Just got my first Manual Trans. any Tips, Tricks, or Care?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Fearless Leader, Aug 24, 2008.

  1. Fearless Leader macrumors 68020

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    #1
    I learned how on a friends car a while back, I got this one yesterday and I got the basics back and and my shifting times are going down, smoother, etc.

    Even though i can make one go, i've never owned or maintained one.
    are there any tips, tricks, care, or serious no no's, that are specific to a manual?
     
  2. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #2
    You may have to replace the clutch at some point. ;) Otherwise, nothing. Considerably better fuel consumption, too, and less brake wear because of engine braking.
     
  3. Ryan1524 macrumors 65816

    Ryan1524

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  4. Brianstorm91 macrumors 65816

    Brianstorm91

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    #4
    Often you can pull off in second, but this really doesn't do it any favours - just don't.
     
  5. Gray-Wolf macrumors 68030

    Gray-Wolf

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    #5
    Double clutch, and granny shift. Beyond that, enjoy it in slow moving traffic. :rolleyes:
     
  6. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #6
    That depends on the OP's location.

    Starting in 2nd is a good option, during the Winter storms around these parts.

    Oh, and don't "ride the clutch" on hills. Use the brake.
     
  7. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #7
    Conversely, get used to the idea of using the tach and/or engine sounds and response to tell you where the engine is in its curve. When we first come to a manual from driving automatic, the tendency for instance is to try to pass on the highway by pushing the accelerator down. Automatics are usually geared so that they have a fair amount of torque in their final drive gear, and of course they'll kick down to a lower gear if they need to, but a manual is going to have relatively little torque in fifth or sixth gear, which is not unrelated to their fuel efficiency. So try experimenting with shifting more than is absolutely necessary to get in and stay in the torque sweet spot (i.e. downshifting into fourth or third when passing at highway speeds, etc). Plus generally the more shifting you do, the more fun a manual is, and those down/upshifts at highway speeds are painless even when you're new and shifting is scary.

    Likewise you won't always use it, but learning engine braking teaches you some good things about the physics of an MT....

    And yes, starting from a standstill on an uphill is hellish. When I got my first MT I was driving to Dearborn to work at Ford, and there'd be a traffic jam that got me off 96... it scared the crap out of me, starting on a fairly significant incline, stalling out several times, and trying not to hit the car behind me in the process. :eek:
     
  8. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #8
    I even downshift in the KIA sometimes, to prepare for passing. Gets the revs up into the power zone.

    (2.7L V6, 5 speed auto, select-shift. Just a baby, really. ;))
     
  9. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #9
    Learning engine braking might be less expensive, though... :)
     
  10. mikeyredk macrumors 65816

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    #10
    I use engine braking all the time in my Auto I have gear select on mine so I don't have to fuss with the manual pains all the time
     
  11. Fearless Leader thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #11
    well maybe my car is just odd, but i tend to have lots of passing power even in taller gears. its a 6speed vw gli 2006 btw, and looking at the engine curves i reach max torque at around 2krpm and its flat up to 5kish rpm. is something like that normal?

    addon: engine braking, would that be like going down a gear or two and matching the rmps with the clutch or throttle (both)?
     
  12. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #12
    Your car is turbo-charged.

    Very different power curve from ordinary asparated engines.
     
  13. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #13
    Oops! FAIL!!!! :eek: Although, you probably would learn more than you want to know about the way mechanics operate if you do break your engine. :eek:

    RE: the passing power in taller gears... it's not all the taller gears, it's just the final one. And the torque curve being flat is less of an issue than the amount of torque you have period in 5th or 6th... but then that's a pretty brawny engine, isn't it? I can't keep VW's straight... which engine is in that GLI? EDIT: Ooops, so is that the 1.8T engine? Yes, sorry, having a turbo does change things somewhat....

    As for engine braking, this just means that when you are slowing down, you ease off on the gas, downshift into a lower gear, and the engine revs up, and the car has to work to keep the engine turning, which slows it down. The advantages, I guess, are that it tends to be a more gentle slow down in ice/snow than braking, it is more controlled generally if you are slowing and turning at the same time, and you are already in a low gear with the engine spooled up, so you can take off again much more easily when you speed back up (in cases where you aren't actually stopping).
     
  14. hexonxonx macrumors 601

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    Denver Colorado
    #14
    Another nice tip:

    When making a right turn, shift out of the gear you are in and lightly tap and release the accelerator before shifting into second. Makes downshifting more smooth when turning.

    Otherwise don't worry about anything. I've been driving a car with a manual transmission for over two years and I'm still not perfect at it because I only drive it on weekends. I have a supercharged car :D
     
  15. Fearless Leader thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #15
    yeah its a 2.0turbo. so because its a "brawny" engine, it's more tolerant to an unusually low gear (as opposed to a non-turbo)?
     
  16. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #16
    Shrug... even with a turbo charger, passing people in sixth gear isn't really the most efficient or fun way of doing things.... :p
     
  17. Fearless Leader thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #17
    i went out to a remote part of town with a nice smooth flat long straight road and played with shifting gears and maintain speed and no jerky motions.

    hills are hell. on the part of side i live on its flat except for on road and i got pretty good at not rolling backwards and not staling on the steep hills. a parking lot had a really steep hill and i got a lot tire spin and noticed by the patrons of the church.... opps

    no doubt, it wasnt nearly as quick or fun :D however 6th near 30's yield average upper 30 to lower 40 mpgs :)
    on the remote road i flared up in speed, went out of gear, and just coasted forever. yielding 182 on the little info thing.
     
  18. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #18
    Popping the car into neutral at a stoplight and releasing the clutch is a bit easier on the leg.

    Also it prevents possible wear of the clutch for those times you don't have the clutch fully engaged.

    ---

    Sort of weird when you get used to doing this, since it only takes light pressure with one foot to hold the vehicle at a light ... when you switch back to an auto it seems like you have to stand on the brake to keep the car from moving.
     
  19. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #19
    That's rather the point... I'm not telling you to drive down the highway in fourth gear. Just suggesting that pushing down quickly to 4th or 5th during passing is more fun than using the gas pedal by itself. Then execute a crisp, quick pass and the satisfying drop back into top gear is very nice. :)
     
  20. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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  21. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #21
    Ditto that. I had NEVER driven a stick until I got my GTI. After a quick lesson from the sales manager, I made it home without stalling (mostly highway though). I still stalled occasionally while getting the hang of things, but not anymore. I had gone quite sometime without stalling until today when I was backing out of a parking spot at the grocery store. Whoops :D Speaking of backing out, I don't think I've ever had my clutch fully out while in reverse. I bring it out just a little bit, with little or no gas, to get it moving, and push it back in about a second or so later. You can do this with 1st too when you need to inch up a bit in traffic. Don't hold the clutch in the middle for any length of time, otherwise you're burning it up. Just enough to get the car moving and back in. Repeat as necessary. For getting out of my garage, I let the clutch out a tiny bit, get the car moving, and let gravity do the rest as I go down the driveway.

    Also, in my GTI, and since your GLI is basically identical to my car, starting from a stop with the air conditioning on is much more difficult at first than with it off since the engine doesn't rev up as quickly. If you've got the A/C on and are having difficuly getting it going, turn the A/C off to get started then turn it back on once moving. Once you get to some backroads or an empty parking lot, practice with the A/C on to get the hang of it more.
     
  22. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #22
    why do people advocate engine braking?

    seriously i do it as little as i can. why wear down a $~1000+ clutch (including labor as you cant rally do it yourself without having a lift and what not) over $80 brake pads (or cheaper since easy to do yourself)?



    just try to anticipate traffic so you dont need to brake hard and what not.

    with that said, it is generally better to engine brake if you are driving on very long descents like mountain passes here in co (otherwise you may really burn up your rotors which can cause warpage if not careful if use brakes) but for day to day driving, i would try not to engine brake much

    i just replaced my clutch after 108k miles. fun times
     
  23. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #23

    Ditto....I never engine brake. The only time I downshift is when I'm speeding up or slowing down but not stopping. If I'm coming to a stop, I just leave it in gear for as long as I can without stalling then I go to neutral.

    It's like the few idiots I hear who drive autos and don't use the parking brake because they don't want to put the stress on their brakes. So instead, they put it on a tiny little pin in the transmission that would probably costs in the thousands to repair, not to mention the body damage should the pin break and the car roll into something.
     
  24. revenuee macrumors 68020

    revenuee

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    #24
    I'm going to disagree with engine breaking

    you are putting a lot of pressure on your drivetrain which to fix will be much more expensive then new break pads.

    Engine breaking will often cause you to go into higher RPMs which will mean higher fuel consumption, which again, could end up costing more then what you save on break pads <-- especially with current gas prices

    engine breaking maybe not allowed in your city because of the extra noise it produces

    Unless you have an un-synchronized gearbox, don't worry about double clutching -- you won't see any benefit

    in fact, a better skill to learn is shifting without the clutch ... this can be achieved through RPM matching -- takes some time, and you could do some damage if you grind the gears to often learning

    "better fuel consumption" is debatable,

    if you rev high between shifting then you'll end up having worse fuel consumption then an automatic. <-- with that ... my fathers car is manual, and it's rated from the manufacturer that the automatic has better fuel economy then the manual.

    clutches are being made with better and better material and where as I agree with avoiding riding your clutch on hills, it's unavoidable on some hills -- There is an underground parking lot in Toronto that I always roll back a little if I don't ride the clutch a bit ... and sometimes the person behind me is so close there is no room for error --- this hill is actually so steep that my automatic rolls back also.

    If you are a complete jack ass behind the wheel then you'll break it ... otherwise ... modern manual transmissions need little more maintenance then automatics.
     
  25. SMM macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #25
    The majority of my vehicles have been standard transmission. It does not take any time to become proficient with it. As others have said, the toughest part is starting from a stop on a steep hill, especially a wet one. I have taught a few people how to use the hand-brake, clutch and gas concurrently, which is what is usually needed. It is very easy after you learn this.

    The hardest thing I had to learn was to shift with my left hand, on the curvy, narrow roads in the UK.
     

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