Should we disengage before braking?

The clutch is part of the kinematic chain, which transforms the energy produced by the motor, in motion, to rotate the wheels

The drive train includes the engine, clutch, gearbox, transmission shaft, wheel reducer, differential bridge, and wheels.

Should we disengage before braking?

Should you clutch before braking?

The gearbox consists of gears of different diameters located on the driveshaft. It allows, as on a bicycle, a power reduction or reduction, which makes it possible to adapt the engine torque (power) to the resistive torque (air resistance, percentage gradient of a slope, speed of rolling, weight, and load of the vehicle). 

However, when the gears pass, the transmission to the wheels must be interrupted so that the gears of the gearbox can be placed correctly in the gears, progressively and flexibly, without being too brutal. Hence, the usefulness of the clutch to achieve this, which makes it possible to couple or uncouple the engine to the driving wheels.

What does it mean to disconnect

Push the clutch pedal to break the connection between the driveshaft and the driven shaft that is connected to the wheels. That is to say, to cut the connection between the motor and the wheels so that it no longer makes them rotate, so the vehicle advances only under the effect of the kinetic energy (its momentum). Eventually, it slows down and eventually stops if you do not engage (raise the clutch pedal).

Role of the clutch

Its role is to allow the driver to switch gears, stop and leave smoothly, without jerks and without stalling. It makes the connection between the rotation of the driveshaft and the wheels, letting the motor rotate. If it were connected directly to the wheels, it would stop, which happens when you forget to disengage by stopping or braking in a significant manner, without changing the gear ratio. It is therefore located between the engine and the gearbox.

Brake use

  • To brake without changing speed and without stopping, you must not touch the clutch pedal. You don't need to disengage, as the speed at which you drive doesn't require a change of gear, and you don't stop the vehicle. In addition, if you disconnect, the car becomes «freewheeling» the engine no longer drives the wheels, it advances on its momentum and no longer benefits from the engine brake. This can be a hazard if the car picks up speed while you are turning or descending.

  • To break, while changing speed, you must use the clutch to cut the transmission between the engine and the wheels during this action. But to limit the time you'll be in «freewheeling» passing the lower speed, you must brake first. It is only when you have stabilized the car at the desired speed that you disconnect completely to downshift to the lower speed. An important clue to guide you is to listen to the sound emitted by the engine; when the regime goes down, it gets worse. But be careful not to wait too long, you would be too under powered, and the car could stall when you go to kiss (raise the foot of the clutch to restore the transmission between the engine and the wheels).

  • To brake before stopping, the procedure is the same as to change speed. You brake first, always to avoid being in «freewheeling», but as soon as the engine speed has decreased, you start to gradually press the clutch, continuing to break. If the engine starts to «graze», before stalling, disengaging, and braking thoroughly. To immobilize your vehicle, turn the car to neutral (gearbox without gear engaged), remove the foot from the clutch, and put the parking brake on. You are now safe, you can lift your foot off the brake.

  • For emergency braking, don't think, you don't have time. You press as hard as possible on the brake, and then quickly on the clutch. By doing this way, the engine does not stall, you retain the direction of your vehicle and can make an avoidance. In addition, you can quickly clear if you are in an intersection, for example.

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