Learning to Drive.

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Jimmieboy, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. Jimmieboy macrumors 6502

    Jimmieboy

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2005
    Location:
    Australia
    #1
    Hey everyone. I'm learning how to drive in my mums car. I'm having some major trouble with taking off. I keep stalling it! I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. I accelerate and release the clutch but it just kangaroo hops and stalls, or just stalls. It get kinda depressing after having tried about 5 times in a row and not getting it at all close.
     
  2. gadgetgirl85 macrumors 68040

    gadgetgirl85

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    #2
    Hmmm manual eh. I never learnt to drive a manual for fear of rolling back on a hill. Seen that one done before
     
  3. Markleshark macrumors 603

    Markleshark

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Location:
    Carlisle, Up Norf!
    #3
    Make sure you have plenty of Revs, as the guy who took me for my test said, a little noise never hurt anyone and I would say your problem is releasing the clutch too fast, slow it down a little and you'll be fine. When I first started driving, my dad took me in his car (Van actually, but what you gonna do) to an industrial estate and we found a nice quiet bit, all I did for an hour or so was set off, stop, set off, stop, set off, stop.

    Practice makes perfect though, keep at it my friend. :D
     
  4. swingerofbirch macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    #4
    I know a lot about learning to drive as I have done it a number of times. I am a top heavy person so for me, I had to learn to drive below the neck more than I had been. I was all up in my head you know? Like doing everything by the book. I actually turned out to be a better, safer driver when I started learning how to feel how to drive, it's kind of like asking how to learn to walk in a crowded subway station, a lot of it is style, and just a feel about it, not something you can learn. I used to tensely hold the wheel at 10 and 2 o'clock (not sure what the Australian equivalent metaphor would be) and I was so nervous I didn't even realize I was clenching my fists. Now, I try to relax.

    But that advice might not be useful if you already are bottom heavy.

    As for the clutch--is that an Australian term? I assume you mean the accelerator pedal. My mom taught me to drive with two feet, one on the brake and one on the accelerator, which I later learned was bad for the car, and I now actually prefer doing it with one foot, I have some natural abilities in that area in that I have played piano (and they use pedals as well). Just rest your foot on the accelerator and slowly release and then slowly depress on the break. Think of soft flowing movements, like you're playing the piano, nothing sudden.

    Also, remember if you get panicked you can always turn on the emergency blinkers, in the US it's a button with red triangles on it, and just stop the car. People often get anxious because they don't plan an "out." Always have an out. For me on the smaller roads I know I can pull over, once I get onto the highway there is nowhere to pull-over but I always know I can just put on the emergency lights and stop until I catch my breath.

    So......juuuuuust relax, and enjoy! Driving can be fun! But remember it is serious business.
     
  5. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #5
    No, the clutch is the clutch. It's the thing you hold in when changing gears :)

    Left foot on the clutch, right foot for the brake and accelerator.

    And yes, it does take quite a few attempts! I learnt to drive years ago and still stall when taking off occasionally (usually when I've just switched back to the older car and forget to manage the choke too).
     
  6. bartelby macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    #6
    I had similar problems trying to drive our Alfa.

    My tip is:

    As you come up to the bite on the clutch watch the rev counter.
    See how much the revs drop.
    If your're on the flat release the hand brake and slowly bring the clutch up, let the car stall.
    And note what the revs do.

    Then practice keeping the revs up with the accelerator to compensate for the drop.

    When I learned my instructors Ford Fiesta would lose about 200 rpm where as the Alfa would lose about 600 rpm. But I was only pressing the accelerator lightly.

    Once I'd figured out that's what was happening I was off!!!
     
  7. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #7
    Re: Learning to Drive

    I know I have a link to filling out an accident report around here somewhere.
     
  8. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #8
    Rev counter indeed. You young whipper-snappers have it easy!

    Yes, I'm aware that I'm younger than you are.
     
  9. Markleshark macrumors 603

    Markleshark

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Location:
    Carlisle, Up Norf!
    #9
    I'm sorry, but thats one of the funniest things ive heard in a long time. I didn't realize sooooo many people drove Automatics in America. Please understand, thats not a personal attack, if you don't know, you don't know, just one of those things I found very funny.

    Left foot braking? Easy in an Automatic, quite the art in a manual. Kind of things racing drivers do. Shouldn't be bad for the car, unless you have the brake slightly compressed all of the time.

    Exactly. Whats one of those? I have a speedo (Nothing to do with trunks) and a fual gauge. Bah! Silly French folk.
     
  10. bartelby macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    #10
    :rolleyes:
    Kids today!


    No respect for their elders...


    I remember when all this was fields!!

    :D
    If it makes you feel better I've always thought of you as being around 40 years old!:D :D ;) :D
     
  11. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #11
    Yep, when automatics first came out -- people were too dumb to drive them.

    Now they don't even know what a clutch is. :eek:

    Funny how they willing fork over an extra $1000 and several MPG for an automatic, and don't even bother asking about the manual vehicles.

    Some vehicles the magazines like Consumer Reports cannot even find a manual model to test, even if it is offered.
     
  12. Markleshark macrumors 603

    Markleshark

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Location:
    Carlisle, Up Norf!
    #12
    Yup. Driving would bore the hell out of me in a Automatic, doesn't appeal at all. Oh well, each to their own.
     
  13. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #13
    and

    and

    = you are releasing the clutch too soon that's why it's kangarooing.

    What you first need to do is learn how to modulate the pressure/movement of your feet on the pedals, that's what's causing you the problems.
     
  14. j26 macrumors 65832

    j26

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Location:
    Paddyland
    #14
    How I learned to drive (after one session with my wife who laughed so much we didn't talk for a week) was go go to a road in an industrial estate with a bit of a hill and spend the guts of an hour a day trying to hill start. It was very frustrating, but worked a treat for me.

    The basic formula is;
    Use decent bit of acceleration
    Lift the clutch slowly until you feel a bit of bite (you can feel the car getting ready to move)
    Drop the handbrake quickly, and the car should stay in it's place and not roll back. If it starts moving use the clutch to increase or decrease power.
    Lift the clutch slightly and you will move forward

    It took about 3 days to get it right on a regular basis (i.e. not stall every 2nd or 3rd go), but since then I've been sorted.

    Once you can do a hill start, normal starts are nothing to worry about. And get lessons once you have the basic skills - there's more to driving than mechanical operations, there's roadsense too.
     
  15. After G macrumors 68000

    After G

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #15
    Actually, I've read that for normal driving, there is only one situation where a manual is better than an auto. For everyone else, gradual braking and/or driving at 65 instead of speeding on the damn freeway will save a hell of a lot more fuel than gear changes.

    Quote from my mom:
    "Wait until you have kids to deal with in the back seat."

    But it's true, manuals are fun. Especially when
    -you are grinding the gears
    -it's not your car
    -you built the thing
     
  16. AndyR macrumors 6502a

    AndyR

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2005
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    #16
    Just practice mate, you'll get it in the end.

    I had an international racing license before I got my regular road license in the UK, and I even failed my test first time! Won a race in a 270bhp single seater on Sunday, failed my driving test on Monday for failing indicate early enough for a junction :rolleyes:
     
  17. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #17
    New automatics really are rather good, not as good as sequential manuals but much better than the old type. Mitsubishi really moved the game on with their INVECSII a few years back, that employed fuzzy logic to continuously adapt to how it's driver was driving.

    Conventional automatics are bollocks though, torque converters sap the engine power, and usually do away with what would be the equivalent of 1st gear in a manual car, instead starting off in what would be 2nd gear in a manual, thus letting the torque converter sap the engines power and increasing MPG, as well as decreasing performance. Hence why almost all automatic models are slower (usually significantly) then their equivalent manual counterpart.

    They can be a bit of a liability too when going up hill or overtaking... because they don't automatically hold higher revs (when changing gear would be detrimental), even in sport mode they usually change at the redline, rather than going past peak power so that the engine doesn't have to work so hard after the change.

    You can't bump start them either. :p

    Kickdown's fun though... especially in a turbo. :p
     
  18. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #18
    They failed you for that? :eek: :p

    I put my left nearside wheel over a kerb at a tight T junction on my test... and they still passed me. :D
     
  19. After G macrumors 68000

    After G

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #19
    Wherever you are must be lenient ... here curb hit = automatic fail.
    I was thinking of Volkswagen's DSG, where there's two clutches so shifting between gears is smooth and FAST.
     
  20. bartelby macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    #20
    Same in the UK.


    I got failed for "appearing not to use the left door mirror when exiting roundabouts".:(
     
  21. After G macrumors 68000

    After G

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #21
    Changing lanes without looking? Big no-no.
     
  22. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #22
    Passed the car one on the third attempt. After two failures I changed instructor. The second guy would make me pull over whenever I made a mistake, explain immediately what I had done wrong and how I should have done it, then keep me practising it during the rest of the lesson. The first instructor used to tell me the mistake I had made, but never really do anything more than tell me so I wasn't really improving. I think the instructor you have is so important. If you feel you're not improving, change instructor before you put in for your test.

    Got the bike one on the first attempt, but I'd been riding round on my 125 for nearly a year before I booked it, so that was hardly a surprise.
     
  23. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #23
    in defense of the US, most people do know there's manual and automatic and still know the term "clutch" - but I also kind of giggled at that.

    My shameful secret: I drive automatics. I learned to drive in los angeles, (ahem: massive traffic) so automatic just made more sense for me. All that thinking among tons angry drivers freaked me out. Plus I'm just intimidated by manuals, I SUCK at driving them. I've only done it a few times and it's HILARIOUS to watch. I lurch it all over place, I stall it, it's just pitiful. Now I'm old and afraid to really learn. The joke is that I can ride a motorcycle just fine. Bit of a learning gap I suppose.

    Now that I'm in the UK though I think I might just have to bite the bullet and learn.

    There, I said it. :eek:
     
  24. bartelby macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    #24
    No. Not changing lanes. Leaving a roundabout.
    We drive on the other side remember!
     
  25. AndyR macrumors 6502a

    AndyR

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2005
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    #25
    Yep, think thought it was because I was last thing on a Friday. Everyone I know who failed there test did so on a Friday afternoon and all were trivial reasons, yet some people who did appaling things on a Monday passed!

    An ex-driving instructor I now know told me a while ago they used to have quotas to reach each week and once they hit that they could only pass people for exceptional reasons? :eek:
     

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