Opinons on coasting with the clutch engaged or no . . .?


My family and I have been going back and forth about this for a bit . . . we need some outside opinions!

What is better for the clutch . . .

The though is that when you go to coast, you engage the clutch, shift into neutral and keep the clutch engaged while you coast, thus only engaging the clutch once (instead of twice, if you engage, shift to neutral, disengage, and then have to re-engage to shift into a gear eventually once you’re done coasting).

The concern with this theory, however, is that while the clutch is engaged it is being ‘used’ and thus this is harder on the clutch and causes more wear than the engage/disengage/engage method.

Does this make sense?

We’re just looking for other opinions!


Sorry, makes no sense. In fact coasting doesn’t make sense with either method of clutching you use.

The clutch wears the most when it is engaging and disengaging, in effect when your foot is moving the clutch that’s when it is most likely to experience wear. The better you have the motor and wheel speed matched (considering the gear you are in) the less wear on the clutch.

Riding (or coasting) with the clutch petal depressed may not wear the clutch plate and flywheel, but it does put stress and wear on the throw out bearing. So, neither method of coasting is good, and if you experience any kind of jerking as you let out the clutch then you are getting some clutch wear then.

Best method on the clutch of going downhill is to let off the gas and if the car slows too much use just enough gas for the speed you want to maintain. This way no wear on the clutch and you’ll still get good mpg.

If how to minimize clutch wear is the question, just leave it in gear and don’t “coast” period.


Don’t wear out the throw-out bearing. You are saving a penny (at most) in fuel and potentially creating a $1,000 clutch job. A brake job is easier and cheaper than replacing a clutch.

As you slow down to a stop, keep the transmission in whatever gear it is in. As you approach the stop and the engine speed drops toward idle speed, depress the clutch and shift into neutral. Don’t keep your transmission in gear with the clutch depressed! Wait until the light turns green, put it in first gear and get on with it.



Once you shift intro neutral there is no reason to keep the clutch depressed unless you wish to wear out the throw out bearing. Things have a lifetime determined by use, and holding the clutch down while in neutral is putting extra time on the throw out bearing. Sorry tt we have the same conclusion while preparing our posts.


I believe you are a little mixed up about “engaged” and “disengaged”. However the previous posts are correct.


Great to hear all these thoughts! We thought this might be the case (something in there getting worn out as you keep the pedal engaged)!


Clutches are made to depressed and remain so only to accomplish a task…shifting then release. As far a coasting in neutral is concerned, read your owner’s manual. You will see it’s never recommended in normal driving and only in specialized situations which is not usually included. Please…use the car the way it was intended, and don’t reinvent the “wheel”. These techniques are an affront to the design intent of automobiles and the race car drivers, mechanical and electrical engineers (not automotive but still pretty knowledgeable shade tree mechs.) I know, drive their personal cars as recomended and would die laughing at attempts to improve performance by most other means.


The clutch is not wearing at all whenever your foot is off the pedal.

Keeping your foot on the pedal would keep the release bearing (also called the throwout bearing) under thrust load (axial load) and create more wear.

Should you decide to coast, do exactly as you described. Shift to neutral and let the clutch pedal up. Be aware, however, that doing this eliminates your ability to eccelerate should you come upon the unexpected. Be sure you’re only casting when it’s safe to do so.