The problem: Tom, my husband (not you, Tom).

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Dec 01, 1991

Dear Tom and Ray:

My husband and I have a 1991 5-speed Ford Explorer, and I must say, it's wonderful! The problem: Tom, my husband (not you, Tom), often comes to a stop without using the clutch. He waits until the car shakes or almost dies before he pushes in the clutch pedal. In fact, he does let it die occasionally. I say he's doing damage somewhere. He says my slamming the car door does just as much damage. What do you guys think?

TOM: Gee, Jeanette, why is your husband doing this? The only thing I can imagine is that he thinks he's saving the brakes. And perhaps he IS saving 0.03 cents worth of brake linings per day, but it's coming at the expense of some very expensive components.

RAY: When he lets the car shake like that, he IS doing damage. He's shaking the whole drivetrain--the engine, the transmission, the drive shafts. And those things are eventually going to wear out--and they're not cheap.

TOM: So you're absolutely right in telling him to stop, Jeanette. But in order to help save your marriage (because we know marriages don't often survive instances in which the wife is right about a matter relating to cars), we feel obligated to point out that slamming the door isn't great for the car either. When you slam the door, you also make things shake. OK, so they're only cheap door handles and not expensive drive shafts, but you still make them fall off sooner than they otherwise would have.

RAY: So here's our proposal. Tell Tom (your husband, not my brother) that you'll stop slamming the door if he starts stepping on the clutch sooner. And if he refuses, next time you go out together, slam the door extra hard--on his leg.

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