What is dumping the clutch? A complete answer

There is no getting away from the fact that car language can be a bit confusing, especially for newbie motorists. Take, for example, a statement like, “dumping the clutch.” You might ask yourself, “What does that even mean?”

The short answer is that in manual transmission cars, dumping the clutch refers to when you take your left foot off of the clutch pedal suddenly by side-stepping to the left while, at the same time, stepping hard on the accelerator pedal with your right foot.

Some drivers will use this technique to get their cars to move quickly.

Does Dumping the Clutch Damage It?

Street racers or drag racers often practice clutch dumping to get the fastest launch possible. Despite that, it remains an unrecommended technique for those who are not so good at driving.

That’s because it can cause damage to the car or other bad outcomes when done incorrectly.

Dumping the clutch at lower RPMs will stall the car. Doing the same at higher RPMs will cause the wheel to hop and spin. All these outcomes can damage the car by stressing the driveline components.

For instance, if you have high horsepower and great traction, it can lead to broken half shafts, motor mounts, and CV axles. If you don’t have great traction, it can lead to burnout of the clutch.

Not only that, but dumping the clutch also puts too much stress on the car’s transmission system which consists of the clutch, propeller shaft, gearbox, differential, and live axle.

It also creates a rough launch that stresses the driveline components. Considering these potential mechanical problems that dumping the clutch can create, you should avoid applying this technique when driving. Only race drivers who are confident in their race cars’ capabilities should practice it.

How Do You Properly Dump a Clutch?

Does clump dumping sound like a driving technique you would like to try? If so, please follow the steps below to perform it correctly:

  • Start the engine, shifting the transmission into first gear.
  • Place your right foot on the gas pedal and your left foot on the clutch pedal.
  • Press the clutch pedal down to the floor and then release it in a quick motion while at the same time giving the car some gas to move forward. Continue to press the gas pedal down until you attain the desired speed.

N/B: You need to be extra cautious and gentle with your pedals if you decide to dump the clutch. Make sure that your engine has reached the required RPM level.

You would risk stalling the engine if you dump the clutch prematurely or before reaching the required RPM. Also, this may cause the car to jerk, possibly damaging the drivetrain.

Should I Dump the Clutch When Launching?

The answer depends on the situation. For example, if you’re launching from a standstill on a drag strip, then you’ll want to dump the clutch when launching to get the car moving as fast as possible.

However, if you’re launching from a stop sign or stop light, then it would be unnecessary to dump the clutch. A good rule is to avoid dumping the car when launching unless your car comes with Launch Control that regulates the entire process.

Or else, your engine may get damaged, causing the car to be slower henceforth.

Can You Dump the Clutch In Neutral?

The answer is no. The clutch dumping process cannot happen in neutral simply because the engine is not engaged with the transmission system, in which the clutch forms part. That means nothing will happen if you try the steps above in this case.

How Do You Dump a Clutch Without Stalling?

  • Press down the clutch pedal with your foot.
  • Choose the first gear.
  • Gently put pressure on the accelerator until revs reach the right RPMs.
  • Release the handbrake.
  • Lift your foot slowly up from the clutch pedal as you put pressure on the accelerator pedal.
  • As the car starts moving slowly, remove your foot completely from the clutch, keeping the other foot steady on the accelerator.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Dumping a Clutch

Clutch dumping is such a big deal when it comes to some of the most popular advanced driving techniques available for manual cars.

While it has a couple of drawbacks as described earlier and hence not widely recommended, it’s also not without some benefits. Speaking of which, let’s delve into two of those benefits now just to motivate you to learn it.

The #1 benefit of clutch dumping is that it enables the engine to rev up to a higher RPM before engaging the transmission. This can go a long way when accelerating from a stop, allowing the car to achieve top speeds within a short time.

The #2 benefit of this driving technique is that it helps avoid an engine stall when shifting into first gear. Without this intervention, there would be dire possible repercussions.

For example, if the engine stalls while the car is in motion, the car will lose power brakes and power steering. This can put the safety of the car’s passengers and other road users at risk.


Dumping the clutch is arguably an advanced driving technique that some drivers use to get the car to move faster. This tactic involves suddenly taking your left foot off the clutch pedal by side-stepping to the left while stepping hard on the accelerator pedal with your right foot.

Even though this is generally discouraged, especially for new drivers who have not acquired advanced driving skills yet, clutch dumping can be useful under certain circumstances.

Take, for example, if you’re launching from a standstill on a drag strip and looking to achieve top speeds within a short time.

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