Wisdom gleaned from the brain of our own Mike Kearney on keeping your classic Mini on the road:
You want to limit pressure and stress on the clutch system and thrust washers as much as possible, to reduce wear and tear, and prevent an expensive repair shop visit. The only time you should depress the clutch is when you are shifting gears:
- Start the engine in neutral, and keep your foot off the clutch
- When you are waiting at a stoplight, shift into neutral and take your foot off the clutch
When the clutch pedal is depressed, it is applying pressure not only to the clutch release bearing (also known as the throw-out bearing), but also the crankshaft thrust washers. Remember that in spite of the fact that the Mini was built up to the year 2000, the design dates back to the 1950's, so baby it whenever you can.