What Is Double Clutching and How Does It Work?

What Is Double Clutching and How Does It Work?

Driving with a manual transmission is something that a lot of us hold dear to our hearts. This is due to the fact that it can be quite fun to shift gears while driving a car, and a lot of people claim that it makes them feel more in-tune with their vehicle. While this may be the case, there is a lot that those who don’t understand the popular technique called double clutching.

That’s why we’ll be going over the term and showing you how to double clutch. If you’re someone who drives a manual transmission vehicle—or even if you’re a gearhead at heart who is just learning how to drive a manual—you’ll definitely want to pay close attention.

With that being said, we’ll be going over quite a bit of information, including much more than than just how to double clutch. So here is a brief look at some of the sections that we have laid out for you:

  • What is double clutching?
  • How to double clutch.
  • Why is double clutching a good technique to know?
  • A brief recap.

Now that you know what we’ll be going over, let’s shift gears and take a look at everything you need to know about double clutching.

What is double clutching?

The term “double clutching” is heard often, but rarely understood by those who aren’t in the know. If you’re not familiar with what double clutching is, you should definitely pay close attention to this section.

How does double clutching work?

In a manual transmission car you have a clutch that, when pressed, separates your engine from your transmission. When you press the clutch pedal in, the engine becomes disengaged with the transmission. On the other hand, when you select a gear and take your foot off of the clutch, the engine engages with the transmission.This is how gears are shifted in a manual car, unlike with an automatic transmission that performs this action for you.

For a normal shift from, say, first to second gear, you would first press the clutch pedal in. Once the pedal is pushed in—and the engine is disengaged from the transmission—you would move the shifter into second gear. From there, all you need to do is let your foot off the clutch and you’re in the next gear. Most normal shifting is done in manual transmission cars that have synchronized manual transmissions via this process.

Now, when you look at double clutching, you’re essentially adding in another step. Therefore, instead of pressing the clutch in and moving the shifter into second gear right away, you would move the shifter into the neutral position instead. From there, you press the clutch in and move the shifter into the next gear.

In short, double clutching is adding in another step between your shifts. Instead of going directly from first gear to second gear, think of double clutching as taking a pit stop in neutral first.

How to double clutch

Now that you know a little bit about what double clutching is, we want to show you how to properly execute a double clutch. It may seem simple, but it isn’t as intuitive as it sounds—especially if you’re new to driving a manual. So let’s have a look at the 5 steps you need to know for double clutching.

How do I double clutch properly? 

  1. The first step to properly double clutch is to make sure that you prepare yourself to shift gears. Also, keep in mind that double clutching can apply to both shifting up and down.
  2. Once you’re ready, press the clutch pedal in and put your vehicle in neutral. Once your shifter is in the neutral position, remove your foot from the clutch pedal.
  3. Now, before you shift up to the next gear, you’ll want to press the clutch pedal in again. This time, you’ll need to rev your engine up to the appropriate speed for the gear you want to shift into.
  4. Once you’re at the appropriate speed, you can shift into the next gear.
  5. Lastly, once you’ve placed your vehicle into the next gear, you can safely remove your foot from the clutch pedal.

As you can see double clutching is not that complicated if you follow these simple steps. If you’re new to it, though, it can definitely take some getting used to.

Why is double clutching a good technique to know?

Double clutching is definitely a good technique to know primarily because it can help maintain your vehicle—especially if you drive an older car. Now, while most of the modern day manual transmission vehicles won’t require you to shift like this, in the past double clutching was actually required. So let’s take a look at how double clutching is still useful in the modern world.

Double clutching can help maintain your vehicle’s synchros

As we mentioned earlier, double clutching is not a requirement in modern vehicles. While this may be the case, it can still help keep your synchros running smoothly. The synchros in most modern-day transmissions help line up the input and output speed of your vehicle’s transmission, which makes your shifting a bit more smooth. This also prevents a massive amount of wear that can be caused if the input and output are not equalized.

This is good for your synchros, which is in turn good for the lifespan of your entire transmission and clutch. Once your synchros become worn down, excessive wear on your clutch or transmission can occur, so keeping your synchros healthy will keep your vehicle healthy in the long-term.

Also, if you want to downshift for acceleration purposes, double clutching can actually make the downshift quite a bit smoother.

Recap

We know that went over quite a bit, but we hope that you’ve figured out how to double clutch properly. Double clutching can be really helpful if you want to prolong the life of your car’s transmission, and it’s also a fun way to improve the smoothness and overall quality of your ride.

If you ever feel a bit lost, or even forget how to double clutch, please feel free to refer back to this article as a guide. We want to make sure that you’re well informed: your car’s components are never something you should take lightly.

Now that you know the facts, do you think you’re ready to practice the double clutch technique?