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Learning to drive standard

Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
edited June 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
Alright so I'm learning to drive standard. In about a week I'm driving with my sister in her standard Mazda 3 hatchback to Alberta, its gonna take us 2-3 days. I've done the drive 4 times (there and back x2) alone, although that was in my automatic car. So I don't really need advice on how to manage a long drive (unless you have some specific information relating to driving standard for long drives).

I just went for a spin around my block, I'm getting the hang of just shifting from 1st-2nd-3rd and doing reverse. Pretty much never went faster than 40 kph. I gotta get used to the whole using the left foot thing. I also want to get more comfortable before I drive in traffic.

Main things I seem to be screwing up are being unsure of if I'm actually IN the gear, and giving it too much gas. I don't feel like I am pushing down too much but the evidence of over revving speaks for itself. I stalled it once - taking foot off the clutch when stopped appears to be a bad idea.

I'm thinking that for the most part it wont be too hard since it'll be long hours on the highway - staying in 5th gear and not shifting or otherwise touching the clutch.

So yeah anyone have some good advice for me?

Al_wat on
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Posts

  • DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Practise practise.

    One of the best things to do is to practise starting up without using the accelerator. put the car in first and ease the clutch off until you find its break point. The car should start to move, then you use the accelerator.

    As for being unsure if you're in the gear, I'm not sure what you mean. If you're not in gear the car will just rev and not do anything.

    Tube-san wrote:
    I apologise for my rudeness desu.
  • Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I think its just a sticky clutch... or shifter. Thats what my sister was saying.

  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    The hardest part of driving standard for beginners is having to stop while going uphill. You're going to roll back quite a bit until you get the hang of it. One thing you could do is give it a tiny bit of gas as you are letting off the clutch so that it won't stall as easily. Not too much, but just enough.

    daniant wrote:
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  • Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    yeah my driveway is on a slight hill, my sister was having me practice just seeing what it feels like having it roll backward like that and then giving it gas to move forwards.

    definitely needs more practice

  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Austin, TXRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Really what you should be doing while stopped on an incline is using the gas and clutch to give just enough acceleration so you aren't moving. That way when the light changes or whatever, you can continue on without rolling back. It takes practice, though, but eventually it's second nature.

    But once you get actually moving, driving in 5th gear isn't much different than driving in 1st. If it's just a long straight road, once you're in 5th it'll be just like an automatic.

    Also, when turning, it depends on the car, but you'll want to shift to 2nd or 3rd going into the turn. In the car I learned on, you could know what gear you should be in by the mph (will probably be different for you), ie 20ish was 2nd, 30ish was 3rd.

    camo_sig2.png
  • FatsFats Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Really what you should be doing while stopped on an incline is using the gas and clutch to give just enough acceleration so you aren't moving. That way when the light changes or whatever, you can continue on without rolling back. It takes practice, though, but eventually it's second nature.

    Unless you're on a motorbike or something else with a wet clutch, don't do this.

  • RuckusRuckus Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Really what you should be doing while stopped on an incline is using the gas and clutch to give just enough acceleration so you aren't moving. That way when the light changes or whatever, you can continue on without rolling back. It takes practice, though, but eventually it's second nature.

    But once you get actually moving, driving in 5th gear isn't much different than driving in 1st. If it's just a long straight road, once you're in 5th it'll be just like an automatic.

    Also, when turning, it depends on the car, but you'll want to shift to 2nd or 3rd going into the turn. In the car I learned on, you could know what gear you should be in by the mph (will probably be different for you), ie 20ish was 2nd, 30ish was 3rd.

    You shouldn't maintain position by floating the clutch like that though, it's just a good way to learn how the clutch feels. In real life, you want to maintain position using the foot brake (or even the parking brake if it's a hand type), and only use the clutch once you want to start moving.

    Raneados wrote: »
    so what SPECIFICALLY is the problem with my hole?
  • Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Northern Ontario is gonna be the worst part. up down up down around up down around, dealing with 90kph speed limits and big transport trucks.

    Once I hit the praries it'll be nice and easy... big highways, 110 kph speed limit... multiple lanes...

  • Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Ruckus wrote: »
    Really what you should be doing while stopped on an incline is using the gas and clutch to give just enough acceleration so you aren't moving. That way when the light changes or whatever, you can continue on without rolling back. It takes practice, though, but eventually it's second nature.

    But once you get actually moving, driving in 5th gear isn't much different than driving in 1st. If it's just a long straight road, once you're in 5th it'll be just like an automatic.

    Also, when turning, it depends on the car, but you'll want to shift to 2nd or 3rd going into the turn. In the car I learned on, you could know what gear you should be in by the mph (will probably be different for you), ie 20ish was 2nd, 30ish was 3rd.

    You shouldn't maintain position by floating the clutch like that though, it's just a good way to learn how the clutch feels. In real life, you want to maintain position using the foot brake (or even the parking brake if it's a hand type), and only use the clutch once you want to start moving.

    I think this is what I'm going to do. I don't need to be trying any fancy footwork and fuck things up in the middle of nowhere.

  • ReaperSMSReaperSMS Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    The solution for inclines if you're not really snappy on getting in gear is to use the parking brake to hold the car in place while you engage. Obviously that only really works with a handbrake, and that will take practice to coordinate all four limbs properly.

  • Nova_CNova_C Sniff Sniff Snorf Beyond The WallRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Fats wrote: »
    Really what you should be doing while stopped on an incline is using the gas and clutch to give just enough acceleration so you aren't moving. That way when the light changes or whatever, you can continue on without rolling back. It takes practice, though, but eventually it's second nature.

    Unless you're on a motorbike or something else with a wet clutch, don't do this.

    Yeah, it'll burn out your clutch.

    Last year I started driving manual for the first time. Really, it comes with practice. If you aren't constantly stalling, you're already well on your way. I still occasionally stalled even after a month of driving. Now I've been at it for a year, I don't think I've stalled in six or eight months. Just comes with time.

  • ShadowfireShadowfire Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Fats wrote: »
    Really what you should be doing while stopped on an incline is using the gas and clutch to give just enough acceleration so you aren't moving. That way when the light changes or whatever, you can continue on without rolling back. It takes practice, though, but eventually it's second nature.

    Unless you're on a motorbike or something else with a wet clutch, don't do this.

    Yea, this is guaranteed to destroy your clutch over time. Just practice listening to the engine so as you slowly let off the clutch, you know when to move your foot from the brake.

    steam_sig.png
    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    ReaperSMS wrote: »
    The solution for inclines if you're not really snappy on getting in gear is to use the parking brake to hold the car in place while you engage. Obviously that only really works with a handbrake, and that will take practice to coordinate all four limbs properly.

    This sounds way more difficult to pull off than simply learning how to start properly on an incline.

    daniant wrote:
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  • DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Really what you should be doing while stopped on an incline is using the gas and clutch to give just enough acceleration so you aren't moving. That way when the light changes or whatever, you can continue on without rolling back. It takes practice, though, but eventually it's second nature.

    Your clutches must hate you.

    Tube-san wrote:
    I apologise for my rudeness desu.
  • DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Figgy wrote: »
    ReaperSMS wrote: »
    The solution for inclines if you're not really snappy on getting in gear is to use the parking brake to hold the car in place while you engage. Obviously that only really works with a handbrake, and that will take practice to coordinate all four limbs properly.

    This sounds way more difficult to pull off than simply learning how to start properly on an incline.

    It really isn't.

    I was under the impression that handbrake starts were the standard approach for starting off from an incline.

    When did this change?

    Tube-san wrote:
    I apologise for my rudeness desu.
  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Austin, TXRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Well, I had the same clutch for 10 years, so....

    camo_sig2.png
  • garroad_rangarroad_ran Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Dhalphir wrote: »
    Figgy wrote: »
    ReaperSMS wrote: »
    The solution for inclines if you're not really snappy on getting in gear is to use the parking brake to hold the car in place while you engage. Obviously that only really works with a handbrake, and that will take practice to coordinate all four limbs properly.

    This sounds way more difficult to pull off than simply learning how to start properly on an incline.

    It really isn't.

    I was under the impression that handbrake starts were the standard approach for starting off from an incline.

    When did this change?

    Yeah seriously, this is the easiest thing. With the handbrake on, release the clutch and accelerate until you feel the engine catch, then you put down your handbrake, and you're off without rolling backwards into anyone.

  • PelPel Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Dhalphir wrote: »
    It really isn't.

    I was under the impression that handbrake starts were the standard approach for starting off from an incline.

    When did this change?
    I've only used the handbrake method once that I can think of, when I was on a fairly steep incline on a gravel road with a cop behind me, in a RWD car. I didn't want to spray him with gravel, I really didn't want to roll into him, and policemen seem to have an annoying habit of really crawling up on your bumper. Other than extreme cases like this, I don't see a need for it. Just ease off the clutch until she starts to bog down, then quickly from the brake to gas. No problems!

    Although, I think you guys are overstating the damage to the clutch from slipping it too much. It's not exactly the gentlest thing you can do, but its a pretty rare occasion that it's needed, unless you drive in Nepal or Switzerland or somewhere.

  • DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Dhalphir wrote: »
    Figgy wrote: »
    ReaperSMS wrote: »
    The solution for inclines if you're not really snappy on getting in gear is to use the parking brake to hold the car in place while you engage. Obviously that only really works with a handbrake, and that will take practice to coordinate all four limbs properly.

    This sounds way more difficult to pull off than simply learning how to start properly on an incline.

    It really isn't.

    I was under the impression that handbrake starts were the standard approach for starting off from an incline.

    When did this change?

    Yeah seriously, this is the easiest thing. With the handbrake on, release the clutch and accelerate until you feel the engine catch, then you put down your handbrake, and you're off without rolling backwards into anyone.

    Hell, I usually don't even keep the handbrake on when I'm on the hill. I just use the foot brake, then when its time to move, pull the handbrake on, engage the engine till its pushing against the handbrake (not hard, just once I feel it move) and then release the handbrake.

    Handbrake starts are

    1) easier to do
    2) easier on the car
    3) safer
    4) the correct way to do it if you're learning to drive.

    Tube-san wrote:
    I apologise for my rudeness desu.
  • FiziksFiziks Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Pretty much the most important thing you need to learn is to be able to feel the point where the clutch begins to engage the transmission.

    Also the great thing about driving stick is that you can use the cars transmission to slow the car down instead of braking.

    Cheers on wanting to learn stick though, it's really something everyone should learn.

    Cvcwu.jpg
  • DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Fiziks wrote: »
    Pretty much the most important thing you need to learn is to be able to feel the point where the clutch begins to engage the transmission.

    Also the great thing about driving stick is that you can use the cars transmission to slow the car down instead of braking.

    Cheers on wanting to learn stick though, it's really something everyone should learn.

    this is a really good idea with one caveat

    Make sure you goddamn rev-match if you're going to downshift to slow the car.

    If you just whack it into a lower car, and let the clutch engage itself at the appropriate rev point, you're going to destroy your clutch as well as it not being particularly comfortable for you or your passengers. Learn to match the revs before downshifting or you might as well not do it.

    So many of my friends downshift to slow down because they think they are awesome pro drivers and I wince with sympathy for their clutch anytime I'm in a car with them.

    Tube-san wrote:
    I apologise for my rudeness desu.
  • Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I'm with Pel. I've been driving stick for 15 years now and have never done this handbrake start. Once you learn how to drive a stick, you can go from stopped to moving very quickly and fluidly and there's no need to do anything special, even on a steep hill. This does sound like a good technique when you're first learning and have the bad luck to have to come to a stop on a steep hill, though.

    import com.seriouscompany.business.java.fizzbuzz.packagenamingpackage.interfaces.stringreturners.StringStringReturner;
  • DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    You don't often need to do it, but for times when you do its just better for your car to do it than go "hurrrrrf durrrf I don't need no newbie hand brake start, I'm a driving man"

    Tube-san wrote:
    I apologise for my rudeness desu.
  • FatsFats Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Jimmy King wrote: »
    I'm with Pel. I've been driving stick for 15 years now and have never done this handbrake start. Once you learn how to drive a stick, you can go from stopped to moving very quickly and fluidly and there's no need to do anything special, even on a steep hill. This does sound like a good technique when you're first learning and have the bad luck to have to come to a stop on a steep hill, though.

    I've never owned anything with an actual handbrake, just floor-mounted emergency brakes, so I've never done it either. I can think of times where it would have been handy, though.
    Although, I think you guys are overstating the damage to the clutch from slipping it too much. It's not exactly the gentlest thing you can do, but its a pretty rare occasion that it's needed, unless you drive in Nepal or Switzerland or somewhere.

    Of course, we're all going to abuse our clutches once in a while. Wear is wear, though, and you might as well avoid it if you can.

  • DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I didn't even know they made cars without e-brakes/handbrakes.

    Tube-san wrote:
    I apologise for my rudeness desu.
  • Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Dhalphir wrote: »
    I didn't even know they made cars without e-brakes/handbrakes.
    A lot of cars here in the states have the e-brake as a pedal on the floor. You release it with a release under the dashboard (usually) similar to a hood release. This handbrake start/stop thing would be a pain in the ass with that style of e-brake.

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  • PelPel Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    As far as the mechanicals of the vehicle is concerned, working the clutch against gravity is the same as working the clutch against the handbrake. If your timing is right, the start is completely normal either way, but the handbrake requires an extra hand and an extra action. Not a big deal at all, if you like doing it that way, and I'm certainly not trying to say that real men do it "my way, rawr!", but I've never seen it advertised as standard operating or even learning procedure.

    Second, I think again you're overstating the issue of wear on the clutch in several ways. The clutch plate is a pretty durable little device: If you drive responsibly then odds are good your throw-out bearing or pressure plate will need replaced just as soon as your clutch plate: If you are a speed demon, then hard acceleration under half clutch or dead clutch drops will overshadow clutch wear on normal, even uphill starts by several orders of magnitude. That doesn't mean excessive, intentional slippage isn't a bad thing, just that in most cases, even rocking the car a bit on an uphill start, it's pretty normal wear. Same with conservative downshifting.

    That brings us of course to a piece of actual "advice". If you must accelerate hard, release the clutch, THEN slam the gas whenever possible. Slipping the clutch under hard acceleration, or worse, revving up and dropping the clutch... they will shred a brand new clutch plate like nothing, and I've shredded my share of clutch plates, with full awareness and foreknowledge of the damage I was inflicting (fortunately the things are cheap if you do your own work!).
    Fats wrote: »
    Of course, we're all going to abuse our clutches once in a while. Wear is wear, though, and you might as well avoid it if you can.

    Certainly, but your clutch won't exactly hate you because of it, as some people were saying. Hard acceleration is the thing that will make your clutch hate you. And maybe, the Hitchhikeresque scenario wherin Arthur Dent is cruising along quite nicely and accidentally downshifts from fourth to first while attempting to pass.

    Edit: I'm not at all advocating that anyone actually get into the habit of holding the car on a grade, with the clutch, as the one fellow does. I'm just saying that it's not really that bad of a habit, and we probably all have habits just as bad for our vehicles in some way or other.

  • RuckusRuckus Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Pel wrote: »
    As far as the mechanicals of the vehicle is concerned, working the clutch against gravity is the same as working the clutch against the handbrake. If your timing is right, the start is completely normal either way, but the handbrake requires an extra hand and an extra action. Not a big deal at all, if you like doing it that way, and I'm certainly not trying to say that real men do it "my way, rawr!", but I've never seen it advertised as standard operating or even learning procedure.

    Second, I think again you're overstating the issue of wear on the clutch in several ways. The clutch plate is a pretty durable little device: If you drive responsibly then odds are good your throw-out bearing or pressure plate will need replaced just as soon as your clutch plate: If you are a speed demon, then hard acceleration under half clutch or dead clutch drops will overshadow clutch wear on normal, even uphill starts by several orders of magnitude. That doesn't mean excessive, intentional slippage isn't a bad thing, just that in most cases, even rocking the car a bit on an uphill start, it's pretty normal wear. Same with conservative downshifting.

    That brings us of course to a piece of actual "advice". If you must accelerate hard, release the clutch, THEN slam the gas whenever possible. Slipping the clutch under hard acceleration, or worse, revving up and dropping the clutch... they will shred a brand new clutch plate like nothing, and I've shredded my share of clutch plates, with full awareness and foreknowledge of the damage I was inflicting (fortunately the things are cheap if you do your own work!).
    Fats wrote: »
    Of course, we're all going to abuse our clutches once in a while. Wear is wear, though, and you might as well avoid it if you can.

    Certainly, but your clutch won't exactly hate you because of it, as some people were saying. Hard acceleration is the thing that will make your clutch hate you. And maybe, the Hitchhikeresque scenario wherin Arthur Dent is cruising along quite nicely and accidentally downshifts from fourth to first while attempting to pass.

    Edit: I'm not at all advocating that anyone actually get into the habit of holding the car on a grade, with the clutch, as the one fellow does. I'm just saying that it's not really that bad of a habit, and we probably all have habits just as bad for our vehicles in some way or other.

    Man with modern synchros it'd be pretty damn hard to accidentally downshift to first from fourth. I can barely go from 4L to 3H on some of the trucks I drive.

    Raneados wrote: »
    so what SPECIFICALLY is the problem with my hole?
  • PelPel Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Ruckus wrote: »
    Man with modern synchros it'd be pretty damn hard to accidentally downshift to first from fourth. I can barely go from 4L to 3H on some of the trucks I drive.
    Heh, it's true, but that excerpt is what occurred to me when we started talking about manual transmission abuse. I'm pretty sure you'd have to really whale on the thing to get it to stick. Fifth to second might be possible, but apparently when the Guide was written, 5-speeds weren't popular yet in England.

  • SiskaSiska Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    You accelerate faster on lower gears. So if you're for instance merging onto a highway, don't switch to 5th too soon, or you will feel like you are driving through a river... up stream.

    Izuela.png
  • Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    ok.

    I don't understand most of what has been said so far in this thread. I'll try to work on that.

    As far as the "starting from uphill positions" goes, I could just deal with whatever is the most regular and accepted way of doing things. The car itself does have a handbreak, not a footbreak, if that helps in your determinations.

    Also i think in terms of how I understand it; there needs to be a differentiation between

    a) "starting from uphill", as in; the car is parked uphill, turned off, and then turned on from this position

    and

    b) stopped at a light or stop sign in an uphill position, car is running the whole time


    Using a handbreak if the car is running the whole time seems strange to me. This might be due to my naivete of only being experienced with automatic cars. Please educate me based on this.


    edit: also basic info like the post above mine is appreciated :)

  • DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Either of those two starts is functionally the same thing in a manual.

    In an automatic, you take the foot of the brake, the car idles forwards. Or, on a hill, unless its a super powerful car, it might hold still. On a manual, if you have the clutch in, it will roll backwards as if it was in neutral. If you have the clutch out, but no accelerator applied, you'll stall and roll backwards. If you use appropriate gas, you'll be fine.

    Handbrake starts are easier. You don't run the risk of rolling backwards if you mis-time the clutch and stall it, you don't run the risk of gunning it too far and spinning your wheels. You just have the handbrake on, engage the clutch until you feel the car pull forward against the handbrake a little, then you disengage the handbrake and smoothly apply power. If you stall, you'll just hold still as the handbrake is on.

    Tube-san wrote:
    I apologise for my rudeness desu.
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2010
    It kind of freaks me out that you don't need additional training or a separate licence class to drive a manual car in the US D:

    but yeah, the handbrake hill-start is a standard part of the driving test in most places, and you should be capable of doing it where necessary (pass criteria = not stalling, not over-revving, not rolling back more than half a metre). There's no reason not to learn; it'll give you more control and confidence since its a tricky thing to get used to.

    Now that I've been driving for a while though, I only use it in the wet or on the steeper hills where its not possible to move your foot from the brake to the clutch fast enough to avoid the car rolling back significantly.

    While I'm at it, the car's manual should have a table listing the appropriate speeds for shifting between gears. That can help until you get used to changing based on feel/noise.

    tmsig.jpg
  • DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    it almost seems like I don't need a separate class here.

    When I was younger, I had my licence cancelled due to a silly burnout I did in a carpark late at night, the police just happened to be around the corner doing some surveillance. I had a manual license at the time.

    The licence specifically was cancelled. 3 months later when I was allowed to drive again, I had to go back and get my licence again. I got an automatic licence, because I had no manual car to drive in for the test. A year later, I had forgotten all about the fact that I had an automatic licence and I bought a manual car. Been driving that for three years now, been pulled over multiple times for breath tests, licence checks, etc, and never been mentioned that I'm driving manual with an auto licence. Perhaps the fact that I once held a manual licence is evidence enough?

    I don't know.

    This isn't really relevant though, a handbrake start is definitely something you want to be doing especially if you're new to manuals as its much more forgiving of mistakes.

    Tube-san wrote:
    I apologise for my rudeness desu.
  • winderwinder Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    As a quick bit of advice, I recently bought a Mazda 3, it is a very nice car but let me tell you that in my experience due to its "sporty" nature I found that it has a much smaller margin for error than say my stepdads corolla.

    What I mean is that the friction point, (where the clutch goes from off to on if you know what I mean, I'm no mechanic!) seems much smaller, so you have to be a bit more careful. Also, I find that it is really easy to over rev it when starting, I think you said you have problems with that too? I wouldn't worry too much, I still do it occasionally and I have driven for 3 years, and this car for about 4 months, (maybe I just suck though).

    Good luck on the trip, I know when I was learning I drove to and from Adelaide, (around 730km) with my mum taking turns and it was a really good way to learn because you get to practise freeway driving and driving through the small towns on the way.

  • W2W2 Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I learned and drove for six years in an automatic car. I only drove a manual transmission for the first time earlier this year when my girlfriend went interstate and left me her car for a week. I found it really quite easy to learn, I had my dad show me the ropes and then I was fine.

    Just practice, practice, practice and you'll get a feel for it pretty quickly. You already know how to drive, you know how traffic flows and what the road rules are and how to spot hazards and stuff like that, so that's all taken care of. I imagine learning to drive, from the beginning, in a manual car would be a bit more daunting.

    I think the main thing you should keep in mind is that you should have fun. Driving is (hopefully) already a fun activity for you, a manual gearbox adds a cool extra layer of control and makes the whole experience way more fun. At least, in my opinion.


    As an aside, for the Australians: in Victoria, my probationary license was for an automatic, but now I'm all grown up and on my full license it just says CAR. Is it different in Queensland or W.A. ?

  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2010
    Yeah, there's 2 classes here. If you pass the manual test you can drive auto, but not the other way around. You don't have to have paid lessons if you want tp learn manual down the track, but honestly its pretty sensible to have one or two before the test, and you really shouldn't try to teach yourself.

    It was kind of scary learning to drive manual straight up, but then again I've got nothing to compare it to. You shouldn't have to worry about changing gears during most other maneuvers, though. Doing that while changing lanes or whatever would just be silly.

    tmsig.jpg
  • DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    W2 wrote: »
    I learned and drove for six years in an automatic car. I only drove a manual transmission for the first time earlier this year when my girlfriend went interstate and left me her car for a week. I found it really quite easy to learn, I had my dad show me the ropes and then I was fine.

    Just practice, practice, practice and you'll get a feel for it pretty quickly. You already know how to drive, you know how traffic flows and what the road rules are and how to spot hazards and stuff like that, so that's all taken care of. I imagine learning to drive, from the beginning, in a manual car would be a bit more daunting.

    I think the main thing you should keep in mind is that you should have fun. Driving is (hopefully) already a fun activity for you, a manual gearbox adds a cool extra layer of control and makes the whole experience way more fun. At least, in my opinion.


    As an aside, for the Australians: in Victoria, my probationary license was for an automatic, but now I'm all grown up and on my full license it just says CAR. Is it different in Queensland or W.A. ?

    My licence itself just says "C Class"

    If it is separated into Auto and Manual, its a piece of information that only appears on the government databases and not on my licence itself.

    Tube-san wrote:
    I apologise for my rudeness desu.
  • TejsTejs Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    One useful piece of advice I like to give is to go to "howstuffworks.com" and look up how a manual transmission works. If you can explain how it works, even at a basic overview level, you're well on your way to understanding what you need to do in specific situations.

    For hill starts, it's going to be practice, practice, practice. I'd give the car in front of you a few seconds to go so you have a nice buffer zone in front of you. The people behind you may be a little annoyed, but they can stuff it. Then, you can potentially over rev but start and not immediately hit the guy in front of you, and with revving a little too much, you don't worry about stalling as much and hitting the guy behind you. Then it's a matter of finding your way down to the right rev when starting.

    90% of the initial difficulty in learning manual is starting first gear. You can be going ridiculously slow in any of the higher gears and pretty much not stall out (although your cars responsiveness will be trash). Find a parking lot and practice just getting it into first gear a bunch.

    A Mazda 3 should have synchros, so you won't have to worry about downshifting from 5th to 2nd and torching your engine / transmission. However, I'd avoid trying to learn aggressive downshifting until you are comfortable with your footwork. In time, it all becomes second nature, but it's going to take some serious concious thought for now.

    And remember, if all else fails, just jam both the clutch and the brake in an emergency.

  • SideAffectsSideAffects Registered User
    edited May 2010
    I kind of skimmed the thread, so I hope what I post here hasn't already been beaten to death:

    When you are accelerating, the RPMs are going to increase. You want to find the *normal* area that you would switch to a higher gear. When you are experienced at driving the car, you can usually just tell this by sound. The idea is that you don't want to be driving your RPM needle "into the red" (or what people like to call red-lining, accelerating to the max rpm of the engine) before you switch gears. I'm pretty sure most car manuals have the ideal shifting area in them, but if not, the car's legit owner can probably tell you.

    By the same token, when you are downshifting, you don't want to downshift when the car is already at high rpm. When you go from 5th gear cruising to 2nd gear (which is fairly easy to do since they are right next to each other) your engine RPM is going to go through the roof...literally. The massive change in RPM that your engine has to make in order to hold a high cruising speed in second gear is going to blow your engine. However, I think that the Mazda 3 should have what they call synchro's, which will protect your engine from that happening.

    Clutch plates are very durable. You will usually need to "slip the clutch" to get the car moving. This means that you will be simultaneously letting off the clutch with one foot while accelerating with the other. You are just gently engaging the clutch so the car will move. Think of what would happen if you were to have the accelerator screaming while the clutch is not engaged, and then suddenly you "dump the clutch" (just let off the pedal so it slams into contact with the rest of the transmission). We aren't talking about putting a record needle onto a spinning record on a hi-fi...we are talking about having a very durable and rough spinning plate spinning at 9000 RPM being slammed onto another plate that is at a standstill. It's not good for the car, the clutch, or the driver's pride.

    The only reason I explained this is because, while you are fine letting off the clutch and accelerating simultaneously as you shift around past first gear, do not "ride the clutch". A lot of people think that "riding the clutch" means accelerating and using the clutch at the same time. As PEL said, clutches can last a very long time even if you do that. You need to avoid two things...letting the clutch out slowly over hard acceleration will feel "okay" but is actually ruining the clutch, and dumping the clutch (which wont feel good AND is bad for the clutch). "Riding the clutch" is also like when you see an old person driving around with their brake lights on ALL THE TIME. They can't get their stupid foot off the brakes. As you can imagine, accelerating while braking is bad for your car...the same is true when you are driving around everywhere with your clutch 90% engaged. The easiest way to avoid this is to get your left foot away from the pedal once it's engaged (usually cars have a nice little resting spot next to the clutch pedal just for that).

    I hope this isn't too big of a wall of text.

    P.S. Reverse is different for a lot of cars. In VW's you usally have to push DOWN the shifter, then swing it past 1st gear to the left, and up into reverse. In my Honda it's where 6th gear would be. Just be cognizant of where it will be in the cars that you end up driving in the future.

    P.P.S. Always park with the ebrake pulled, and in a gear when you are on a hill. It's just a good habit to have so your car doesn't roll away.

    P.P.P.S. You can PM me if you have any questions. After a month of this you are going to LOVE driving manual.

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