yellow comes on go fist and get ready to leave.