Transitioning From Auto To Manual - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

 
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#1 (permalink) Old 12-13-2004, 03:24 PM
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I've driven automatic transmission since i got my license 2 years ago (Honda Accord 1993) which has been a REAL drag and a pain. I am now planning to purchase a 1998 bmw e36 328iS manual (2door, black on black, m contour wheels, hardtop, MANUAL.etc...my dream car baby ).
Anyways, I have never driven manual in my life and i am interested in any advice you guys may have for the best and most reliable way to learn to drive stick. Obviously i will not purchase my dream car until i know i will feel comfortable driving it so i really want to learn fast. I have a couple friends that have manual tranny cars (1 of them w/ a e46 m3,mmmmmmmm) so i am not a complete novice, but unfortunately they are pansies and arent willing to give me a few lessons.

I appreciate any insights you guys may offer.

-Max
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#2 (permalink) Old 12-13-2004, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mfarb@Dec 13 2004, 04:24 PM
I've driven automatic transmission since i got my license 2 years ago (Honda Accord 1993) which has been a REAL drag and a pain. I am now planning to purchase a 1998 bmw e36 328iS manual (2door, black on black, m contour wheels, hardtop, MANUAL.etc...my dream car baby ).
Anyways, I have never driven manual in my life and i am interested in any advice you guys may have for the best and most reliable way to learn to drive stick. Obviously i will not purchase my dream car until i know i will feel comfortable driving it so i really want to learn fast. I have a couple friends that have manual tranny cars (1 of them w/ a e46 m3,mmmmmmmm) so i am not a complete novice, but unfortunately they are pansies and arent willing to give me a few lessons.

I appreciate any insights you guys may offer.

-Max
[snapback]249208[/snapback]
Just buy it and learn on your car. It will come to you very fast. At first it would be wise to avoid stopping on hills and serious stop and go traffic but you will be surprised at how fast you call yourself an accomplished two foot driver. Enjoy
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#3 (permalink) Old 12-13-2004, 04:01 PM
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well i'm getting used to driving a stick on the road right now in my car, i learned how to drive a manual on a toyota when i was 13, it was fairly simple since all the pedals felt the same, but on a bmw as i found out, the gas peddle is firmer than on most cars, well most cars i've driven, so that was the biggest hurdle for me, but after i had some practice in a parking lot for a few minutes i was driving it perfectly no problem, so if this is your first time driving manual i would reccomend you don't worry about the gas until you've trained ur left foot to move the clutch smoothely, get a feel for where the clutch engages, find a nice open parking lot, once you can let out the clutch just enough so the car will crawl ever so slightly then you should start applying the gas while letting out the clutch, and also don't be nervous and don't give up if you can't do it at first, it's sounds a lot easier than it is, if you start to do the ole herky jerky, which means you let out the clutch without giving it enough gas and the car begins to jerk back and forth, just make sure the 1st thing push down the clutch, then put it into neutral, and relax and start over, once you get perfect in the parking lot then you should try some side streets, you got to get it to where you don't think about shifting gears you just do it, because when ur on the road you can't concentrate on shifting gears you have to concentrate on the road around you and following the law, well these are just some of the things that my dad taught me a when i was 13 it helped me so i hope it can help you too, i'm sure others on here will have some good tips for beginners

oooo one thing i forgot if your on a hill and your stopped and you don't want to roll back and hit the car behind you, you need to do what is called half clutching, where you let out the clutch about half way and it will stop the car from rolling back, also get ur foot work down pat, that will make ur ride a lot smoother, and also when slowing down it is a good idea to put it into neutral and then slow down, at least that is what i was taught, that puts less strain on the clutch, use the clutch as little as u can that will save ur clutch and you won't have to replace it as soon, also if you ever have to make a sudden stop push the brake and the clutch in at the same time, and if you slow down to mutch with out having the clutch down the car will stall, ok wow that was a lot more than one extra thing lol

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#4 (permalink) Old 12-13-2004, 05:17 PM
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To start moving, rev the car to around 5 thousand in first gear foot on the clutch, then just let go of the clutch and you are away
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#5 (permalink) Old 12-13-2004, 06:05 PM
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Steal a car and have fun playing with the gears on the highway... heh no j/k.

You can always rent a crappy car, have a buddy that does drive manual to drive it off the lot, and then teach you with the rental. As long as you don't drop the clutch a whole bunch or let the thing slip for a total of 5 minutes, they wont know you did it
I don't know if any rentacar places rent manual transmission cars anymore, but it's worth a shot if you wanna be carefree about tearing up a clutch or maybe a couple gear teeth


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#6 (permalink) Old 12-13-2004, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
To start moving, rev the car to around 5 thousand in first gear foot on the clutch, then just let go of the clutch and you are away
lol, trying to burn your tires?

heh, just take it easy, you will stall a few times, but don't be embarassed, just don't drive it on the freeway or heavy traffic until youve got it down

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Get sideways.
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#7 (permalink) Old 12-13-2004, 06:08 PM
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Originally posted by mmclaren@Dec 13 2004, 06:17 PM
To start moving, rev the car to around 5 thousand in first gear foot on the clutch, then just let go of the clutch and you are away
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uh, Don't do that.


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#8 (permalink) Old 12-14-2004, 03:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by mmclaren@Dec 13 2004, 05:17 PM
To start moving, rev the car to around 5 thousand in first gear foot on the clutch, then just let go of the clutch and you are away
[snapback]249371[/snapback]
hehe -- let us know how this works for you. Better yet, have a buddy of yours shoot some video of it.

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#9 (permalink) Old 12-14-2004, 03:41 AM
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My dad taught himself. He would get up in the middle of the morning -- say 4:00, 5:00 am -- and drive around for an hour or two. This really works. You get to drive in actual streets, slopes, etc. with reduced risk since there is practically no traffic that early in the morning. That's how I learned to drive (I had somebody teach me, though). It beats the hell out of driving around in a parking lot (if you don't mind sacrificing some sleep in order to be able to drive your dream car).

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#10 (permalink) Old 12-14-2004, 04:31 AM
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I taught myself working valet....probly not the best way to learn, but I found out real quick that BMW's are the easiest manuals to drive...

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#11 (permalink) Old 12-14-2004, 09:54 AM
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Just practice somewhere there is no traffic until you don't havce to think about it. If you live in a city, have a friend drive you to the country and practice there. Likewise find a small incline and practice starting without rolling back. Then move up to a steeper hill. What you don't want to do under any circumstance is be stopped on a hill with cars behind you until you have full confidence in your abilities. It just takes time.
Also, what seems to go unmentioned is that a lot of stop and go low speed driving is done with the clutch in. I'd never thought about it until teaching my son and he made a turn into our driveway and forgot to put in the clutch. We whacked the stone wall at the end of the driveway before he realized what was wrong. When your moving forward and then coming to a stop you engage to clutch to get going and then disengage it and roll forward until you have to stop. Same with making a slow turn etc where you will likely have to stop. Disengage the clutch way early and coast.
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#12 (permalink) Old 12-15-2004, 01:22 AM
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Get a shifter kart! Ok, I don't know if they have a clutch, but that would still be a blast.
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#13 (permalink) Old 12-15-2004, 02:05 AM
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i tried to learn stick on my dad's car back before i got my car. i never fully learned because it is notchy and having your dad yell at you because you are messing up his car is just not a good learning experience.

the day i got my car though of course i had to learn how to drive it, i spent one hour in it just driving around my neighborhood and by the end of that time i had it down enough to drive around town, carefully. I ended up driving for about 3 hours that day, two of which alone and around on busy intersections and stuff with no problem. I guess when there is a will there is a way. stick isn't that hard to get used to for getting around, and after a few weeks it seems like second nature.

good luck and welcome to the forum

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