I have been driving manual transmission for over 10years... maybe I have been doing things wrong during all that time, so I am asking the more illuminated MR crowd: does it matter if you press the clutch as opposed to putting the car in neutral at a red light ? A friend wants to learn how to drive a stick, so I checked out a few websites for advice and they all say it is bad to keep the clutch pressed for an extended period of time. For example: http://www.ehow.com/how_3234_drive-car-with.html "Avoid coasting with the clutch all the way down (called "riding the clutch"), as this will cause needless wear and tear on the clutch. When stopped at a traffic light, put the gearshift into the neutral position and release the clutch rather than sitting with the clutch engaged." or http://www.whtc.com/Shared/Auto/tutorials/learnstick.html "When at a stoplight, don't get in the habit of holding the clutch in for more than a few seconds or you will have other problems down the line. Instead, put the car in neutral while stopped for any period of time." Is there really a mechanical stress to worry about (springs?), or is this just a precaution ? This can't have anything to do with the actual plates, right ?