Hello from Minnesota

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tankinbeans
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Hello from Minnesota

Postby tankinbeans » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:32 pm

Hello all -

I am 22 and recently bought my first manual, a 2011 Kia Forte LX, and I'm having a lot of fun driving it, but have the standard n00b issues to which I've been trying to find answers. Multiple Google searches led me here and I'm excited to learn from those more experienced than I, not necessarily of the racing set (I bought the car to save fuel - my "old" car was a hog and only got 16 or 17 mpg). I've been driving this car for about 2 months and so far have gotten myself down to only killing it once a day instead of once every 5 minutes (one time killing it 6 times within about 10 feet - being a bundle of nerves with people behind didn't help) and I'm very proud of myself for that. I'd like to think that I can shift fairly well, some jerking, but that'll go away with time I'm sure and I can get up there fairly quickly.

So here are the few questions that I have (I'd like to be able to get to the point where I can answer questions too, but that may take awhile):

My car is a 6 speed, I learned in my friend's Mustang GT, which only had 5 speeds. As such I am not sure when I should and should not be using my 6th gear. I can run it at 45 mph without lugging or bogging down and the engine's RPM is right around 1800 (can't get too exact due to the analog display). My dad says to save 6th for the freeway, but I'm not sure.

Also, is there a specific RPM to keep the car running in order to return the best mileage (this is the reason I bought it after all.)? I've read keep them around 2000 and you should be good, but I've also read to keep them at 2500, meaning 35 mph in 3rd, 45 in 4th, 55 in 5th, etc. The latter being due to some idea of "keeping the engine loaded". I confess I'm somewhat mechanically illiterate right now and am trying to learn from people so that I can be wiser in the future.

Finally, and I know this has been discussed ad nauseum, ad infinitum, ad ZOMGANOTHERPERSONISASKING, is rev-matching necessary, a help, or just something to know so you can brag to your friends? I ask because I'll read one site that says that it is essential if you like your car, another site that says if you are driving around town you can probably skip it and learn better clutch-control, and yet another site will say that in a car with synchros it is not necessary. I know that you all have been discussing this a lot, as evidenced from the prevalence of this website in Google whenever I type in rev-matching, but I'm still confused. The conflicting information has me wondering if I should have stuck with an automatic sometimes. I primarily downshift going into turns and tend to want to scrub off speed so that I don't go warp-speed into a pole and as such feel uncomfortable trying to rev-match (or heel-toe as is often brought up in the same discussions - I'm not comfortable trying that) and have tried rev-matching during a regular downshift and ground out fourth gear (which I can't imagine is too good for it either) and start to panic when I do it wrong. If I'm on the freeway and need to get going I will go 6 to 4, but usually, since I'm trying to move, I'm already "tromping" on the gas and don't experience engine braking there and am not uncomfortable with that part.

My friend tells me to feather the clutch on a downshift in the city to smooth it out, but then I read people saying that slipping your clutch is bad for it. On another site I'll see people saying don't worry about it so much because the clutch is meant to slip a little, that is how you avoid going warp-speed in reverse after all. Generally, in the city, I'll ride up to the light in the highest gear I attained and then pop it over into first once stopped to avoid needless clutch action. I have my hand at the ready in case the light changes and I have to drop it in a lower gear to accelerate, but I've gotten over the n00b move of moving sequentially backwards through the gears.

I think I'm over-thinking things a little and suffering from information overload. Please discuss, or tell the dumb kid (me) to get out of the AP class if you think I'm hopeless.

I apologize for the very long winded introduction. :oops:
17 Mazda6
03 Century
InlinePaul wrote:The driving force of new fangled features to sell more cars [is to] cater to the masses' abject laziness!

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theholycow
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Re: Hello from Minnesota

Postby theholycow » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:01 pm

Welcome!

Launching without stalling: Practice no-gas launching to train your left foot. Also practice revving to small increments in neutral to train your right foot.

6th gear: Use it whenever you want. As long as your engine isn't producing any symptoms and you could still accelerate (albeit slowly) in the same gear you're fine. Same as 5th in your friend's car.

Best RPM for fuel economy: Generally the lower, the better, especially in new cars. Once your brand new car has 10,000 miles of break-in, you can start experimenting with different techniques like trying to use a specific RPM for cruising. Keep an accurate fuel log and you will learn what works best for your car.

Rev-matching: Not necessary. Do it because it's fun and helps avoid a problem you'll never have anyway...and do it because it lets you complete your shift faster AND more smoothly.

Slipping the clutch: It's made to slip. That's its job. While its life is finite, it is likely a lot longer than you expect unless you abuse it.

Over-thinking: Totally.
1980 Buick LeSabre 4.1L 5MT

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watkins wrote:Humans have rear-biased AWD. Cows have 4WD

eggwich delfiero
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Re: Hello from Minnesota

Postby eggwich delfiero » Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:36 am

Welcome!
That cow guy is pretty smart, I agree with pretty much everything he said.

And yeah, just relax, you're obviously aware of how you're driving, and you're reading this site, so you'll develop good habits. Just focus on getting a feel for your car right now. Just listen to it/him/her and get all zen wizard behind the wheel.

I still don't know if I really understand no-gas launches lol

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AHTOXA
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Re: Hello from Minnesota

Postby AHTOXA » Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:59 am

Welcome!
'16 Ecoboost F150
'12 Suzuki V-Strom 650
'17 Trek Fuel EX8 27.5+
'08 Giant Trance 1 (old school 26'er)

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94Corolla5Speed
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Re: Hello from Minnesota

Postby 94Corolla5Speed » Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:00 am

Welcome nubile! The uddered one seems to have answered your questions. Feel free to ask more.

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AHTOXA
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Re: Hello from Minnesota

Postby AHTOXA » Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:06 am

Seems Mr. Multitit is ever-present around here. Not tha tits particularly a bad thing.
Last edited by AHTOXA on Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
'16 Ecoboost F150
'12 Suzuki V-Strom 650
'17 Trek Fuel EX8 27.5+
'08 Giant Trance 1 (old school 26'er)

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94Corolla5Speed
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Re: Hello from Minnesota

Postby 94Corolla5Speed » Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:07 am

I chuckled at "Mr. multitit" :lol:

I don't know why I did now, I've seen it before. Maybe it's because I'm really tired but I found it hilarious right now.

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tankinbeans
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Re: Hello from Minnesota

Postby tankinbeans » Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:17 am

Hello -

Thank you for all of your responses. I've been keeping a fuel log since new, but I waited to actually start writing my numbers down until I filled the tank myself (I don't know how much it used while on the dealer's lot - got it as a baby with 12 miles) and have noticed that I've picked up about 1.2 mpg driving the same way (not economizing, but not being an a$$ - however I've been making the n00b mistakes of over-revving and missing a gear periodically) since new. The last 3 full tanks have been 27 and change and over 2333.3 miles as tracked by the "B" trip meter (I know it has reset twice due to only having 3 digits, but I'm keeping a running tally in my head of the rollovers) I have used 86.231 gallons for an overall total of 27.059mpg. Woot. I've even had one tank be just shy of 37mpg going about 80 on the highway with a little suburban in there.

I've tracked mileage in every car I've owned, and I've had more than I care to think about.

I look forward to being able to answer questions, when I'm comfortable chiming in my answers that is.

Thanks,
T-I-B
17 Mazda6
03 Century
InlinePaul wrote:The driving force of new fangled features to sell more cars [is to] cater to the masses' abject laziness!

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Squint
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Re: Hello from Minnesota

Postby Squint » Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:55 am

Welcome Tibs! Being a relatively new SS'er myself, I can honestly say one of the best things to do is STOP over-thinking. I went out one day, played around doing what his Bouvine Holiness said, practicing:
1) no-gas launches (i.e. be stopped, in first, level surface. only foot on clutch, not on brake. Slowly release the clutch until the car starts to pull forward, pause for a moment to let the rpm's recover to where they were at idle. Let out clutch slightly more, car picks up slightly more speed (like +1 mph, not talking zoom-zoom here), pause and let rpm's recover again. Repeat until you are not on the clutch at all. Do NOT worry if you stall it, just means you need slightly more control on the clutch. <-- It took me a while to find exactly how to do that, but once I did, it made my normal shifts SOOO much smoother because you KNOW your clutch if you can no-gas launch).
2) shift from 1-2, 2-3, and 3-2, 2-1. If you can shift those smoothly, the rest of the gears are easy.

After I practiced that for an hour or so, the next time I drove on regular roads, without thinking about it, I noticed my shifts were smoother, even 1-2 and 2-3.

Good luck! And ask questions often! I probably can't answer many, but there are others who probably can :)
'15 Mazda 3 iSport Hatch 6MT
'11 Ford Fiesta Hatchback SE 5MT
'14 Giant Escape City 24MT
'97 Honda Civic EX 4AT - Retired @ 184,001 mi

For Pony!

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theholycow
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Re: Hello from Minnesota

Postby theholycow » Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:32 am

AHTOXA wrote:Seems Mr. Multitit is ever-present around here. Not tha tits particularly a bad thing.

What can I say, I have no life... :mrgreen:

Oh, and I prefer watkins' "Moofasa" over "Mr. Multitit".
1980 Buick LeSabre 4.1L 5MT

Put your car in your sig!

Learn to launch/FAQs/lugging/misused terms: meta-sig
watkins wrote:Humans have rear-biased AWD. Cows have 4WD

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RITmusic2k
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Re: Hello from Minnesota

Postby RITmusic2k » Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:39 pm

Greetings and salutations, Mr. Beans!

I have to say, you actually managed to synopsize all of standardshift.com in your intro thread :lol:

You've already received the good advice above, so I'll just say 'welcome' once more and wish you the best of luck a lots of fun as you navigate your way through the learning process.

And since you mentioned saving fuel... I'm in the process of writing up a monster post about hypermiling for my friends over at zhpmafia.com. When I've completed it, I'll be sure to point it out to you guys back here :D

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tankinbeans
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Re: Hello from Minnesota

Postby tankinbeans » Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:48 pm

Once again, I must say thank you for all of your responses. I was worried that I'd get on here and people would just tell me to buy myself an automatic and have done with it. I truly appreciate that assistance and now I feel much less apprehensive about driving the car how I want and not worrying about techniques that I haven't quite mastered. I imagine some day, after I manage to not kill it for a hole month, I'll try to teach myself at least how to "rev-match" (this might be very difficult for me because I've noticed I have a killer dead-spot in the throttle - about 1/4 of an inch and when I think I'm hitting it right I'm not doing anything at all), but until then I'm all gravy.

One website that I frequent is full of people who label themselves "enthusiasts" and they also mostly happen to be full of bovine fertilizer, in my opinion anyway, and think that if you can't drive like them you shouldn't have keys.

The posters here seem much more down to earth and less judgmental, and for a n00b it is very much appreciated.

Have a wonderful day in the neighborhood.
17 Mazda6
03 Century
InlinePaul wrote:The driving force of new fangled features to sell more cars [is to] cater to the masses' abject laziness!

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watkins
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Re: Hello from Minnesota

Postby watkins » Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:56 pm

Welcome, Bringer of Gas!
Image

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theholycow
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Re: Hello from Minnesota

Postby theholycow » Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:59 pm

tankinbeans wrote:I've noticed I have a killer dead-spot in the throttle - about 1/4 of an inch and when I think I'm hitting it right I'm not doing anything at all)
That sort of complaint is common in modern cars. It does cause some difficulty with reaching your target RPM accurately but eventually you learn to work with it.

One website that I frequent is full of people who label themselves "enthusiasts" and they also mostly happen to be full of bovine fertilizer,
Sorry about that, me and my kind gotta go number 2 somewhere and we don't want to stink up a good forum.
1980 Buick LeSabre 4.1L 5MT

Put your car in your sig!

Learn to launch/FAQs/lugging/misused terms: meta-sig
watkins wrote:Humans have rear-biased AWD. Cows have 4WD

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tankinbeans
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Location: Shakopee, MN

Re: Hello from Minnesota

Postby tankinbeans » Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:05 pm

theholycow wrote:
tankinbeans wrote:
One website that I frequent is full of people who label themselves "enthusiasts" and they also mostly happen to be full of bovine fertilizer,
Sorry about that, me and my kind gotta go number 2 somewhere and we don't want to stink up a good forum.


I must confess, you've made me giggle. I read this other website because they have a lot of car related news and stuff that I can use to waste time on my breaks at work. I've tried forcing myself to stop reading the comments threads, but can't seem to stop. Most of what I read there I take with a grain of salt.
17 Mazda6
03 Century
InlinePaul wrote:The driving force of new fangled features to sell more cars [is to] cater to the masses' abject laziness!


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