Jerking back and forth when getting car going from stop (N to 1st)

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amucinom
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Jerking back and forth when getting car going from stop (N to 1st)

Post by amucinom » Mon Oct 03, 2016 12:28 pm

Hey guys!

I'm glad I found this forum! I'm a stick shift noob, just got my 2016 Golf GTI about a month ago, and I've been making really good progress! :D
I've got a question for you stick shift gods. Recently, when getting the car going from a stop, just like I've been doing since my dad taught me, get the clutch to the friction point, apply gas, and get it going smoothly. However, 3 out of 10 times that I do that, the car will jerk back and forth. The car's not making any bad sounds or anything, but I was wondering if its something that I'm doing? Maybe applying way more gas than needed? Letting the clutch out too late or too soon?

Again, feels great to finally be a part of this community.

Cheers!
2016 VW Golf GTI 8)

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theholycow
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Re: Jerking back and forth when getting car going from stop (N to 1st)

Post by theholycow » Mon Oct 03, 2016 2:02 pm

That sounds like too much clutch/not enough gas. Right now, if you want to make sure that it never happens then you'll probably be too revvy and slow getting launched. With practice you'll be able to walk that line more finely, controlling engine speed perfectly with clutch engagement.

You might practice some no-gas launching as a foot training exercise. There is a somewhat detailed explanation in the "meta sig" link in my sig.
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Re: Jerking back and forth when getting car going from stop (N to 1st)

Post by IMBoring25 » Mon Oct 03, 2016 2:06 pm

Welcome.

For one thing, some describe it as a friction zone, not a friction point, because there's travel between the point where the clutch first touches and where it clamps tightly enough to effectively lock everything together. The size and grip characteristics in that zone vary from one vehicle to the next, but there should always be a zone.

When a launch isn't smooth for a beginner it's usually because the clutch is coming all the way up too fast. You probably need a little slower travel through the friction zone, maybe even a little more pause.

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Re: Jerking back and forth when getting car going from stop (N to 1st)

Post by tankinbeans » Mon Oct 03, 2016 7:24 pm

I can say this, because I was beyond paranoid about burning up the clutch by longering too long, don't worry about burning it up during a launch (obviously don't tarry at the pedal, but you don't have to treat it like an on/off switch). Unless you're really beaning it for a launch you won't likely create enough heat to do damage. In time you'll get the right mix down and will be able to use more finesse.

I believe most of the issues beginners face is an overabundance of caution vis-a-vis the clutch.
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Re: Jerking back and forth when getting car going from stop (N to 1st)

Post by six » Mon Oct 03, 2016 7:55 pm

Some call this effect the "bucking bronco". Usually, when this happens to me (still happens on rare occasions, believe it or not), I just clutch in and shift to second and "relaunch". Not a big deal at all, only bruises your ego a bit. With practice, it becomes a once-in-a-blue-moon event :)
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amucinom
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Re: Jerking back and forth when getting car going from stop (N to 1st)

Post by amucinom » Tue Oct 04, 2016 1:37 pm

Thank you guys for the input! I will keep practicing every day so really cement these habits.

Today while driving to work, I really paid attention to what I was doing, and by keeping it in the friction zone a little longer, I didn't get the rocking back and forth anymore, so I'll keep doing that!
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Re: Jerking back and forth when getting car going from stop (N to 1st)

Post by Teamwork » Tue Oct 04, 2016 5:43 pm

amucinom wrote:Hey guys!

I'm glad I found this forum! I'm a stick shift noob, just got my 2016 Golf GTI about a month ago, and I've been making really good progress! :D
I've got a question for you stick shift gods. Recently, when getting the car going from a stop, just like I've been doing since my dad taught me, get the clutch to the friction point, apply gas, and get it going smoothly. However, 3 out of 10 times that I do that, the car will jerk back and forth. The car's not making any bad sounds or anything, but I was wondering if its something that I'm doing? Maybe applying way more gas than needed? Letting the clutch out too late or too soon?

Again, feels great to finally be a part of this community.

Cheers!
2015 VW GTI here who also had some "hard transitions". I admittedly didn't read the other replies but I can nearly guarantee that it's a combination of how much gas you're giving it and how fast you are coming off the clutch. You're coming up too quickly out of the friction zone and you are probably spotty with the gas (in the sense that maybe you aren't setting it well or not giving it enough). It took me a long time to really get the timing down of how long to "pause" on the friction point but I would even go out on a limb to say it feels around 5 seconds. I definitely let up my fair share of times too quickly or set the gas and let it drop which caused a "bucking bronco" mess. I hated feeling that more than stalling even. On leisure/casual launches I really only raise the RPM's to about 1100-1200 rpm (that is really all).

Goodluck man!

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Re: Jerking back and forth when getting car going from stop (N to 1st)

Post by bk7794 » Wed Oct 05, 2016 7:06 pm

six wrote:Some call this effect the "bucking bronco". Usually, when this happens to me (still happens on rare occasions, believe it or not), I just clutch in and shift to second and "relaunch". Not a big deal at all, only bruises your ego a bit. With practice, it becomes a once-in-a-blue-moon event :)
Ah I do this quite often. Sometimes if I give it too much gas I just end up throwing it in second and continuing from there.
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