New Member - First-time Manual Driver

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Teamwork
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Re: New Member - First-time Manual Driver

Postby Teamwork » Mon May 23, 2016 11:56 pm

Today was one of those days where I felt like I regressed. After 2 whole days of not stalling or overreving, I stalled this morning on a very slight incline and then peeled out because I was afraid of holding up traffic. I was the lead car at the light and started to prepare myself to move as cross-traffic's light turned red. Thankfully, by the time I peeled out, I didn't hold anyone up.

It really does happen and it really was some of the best indirect advice I've ever read on these forums. There was a point where I felt really good after like 5-6 months of struggling and then I felt like I took nose dive for a month and really started to question things. Kind of just have to take things in strides. I'm FAR from perfect after 10 months but I've really made great strides from pretty much limping and rolling this car home from the dealership. I still feel a bit anxious when someone's right on my rear bumper and such but I try to really not let things get to me and just negotiate situations efficiently.

I've began to balance the throttle and clutch. Most of the time, I do it pretty well (no more than ~1500 rpm),but then there are times where I unintentionally do a 2000 rpm launch on level ground. In the past week, I've definitely been a more nervous driver than I have been in awhile. I'm sure that once this subsides, I'll feel great about myself.

Does your car peel out if you launch at 2000 rpm on level ground? Setting the rpm's is definitely half the battle and that will get easier to modulate when you continually do it. I really try and shoot for 1300-1500 rpm and for a semi smooth and progressive launch. I don't really care about the people behind me at this point... if the person is going to floor it and get on my rear bumper it probably wont matter what kind of launch I do or even if I have a manual/automatic (because even when I drove automatic I didn't matte the gas pedal off a red light lol).

When practical, I like to do a no-gas launch prematurely and creep for just barely a moment before my chance to go. That way I can slap that accelerator pedal like an automatic driver and shoot off like a rocket, faster than any automatic could (because 1st in a manual is much lower, and because there is no energy wasted in a torque converter).

I do this pretty much every opportunity I can. I really do try and watch and gauge the cross pattern traffic light like a hawk (don't really do this with automatic). Any advantage I can take though- I take. Unfortunately some lights are really impossible to see the cross pattern of light pattern because they either aren't angled ideally or they have those "hoods" over them to block out direct sun light. In an instance like this I kind of try and "guestimate". I can't really speak on throwout bearing abuse but I can tell you for sure I don't hold that pedal down to the firewall for longer then 20 seconds at a time. People probably think I'm really weird also because it'll be fairly late at night and only like 2 other cars going the same traffic route as I am and if I see we're approaching a red light as opposed to being a "front runner" in que for the light I'll usually signal SAFELY behind one of other cars first in que so I can have less pressure and go after them.

Fast & Furious launch...leave it to those with more money than sense. Replacing clutches must be a hobby for some. I've only ever done one racing launch and the car wasn't mine. I was at an EcoBoost challenge event and there was a course to time your reaction off the line, mine was laughably slow, wherein you rev to 3 grand or so (peak torque) and wait for the light to chance then let off the clutch. The organizers wouldn't allow any higher revving than that, but still mentioned that the clutches in all of their cars had been replaced multiple times during their run on the demo circuit. Was fun, but not my cup of tea.

I feel like I can't really launch that quickly... not really sure of the best method in doing so. All I know is if I rev past 2k essentially the tires scream... dry or wet.

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tankinbeans
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Re: New Member - First-time Manual Driver

Postby tankinbeans » Tue May 24, 2016 2:35 pm

I don't launch super fast, but I'm usually first off the line. Something about not having a cell phone in my hand at all times helps. Honked at some broad twice yesterday because she had her head buried in her phone.
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InlinePaul wrote:The driving force of new fangled features to sell more cars [is to] cater to the masses' abject laziness!

MH86
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Re: New Member - First-time Manual Driver

Postby MH86 » Wed May 25, 2016 7:07 pm

Teamwork wrote:
Today was one of those days where I felt like I regressed. After 2 whole days of not stalling or overreving, I stalled this morning on a very slight incline and then peeled out because I was afraid of holding up traffic. I was the lead car at the light and started to prepare myself to move as cross-traffic's light turned red. Thankfully, by the time I peeled out, I didn't hold anyone up.

It really does happen and it really was some of the best indirect advice I've ever read on these forums. There was a point where I felt really good after like 5-6 months of struggling and then I felt like I took nose dive for a month and really started to question things. Kind of just have to take things in strides. I'm FAR from perfect after 10 months but I've really made great strides from pretty much limping and rolling this car home from the dealership. I still feel a bit anxious when someone's right on my rear bumper and such but I try to really not let things get to me and just negotiate situations efficiently.

I've began to balance the throttle and clutch. Most of the time, I do it pretty well (no more than ~1500 rpm),but then there are times where I unintentionally do a 2000 rpm launch on level ground. In the past week, I've definitely been a more nervous driver than I have been in awhile. I'm sure that once this subsides, I'll feel great about myself.

Does your car peel out if you launch at 2000 rpm on level ground? Setting the rpm's is definitely half the battle and that will get easier to modulate when you continually do it. I really try and shoot for 1300-1500 rpm and for a semi smooth and progressive launch. I don't really care about the people behind me at this point... if the person is going to floor it and get on my rear bumper it probably wont matter what kind of launch I do or even if I have a manual/automatic (because even when I drove automatic I didn't matte the gas pedal off a red light lol).

Yes lol, it did. Although I'm guessing that was more about my clutch work and less about the rpm?

I, too, am starting to see that a 1300-1500 rpm launch is fairly smooth and on par with the other drivers

When practical, I like to do a no-gas launch prematurely and creep for just barely a moment before my chance to go. That way I can slap that accelerator pedal like an automatic driver and shoot off like a rocket, faster than any automatic could (because 1st in a manual is much lower, and because there is no energy wasted in a torque converter).



I do this pretty much every opportunity I can. I really do try and watch and gauge the cross pattern traffic light like a hawk (don't really do this with automatic). Any advantage I can take though- I take. Unfortunately some lights are really impossible to see the cross pattern of light pattern because they either aren't angled ideally or they have those "hoods" over them to block out direct sun light. In an instance like this I kind of try and "guestimate". I can't really speak on throwout bearing abuse but I can tell you for sure I don't hold that pedal down to the firewall for longer then 20 seconds at a time. People probably think I'm really weird also because it'll be fairly late at night and only like 2 other cars going the same traffic route as I am and if I see we're approaching a red light as opposed to being a "front runner" in que for the light I'll usually signal SAFELY behind one of other cars first in que so I can have less pressure and go after them.

Oh yeah. I take every possible opportunity to no-gas launch if I can see cross-traffic's lights.

Fast & Furious launch...leave it to those with more money than sense. Replacing clutches must be a hobby for some. I've only ever done one racing launch and the car wasn't mine. I was at an EcoBoost challenge event and there was a course to time your reaction off the line, mine was laughably slow, wherein you rev to 3 grand or so (peak torque) and wait for the light to chance then let off the clutch. The organizers wouldn't allow any higher revving than that, but still mentioned that the clutches in all of their cars had been replaced multiple times during their run on the demo circuit. Was fun, but not my cup of tea.

I feel like I can't really launch that quickly... not really sure of the best method in doing so. All I know is if I rev past 2k essentially the tires scream... dry or wet.

I hear ya. For now, I'm working on launching gently, which weirdly enough, worked better today when I had the radio on fairly loud and the A/C on almost full-blast. And to think that I was worried about not being able to hear the engine ...

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tankinbeans
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Re: New Member - First-time Manual Driver

Postby tankinbeans » Wed May 25, 2016 7:57 pm

Not that weird. I used to notice that I was smoother if I wasn't looking straight forward and didn't have my hands on the wheel immediately.
17 Mazda6
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InlinePaul wrote:The driving force of new fangled features to sell more cars [is to] cater to the masses' abject laziness!

Teamwork
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Re: New Member - First-time Manual Driver

Postby Teamwork » Thu May 26, 2016 3:30 pm

Yes lol, it did. Although I'm guessing that was more about my clutch work and less about the rpm?

I, too, am starting to see that a 1300-1500 rpm launch is fairly smooth and on par with the other drivers

This video helped me greatly- it emphasizes clutch control: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fc61Q_Z4GEs

I hear ya. For now, I'm working on launching gently, which weirdly enough, worked better today when I had the radio on fairly loud and the A/C on almost full-blast. And to think that I was worried about not being able to hear the engine ...

When I first started out I pretty much never used the radio so I could really acquaint myself with the "sounds" of things. I'm pretty alright now... I'm actually having AC issues in my VW which is a pretty poor combination of someone who has to wear a suit regularly... but that's another story. I typically turn the AC off when I'm approaching an entrance ramp or on a moderately steep hill but I think that's more placebo psychology then anything else. I used to drive a really underpowered car (albeit auto) which having the AC on or off was NOT a placebo effect at all- it was all about planning/praying. Old habits die hard though.

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tankinbeans
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Re: New Member - First-time Manual Driver

Postby tankinbeans » Thu May 26, 2016 4:34 pm

Blast the AC. You've got the juice. I wouldn't survive without it.
17 Mazda6
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InlinePaul wrote:The driving force of new fangled features to sell more cars [is to] cater to the masses' abject laziness!

MH86
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Re: New Member - First-time Manual Driver

Postby MH86 » Thu May 26, 2016 8:30 pm

Teamwork wrote:This video helped me greatly- it emphasizes clutch control: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fc61Q_Z4GEs


Thanks for pointing me towards that video; it was very useful. After seeing how much that professional driving instructor slipped the clutch when taking off and creeping ahead at stop signs (or at least the British equivalent), I'm feeling better about how I use the clutch in daily driving.

Teamwork wrote:I hear ya. For now, I'm working on launching gently, which weirdly enough, worked better today when I had the radio on fairly loud and the A/C on almost full-blast. And to think that I was worried about not being able to hear the engine ...
When I first started out I pretty much never used the radio so I could really acquaint myself with the "sounds" of things. I'm pretty alright now... I'm actually having AC issues in my VW which is a pretty poor combination of someone who has to wear a suit regularly... but that's another story. I typically turn the AC off when I'm approaching an entrance ramp or on a moderately steep hill but I think that's more placebo psychology then anything else. I used to drive a really underpowered car (albeit auto) which having the AC on or off was NOT a placebo effect at all- it was all about planning/praying. Old habits die hard though.

Damn, hope your A/C gets fixed soon. I thankfully don't have to wear a suit to work, but this is not the right season to be without ice-cold A/C.

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Re: New Member - First-time Manual Driver

Postby MH86 » Thu May 26, 2016 8:31 pm

tankinbeans wrote:Blast the AC. You've got the juice. I wouldn't survive without it.

I'm with you on that. Even though I don't like when A/C is blasted in buildings or homes, I feel like it's absolutely necessary in a car with the summer sun beating down on it.

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Re: New Member - First-time Manual Driver

Postby IMBoring25 » Thu May 26, 2016 11:15 pm

I'm pretty sure most if not all modern vehicles have a switch that kills the A/C compressor under WOT.

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Re: New Member - First-time Manual Driver

Postby AHTOXA » Fri May 27, 2016 12:36 am

Welp, OP is in good hands here. I don't have anything new to add.
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Teamwork
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Re: New Member - First-time Manual Driver

Postby Teamwork » Fri May 27, 2016 2:39 pm

Thanks for pointing me towards that video; it was very useful. After seeing how much that professional driving instructor slipped the clutch when taking off and creeping ahead at stop signs (or at least the British equivalent), I'm feeling better about how I use the clutch in daily driving.

It's definitely an interesting take on things but I really enjoy and found this videos helpful because of the "camera angles" employed. Extraneous things I found interesting is how liberally they use the park brake and how the red light turns yellow before it turns green and vice versa.

Damn, hope your A/C gets fixed soon. I thankfully don't have to wear a suit to work, but this is not the right season to be without ice-cold A/C.

I really jinx'ed it because the first month I had the car which was in the end of July and August I said this is one of the best A/C units I ever used. 6 fan speed settings and probably one of the only units I don't use "MAX AC" on. That's the sad part... when it works- it really works and when it doesn't- well when it rains... it pours.

Blast the AC. You've got the juice. I wouldn't survive without it.

Haha, I literally when I was younger (and by younger I mean when I didn't wear a suit) I never used the AC on Long Island unless it was like 90+ out. Even in the 80's I'd just roll down the winters. I really just am a windows guy I guess.. I even open the windows on the highway and am not too bothered by the wind turbulence. At night even I feel like it keeps me awake and engaged. Vice versa though when I'm in the house or in any establishment... I need AC.

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Re: New Member - First-time Manual Driver

Postby MH86 » Fri May 27, 2016 4:12 pm

Teamwork wrote:
Thanks for pointing me towards that video; it was very useful. After seeing how much that professional driving instructor slipped the clutch when taking off and creeping ahead at stop signs (or at least the British equivalent), I'm feeling better about how I use the clutch in daily driving.
It's definitely an interesting take on things but I really enjoy and found this videos helpful because of the "camera angles" employed. Extraneous things I found interesting is how liberally they use the park brake and how the red light turns yellow before it turns green and vice versa.

Yes. That yellow before green would be immensely useful for us manual drivers (which is why I'm guessing that sequence still exists elsewhere in the world).

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Re: New Member - First-time Manual Driver

Postby MH86 » Sat Jun 18, 2016 8:36 am

Just wanted to give an update:

While my driving has improved in the past few weeks, anxiety got the best of me this week and I've been taking public transportation to/from work and practicing at night. Aside from some jittery starts (probably because my leg was shaking), I drove fine. In fact, this morning, I made myself drive to the gym (I could easily walk it but decided that I need the driving practice after this week) and didn't stall or peel out once. I even made myself stop at the top of a steep hill (it was empty, of course) and managed to do a perfect start with no rollback, peeling out or stalling (and that was without using the handbrake).

A lot of my anxiety stems from the many hills I have to drive up on my commute (for those of you familiar with NY, I work in Port Washington, where every route into/out of town is through some sort of hill). I rarely roll back, but I have this ridiculous fear that I'm holding up traffic as I'm finding the friction point before switching from the brakes to the gas (although I KNOW that barely takes a second and that the drivers behind me would gladly prefer that to me rolling back into them). I'm also nervous that all those hill starts will ruin my clutch, even though I've already experienced what a burning clutch smells like (which I have not done too often, thankfully).

I guess I went into this full-force and tried too hard to push away my anxieties. For those of you that started driving manual in very crowded areas, how long did it take for the nerves to go away?

I'm not giving up - I'm well-aware of the many advantages of manual transmissions (even in traffic). Thanks in advance for your encouragement.

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Re: New Member - First-time Manual Driver

Postby potownrob » Sat Jun 18, 2016 9:10 am

MH86 wrote:Just wanted to give an update:

While my driving has improved in the past few weeks, anxiety got the best of me this week and I've been taking public transportation to/from work and practicing at night. Aside from some jittery starts (probably because my leg was shaking), I drove fine. In fact, this morning, I made myself drive to the gym (I could easily walk it but decided that I need the driving practice after this week) and didn't stall or peel out once. I even made myself stop at the top of a steep hill (it was empty, of course) and managed to do a perfect start with no rollback, peeling out or stalling (and that was without using the handbrake).

A lot of my anxiety stems from the many hills I have to drive up on my commute (for those of you familiar with NY, I work in Port Washington, where every route into/out of town is through some sort of hill). I rarely roll back, but I have this ridiculous fear that I'm holding up traffic as I'm finding the friction point before switching from the brakes to the gas (although I KNOW that barely takes a second and that the drivers behind me would gladly prefer that to me rolling back into them). I'm also nervous that all those hill starts will ruin my clutch, even though I've already experienced what a burning clutch smells like (which I have not done too often, thankfully).

I guess I went into this full-force and tried too hard to push away my anxieties. For those of you that started driving manual in very crowded areas, how long did it take for the nerves to go away?

I'm not giving up - I'm well-aware of the many advantages of manual transmissions (even in traffic). Thanks in advance for your encouragement.
while I didn't have to learn in a crowded city, I was driving in rush hour traffic (for upstate ny) when I got my first manual car. I still had my old automatic car when I first got the manual and I would drive that one at least once a week at first, not just to keep it in running condition but also to ease my nerves from my frustrations with the manual. It's good to take a break from something to come back to it fresh and realize you're not so bad at it. What's just as important though is to plow through the hard stuff to come out victorious, in this case meaning to keep driving despite your frustrations and worries. It's okay to take a break here and there, but never give up.
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Re: New Member - First-time Manual Driver

Postby MH86 » Sat Jun 18, 2016 9:23 am

potownrob wrote:
MH86 wrote:Just wanted to give an update:

While my driving has improved in the past few weeks, anxiety got the best of me this week and I've been taking public transportation to/from work and practicing at night. Aside from some jittery starts (probably because my leg was shaking), I drove fine. In fact, this morning, I made myself drive to the gym (I could easily walk it but decided that I need the driving practice after this week) and didn't stall or peel out once. I even made myself stop at the top of a steep hill (it was empty, of course) and managed to do a perfect start with no rollback, peeling out or stalling (and that was without using the handbrake).

A lot of my anxiety stems from the many hills I have to drive up on my commute (for those of you familiar with NY, I work in Port Washington, where every route into/out of town is through some sort of hill). I rarely roll back, but I have this ridiculous fear that I'm holding up traffic as I'm finding the friction point before switching from the brakes to the gas (although I KNOW that barely takes a second and that the drivers behind me would gladly prefer that to me rolling back into them). I'm also nervous that all those hill starts will ruin my clutch, even though I've already experienced what a burning clutch smells like (which I have not done too often, thankfully).

I guess I went into this full-force and tried too hard to push away my anxieties. For those of you that started driving manual in very crowded areas, how long did it take for the nerves to go away?

I'm not giving up - I'm well-aware of the many advantages of manual transmissions (even in traffic). Thanks in advance for your encouragement.
while I didn't have to learn in a crowded city, I was driving in rush hour traffic (for upstate ny) when I got my first manual car. I still had my old automatic car when I first got the manual and I would drive that one at least once a week at first, not just to keep it in running condition but also to ease my nerves from my frustrations with the manual. It's good to take a break from something to come back to it fresh and realize you're not so bad at it. What's just as important though is to plow through the hard stuff to come out victorious, in this case meaning to keep driving despite your frustrations and worries. It's okay to take a break here and there, but never give up.


Thanks for your encouraging words. Even though earlier this week I was looking at my experience as a failure, I'm going to treat this as a little break, similar to cramming the night before a big test vs. studying in little chunks over a few days. I've only had the car for 5 weeks as of today. The next time I'm on a hill in traffic, maybe I'll stop frantically checking my mirrors to see how close to my rear bumper the car behind me actually is. Of course this is easy for me to say while I'm not behind the wheel, but if I can tackle a hill start without rollback when no cars are behind me, cars waiting behind me shouldn't really change anything. Besides, most of these hills are steep enough that automatics won't creep forward unless the driver steps on the gas, meaning everyone is a little slow up these hills, regardless of transmission.

I see in your profile that you have a '16 VW Golf (that blue is a nice color). Is your clutch's biting point (I'm assuming you have the 5-speed) also high up in the pedal? I've heard that about many VW's (mine included) and wanted to hear first-hand from someone.


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