Probably the number one complaint about the driving feel of this car is the clutch. I’ve heard of people skipping over buying this car because of the engagement point, which can be hard to find at times. Myself, I’ve found it plenty easy to take off from a stop light in a hurry, but had trouble getting started when I wanted to go slow. I never stalled it, but came close plenty of times. What if I told you that you could get a more defined engagement point, easier shifts between gears, and a mildly heavier clutch, without any major downsides
with this one weird trick?
This is really one of the easiest, if not THE easiest, modification you can make on this car. All you need are your own two hands and some mild contortionist tendencies. Go out to your car, open the door and lay on your back while looking towards your clutch. To the left of your clutch you will see a black spring in a three-year-old-butterscotch-candy kind of color piece of plastic that hold it into the bracket. What you want to do to get that out is to push the clutch in, so that the spring extends.
Now that you have the clutch assist spring extended, you want to push up on the bottom of the yellowish assembly. Be careful, as it is a spring under tension. At a certain point, the tabs on the side of the yellow assembly will be free to move out of the bracket and the top will slide right out. That’s pretty much it for how to remove the spring. You’re now free to take it for a drive and see if you like it. I can’t imagine you won’t see an improvement right away, but if you decide you liked your clutch feel better with the clutch engagement spring, it’s very simple to reinstall. I took my car for a lap around the lake, and found myself focusing less on clutching out and more on driving. If I could go back to the day I bought it I would’ve ripped this sucker out right then.
So what improved, and what are the downsides? Downsides are pretty limited. The clutch vibrates a little more while driving if you keep your foot on it, which you shouldn’t really be doing anyway. I just put my foot there to see if it was vibrating. That one shouldn’t be a huge deal. The only thing that made me feel a little strange is that without the spring, there’s about an inch, maybe a little less, of free play. The spring doesn’t come all the way back up, but it’s definitely not engaged. It just feels kind of strange that it’s loose. In exchange for a minor vibration ad a pedal that’s a bit loose at the top, you get a more solid engagement point (feels more like a traditional clutch), faster gear shifts, and a heavier clutch feel, which I think is an improvement.