Popping the clutch to start the car

subaru
impreza
clutches

#1

In an emergency when the battery was drained due to a light left on, I was able to start my BMW 5 series by rolling down a hill in 2nd gear, with the clutch depressed, and then releasing the clutch, causing the engine to start. While this is not a usual manuever, did it hurt my car the one time I did it? Can this be done in AWD cars like a Subaru Impreza WRX or will doing so, even once, cause any permanent damage.


#2

With Subaru’s, just starting them normally can cause permanent damage judging by the posts on this board…

But with regular stick-shift cars, bump-starting them causes no damage…


#3

"With Subaru’s, just starting them normally can cause permanent damage judging by the posts on this board… "

Ain’t that the truth.

Agreed, mnnussbaum, you did no harm to the car by pop-starting it.


#4

I doubt you did any damage. Coincidentally, my Honda Civic won’t push-start with a dead battery either. I think the days of this being a viable alternative for starting a manual car with a dead battery are behind us. Get yourself a good set of jumper cables.


#5

This procedure has been in use for many years and was often done in the past, especially when carburetors were in use and moreso during winter before quick starting engines with fuel injection. As long as you use a higher gear as you have done, I would not worry at all about doing a bump start or a hill start.

It is a good practice to let the clutch out slower rather than faster but in the heat of the moment, this may not be easy to remember.


#6

Yeah, you still need enough juice to run the ignition system… sometimes it’s too bad cars don’t have magnetos like lawnmowers :slight_smile:


#7

I doubt if there was any damage, but you did it the right way. Good job.


#8

I’m sure there are many of us contributors who drove vehicles in our youth with bad starters or dead batteries - resorting to popping the clutch. I did it with a Corvair for a few weeks, and I know plenty of friends who did it with their VW bugs.