Help with driving a MANUAL CAR - FMVperformance.com : The site for all your Ford Mazda and Volvo needs
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-28-2009, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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Help with driving a MANUAL CAR

Hey there,

I'm very new to driving manual, been driving auto for a long time.

I just picked up a mazda 3 manual (not the latest model), and want to learn as much possible to preserve the gearbox, clutch, etc etc.

I'm still trying to get use to taking off from the start. This is how I do it, AND PLEASE CORRECT ME IF I AM WRONG, THANKS!


1) At the traffic lights, on 1st gear, I slowly let the clutch come up half way so it creeps (but stepping and holding onto the breaks), then when the lights go green I let go of the breaks and step a bit of gas then the car rolls.
Is this bad?

2) When i'm on the highway doing around 100km/hr and I exit, taking me to a gradual deceleration and round-about, and if I am on 5th gear. Do I stay on 5th gear, go around the round-about, and then change to like 4th gear and speed up?
Because I find staying on higher gears when accelerating at low speeds are slow.

3) if I want to overtake a truck on a road, and i got myself on 5th gear, what's the best method to do so

4) please teach me how to effectively stop and pick up speed while going up a hill!

And sorry for making this sound idiotic.

Thanks!!
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-28-2009, 07:37 PM
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Re: Help with driving a MANUAL CAR

The best way to learn is by experience and practice. I taught myself how to drive manual, it's the best way imho.

1) If it works for you, keep doing it. You will learn how much of what you need and when soon enough.
2) Downshift when you get down to a speed that warrants it. Don't want to bog down when you hit the gas.
3) Press the gas pedal down more.
4) Practice. You'll learn fast from trial and error.

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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-28-2009, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Help with driving a MANUAL CAR

thanks for the reply.

I still want to correct my mistakes early and not turn it into a habit.
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-28-2009, 07:49 PM
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Re: Help with driving a MANUAL CAR

Using the brakes to get going in 1st is something I would try to stop doing.

The other things aren't as crucial as that, imo. Those are just playing around with downshifting and keeping track of what mph each gear goes to so you know which one you can dip down to depending on the amount of acceleration you need.

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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-28-2009, 08:37 PM
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Re: Help with driving a MANUAL CAR

3) Depending on how fast you're going and how fast the truck is going, you can either give it gas in 5th gear like domoMKIV said, or downshift one or two (or three) gears. Downshifting one gear as you normally do is fine, but if you want to do a 5-3 or 5-2 downshift, then you probably want to double clutch/rev match so you don't wear the synchros. But that comes later...fundamentals obviously come first.

4) Downshift as you slow down. Or if your lazy like me, pop it into neutral and coast (not really recommended though, for safety reasons). To get going from a hill, you can either use the e-brake method, simply grab the clutch real quick and give it gas, or heel-toe shift. Remember that in reality, you probably roll backwards less than a foot when starting uphill, so don't be too worried if you do.

Here's a great article on heel-toe shifting and double clutching/rev matching. I had to read it a few times myself to fully understand it.

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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-28-2009, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Help with driving a MANUAL CAR

thanks guys. I read somewhere that what I'm doing for step 1 is wrong, and will burn the clutch
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-28-2009, 09:15 PM
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Re: Help with driving a MANUAL CAR

i taught myself in 1 night, any monkey can shift from 2345 just go on a dead street at night and start from 1st and give it a try if u stall ask ur self why and fix it... if the car jolts forward, to much gas mby u dropped the clutch. once u get it moving stop the car and do it all over again, took me about a few hours to get it perfect than i spent the rest of the nights on hills and wasting gas

just member the main thing as u make sure ur letting off the clutch and pushing down on the gas EVENLY the smoother and more even u do it the nicer the shift.

N make be sure to play with ur seat i have to sit faar back cuz of how the clutch is on this car ( it engages almost at the very top so i kept dropping the clutch near the top ) depending if u have long or short legs ull need to adjust accordingly (always make sure u can push the clutch down as far as it will go)


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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-28-2009, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Help with driving a MANUAL CAR

thanks blankets3, nice info.

Is my method of taking off from the traffic lights a bad method?
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-28-2009, 09:30 PM
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Re: Help with driving a MANUAL CAR

I am just learning as well. There are a couple good videos on youtube

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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-28-2009, 11:12 PM
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Re: Help with driving a MANUAL CAR

[quote author=WingZero_ link=topic=143469.msg3090980#msg3090980 date=1240965057]
I am just learning as well. There are a couple good videos on youtube
[/quote]

Lol youtube videos....


better to start on dead streets at night, this way theres no traffic and no pressure and u can take aas long as u want to go.

as soon as u get going stop again and do it again and again and again ull start to feel it where the clutch engages and beable to be smooth

(tip: dont stop giving gas ull feel like the clutch is good and let off the gas, get out of that "automatic habit" the car will no jet off its only just engadged, rememeber that the clutch is the main conrtole of how fast or slow u take off by how fast or slow u let off it!)


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