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Old 04-15-2004, 01:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I learned to drive a stick shift more than 10 years ago when I got my first car after graduation. My dealer provided the lesson, and the driving habits I picked up then have remained. After several years of driving automatics I have a stick shift again. Here are the procedures I was taught:

1. When braking, push the clutch. Do you always do this? In rush hour slow-and-go as well as stop-and-go traffic, this can tire out the calf muscles in the left leg.

2. For emergency braking, just hit the brakes, but before the car comes to a stop, push the clutch. Will the engine stall otherwise?

3. When letting the car coast towards a stop sign or red light, it doesn't matter whether you engage the clutch or leave it out as long as you engage the clutch before the car comes to a stop. Again, will it stall otherwise?

4. On downslopes, keep downshifting as necessary to avoid excess wear and overheating of the brakes.

5. When stopped on an incline and about to get moving, use the handbrake to prevent sliding down while you release your right foot from the brake.

Do you drive differently?
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Old 04-15-2004, 02:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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are you asking questions or passing out info?
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Old 04-15-2004, 02:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Asking. See all those question marks?
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Old 04-15-2004, 11:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by ksz@Apr 15 2004, 01:33 AM
I learned to drive a stick shift more than 10 years ago when I got my first car after graduation. My dealer provided the lesson, and the driving habits I picked up then have remained. After several years of driving automatics I have a stick shift again. Here are the procedures I was taught:

1. When braking, push the clutch. Do you always do this? In rush hour slow-and-go as well as stop-and-go traffic, this can tire out the calf muscles in the left leg.

2. For emergency braking, just hit the brakes, but before the car comes to a stop, push the clutch. Will the engine stall otherwise?

3. When letting the car coast towards a stop sign or red light, it doesn't matter whether you engage the clutch or leave it out as long as you engage the clutch before the car comes to a stop. Again, will it stall otherwise?

4. On downslopes, keep downshifting as necessary to avoid excess wear and overheating of the brakes.

5. When stopped on an incline and about to get moving, use the handbrake to prevent sliding down while you release your right foot from the brake.

Do you drive differently?
1. When braking, push the clutch. Do you always do this? In rush hour slow-and-go as well as stop-and-go traffic, this can tire out the calf muscles in the left leg.

yes all the time if you come to a full stop, otherwise you will stall out the car. if you are only slowing then you do not need to engage the clutch unless you gear down. the car stalls only at a dead stop to like a almost near dead stop. sometimes i can get down to speeds below 5km/h and still not stall out, the reason being is that the engine will want to spin and will want to move forward, so if has slight momentum it will not stall but for obvious reasons if you are stopped the car will try to move forward but if you are stopped it will only stall.

2. For emergency braking, just hit the brakes, but before the car comes to a stop, push the clutch. Will the engine stall otherwise?

see answer above

3. When letting the car coast towards a stop sign or red light, it doesn't matter whether you engage the clutch or leave it out as long as you engage the clutch before the car comes to a stop. Again, will it stall otherwise?

see 1st answer again, but remember you have to feel the car, if you think its going to stall then engage the clutch

4. On downslopes, keep downshifting as necessary to avoid excess wear and overheating of the brakes.

its actually better to use your brakes than the transmission to slow you down, but we all do it. remember brakes are cheaper than a new tranny (not like its going to kill it but its a good practice to get into) also remember BMW brakes need to be used NOT babied.

5. When stopped on an incline and about to get moving, use the handbrake to prevent sliding down while you release your right foot from the brake.

no dont use your handbrake for any momentum processes, the only uses for handbrake are for parking. (or the occasional snow drift or if you need to straighten out the car in snow while driving)
this is going to come with practice, you need to learn how to catch the clutch and gas properly so you can go without stalling or going too far backwards.


Do you drive differently?

yes




it seems like your a bit unsure of your driving abilities, if i were you id take some self practice lessons in a parking lot and/or a road with a nice hill on it. driving stick is quite easy once you learn the car.
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Old 04-15-2004, 04:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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you dont need to use a handbreak for parking either unless you are on a steep hill. all you do is leave the car in first.
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Old 04-15-2004, 05:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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yah but leaving it engaged can damage your gearing if someone hits your car while its engaged.
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Old 04-15-2004, 05:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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i agree
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Old 04-15-2004, 07:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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keep it in gear adn parkign brake for parking

steep hills, well you just got to learn not to roll back. i did at the cost of my friends clutch on his 240sx
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Old 04-15-2004, 08:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Furious@Apr 15 2004, 11:58 AM
it seems like your a bit unsure of your driving abilities, if i were you id take some self practice lessons in a parking lot and/or a road with a nice hill on it. driving stick is quite easy once you learn the car.
Appreciate the feedback. I am asking these questions mainly to avoid fatiguing the calf muscles in the left leg during rush hour or congested traffic. I am overseas right now finishing up a business trip; before I left I had just enough time to get the car and park it in my garage. So while it is safely parked, I want to make sure my old driving habits are valid. (Haven't driven a stick shift in 5 years, but drove a stick for 7 years prior to that.)

According to the owner's manual, which I brought along with me (nice way to pass the time in those 13-hour flights, eh?), BMW recommends using the handbrake when starting from 0 on an incline. They specifically caution against use of the clutch to hold the car. Unfortunately, the owner's manual does not provide other suggestions or recommendations.
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Old 04-16-2004, 12:17 AM   #10 (permalink)
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yeah i know.... upon talking to people in the know, i was told that people who use the handbrake are people who cant drive stick properly or may not be co-ordinated enough to do so.... (and no offence to anybody).
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Old 04-16-2004, 07:30 AM   #11 (permalink)
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my only difference is that i never hold the clutch in for very long, cuz there usually isn't a point. I keep it in neutral until its time to be in gear again, so no need to keep the clutch pushed in.

like, when you are going fast and have to stop at a red light ahead, just hit the brake until around 1k rpm, then push in the clutch, take the shifter out of gear, release the clutch, (while still hitting the brake) until you stop. while you are stopped, still stay in neutral w/your foot off the clutch until the light turns green and then put it back in gear.

just how i wast taught
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Old 05-22-2004, 09:00 AM   #12 (permalink)
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You SHOULD use the handbrake to hold it on a slope otherwise you'll have your foot on the brake the whole time... its not too nice for someone parked right behind you - those brake lights are BRIGHT and can get annoying. Secondly, why do you want to keep your foot shoved there the whole time?

Using the handbrake to keep from rolling back is fine... it keeps noobs from wearing out the clutch and some other idiots I've seen who keep their cars still on an incline by slipping the clutch - that overheats and wears out the clutch very quickly, which is why I am sure they say you should use the handbrake.
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Old 05-22-2004, 05:18 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by playboy@Apr 15 2004, 05:46 PM
yah but leaving it engaged can damage your gearing if someone hits your car while its engaged.
they have to worry more about damaged gearing if someone hits me
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Old 05-24-2004, 08:38 AM   #14 (permalink)
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If you are on an incline, you should use the handbrake to pull away. If you don't the car will roll back as soon as you release the brake. If you think you can hold the car (ie the car will only roll back slightly in the time it takes you to take your foot off the brake, hit the biting point and press the gas) then you can get away with not using the handbrake.

If the car is going to roll back substantially when you are taking off you should use the handbrake to hold the car, press the gas and raise the clutch until you hit the biting point (the car wants to move forward) and then release the hand brake. You will get used to where this point is when you get used to the car.

Everytime you stop, you should be in neutral with the handbrake on but in reality, it depends on what the situation requires. In heavy traffic, you can either use the clutch with or without the accelerator, if you are at low revs (which you should be) the clutch will not wear excessively - you have to accept the fact that a commute in heavy traffic will wear the clutch quicker than say on a motorway run.

The best way in traffic is to read the cars in front (as far ahead as you can see), don't accelerate hard and then brake hard, if the cars in front are moving slowly or going nowhere, stay slow, leave a gap, if they are braking, lift off and you will reach them slower so less need to brake/dip the cluch/change gear - you'll find yourself not needing to change as many things (gears, pedals etc).

It is recommended that you always use engine braking instead of coasting as its safer and more reliable but this does wear things out more (how much is arguable) it is also generally a quicker way to drive and the fastest way around a bend ( you can get the power down earlier and if you've changed down on the approach you are likely to be in the powerband when you hit the gas). Again this is the proper way but in reality it depends on what you feel comfortable with and what the situation requires. If you are on a steep descent you should always use engine braking otherwise you will cook the brakes - i've done it.

I take it you don't need to pass your test in a manual in the US then? In the UK you have two seperate tests, one for autos and one for manuals, if you pass the auo test, you can only drive an auto. Most people take the manual test as most people here drive manual cars (although more are switching to autos now).

A lot depends simply on your own driving style.
Hope this helps.
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Old 05-24-2004, 09:24 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Check out the site below to see how manuals work, maybe this will help you decide whats good and bad practice...

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/transmission.htm
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