New Member - First-time Manual Driver

Just sign up? Feel free to tell your fellow Standardshifters about yourself, your car or anything else.
User avatar
tankinbeans
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 3696
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:04 pm
Cars: 17 300S, 03 Century
Location: Shakopee, MN

Re: New Member - First-time Manual Driver

Postby tankinbeans » Fri Jul 01, 2016 9:39 am

No matter how many times I try, I cannot get behind shifting at 2k. It's easier to listen for my shift point than to try and watch for it. Trying to stick to 2k requires me to obsess over the tach and the damned shit light. Not worth it.

Fuel economy be damned, I'll usually ring her out to at least 3k so I can maintain peak torque when she drops back to 2.5 (that is until 5 and 6 when the ratio varies a bit).
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!

MH86
Junior Standardshifter
Posts: 77
Joined: Sat May 14, 2016 4:45 pm
Cars: 2016 VW Jetta SE
Location: Queens, NY

Re: New Member - First-time Manual Driver

Postby MH86 » Fri Jul 01, 2016 3:12 pm

Teamwork wrote:
You're definitely right that I shouldn't pay too much attention to traffic behind me - my best driving has been in such cases.

My mind wanders and I hated really long ques. I was living in a fantasy that every light was going to stay green for me and that I would be able to really minimize 1st gear launches... or at least that's what my psyche wanted. Every time I got to a long red light I would think about the bad things that could happen- it was counter productive for sure.

This weekend, I need to practice some more hill starts, and maybe I'll make a conscious effort to do them slowly, as if I were inching up in traffic.

Do it up. Also, like I said in prior posts maybe purposely try and find a hill in a secluded parking lot and roll backwards purposely. Get accustomed to the sensation and get used to how the hill start assist functions. Inch up, stop completely, wait 4-5 seconds, and try it again (simulating a traffic crawl).

The closest thing I have to a parking lot with a hill is a multi-level parking lot with a lot of ramps. If I go there early enough, I should be able to practice rolling back on purpose and finding where the clutch holds the car in place, not to mention learning to trust hill start assist and practicing inching forward, which will greatly expand my on-street parking options.

I take every possible opportunity to no-gas launch. When I'm driving around Queens (where nearly every traffic light is timed with a walk signal countdown) and I'm the lead car at a red light, I start no-gas launching when cross traffic's walk signal only has a few seconds left so that I'm fully off the clutch once my light turns green.[/ quote]
We are just starting to implement those cross signals on LI. Most major roads have them (where this makes sense since if you got caught in the middle you might be in a tough spot) but many of the localized roads don't. The two only time I can really think specifically in regular traffic that I do a no gas launch is if I'm facing a moderate/steep decline at a stop or if I'm crawling in bumper to bumper traffic and I am unsure how far we'll be moving up but the car in front of me slowly creeps forward. For everything else I pretty much use at least a bit of gas to aid me in the launch.

Those cross signals will greatly help you. Even when I drove an automatic, I liked knowing when the light will change. For us manual drivers in the U.S., that countdown is as useful as the yellow before green in other countries.

Really funny that you said that in the last sentence... I joke with another MK7 owner that you can't survive shifting at 2k on LI- they need to tune it for LI aggressive driving. I usually shift out of 1st pretty leisurely at at least 2.5k and then 2nd gear really depends on what my intent is. 10 Mph is also a sweet spot for my car too... I can either slip the clutch for longer in 2nd at 7-8 mph or attempt to not buck getting back into 1st. I don't think my car tells me to 2>1 downshift though unless I'm in 2nd and under like 6 mph which by then I'm juddering if not killed. That's literally the only time it will indicate to downshift too when it's like an extreme situation. I think if I'm in 6th gear and reach below 34 mph it'll finally tell me to downshift even though at that point I'm driving with a dead engine essentially. I know it's tuned for fuel economy but it's pretty obnoxious that you don't even have an option to disable it.

That's interesting that your experience with the gear guide is similar to mine, even though your car is more powerful than mine and you have a 6-speed (at least I thought the GTI had a 6-speed) and I have a 5-speed. It's a shame that the gear guide wasn't just another menu option (like distance to empty, etc).

Rope-Pusher
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 10461
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 3:44 pm
Cars: '08 Jeep Liberty
Location: Greater Detroit Area

Re: New Member - First-time Manual Driver

Postby Rope-Pusher » Fri Jul 01, 2016 9:18 pm

MH86 wrote: It's a shame that the gear guide wasn't just another menu option (like distance to empty, etc).

http://www.harborfreight.com/34-in-x-60 ... 69570.html

Hebrew Freight has a tool that lets you disable the gear guide - and it's only $0.99 on sale now!
'08 Jeep Liberty 6-Speed MT - "Last of the Mohicans"

MH86
Junior Standardshifter
Posts: 77
Joined: Sat May 14, 2016 4:45 pm
Cars: 2016 VW Jetta SE
Location: Queens, NY

Re: New Member - First-time Manual Driver

Postby MH86 » Sat Jul 02, 2016 7:45 am

Rope-Pusher wrote:
MH86 wrote: It's a shame that the gear guide wasn't just another menu option (like distance to empty, etc).

http://www.harborfreight.com/34-in-x-60 ... 69570.html

Hebrew Freight has a tool that lets you disable the gear guide - and it's only $0.99 on sale now!

I'm quite familiar with that gear guide disabling tool. It's just that I have to decide whether that piece of tape will bother me more than the damn gear guide.

Yes, I'm that OCD :D

Rope-Pusher
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 10461
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 3:44 pm
Cars: '08 Jeep Liberty
Location: Greater Detroit Area

Re: New Member - First-time Manual Driver

Postby Rope-Pusher » Sat Jul 02, 2016 9:57 am

MH86 wrote:
Rope-Pusher wrote:
MH86 wrote: It's a shame that the gear guide wasn't just another menu option (like distance to empty, etc).

http://www.harborfreight.com/34-in-x-60 ... 69570.html

Hebrew Freight has a tool that lets you disable the gear guide - and it's only $0.99 on sale now!

I'm quite familiar with that gear guide disabling tool. It's just that I have to decide whether that piece of tape will bother me more than the damn gear guide.

Yes, I'm that OCD :D

The gear guide is like some aquaintance, we won't even call them a friend, who is known for offering unsolicited opinions even when nobody is seeking an opinion - you learn to ignore them. If the same opinion came from a friend, after you asked them what they thought, you might take it or you might say "you might be right, but I still think I'm gonna do it the other way".
'08 Jeep Liberty 6-Speed MT - "Last of the Mohicans"

MH86
Junior Standardshifter
Posts: 77
Joined: Sat May 14, 2016 4:45 pm
Cars: 2016 VW Jetta SE
Location: Queens, NY

Re: New Member - First-time Manual Driver

Postby MH86 » Sat Jul 02, 2016 10:20 am

Rope-Pusher wrote:
MH86 wrote:
Rope-Pusher wrote:http://www.harborfreight.com/34-in-x-60 ... 69570.html

Hebrew Freight has a tool that lets you disable the gear guide - and it's only $0.99 on sale now!

I'm quite familiar with that gear guide disabling tool. It's just that I have to decide whether that piece of tape will bother me more than the damn gear guide.

Yes, I'm that OCD :D

The gear guide is like some aquaintance, we won't even call them a friend, who is known for offering unsolicited opinions even when nobody is seeking an opinion - you learn to ignore them. If the same opinion came from a friend, after you asked them what they thought, you might take it or you might say "you might be right, but I still think I'm gonna do it the other way".

That's the best way to describe it. Honestly, though, the only possible advantage it may have is that (at least on VWs) one can quickly see what gear they're in by glancing at the instrument panel - but it's really not that difficult to just remember what gear you're in.

Teamwork
Senior Standardshifter
Posts: 476
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:49 pm
Cars: 2015 VW GTI

Re: New Member - First-time Manual Driver

Postby Teamwork » Sat Jul 02, 2016 1:04 pm

The closest thing I have to a parking lot with a hill is a multi-level parking lot with a lot of ramps. If I go there early enough, I should be able to practice rolling back on purpose and finding where the clutch holds the car in place, not to mention learning to trust hill start assist and practicing inching forward, which will greatly expand my on-street parking options.

I didn't really fully understand hill start assist but I knew from being in the Subaru community a lot of people complained about it being too intrusive. That plus using a lot of UK instructional drivers ed (I don't know what they classify driving school over seas?) I resorted to the parking brake for my first few weeks. It was fine and really I didn't need any practice doing it- I just kind of did it and kept doing it. A great video showed me basically for key things to look for because I too was unsure of the clutch bite but when the car squats in the rear and lifts its nose is a good indication that you're good to slowly release the brake- key word slowly and progressive. Like I said in prior posts though, one random day I just tried it without it and I was fine. I wanted to really know the thresh holds of hill start assist though before getting over confident and so I could have a better understanding. I know a lot of purists probably hate the idea of the technology and don't need it but I really embrace it. I'm all for things that 'stay behind the scenes' and aid the driver. Not saying I wouldn't be able to drive stick without it but why hate on it?

Those cross signals will greatly help you. Even when I drove an automatic, I liked knowing when the light will change. For us manual drivers in the U.S., that countdown is as useful as the yellow before green in other countries.

For the streets that do have it- I use it and really can't believe it ever didn't exist. I mean it aids pedestrians greatly I would say... especially in NY if you had to cross a main road of 6-7 lanes...

That's interesting that your experience with the gear guide is similar to mine, even though your car is more powerful than mine and you have a 6-speed (at least I thought the GTI had a 6-speed) and I have a 5-speed. It's a shame that the gear guide wasn't just another menu option (like distance to empty, etc).

It's even funnier in the owners manual how they clear every liability clause and cover their asses. It's without a doubt programmed for fuel economy but it really could be a bit more realistic in real world settings. The FRS/BRZ which is essentially in the same price class as my car (if not even a bit cheaper) has a way to turn it completely off or you can program your own shift lights for up shifts at certain rpms. I'm pretty sure in 2016 the tech to do this cheaply is widely available.

MH86
Junior Standardshifter
Posts: 77
Joined: Sat May 14, 2016 4:45 pm
Cars: 2016 VW Jetta SE
Location: Queens, NY

Re: New Member - First-time Manual Driver

Postby MH86 » Sat Jul 02, 2016 2:06 pm

Teamwork wrote:
The closest thing I have to a parking lot with a hill is a multi-level parking lot with a lot of ramps. If I go there early enough, I should be able to practice rolling back on purpose and finding where the clutch holds the car in place, not to mention learning to trust hill start assist and practicing inching forward, which will greatly expand my on-street parking options.
I didn't really fully understand hill start assist but I knew from being in the Subaru community a lot of people complained about it being too intrusive. That plus using a lot of UK instructional drivers ed (I don't know what they classify driving school over seas?) I resorted to the parking brake for my first few weeks. It was fine and really I didn't need any practice doing it- I just kind of did it and kept doing it. A great video showed me basically for key things to look for because I too was unsure of the clutch bite but when the car squats in the rear and lifts its nose is a good indication that you're good to slowly release the brake- key word slowly and progressive. Like I said in prior posts though, one random day I just tried it without it and I was fine. I wanted to really know the thresh holds of hill start assist though before getting over confident and so I could have a better understanding. I know a lot of purists probably hate the idea of the technology and don't need it but I really embrace it. I'm all for things that 'stay behind the scenes' and aid the driver. Not saying I wouldn't be able to drive stick without it but why hate on it?

I didn't get to the parking lot I wanted to practice in today (it was closed early this morning and it's part of a mall so it's definitely crowded now), but I did practice a bit on a fairly steep hill near my place. I've driven on that hill before and each time I thought that the car was going slow because it was a steep hill. It turns out that I've been fighting hill start assist. Sure enough, when I did the classic learning trick of roll backwards a bit, and then lift up the clutch to stop rolling back, I actually was able to do a no-gas launch. I might go back to the e-brake method for a bit since (as you pointed out above), you see the nose lift up and you KNOW that you're at the bite and once you let the e-brake down, you'll either be standing perfectly still (in which case you just lift the clutch a bit more while holding the accelerator steady) or you're moving forward. Also, with the e-brake method, I get to set some revs, which gives me a little extra reassurance.

When you did the e-brake method on hills, did you rev the engine as you did it, or would the nose of the car lift up even if you just brought the clutch to the bite without gas (at which point you'd be releasing the e-brake and adding gas simultaneously)? As I've said before, I've used the e-brake method to pull out of uphill parallel parking spaces the few times I've tried to park there, and I find it to be a smoother hill start than the other method (probably because I'm more confident about the car actually moving forward). I'll continue trying to not use the e-brake when there's no cars behind me though. When I took stick shift lessons, I was taught both methods for hill starts, but I always felt more secure with the e-brake method. As a matter of fact, I've noticed that as I pull out of parking spaces on level ground, I tend to time my release of the e-brake with the clutch reaching the biting point (which is actually how they seem to teach drivers in the U.K., according the many videos on YouTube that I've been watching).

I'm sure that hill start assist may be useful, but it's been a source of frustration for me because I feel like I need to accelerate harder to disable it, and that's caused me trouble in slow-speed situations, where I'd worry that I'm accelerating too fast to safely maneuver.

Those cross signals will greatly help you. Even when I drove an automatic, I liked knowing when the light will change. For us manual drivers in the U.S., that countdown is as useful as the yellow before green in other countries.

If not for those countdown crosswalks, I'm not entirely sure how I'd safely cross Queens Boulevard (which for those of you who don't know, has been nicknamed the "boulevard of death" in the past). As for driving, I used those countdown crosswalks early this morning to time a no-gas launch for when each light turned green. Again, very useful.

I'm sure it's programmed for fuel economy, but even without listening to the lights, I've still managed 30+ mpg (calculated by hand, NOT the on-board computer) if my driving was mostly highway. If it regularly recommended upshifts at about 2,500 rpm, I'd probably still find it annoying, but at least it would be more realistic.

Teamwork
Senior Standardshifter
Posts: 476
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:49 pm
Cars: 2015 VW GTI

Re: New Member - First-time Manual Driver

Postby Teamwork » Sat Jul 02, 2016 2:54 pm

When you did the e-brake method on hills, did you rev the engine as you did it, or would the nose of the car lift up even if you just brought the clutch to the bite without gas (at which point you'd be releasing the e-brake and adding gas simultaneously)?

I have honestly never attempted a no gas launch on a hill ever, period so I wouldn't be the right person to ask. Doesn't really make sense to me... but I'm sure it would work though not 100% positive. I barely move if not a few inches and fairly slowly on level ground doing a "no gas launch" so I definitely wouldn't not use gas going up an incline and fighting gravity. You can definitely see the car squat and lift its nose though like that's no illusion.

4:05 is definitely a scenario worth watching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fc61Q_Z4GEs

The other point of emphasis with using the e-brake and such is the "vocal tone" of the engine. When you get into the biting point and giving it revs the engine note will change- hard to explain in words but you'll definitely notice the tone change from when its in neutral or engaged.

I have to disagree though about your thought process with hill start assist though from the things that you've stated. As soon as you touch the throttle it should fully release the brake- no matter how hard or light you press it. Literally if I'm sitting on a hill and rev before I do anything- it'll disengage the hill start assist immediately so that's how I know it disengages immediately with any throttle input (which makes sense). I know people who are too lazy to get disabled with the coding and will literally do this... rev right before they start moving and then release the clutch and re-rev to essentially "disable" the feature. Also, another thing worth throwing out there is if you don't come to a complete stop of 0 mph the hill start assist won't catch you. This kind of catches me off guard at times because I'm moving so slow that in my mind "I'm stopped" but I'll start rolling back pretty fast realizing I didn't stop completely.

MH86
Junior Standardshifter
Posts: 77
Joined: Sat May 14, 2016 4:45 pm
Cars: 2016 VW Jetta SE
Location: Queens, NY

Re: New Member - First-time Manual Driver

Postby MH86 » Sat Jul 02, 2016 3:15 pm

Teamwork wrote:
When you did the e-brake method on hills, did you rev the engine as you did it, or would the nose of the car lift up even if you just brought the clutch to the bite without gas (at which point you'd be releasing the e-brake and adding gas simultaneously)?

I have honestly never attempted a no gas launch on a hill ever, period so I wouldn't be the right person to ask. Doesn't really make sense to me... but I'm sure it would work though not 100% positive. I barely move if not a few inches and fairly slowly on level ground doing a "no gas launch" so I definitely wouldn't not use gas going up an incline and fighting gravity. You can definitely see the car squat and lift its nose though like that's no illusion.

That's fair. Honestly, my no-gas launch uphill today was a total fluke as I was just practicing some clutch control; I didn't think the 1.4 had enough torque for that. As I said before, my other e-brake launches were done with 1500-2000 rpms, and I'm much calmer pulling away like that, even though the e-brake adds another feature that needs to be finessed into the mix. I might've been pushing myself a little too hard these past few weeks to not use the e-brake.

4:05 is definitely a scenario worth watching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fc61Q_Z4GEs

The other point of emphasis with using the e-brake and such is the "vocal tone" of the engine. When you get into the biting point and giving it revs the engine note will change- hard to explain in words but you'll definitely notice the tone change from when its in neutral or engaged.

I've watched this video before, but thanks for pointing me back to it. Between the nose of the car dipping up AND the engine note definitively changing, there is no doubt of when you've got the biting point with that method.

I have to disagree though about your thought process with hill start assist though from the things that you've stated. As soon as you touch the throttle it should fully release the brake- no matter how hard or light you press it. Literally if I'm sitting on a hill and rev before I do anything- it'll disengage the hill start assist immediately so that's how I know it disengages immediately with any throttle input (which makes sense). I know people who are too lazy to get disabled with the coding and will literally do this... rev right before they start moving and then release the clutch and re-rev to essentially "disable" the feature. Also, another thing worth throwing out there is if you don't come to a complete stop of 0 mph the hill start assist won't catch you. This kind of catches me off guard at times because I'm moving so slow that in my mind "I'm stopped" but I'll start rolling back pretty fast realizing I didn't stop completely.

I'll take your word about the throttle and hill start assist; I need to try that for myself the next time I can find an empty hill. I'm well aware of the hill assist not working if you don't come to a complete stop. Every morning, to leave my parking area, I have to climb up a slight ramp, where I need to momentarily balance the gas and clutch before I pull out onto a narrow road. Of course I get that right because there's not usually other cars behind me.

UPDATE: I found another empty hill just before and I had some time to practice. Teamwork, you're right about the hill assist - it does disengage with the smallest amount of throttle. It will just take some time for me to adjust to it. I also practiced moving forward very slowly with the smallest amount of gas. I must admit that I tend to hit the gas too hard if I'm anxious (even in an automatic); I need to train myself to only use a small squeeze of gas when I'm in 1st gear.


Return to “New Member Introductions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest