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Could be that my leg is just getting tired but it seems to me that over the first 2000 miles the clutch is getting stiffer. I noticed today that I'm leaving it in neutral at lights as a result and I don't recall doing this at first. I'm concerned because I've been teaching my finacee to drive a stick in it and we've had more than a few jerky starts/engine kills in the process. Nothing that's happened should have caused a problem but I have a nagging feeling even so.
 

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If you haven't been leaving it in neutral at the lights all along, you should have been. If you have been "riding the clutch" at the lights you've been wearing the throw out bearing. Also, be sure to keep your foot off the clutch pedal except to shift. Don't even rest it there. There's a dead pedal for your foot to the left of the clutch pedal.

I
 
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The Fiesta ST has very light clutch depression pressure. If you think that the pressure is changing, then something might be wrong.
 

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I want a stiffer clutch and throttle. When I switch up to my 2002WRX it feels like I'm driving a tractor. And when I drive the ST after the WRX the throttle and clutch feel so light almost like a video game pedal set. I miss the heavier direct feel, and not looking like a good with a bobblehead like I do for the first few miles in the ST.
 

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If you haven't been leaving it in neutral at the lights all along, you should have been. If you have been "riding the clutch" at the lights you've been wearing the throw out bearing. Also, be sure to keep your foot off the clutch pedal except to shift. Don't even rest it there. There's a dead pedal for your foot to the left of the clutch pedal.

I
I've held the clutch pedal at the light since I started driving manual for the past 3 years. Haven't had any problems with my bearings and it's quite a bit faster to get going than to have to push in the clutch and shift then let off and get on the gas. With the amount of time spent holding the clutch pedal down vs driving I'd think you'd probably have to replace the clutch before the bearings went. At that time you can replace them for maintenance sake.
 

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I'm never in neutral in traffic, cars, bikes, tractors. I want to be able to scoot if I have to. The only manual that I operate that doesn't get pressed to the floor at a stop, are the ones with clutch brakes on them...
 
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Do yourselves a favor and do a little research. Every recommendation that I've seen for driving a manual equipped car (I've been doing it for over 40 years) says that to avoid wear, and for safety considerations, it should be kept it NEUTRAL while stopped at traffic lights. You can of course drive the way you like, and treat your car as you wish, but there are real reasons to put it in neutral.
 
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There are benefits to placing your transmission in neutral, of course there are. I'll, however, risk clutch wear over being rear ended though. That is my opinion only, I've only been driving manuals for 20 years though. If I'm not in traffic, I'll click into neutral when I'm stopped.

Incidentally, if you place a commercial vehicle into neutral whilst waiting at a light, or train etc, at least during your road test, you fail automatically.
 

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Placing the trans in neutral while stationary at a set of traffic lights is more of a safety concern than anything else. With the transmission in neutral (engine running) the trans input shaft is still rotating. With the transmission in gear and the clutch engaged the input shaft is not rotating. As far as the wear concern with holding the clutch pedal down, its the fact that the throw-out bearing continuing to rotate. Most throw out bearings spin all the time anyway because their held against the pressure plate diaphragm by light spring pressure. As the clutch wears, the pressure plate diaphragm moves, pushing against the throw-out bearing and throw out lever. This has a self adjusting effect on the hydraulic slave cylinder because it takes up the slack. A sure indication you clutch is nearly worn-out is engagement just as your clutch pedal is fully out, like about the last 1/2 inch of release. Generally you will find that the throw out bearing will out last the friction and pressure plate, imo.
 
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