Finally Re-grew My Third Pedal!

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zenfiz6
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Finally Re-grew My Third Pedal!

Postby zenfiz6 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:52 pm

Hello all!

I stumbled on this forum whilst Googling for shifting techniques.

My fourth car was a very fun-to-drive Acura Legend V6 5-speed. Alas, it finally decided to blow a head gasket and somehow I wound up driving a Honda Accord V6 Automatic for the next decade. Don't get me wrong---the Accord gave me zero trouble up until it finally decided it didn't like 3rd gear anymore around 239k miles.

Once I started realizing that the Accord's days were numbered, I started doing the dealership waltz and decided that I was having too much fun test-driving manuals again to go back. I was thinking of either another Accord Sport or maybe a WRX when I went to the Audi dealership on a lark.

Yah, that was it, I was smitten. :D Nothing else handles like it at this price range and the 2.0T is a *very* nice little torque creator. I hope I have the money for upkeep....

Of course, having gone a decade with only two pedals, I'm re-learning what I thought I knew when I had the Legend---and I'm re-making some of the same mistakes. But I'm hoping to break some bad habits listening to all of you experts.

Already I'm going to break my coasting habit. I am hearing that there's fuel economy in coasting in gear at medium revs. Of course, if the 1-in-a-million occurrence requiring *acceleration* to avoid an accident occurs, I guess I'll be prepared for that, too.

I hope to contribute at least as much as I get, or until you get tired of listening to fizix. :-)
2013 -- Present: 2011 Audi A4 6MT (45k---???)
2001 -- 2013 .... 1999 Honda Accord AT (RIP 239k)
1999 -- 2005 .... 1987 Acura Legend 5MT (RIP 174k)

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Re: Finally Re-grew My Third Pedal!

Postby theholycow » Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:09 pm

I went to the VW dealership on a lark, expecting to dislike what I found...ended up signing on the line.

Upkeep shouldn't be too bad. Oil changes are 10,000 miles, right? IIRC the rest shouldn't be much different than any other late model car.

You're re-learning as much because cars have changed as because of your time without practice. Drive-by-wire throttles can be quite disobedient, but hopefully at least your clutch is a little more pleasant than mine was.

The fuel economy in engine braking (it's not coasting if you're in gear; even if it's very mild so it doesn't feel like braking, if RPM is above idle and foot is off the accelerator then it's officially engine braking) is called Deceleration Fuel Cut Off (DFCO). DFCO isn't as cut-and-dry as it ought to be. My VW had funny rules about when it would and wouldn't (I connected a meter to my fuel injectors to see). Anyway, DFCO and coasting are for different purposes; DFCO when you intend to brake anyway, coast when you intend to keep your momentum and maybe accelerate again.

The one-in-a-million accelerator-needed crash avoidance requires you to be driving an automatic, or driving around in a very low gear in your manual. In a moderate cruising gear you're not going to get the kind of acceleration you need. No need to worry about it.

As discussed elsewhere, those thoughts are just logic and analysis. Do drive the way that makes you comfortable and satisfied.
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Re: Finally Re-grew My Third Pedal!

Postby Shadow » Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:23 pm

Congrats on the new car. You made a good choice (no, I'm not biased, LOL) considering that you went a decade without having a manual transmission car. One of the biggest things that has changed is drive-by-wire throttles. The majority of drive-by-wire manual transmission cars are quite annoying in the way they operate....especially when it comes to rev hang. If you're not familiar with that term, just do a bit of research and you'll see how most people really hate it. Lucky for you, the Audi 2.0T doesn't have any rev hang whatsoever. From what I've heard/read, the VW 2.0T does have some rev hang issues. I'm not sure why it was acceptable in a VW, but Audi tuned it out completely, but for whatever the reason, I'm a happy camper. My car feels just the same as an older car with a cable-operated throttle, and for that I'm very thankful and you should be too.
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Re: Finally Re-grew My Third Pedal!

Postby ClutchDisc » Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:41 pm

Welcome to the forum! Glad you're back to having three pedals!
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Re: Finally Re-grew My Third Pedal!

Postby zenfiz6 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:12 pm

shadow wrote:Congrats on the new car. You made a good choice (no, I'm not biased, LOL) considering that you went a decade without having a manual transmission car.

Much thanks, Shadow. And no worries on the bias... I'm almost to the point of adding four rings to the family crest. :D

What I can't believe is that the voice command button accepts English, Spanish, and French... but not German! I mean, c'mon... have some pride... :-)

theholycow wrote:I went to the VW dealership on a lark, expecting to dislike what I found...ended up signing on the line.


I have never driven a car in this price range before, so I couldn't understand what another $15k would buy me above my beloved Accord with the pedal-ectomy besides toys. But, yes, I am a very happy VW-AG product owner (the Farvergnugen plate frames should be in any day, now. :-)

theholycow wrote:Upkeep shouldn't be too bad. Oil changes are 10,000 miles, right? IIRC the rest shouldn't be much different than any other late model car.

They do say 10k miles on the oil changes... but I might want to cut that in half. I would like the car to last to 200k miles if at all possible. Mostly because I don't know if I'll have the cash to replace it! :D

There is an issue of some of the 2009-2011 models drinking oil... but I'm in the middle of Stage One test (I'm still under warranty so... why not?) and... the oil level seems to have stayed right at the top.

Did you know there's no dipstick on these cars? I gotta ask the computer for that, too. Sheesh.

shadow wrote:The majority of drive-by-wire manual transmission cars are quite annoying in the way they operate....especially when it comes to rev hang. If you're not familiar with that term, just do a bit of research and you'll see how most people really hate it. Lucky for you, the Audi 2.0T doesn't have any rev hang whatsoever. From what I've heard/read, the VW 2.0T does have some rev hang issues.

Yes, Drive-By-Wire is brand new to me. And I'm very glad that there is no rev-hang (I did some perusing of this forum for a while... so I'm a bit educated on it). I'm lucky---I would never have known to be on the lookout for it.

theholycow wrote:The fuel economy in engine braking... is called Deceleration Fuel Cut Off (DFCO). DFCO isn't as cut-and-dry as it ought to be. My VW had funny rules about when it would and wouldn't (I connected a meter to my fuel injectors to see).


I have learned a bit about DFCO just perusing the forums the past couple of days. I think I might know when it is occurring in my A4 and when it isn't, but perhaps the Shadow can confirm this:
I'm using the Driver's Information Screen (between the tach and speedo) with some of the digital readouts. As Shadow has already mentioned, there's a shift-recommendation portion (and I've considered obeying it from time to time) but there's also an instantaneous fuel economy read-out.

I'm guessing when that reads "----- mpg" that it's telling me that it can't divide by zero. So that must be DFCO mode. Otherwise, when I'm coasting, it seems to max out at 200 mpg. And from coasting at 26.5 MPH and having the readout tell me that I'm at 100 mpg, I gather that idle sucks about 1L/hr of gasoline.

theholycow wrote:The one-in-a-million accelerator-needed crash avoidance requires you to be driving an automatic, or driving around in a very low gear in your manual. In a moderate cruising gear you're not going to get the kind of acceleration you need. No need to worry about it.


See... this whole safety issue about not coasting just wasn't doing it for me, regardless of the UK laws (even VA has the law stating one cannot coast down a hill in neutral). But DFCO is persuasive.
Although, to be honest, I don't know that it's saving me *that* much over coasting to a stop from 55 MPH to the red light about 1/4 mile down the road in light traffic.

theholycow wrote:Do drive the way that makes you comfortable and satisfied.

Part of that comfort comes from knowing that I'm doing the right things with the car. This is the nicest car I've ever owned and I want to play with it, but I want to be kind to it, too.

ClutchDisc wrote:Welcome to the forum! Glad you're back to having three pedals!

Thank you, Clutchdisc. I'm very happy to have my third pedal back. Now let's see if I can lighten up on all the head-bobbing. ;-)
2013 -- Present: 2011 Audi A4 6MT (45k---???)
2001 -- 2013 .... 1999 Honda Accord AT (RIP 239k)
1999 -- 2005 .... 1987 Acura Legend 5MT (RIP 174k)

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Re: Finally Re-grew My Third Pedal!

Postby Rope-Pusher » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:23 pm

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Re: Finally Re-grew My Third Pedal!

Postby Shadow » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:29 pm

zenfiz6 wrote:
They do say 10k miles on the oil changes... but I might want to cut that in half. I would like the car to last to 200k miles if at all possible. Mostly because I don't know if I'll have the cash to replace it! :D


I change mine at 5000 miles....for no other reason than the belief that is is "cheap" insurance. Since I do my own maintenance, it doesn't cost me anything but my time and the price of the oil & filter.


There is an issue of some of the 2009-2011 models drinking oil... but I'm in the middle of Stage One test (I'm still under warranty so... why not?) and... the oil level seems to have stayed right at the top.

Did you know there's no dipstick on these cars? I gotta ask the computer for that, too. Sheesh.


You and I have the E888 engine, which is very different from the earlier 2.0T engines. One big plus is the fact that E888 engines apparently don't suffer from the carbon build-up problems that have plagued other Audi/VW engines. If you're not familiar with the carbon build-up problems, just google it and you'll find all kind of info....but in a nutshell, the problem started with direct injection and continued until just recently.

As for oil consumption, it's not really a problem. People on the forums like to make it out to be a huge problem, but the fact of the matter is that these engines, like many German turbo engines, tend to consume oil. My own car uses a quart in about 3000 miles, which means I have to add a quart between my oil changes. I believe most people are around the same. Every once in a while I hear of someone who has to add a quart every 1000 miles. I'm not sure, but I think that's right around the acceptable limit according to Audi. Either way, it does seem excessive. Anyway, if you want to do some research, you can learn exactly why these engines consume oil. It's not a bad thing (as long as it's not excessive) and it's really no abnormal either.

Also, I've personally tested the electronic dipstick and it is VERY accurate. At first I wasn't sure if I could trust it or not, but now I'm totally fine with it. Even though your car doesn't have a dipstick, it does have a dipstick tube, so you can always buy the dipstick at an Audi dealer if you want to check your oil the conventional way.
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Re: Finally Re-grew My Third Pedal!

Postby ClutchDisc » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:41 pm

zenfiz6 wrote:
ClutchDisc wrote:Welcome to the forum! Glad you're back to having three pedals!

Thank you, Clutchdisc. I'm very happy to have my third pedal back. Now let's see if I can lighten up on all the head-bobbing. ;-)
The head bobbing is the best part! Anyway isn't that the best way to know if you're shifting at the right rpms? :lol:
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Re: Finally Re-grew My Third Pedal!

Postby zenfiz6 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:58 pm

Shadow wrote:
zenfiz6 wrote:
They do say 10k miles on the oil changes... but I might want to cut that in half. I would like the car to last to 200k miles if at all possible. Mostly because I don't know if I'll have the cash to replace it! :D


I change mine at 5000 miles....for no other reason than the belief that is is "cheap" insurance. Since I do my own maintenance, it doesn't cost me anything but my time and the price of the oil & filter.

Yes. And a good friend of mine who bought a 2007 A4 a few years ago also changes her oil every 5k miles. Can't hurt.



shadow wrote:You and I have the E888 engine, which is very different from the earlier 2.0T engines. One big plus is the fact that E888 engines apparently don't suffer from the carbon build-up problems that have plagued other Audi/VW engines.

Is this the "oil sludge" problem? If so, yah... I heard about that. It made my decision to buy nothing older than a 2011 model more solid.

shadow wrote:As for oil consumption, it's not really a problem. People on the forums like to make it out to be a huge problem, but the fact of the matter is that these engines, like many German turbo engines, tend to consume oil. My own car uses a quart in about 3000 miles, which means I have to add a quart between my oil changes.


I was all over lots of Audi forums before I bought the car. This had me worried the most. I had heard of some 2009 owners complaining of 1qt/800 miles. Your 1qt/3k miles sounds like what I was seeing *before* this Stage One Oil Consumption test started (I got to 700 mi and saw the MMI oil display read about 1/5 qt down). But now that they replaced a breather valve, a line to the turbo, and did some programming changes in the ECU.... 500 miles later and zero drop in oil.

I *would* like to know why they should drink some oil.... I've been told it has to do with blow-by of fuel into the crankcase and then the evaporation through the breather valve takes oil with it... but I'm not certain that's what's going on.

shadow wrote:I believe most people are around the same. Every once in a while I hear of someone who has to add a quart every 1000 miles. I'm not sure, but I think that's right around the acceptable limit according to Audi.

Yes, this is what I've also heard.

shadow wrote:Also, I've personally tested the electronic dipstick and it is VERY accurate. At first I wasn't sure if I could trust it or not, but now I'm totally fine with it. Even though your car doesn't have a dipstick, it does have a dipstick tube, so you can always buy the dipstick at an Audi dealer if you want to check your oil the conventional way.

I believe there's also a company called "ECS"(?) and they supposedly have them too. But if the electronic dipstick works fine... then... I'm not terribly concerned.

ClutchDisc wrote:The head bobbing is the best part! Anyway isn't that the best way to know if you're shifting at the right rpms? :lol:

Well... if I could at least control *when* heads shall bob.... I'd feel better. :) But the rev-matching information I've gleaned reading the boards is helping immensely. 1->2 shifting is no longer the "pull on the stick and grimace as if that will help transitioning into second be smoother" experience.
2013 -- Present: 2011 Audi A4 6MT (45k---???)
2001 -- 2013 .... 1999 Honda Accord AT (RIP 239k)
1999 -- 2005 .... 1987 Acura Legend 5MT (RIP 174k)

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Re: Finally Re-grew My Third Pedal!

Postby RomPirate » Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:24 pm

Welcome!
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Re: Finally Re-grew My Third Pedal!

Postby ClutchDisc » Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:02 am

zenfiz6 wrote:
ClutchDisc wrote:The head bobbing is the best part! Anyway isn't that the best way to know if you're shifting at the right rpms? :lol:

Well... if I could at least control *when* heads shall bob.... I'd feel better. :) But the rev-matching information I've gleaned reading the boards is helping immensely. 1->2 shifting is no longer the "pull on the stick and grimace as if that will help transitioning into second be smoother" experience.
It will just take some time. I'm sure the fact that you drove a manual in the past will help you get going faster. How long has it been since you started "re-driving" a stick?
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Re: Finally Re-grew My Third Pedal!

Postby zenfiz6 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:31 am

RomPirate wrote:Welcome!

Much thanks! I've just dived in and already everyone knows I'm a motor-mouth. :-)

ClutchDisc wrote:
zenfiz6 wrote:Well... if I could at least control *when* heads shall bob.... I'd feel better. But the rev-matching information I've gleaned reading the boards is helping immensely. 1->2 shifting is no longer the "pull on the stick and grimace as if that will help transitioning into second be smoother" experience.

It will just take some time. I'm sure the fact that you drove a manual in the past will help you get going faster. How long has it been since you started "re-driving" a stick?


I kinda started test-driving sticks about the end of July. But, if that doesn't count, I signed on the dotted line almost exactly one month ago for my manual A4.

I think the hardest part is going to be "unlearning" some bad habits I picked up when I didn't really understand what I was doing with the Legend all those years ago. I think I did a lot of clutch "feathering" to smooth out 1->2 transitions that could have been done with proper throttle control. I also never quite got the hang of the 90-degree no-stop right turn from high gear.

I'm looking askance at "heel-toe" but do want to try it at some point.
2013 -- Present: 2011 Audi A4 6MT (45k---???)
2001 -- 2013 .... 1999 Honda Accord AT (RIP 239k)
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Re: Finally Re-grew My Third Pedal!

Postby theholycow » Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:53 am

zenfiz6 wrote:They do say 10k miles on the oil changes... but I might want to cut that in half. I would like the car to last to 200k miles if at all possible. Mostly because I don't know if I'll have the cash to replace it! :D

Best thing you can do for oil, instead of just guessing at how wrong the engineers are, is to have you used oil analyzed. You could just do it every 20,000 miles, or every oil change, as you please. You send a sample to the lab and $35 later they tell you how much life was left in the oil, what kind of wear your engine is showing, etc.

Even more importantly though, the very best thing you can do is NOT obsess about engine oil while ignoring the rest. There's a whole maintenance schedule and maybe various things that didn't get put on the schedule that actually produce failures or wear or beat-upness. Junkyards are full of engines that never suffered a failure that could be blamed on oil change interval or oil quality despite half-assed oil habits, with some other part of the car having been neglected even worse and having failed.

See... this whole safety issue about not coasting just wasn't doing it for me, regardless of the UK laws (even VA has the law stating one cannot coast down a hill in neutral). But DFCO is persuasive.
Although, to be honest, I don't know that it's saving me *that* much over coasting to a stop from 55 MPH to the red light about 1/4 mile down the road in light traffic.

DFCO vs. neutral coasting is a detail, not a big chunk of savings. If you're interested in saving a bunch of fuel there are a scant few big things you can do and a million little details.

I think I did a lot of clutch "feathering" to smooth out 1->2 transitions that could have been done with proper throttle control. I also never quite got the hang of the 90-degree no-stop right turn from high gear.

On a car with cable throttle or good DBW you can do a lot of it with throttle control, but smoothing shifts with the clutch need not be verboten. How many times did you have to replace the clutch in the Legend?

I'm looking askance at "heel-toe" but do want to try it at some point.

It's fun with good pedal spacing, and I'm sure they put good pedal spacing in that car. I enjoyed it in the VW. I did my own pedal spacing in my current car and now I'm spoiled, I can't heel-toe my wife's car.
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Re: Finally Re-grew My Third Pedal!

Postby ClutchDisc » Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:56 am

zenfiz6 wrote:
ClutchDisc wrote:
zenfiz6 wrote:Well... if I could at least control *when* heads shall bob.... I'd feel better. But the rev-matching information I've gleaned reading the boards is helping immensely. 1->2 shifting is no longer the "pull on the stick and grimace as if that will help transitioning into second be smoother" experience.

It will just take some time. I'm sure the fact that you drove a manual in the past will help you get going faster. How long has it been since you started "re-driving" a stick?


I kinda started test-driving sticks about the end of July. But, if that doesn't count, I signed on the dotted line almost exactly one month ago for my manual A4.

I think the hardest part is going to be "unlearning" some bad habits I picked up when I didn't really understand what I was doing with the Legend all those years ago. I think I did a lot of clutch "feathering" to smooth out 1->2 transitions that could have been done with proper throttle control. I also never quite got the hang of the 90-degree no-stop right turn from high gear.

I'm looking askance at "heel-toe" but do want to try it at some point.
I've been driving a stick for 15 months and never once done "heel toe". Never plan to either. I'm one of the few on this forum who doesn't really rev-match. The only times I will rev-match is if downshifting to pass someone on the highway. Other than that I don't see it as necessary.

Not sure what you mean by the "90-degree no-stop right turn from high gear". Could you explain? Sounds a little scary to me! :o
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Re: Finally Re-grew My Third Pedal!

Postby zenfiz6 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:57 am

theholycow wrote:Best thing you can do for oil, instead of just guessing at how wrong the engineers are, is to have you used oil analyzed. You could just do it every 20,000 miles, or every oil change, as you please. You send a sample to the lab and $35 later they tell you how much life was left in the oil, what kind of wear your engine is showing, etc.

Yes, scanning the Audi forums, I have heard of quite a number of people doing this, having their favorite labs, etc. It is something I'd be interested in doing.

theholycow wrote:Even more importantly though, the very best thing you can do is NOT obsess about engine oil while ignoring the rest. There's a whole maintenance schedule and maybe various things that didn't get put on the schedule that actually produce failures or wear or beat-upness. Junkyards are full of engines that never suffered a failure that could be blamed on oil change interval or oil quality despite half-assed oil habits, with some other part of the car having been neglected even worse and having failed.

Understood. Could you be a bit more specific? What are some common things people neglect that might not be on the maintenance schedule? Audi likes to charge about $1k/10k miles for their "inspections." Indeed, the dealership told me I could buy the next three inspections at a discount if I bought them in advance.

Gotta love marketing.

theholycow wrote:
zenfiz6 wrote:I think I did a lot of clutch "feathering" to smooth out 1->2 transitions that could have been done with proper throttle control. I also never quite got the hang of the 90-degree no-stop right turn from high gear.

On a car with cable throttle or good DBW you can do a lot of it with throttle control, but smoothing shifts with the clutch need not be verboten. How many times did you have to replace the clutch in the Legend?


In the 90k miles I drove it, I think I replaced it once. But it was replaced right before I got it.

ClutchDisc wrote:Not sure what you mean by the "90-degree no-stop right turn from high gear". Could you explain? Sounds a little scary to me! :o


You're barreling down a two-lane road at speed (at, let's say, 55MPH ;-) ) and you're coming up on your turn. You do have to slow down a bit before entering the turn and need to come out of fifth into, say, second gear.

Because of my coasting habit, I tended to pop out of fifth *way* early and coast to the turn applying the brake once I got there, but I never found the right place to put it in second and let up on the clutch the right way. And I know I never rev-matched. I think my neck muscles are stronger for it. :-)
2013 -- Present: 2011 Audi A4 6MT (45k---???)
2001 -- 2013 .... 1999 Honda Accord AT (RIP 239k)
1999 -- 2005 .... 1987 Acura Legend 5MT (RIP 174k)


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