What is Coasting?
July 15th, 2023
What is Coasting?
Everyone hears, don’t coast. But what is coasting? Basically coasting is rolling with some momentum when you should be driving.
There are different types of coasting. If you press the clutch down too early before stopping or gearing down. Also if you leave your foot on the clutch too long after the gear change. Especially bad if this is still happening as you go into a turn. Additionally if you spend too long in neutral while the car is moving. As well as turning the engine off and rolling down a hill.
What are the effects of coasting?
Coasting reduces your control of your car. Your accelerator will have no effect. Also, although your brakes will work they may be fighting against greater momentum than if you geared down. Additionally, the steering will have less effect as the momentum of the car will push you straight forward. If you were not coasting the front wheels would typically be pulling the car in the direction they were pointing. This would not apply to rear wheel drive cars. Does it save fuel? Not really. Your car uses a negligible amount of fuel when you are not accelerating. Coasting will cause excessive wear on the clutch release bearing. Although it is not particularly bad for the clutch The bigger issues are the reduction in control of your car which could have you too fast and too wide in a turn. This could result in you coming around the corner on the wrong side of the road. We don’t need to say how bad that could be.
How to avoid coasting.
Firstly keep the engine on while driving. If it accidently cuts out, turn it back on as soon as possible. Secondly if you start a gear change, finish it. Get into the appropriate gear without delay. Finally, don’t leave your foot on the clutch unnecessarily. Don’t clutch too early and as soon as you have moved the gear stick get your foot smoothly off the clutch. In summation, follow the Mirrors Signal Position Speed Look sequence. As part of this you need to slow down in a straight line before the obstacle using the brake. As well as, clutch, gearing down and coming smoothly off the clutch before the obstacle. Driving lessons will help you make sense of all this.