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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
(New ? on pg8) Help Us Manual Transmission Noobs


(2 more questions on page 8)


I've seen on here that I'm not alone in never owning a manual transmission car. For when we get our RS's, can some of you experienced drivers help myself and the rest of us with some questions we may have? Mine are below, anyone with questions should post them because I'm sure there's a few I'm not thinking about!


Questions:

When slowing down, say coming to a stop light, do you down shift through each gear down to 1st or put it in N and coast? IE in 5th, go to 4th, 3rd, 2nd, and 1st/N when close to stopped or 5th to N.


Does shifting into the wrong gear happen often? IE 2nd at red line to 1st instead of 2nd to 3rd, or 4th to 1st instead of 4th to 3rd? Does it nuke your transmission? Because I've missed gears a few times in pc racing sims and it does not end well lol


When parked, do you leave it in N, 1st, or 2nd (all with e brake on)? I've seen different people do all of these.


How do you launch w/o launch control? I've heard its have the car in 1st with the clutch all the way in, rev to 4-5k and dump clutch. Would it be better on the car to have the car in N, rev to 4-5k clutch in quick, shift to 1st quick, and release clutch quick? As to not "run the clutch" (see below for that possibly made up term).


Is it bad for the clutch to have the clutch all the way depressed and excessively rev the engine? I was told this is "running the clutch".


Can you shift out of a gear to N without depressing the clutch? Is it extra wear on any parts?


Thanks!
 

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You can downshift every gear but Isn't really required nor necessary aside from certain conditions.

It can do damage if you down shift when already at the top engine rpms in a higher gear. Take the time and make sure.

Usually leave it gear on a hill plus ebrake. Neutral and ebrake on level ground.

Don't launch until you're confident in driving standard. Not worth the damage it can cause if done poorly.

I wouldn't say it's bad for the clutch free revving the engine with clutch depressed and in gear. Slightly more wear on pilot + throw out bearing.

Yes you can. Not much point. Use the clutch pedal.



Quite a big leap to go with a high performance car and not being experienced with standards! Practice.
 

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I've seen on here that I'm not alone in never owning a manual transmission car. For when we get our RS's, can some of you experienced drivers help myself and the rest of us with some questions we may have? Mine are below, anyone with questions should post them because I'm sure there's a few I'm not thinking about!


Questions:

When slowing down, say coming to a stop light, do you down shift through each gear down to 1st or put it in N and coast? IE in 5th, go to 4th, 3rd, 2nd, and 1st/N when close to stopped or 5th to N.


Does shifting into the wrong gear happen often? IE 2nd at red line to 1st instead of 2nd to 3rd, or 4th to 1st instead of 4th to 3rd? Does it nuke your transmission? Because I've missed gears a few times in pc racing sims and it does not end well lol


When parked, do you leave it in N, 1st, or 2nd (all with e brake on)? I've seen different people do all of these.


How do you launch w/o launch control? I've heard its have the car in 1st with the clutch all the way in, rev to 4-5k and dump clutch. Would it be better on the car to have the car in N, rev to 4-5k clutch in quick, shift to 1st quick, and release clutch quick? As to not "run the clutch" (see below for that possibly made up term).


Is it bad for the clutch to have the clutch all the way depressed and excessively rev the engine? I was told this is "running the clutch".


Can you shift out of a gear to N without depressing the clutch? Is it extra wear on any parts?


Thanks!
Yeah practice, practice and more practice.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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When slowing down, say coming to a stop light, do you down shift through each gear down to 1st or put it in N and coast? IE in 5th, go to 4th, 3rd, 2nd, and 1st/N when close to stopped or 5th to N.

This really depends on a few factors like how how fast you're going initially and what gear you're in when you come to a stop light. For example, if I'm slowing down from 70mph off the highway I might slow down to ~50mph (depending on gear ratios this can change) then drop it into 3rd and let the car coast until ~20mph then clutch>brake>neutral. You can also just coast down to about 20-30mph in 5th then just clutch>neutral. All you're doing here is saving a little bit of your brakes when doing downshifting to come to a stop with the added benefit of being in a gear if you suddenly have to make a maneuver


Does shifting into the wrong gear happen often? IE 2nd at red line to 1st instead of 2nd to 3rd, or 4th to 1st instead of 4th to 3rd? Does it nuke your transmission? Because I've missed gears a few times in pc racing sims and it does not end well lol

No, it's very difficult to go from 3rd > 2nd if you're not forcing it. Gears have a natural progression built in, this all becomes second nature when you learn to drive a manual.


When parked, do you leave it in N, 1st, or 2nd (all with e brake on)? I've seen different people do all of these.

I normally put it in 1st, others do reverse or 2nd. Either of those work but I don't believe in leaving it in N. If your brakes fail your car being in a gear is the second line of defense in preventing the car from rolling. That's why you put it in gear.


How do you launch w/o launch control? I've heard its have the car in 1st with the clutch all the way in, rev to 4-5k and dump clutch. Would it be better on the car to have the car in N, rev to 4-5k clutch in quick, shift to 1st quick, and release clutch quick? As to not "run the clutch" (see below for that possibly made up term).

4-5k RPM and dumping your clutch will wear down your clutch and sometimes not create the best launch. Launching a car properly depends on the car, what RPM is ideal to launch that specific car, and whether it's FWD, RWD, or AWD. For the least wear on the clutch and a good launch you will sometimes have to slip the clutch by revving your engine to a certain RPM then releasing fast but slow (sorry best way to describe that without demonstrating) Your second theory doesn't make sense, don't do that lol


Is it bad for the clutch to have the clutch all the way depressed and excessively rev the engine? I was told this is "running the clutch".

not really, when your clutch pedal is engaged your clutch is disconnected from the flywheel which is connected to your engine, so flywheel/engine is spinning but your clutch friction plate isn't touching it. This link might explain better how a clutch works: How Clutches Work - HowStuffWorks


Can you shift out of a gear to N without depressing the clutch? Is it extra wear on any parts?

You can, especially at the right RPM, no reason to do so though, if you're just learning how to drive it's best to disengage the clutch (by pressing down on the clutch pedal) every time you change state on your transmission

I hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Awesome thanks you guys! Cleared those up well.
 

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Buy a manual shift clunker and practice!

KingZee gave some very good responses.



I would get a manual junker now and practice, practice. You need to practice in traffic and on hills/slopes where you are going up an incline.



One caution, concerning downshifting. Obviously you don't shift to a lower gear when you are close to maximum rpm in a higher gear; this is not what I am talking about.

The caution I am talking is sometimes referred to as the 'Money Shift" when you downshift accidentally from 6th gear to 2nd gear, when you meant to shift from 6th to 4th ( a fairly normal move to accelerate an pass someone on the highway). Shifting from 6th to 2nd, cause your engine to over rev significantly and can and does a lot of times cause bent rods and valves and costly engine failure. :mad:

Normally the gearshift naturally aligns to the 3rd-4th gears; but if gearshift you pull the gearshift too hard to the left you get in the 1rst -2nd gears, which is very very bad, if you then engage the clutch.

When you are learning and want to pass or get more power on the highway it is better to go from 6th to 5th and then from 5th to 4th. It takes two shifts and is longer, but much, much safer. :)

Again, my advice is to buy a manual clunker (at least 5-speed and practice, but 6 speed more expensive, but better) and practice. Then when you get your RS you will have skills and confidence.

Good Luck,

MidCow3



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Just a quick question, where do you live? Is snow common in the winter?
Can you use someone elses car to at least have a days worth of lessons? Driving a car off the lot having never driven a stick before is gonna look pretty bad.
Watch some youtube videos at least but learning the feel of the clutch to gas pedal for not stalling is something you just have to get time on to learn.

I shift as normal when speeding up and when its time to stop, if be it from the highway going 80 to an exit, or going from one light to the next, I generally pop it out of gear into neutral, and release the clutch. This will keep you from forgetting and stalling when you are using the brakes and coming to a stop. I asked about the winter bit because If there is a remote possibility that I might need to stop slowing and instead speed up, I will put it into another gear just in case. Also with snow, I tend to drive 1krpm higher than i normally would. Normal drive where I am just cruising around I would say I am at about 2500, but I stay over 3k in a snow storm because my car and I am guessing the RS lacks guts in the low rpm and I find that I sometimes need to speed up or apply tire spin instead of breaking and the time that it takes to down shift or give it enough gas to really kick in enough is a little late.

Learning the rev/shift points is a huge help in learning when and how to shift your car. My current car is about 2krpm at 30mph in 3rd gear and a lil over 3k at 40mph in 3rd. If I want to go from 3rd to 2nd gear at the same speed, I add about 1k RPM over what I currently am when the clutch is in and then release the clutch. Then there is no real wear on the car and it is a much smoother shift.

I taught my brother how to drive a manual and he did get lost in the gears a bit so I guess that answer is yes potentially you could shift wrong. That being said, It is pretty hard to get most gears mixed up while driving because for example, if you are going from 2nd to third, that is going close to the same direction as 1st but in most cars youll find that 1st almost has a barrier to it if you are going too fast for that gear. So just remember that the box should feel smooth going from one gear to the next. Also learn where neutral is and use that to your advantage. If you get lost don't panic just put your shifter back to neutral and shift from there. My gf likes to tease me that I play with my stick a lot, because if i shift out of gear and wait a lil bit to shift to the next, i tap my shifter left and right to make sure I'm where I think I am before putting it into gear.

I learned to keep my car in 1st if on flat, and on an incline 1st with E brake and with wheel turned so the car will roll onto the curb. If downhill I put it in reverse with e brake and do the same with the wheel turn. I have seen cars pop out of gear and go rolling from one side of the street to the other with bad results.

Last 2 questions are a bit odd, because they should never be done really. You don't really hear your turbo spool if you are revving out of gear and I love turbo spool sounds but I mean you should only do this a few times in the cars life to impress your friends I guess. And never do the last one, just a bad practice regardless of if the parts are tough enough. I had a friend that could shift 1-5 without using a clutch in his car, but needless to say he didn't care if it died at the time.

GL and enjoy! Once you learn manual, automatic gets frustrating.
 

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Short of buying one you could check for a rental, might be tough to find a rental manual tho. Just bring a friend that can drive it away till you get somewhere less busy. I taught my kids to drive my miata in a airport parking lot on a Sunday. Or any sort of industrial area that's closed on the weekends works good. They got frustrated after a couple of hours but someone who is determined can pick it up easily in a day like second nature. Then once your RS comes in it will be a quick refresh. Every vehicle has it's own feel and sounds when shifting. Come to think of it I can see how the red-line lights in the RS will be handy, because when the stereo is cranked you can miss a shift...
 

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I personally wouldn't learn to drive stick in a car that I care about. ESPECIALLY an AWD turbo car that likely has very short gearing and expensive clutch replacements. Just my opinion.

I'd pick up a beater off craigslist for a couple grand, drive it around for a few months, and then sell it for what you paid once you are comfortable driving stick. You don't need to be flawlessly heel-toeing downshifts and stuff, but should be able to do your normal driving without stalling, excessively slipping the clutch, or missing shifts.
 

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I had only driven a manual a total of 1.5 miles before I bought my ST. Granted the RS has a good amount more power Its not unreasonable IMO to learn on it but def not suggested for the sake of it being an RS ^_^

My advice OP is ask a friend who owns a manual car to teach you or let you drive their car to learn on. Preferably an older car, probably not a good idea an a buddies brand new STI. Unless your holding a grudge on him. Honestly though as stated before, practice practice practice. Eventually it will become like clock work and you won't even realize your foot on the clutch, shifting, and you won't even have to look at the tachometer to see if its time to shift. Simply the feel of the speed, vibration and visual of objects passing will subconsciously take care of that for you. you'll see!
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
More good info. MidCow3 I've thought a lot about this and have yet to think of that, great idea. Beater probably wouldnt happen, nice idea but dont have room to have 2 cars at the moment.

Oh but I probably should have mentioned I've driven a manual before in a few different vehicles (04 3 series, 06 Wrangler, 13 Comaro, 09 Mazda 3) and currently have one of these 188650d1360398282-vand-volan-pc-ps3-logitech-g25-cu-un-mic-defect-ieftin-g25a.jpg

so I understand the basics. Can heel-toe in the sim decently, but the pedals are far from realistic and I'm far far from trying it in a real car lol. Gives me enough practice to get the basic motions down, but I dont think it will take more than a couple days to get decent enough to drive smooth and not stall.
 

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If you've already driven a manual before without major issues, i think you'll be fine bud. Probably making a bigger issue out of it than it is. Just baby the car till you get more comfortable.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
If you've already driven a manual before without major issues, i think you'll be fine bud. Probably making a bigger issue out of it than it is. Just baby the car till you get more comfortable.
Yea I'm not too worried about the basic stuff. Most of my questions were just about more rare scenarios I've thought about regarding manuals.
 

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My recommendation is Not to launch the car.

You should put your car in gear when you park, especially if the brakes are hot.

You can coast in neutral but that is not effective way to slow down the car, and is probably unsafe. You lose braking power, and you also can't speed away if you have to.

Also don't Rev the engine unless it is parked and in neutral. But better yet, don't rev.

Btw I haven't driven manual in like 9 years, so just letting ya know, even if you understand the mechanics of it..... You need to practice on the car you plan on driving on. You can practice on beater, but it won't be the same
 

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Downshifting to slow down if I don't expect to stop, if I expect to stop, I just put in in N and release the clutch.

If you hit 1st on the way to 3rd while leaving 2nd at red line, worry more about the engine coming apart than the trans. So, avoid red line shifts and take it slow until you are use to the car.

Launching, don't do that until you are practiced at basic manual trans use. I would not dump it at a high rpm, just too much wear. On a Turbo charged car right before I do launch at about 2k I wrap the throttle up a few times to about 4.5-5k to get the turbo spooled up so I'm not waiting off the line. Guy with the Evo I've been driving showed me this after I was having very bad starts in his car at auto-x.

As mention for the in or out of gear when parked, it depends on the grade I'm parked on.

Honestly, I would suggest finding some used beatup but safe and decent running import for under $2k to learn on. My first 5spd is my 84 Civic 1500S and I got it for $900. Really fun having a small sporty car to learn on.
 

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There's some good advice here.

One thing I would add - if you're driving at a high rpm (eg. highway pull), do not just put it in neutral and coast. This causes the engine oil pressure to drop drastically and can cause premature wear on the engine.

I usually downshift when coming to a stop until I'm going ~20mph in 2nd or 3rd and then go to neutral and use the brakes.

If I'm coming off the highway I may skip gears (ie. 6th->4th->2nd->Neutral)
 

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The beater car to learn a manual is a good idea, just to save some wear on the clutch in your RS ($$$). There's one thing though that no one has mentioned I don't think - which is that the manual in the Focus ST is about the easiest manual ever made in a car...ever lol. I don't know what the RS is going to be like, I would imagine it's going to be a tad harder then the ST, but a mentally handicapped monkey could learn to drive manual in an ST so don't sweat it you'll be fine!
 

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You can't learn to drive stick on a car forum, you really need to go out and try yourself.

Maybe rent a manual car for a weekend?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
You can't learn to drive stick on a car forum, you really need to go out and try yourself.

Maybe rent a manual car for a weekend?

pssst up there /\ . Where I say I've driven 4 different vehicles with manual transmissions.


I would say I know HOW to drive a manual. Again which is why most of my questions were some weird odd ball things I had been thinking about regarding manuals. It would be nice to rent a car, and I may look into it, but I get a feeling the only thing I may find from a rental company will be their more expensive performance vehicles.
 

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I gathered from your post that you know how to drive a manual in simulation or in your head, but do not have any real recent practice behind the gear shifter? Is that correct?


pssst up there /\ . Where I say I've driven 4 different vehicles with manual transmissions.


I would say I know HOW to drive a manual. Again which is why most of my questions were some weird odd ball things I had been thinking about regarding manuals. It would be nice to rent a car, and I may look into it, but I get a feeling the only thing I may find from a rental company will be their more expensive performance vehicles.
 
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