Drivers warned to take care of gearbox and clutch in heavy traffic this winter

The vehicle maintenance company Collect Service Go has revealed a number of tips which can help drivers avoid expensive faults that can occur when a vehicle is stuck in traffic.

As Christmas approaches, the AA has issued an amber traffic warning for the December the 22nd and 23rd, as more drivers get ready to see family.

Ollie Green, owner of Collect Service Go, noted that drivers stuck in traffic should always shift into neutral to avoid clutch damage.

He explained: “Drivers should avoid staying in gear when in traffic as it can damage the clutch. Instead, put your car in neutral and apply the handbrake to keep it stationary when you’re stuck in a gridlock to stop unnecessary wear and tear.

“Remember to take your feet off the clutch when stationary. The life of the clutch plate may be shortened from wear and tear by poor clutch control.”

READ MORE: Drivers warned to keep car battery warm to prevent frustrating starting issues this winter

Collect Service Go also warned drivers that they should not keep their hand on the gearstick when the vehicle is stationary.

Whist motorists may feel more prepared to move off doing this, they could be putting pressure on the selector fork, which could cause transmission issues.

The company noted that replacement gearboxes typically cost approximately £500, with new clutches often selling for £600.

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Ollie also advised motorists that, whilst the stop-start function found on many cars can assist in improving fuel economy in normal driving conditions, it could cause damage in traffic.

He added: “When you are stuck in these gridlocks, drivers are forced to regularly stop-start their car. The process of stop-starting and accelerating from a complete stop requires more energy and can result in lower fuel efficiency and increased fuel consumption.

“Doing this can cause fuel to run out more quickly, subsequently causing increased wear to the fuel pump. In addition, it has the potential to damage the cars engine and harm the catalytic converter and fuel filter.”

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However, drivers who are in complete gridlock were recommended by Ollie by completely switch the engine off in order to prevent fuel residue from building up.

He said: “When the engine is switched on and the car is stationary, the engine won’t work at peak temperature as fuel is only partially burned.

“This leads to fuel residue build up, which can damage the spark plugs, cylinders and exhaust, whilst also reducing fuel mileage.”

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