Hello from Tucson

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tetedelinotte
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Hello from Tucson

Postby tetedelinotte » Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:29 pm

Hi, everyone! I've been making my way through the tips pages for the past few hours. Great info. I bought a manual 2015 GTI about a month ago and while I'm getting much better, I still encounter situations that throw me off. I learned to drive a manual as a teenager, but I never owned my own manual car. I have to say that it's proving more difficult than I thought it would be to get truly proficient.

I've gotten good at rev-matching to downshift and I'm pretty sure I don't have any bad habits (like riding the clutch, etc.), but I still haven't been able to practice hills/inclines. Whenever I do encounter one, I almost invariably cook the clutch a bit, even trying to use the handbrake. :( Also, reversing out of a parking spot that dips even slightly results in a slightly smelly clutch. Any tips?

Last night, though, was the worst experience I've had: I was stopped at a light. Light turned and I started to move no problem. Car in front suddenly stops. I don't have enough quick-reaction muscle memory yet, so I just braked and forgot to clutch in. Car stalls. No big deal, normally, but the guy behind me goes NUTS that I didn't immediately start moving forward. He's yelling and rocking his car back and forth and blaring on the horn. This, of course, flusters me and my sequence of getting the car started got all out of whack (still getting used to push-button start, too). I stalled it again. At this point the guy behind me is just completely berserk, so I just dumped the clutch and finally got it moving. Not ideal. :( At the next light (Tucson is alllll lights), the guy blares on his horn, pulls up next to me and screams "learn to f****** drive!" (My windows were down and I'm a young, blonde woman. I have a feeling that had I been a guy, this lovely specimen probably wouldn't have been quite so harassing, but anyway.) The rest of my drive home was pretty miserable as having the adrenaline shakes and trying to drive a manual isn't ideal. I didn't stall again, but it was hardly smooth. Anyway, thanks for reading my story, heh. I want to be armed with as much information in my head as possible so when I do encounter rough situations, I might be better prepared.

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AHTOXA
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Re: Hello from Tucson

Postby AHTOXA » Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:54 pm

If you've read through all of the FAQs and stickies and threads here - you're well off already. You should have most of the theoretical info you need.

The next thing you need to do is the hardest of them all - stop caring about the clutch life. It'll be just fine, believe us. And stop caring about how smooth you are. There's no quick remedy to this - only experience and mileage driven. Besides, all of us still occasionally launch at higher RPMs than wanted and get a few jerky 1-2 shifts. We all stall occasionally, too. It really isn't a big deal.

Some drivers are real jerks, but I can almost bet that he'd do a whole lot worse if he were to drive a manual on the street. Don't let them get to you. Sounds like his life is pretty miserable anyway, for him to get this mad.


EDIT: And welcome! Folks here are good at giving technical advice, so stick around some and ask questions.
'16 Ecoboost F150
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Squint
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Re: Hello from Tucson

Postby Squint » Fri Nov 14, 2014 2:16 pm

What AHTOXA said. Seems like you have the right ideas already, just practice makes things closer to perfect (no one is ever perfect).

And I would ignore that guy - as difficult as that might be. There will always be jerks and idiots on the road that have no patience. Just avoid them as best as possible and enjoy when they cut through traffic back and forth and then get stuck at the same light as everyone else.

I still over-rev on hills sometimes, it's just that my over-revs are probably lower than yours because of practice/number of miles driven.

Welcome to the board! Ask if you have any questions!
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theholycow
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Re: Hello from Tucson

Postby theholycow » Fri Nov 14, 2014 2:52 pm

Welcome!
tetedelinotte wrote:I bought a manual 2015 GTI about a month ago

You may have a clutch that is very difficult to learn on. VW sure made the 2008 Rabbit that way, there are a few of us here who had that car and we all agree that its clutch was awful. Once you get good at it, though, any other clutch should be a cakewalk.

even trying to use the handbrake.

Don't bother. It's just extra complication, one more thing to split your attention; now instead of concentrating on your two feet and the car, you're concentrating on your two feet, your hand, and the car. Either way the clutch has to battle a brake (parking brake or service brake) first, followed by battling the hill.

the guy behind me goes NUTS that I didn't immediately start moving forward. He's yelling and rocking his car back and forth and blaring on the horn. This, of course, flusters me and my sequence of getting the car started got all out of whack (still getting used to push-button start, too). I stalled it again. At this point the guy behind me is just completely berserk

1. Set the parking brake.
2. Pop the trunk.
3. Retrieve the lug wrench.
4. Walk up to his window.

...no, don't really do that, but it's a satisfying fantasy isn't it?

Next time set the parking brake, pop the hood, get out and pretend you're looking under the hood to see why the car is broken. Being a brand new car he can't blame you for its failure, you've bought a brand new car to avoid that sort of thing. Now VW is to blame and he realizes that he's been a complete douchenozzle. Also he's forced to back up since he has certainly crept up too close to get around you.

Or just ignore him and take pleasure in the heart attack that he's giving himself.

pulls up next to me and screams "learn to f****** drive!" (My windows were down and I'm a young, blonde woman. I have a feeling that had I been a guy, this lovely specimen probably wouldn't have been quite so harassing, but anyway.)

As a guy there seems to be a much larger chance that someone with road rage will actually attempt physical violence on me. I suspect that the intimidation factor is just as bad.
1980 Buick LeSabre 4.1L 5MT

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Rope-Pusher
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Re: Hello from Tucson

Postby Rope-Pusher » Fri Nov 14, 2014 6:59 pm

Don't let the other driver get you flustered.

Just let out a sigh as you say "AH" - this has been proven to relieve stress, especially if you consider that the letters A and H stand for "Arse-Hole"
'08 Jeep Liberty 6-Speed MT - "Last of the Mohicans"

tetedelinotte
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Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:18 pm
Cars: 2015 VW GTI

Re: Hello from Tucson

Postby tetedelinotte » Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:19 pm

Thanks for the warm welcome, everyone. Today's lesson learned was, "no, you cant go up your bumpy, gravel driveway in 2nd after slowing way down to avoid bottoming out on the curb." I'm becoming more zen, though. I just said, "right. learned something...." Backed up to the street, got moving again in first and noted the experience in my every-growing log of situations-you-don't-think-about-in-an-automatic. :)

tetedelinotte
Junior Standardshifter
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Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:18 pm
Cars: 2015 VW GTI

Re: Hello from Tucson

Postby tetedelinotte » Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:24 pm

theholycow wrote:You may have a clutch that is very difficult to learn on. VW sure made the 2008 Rabbit that way, there are a few of us here who had that car and we all agree that its clutch was awful. Once you get good at it, though, any other clutch should be a cakewalk.


A very experienced friend of mine drove my GTI who owned a TDI Jetta and his first exclamation was, "Hallelujah! They put a real clutch in it this time." The car is amazing and I'm excited about being able to drive it to its full potential once my skill level is better.

DashboardSaint
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Re: Hello from Tucson

Postby DashboardSaint » Wed Aug 05, 2015 11:44 am

I've been driving stick for two weeks, and during week 1 I had a similar experience. I was driving along slowly and the car in front of me stopped - sort of - and then decided to make a left hand turn. I wasn't sure how to handle the situation (not sure if I was stopping or not), I ended up stopping the car, going back into first and starting again, which took a few more seconds than normal since I was still getting used to it. The car behind me starts blaring the horn, even though it was only a few seconds, AND we were approaching a red light, so it's not like he could go anywhere anyway! But that's New Jersey, we have some of the worst attitudes on the roads. I have to say, I've had some stalling issues at stop signs/red lights and I've actually had some people be very patient behind me. I figure they're either looking at their phones or they're understanding because they've been there too.

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Squint
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Re: Hello from Tucson

Postby Squint » Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:21 pm

DashboardSaint wrote:I've been driving stick for two weeks, and during week 1 I had a similar experience. I was driving along slowly and the car in front of me stopped - sort of - and then decided to make a left hand turn. I wasn't sure how to handle the situation (not sure if I was stopping or not), I ended up stopping the car, going back into first and starting again, which took a few more seconds than normal since I was still getting used to it. The car behind me starts blaring the horn, even though it was only a few seconds, AND we were approaching a red light, so it's not like he could go anywhere anyway! But that's New Jersey, we have some of the worst attitudes on the roads. I have to say, I've had some stalling issues at stop signs/red lights and I've actually had some people be very patient behind me. I figure they're either looking at their phones or they're understanding because they've been there too.

Just shrug it off, you're doing no worse than the people not paying attention because they're on their phones. In that situation (and when it doubt), just push the clutch pedal in and leave it in your current gear or shift into neutral (then you can release the clutch pedal) until you know what speed you need to be going when you're ready to accelerate again. Then shift appropriately and move again. It's not going to hurt your car to sit for a few seconds with the clutch pedal pushed down. The hardcore stick shifters might tell you that's bad for the clutch but it's just doing what it's designed to do.

(Also, a bit of a necro-thread. As this forum has been around for years, check the dates if you want the original poster to respond to you as they might not even be active anymore. Though us regulars will probably still respond if there is something to contribute.)
'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!

Rope-Pusher
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Re: Hello from Tucson

Postby Rope-Pusher » Wed Aug 05, 2015 7:14 pm

Squint wrote:(Also, a bit of a necro-thread. As this forum has been around for years, check the dates if you want the original poster to respond to you as they might not even be active anymore. Though us regulars will probably still respond if there is something to contribute.)

...or even if there isn't!
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potownrob
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Re: Hello from Tucson

Postby potownrob » Thu Aug 06, 2015 1:23 am

Rope-Pusher wrote:
Squint wrote:(Also, a bit of a necro-thread. As this forum has been around for years, check the dates if you want the original poster to respond to you as they might not even be active anymore. Though us regulars will probably still respond if there is something to contribute.)

...or even if there isn't!
+1000 :twisted: :lol:
BUT DEM FAHGLEITZ!! :shock:

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DashboardSaint
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Re: Hello from Tucson

Postby DashboardSaint » Tue Aug 11, 2015 1:19 pm

Squint wrote:(Also, a bit of a necro-thread. As this forum has been around for years, check the dates if you want the original poster to respond to you as they might not even be active anymore. Though us regulars will probably still respond if there is something to contribute.)


Yes, I figured that out right after I posted. But it still seemed like an appropriate comment, and why not resurrect the discussion right?

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Squint
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Re: Hello from Tucson

Postby Squint » Tue Aug 11, 2015 4:15 pm

DashboardSaint wrote:
Squint wrote:(Also, a bit of a necro-thread. As this forum has been around for years, check the dates if you want the original poster to respond to you as they might not even be active anymore. Though us regulars will probably still respond if there is something to contribute.)


Yes, I figured that out right after I posted. But it still seemed like an appropriate comment, and why not resurrect the discussion right?

Certainly a valid point. Obviously we still responded :lol: :lol:
'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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