Explain me this, Forums Dot Final Gear Dot Com.

Whappeh

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How in the name of all that is decent is one supposed to operate a manual car at speeds under 25 mph? 1st gear isn't enough, 2nd gear is too much. If I leave it in first all the old people in the parking lot going for Sunday strolls look at me like I'm evil, if I switch to 2nd the car shutters due to lack of power and its hard to maintain the speedlimit.

My solution has been to rev the car to get some momentum in 1st, then just press the clutch and coast for a while until it needs another boost in speed.

Is this bad for the clutch? The gears?

Secondly, why do people in automatics have to get 3 inches behind your car on a hill? Is murder legal in these situations?

Thirdly, how resistant are engines to high revs? While I understand running around town in 2nd gear and 8000rpm will do major damage, would running it at 4000 or 5000 for 25-30 seconds do any real damage?

Fourthly, I try to downshift as much as possible especially to assist in slowing down. However, sometimes I'll just pop it in neutral and just use the breaks. Explain to me why this is wrong, and how awful of a driver I am for doing this.

Thank you for your loving support,
Whappeh
 

thevictor390

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I have some very similar questions having driven a manual all of 5 minutes in my life. In general, is it bad to skip gears?
 

katwalk

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Secondly, why do people in automatics have to get 3 inches behind your car on a hill? Is murder legal in these situations?

You live in america, most of those people don't know what manuals are :lol:
 

sifu

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nothing wrong with skipping gears, its economical, nothing wrong coasting in neutral, its not so economical compared to motor braking.. auto drivers tend to kiss the bumber because they think that all drive automatics.
 

the Interceptor

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How in the name of all that is decent is one supposed to operate a manual car at speeds under 25 mph? 1st gear isn't enough, 2nd gear is too much. If I leave it in first all the old people in the parking lot going for Sunday strolls look at me like I'm evil, if I switch to 2nd the car shutters due to lack of power and its hard to maintain the speedlimit.

My solution has been to rev the car to get some momentum in 1st, then just press the clutch and coast for a while until it needs another boost in speed.

Is this bad for the clutch? The gears?
Probably, but not worse than kangarooing your way through 1st. It very much depends on the car, some are easily driveable in 1st, some are impossible. You need to be very gently-gently with your right foot. No sudden changes and eeeeeeeeasy on the throttle, that should do the trick. Since the connection between revs and wheels is very narrow in 1st, your car will respond to throttle inputs much stronger, therefore, you just need to be that bit more careful with it.

Thirdly, how resistant are engines to high revs? While I understand running around town in 2nd gear and 8000rpm will do major damage, would running it at 4000 or 5000 for 25-30 seconds do any real damage?
Given the engine is warmed up properly, revs are not a problem at all, given you avoid heavy abuse.

Fourthly, I try to downshift as much as possible especially to assist in slowing down. However, sometimes I'll just pop it in neutral and just use the breaks. Explain to me why this is wrong, and how awful of a driver I am for doing this.
It's alright. A lot of people argue that changing brake pads and discs will come you much cheaper than installing a new clutch, so downshifting to use the engine to brake is moot. It really depends on how you like it. I usually don't really shift down, I'll just let the car coast in whatever gear I'm in until the engine reaches the idle rev mark (or slightly above) and then clutch-out. Only when I'm going fast and could make good use of the engine braking (as in leaving the Autobahn), I shift down a gear, then another.
 
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Shentar

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How in the name of all that is decent is one supposed to operate a manual car at speeds under 25 mph? 1st gear isn't enough, 2nd gear is too much. If I leave it in first all the old people in the parking lot going for Sunday strolls look at me like I'm evil, if I switch to 2nd the car shutters due to lack of power and its hard to maintain the speedlimit.

Stay in 1st. If your car is shuddering, you are in too high of a gear. Alternatively, get a car with more torque and it won't be an issue. My G35 can drive at 35 mph in 5th gear and still have some acceleration. It can maintain 35 in 6th, but its just a little too high of a gear.

My solution has been to rev the car to get some momentum in 1st, then just press the clutch and coast for a while until it needs another boost in speed.

Is this bad for the clutch? The gears?

That works. Its not bad, as long as you are riding the clutch. The clutch is designed to be the weakest part of the whole transmission. While annoying to replace, its designed to fail to save the transmission. The clutch is about all you will wear out.

Secondly, why do people in automatics have to get 3 inches behind your car on a hill? Is murder legal in these situations?

Autos are easy to start on a hill. Most of them either aren't thinking, or have never driven a manual. Most are just dicks. I live in San Francisco and have a manual. Its fun <sarcasm>

Thirdly, how resistant are engines to high revs? While I understand running around town in 2nd gear and 8000rpm will do major damage, would running it at 4000 or 5000 for 25-30 seconds do any real damage?

As long as you aren't redlining the engine, its sorta okay. The engine was designed to work correctly up to a certain rev. Above that redline is bad. It will wear the engine down faster at higher revs. You will also have worse mileage at higher revs than lower one.

Fourthly, I try to downshift as much as possible especially to assist in slowing down. However, sometimes I'll just pop it in neutral and just use the breaks. Explain to me why this is wrong, and how awful of a driver I am for doing this.

Downshifting to let the drivetrain slow you down isn't bad. It puts strain on the drivetrain, but again, its designed to do this. Putting the clutch in and letting the brakes slow you down is okay too. It puts all of the work of slowing down the car on the brakes, but the brakes are designed to do that. You will have brake pads more often doing that. Do what you feel more comfortable with. I prefer to let the engine do some of the work. I don't downshift to the point where I am at redline or overrevving, but midrange revs to help slow down is alright, and give me more control, I think. You aren't an awful driver for these things.

Skipping gears isn't bad, per se. If you miss a gear on a downshift and cause the engine to overrev, thats bad. It may wear the engine and drivetrain down a little more because of the strain of the drivetrain having to slow or speed the engine up to match, but it can handle it.
 

Whappeh

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If "buying a car with more torque" was an option, my life would be great in more ways then one. :lol: Still, cheers for the advice.
 

Spectre

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How in the name of all that is decent is one supposed to operate a manual car at speeds under 25 mph? 1st gear isn't enough, 2nd gear is too much. If I leave it in first all the old people in the parking lot going for Sunday strolls look at me like I'm evil, if I switch to 2nd the car shutters due to lack of power and its hard to maintain the speedlimit.

My solution has been to rev the car to get some momentum in 1st, then just press the clutch and coast for a while until it needs another boost in speed.

Is this bad for the clutch? The gears?

Ignore the old people and keep it in first. Sounds like you have a wide ratio box and an engine with little low-end torque.

It's not bad for either; or rather, it's better than the alternative, which is lugging the engine in too high a gear for the speed/conditions.

You might also wish to learn greater throttle modulation skills so as to not have to coast. Your car may not allow this, though.

Secondly, why do people in automatics have to get 3 inches behind your car on a hill? Is murder legal in these situations?

"Use the parking brake, Luke!"

Thirdly, how resistant are engines to high revs? While I understand running around town in 2nd gear and 8000rpm will do major damage, would running it at 4000 or 5000 for 25-30 seconds do any real damage?

Not so much, no. Depending on where your redline is, of course. 5000 on my Series III is bumping into the redline, whereas 5000 on my motorcycle is the point at which it just starts to wake up and look around (10750 redline).

Fourthly, I try to downshift as much as possible especially to assist in slowing down. However, sometimes I'll just pop it in neutral and just use the breaks. Explain to me why this is wrong, and how awful of a driver I am for doing this.

It's spelled 'brakes', dammit. :p

While downshifting and using engine braking to slow down is desirable on a track or when driving briskly though a lot of twisties on an occasional basis, this is not generally a good idea on the street. It puts a lot of stress and wear on the clutch and shortens the clutch's life. Clutches cost a lot of money to replace, brakes do not. Therefore, use the brakes to slow down in regular driving.

Also, don't leave the gear lever in neutral while braking, as you may have to suddenly accelerate. Leave it in gear and use the clutch pedal as needed. Quite often when coming up to a light after exiting a freeway I will leave the car in 5th or 6th and disengage the clutch when I get down to 15-20mph while braking, only shifting into first when almost stoppped. If I think I might need to pull away, I might also shift from 5th to 3rd to 1st, keeping the clutch pedal depressed.
 

Cowboy

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I for some reason find this topic incredibly strange........ I now manuals are uncommen over there but a 23 year old man who is obviosly in some way interested in cars (or you wouldnt be here right? ) who seems to have so little understanding (no offence) of driving a manual?

strange....
 

Spectre

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I for some reason find this topic incredibly strange........ I now manuals are uncommen over there but a 23 year old man who is obviosly in some way interested in cars (or you wouldnt be here right? ) how seems to have so little understanding (no offence) of driving a manual?

strange....

I think part of his problem may be that he learned to drive stick on something that actually had low end torque and now has a vehicle with none. :p

For example, with something like my old 300ZX Turbo and it's 3.0L V6, you could simply put the car in first, slowly let out the clutch without touching the gas, and it would just move off by itself. I don't think you can do that very easily with that Subie.
 
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nouseferaname90

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I for some reason find this topic incredibly strange........ I now manuals are uncommen over there but a 23 year old man who is obviosly in some way interested in cars (or you wouldnt be here right? ) who seems to have so little understanding (no offence) of driving a manual?

strange....

I am 18, like cars, yet I have only driven a manual less than 10 times. It's America.
 

thevictor390

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Try 19 and only driven one once... on a test drive. Hell, I've only been in one two or three times besides that
 

Whappeh

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I think part of his problem may be that he learned to drive stick on something that actually had low end torque and now has a vehicle with none. :p

I actually learned to drive stick on the car I currently have, less then a month ago. :|

Two cars I owned before this were both given to me, and saw the opportunity to get a 4 door, fairly useful, moderately fun car that will give me good gas millage (better then the auto-RX8 I had) and let me learn stick in the process.
 

DanRoM

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How in the name of all that is decent is one supposed to operate a manual car at speeds under 25 mph? 1st gear isn't enough, 2nd gear is too much.
Are you serious? 25 mph, that's 40 kph. I'm switching to 4th gear at that speed. If your engine and transmission are stock, you should be able to drive in 2nd or 3rd gear at that speed without any problems whatsoever. Or Spectre is right and you have a very non-practical gearbox.

Fourthly, I try to downshift as much as possible especially to assist in slowing down. However, sometimes I'll just pop it in neutral and just use the breaks. Explain to me why this is wrong, and how awful of a driver I am for doing this.
Well, with shifting down you wear out your clutch faster, with using neutral you burn more fuel. My advice is to just let it roll in whatever gear you are in and put it in neutral once you reach idle revs.
 

frankiess

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How in the name of all that is decent is one supposed to operate a manual car at speeds under 25 mph? 1st gear isn't enough, 2nd gear is too much. If I leave it in first all the old people in the parking lot going for Sunday strolls look at me like I'm evil, if I switch to 2nd the car shutters due to lack of power and its hard to maintain the speedlimit.

This is the main reason why I tend to drive @ 70kmh in the 50kmh zones, I really don't want to shift down to third in case i encounter a hill. But I kinda know what you're talking about. I usually run into this problem in heavy traffic or indeed parking lots. It's become such a reflex that I don't think about it anymore: I use the second gear as much as possible, switching to first when I run out of torque.

But moving at a constant 50kmh or so, (35mph), I just use top gear. Works great if you don't have to accelerate.
 

Spectre

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I actually learned to drive stick on the car I currently have, less then a month ago. :|

Two cars I owned before this were both given to me, and saw the opportunity to get a 4 door, fairly useful, moderately fun car that will give me good gas millage (better then the auto-RX8 I had) and let me learn stick in the process.

I type corrected, then - usually problems like what you've mentioned are the result of learning stick on a more powerful or at least torquier car.
 

Whappeh

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Well, I'm entirely self taught. My dad does know how to drive manual, but he lives 1,500 miles away, and the only other person I know that can do it happened to go to jail after he said he'd help me (maybe that is better off?) so I am sure I have a ton of awful habits and things that were just never explained to me. Or maybe I am describing my first problem poorly.

Still, every other question gave me good answers that I will be able to use from this point forward.
 

Cowboy

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I think part of his problem may be that he learned to drive stick on something that actually had low end torque and now has a vehicle with none. :p

For example, with something like my old 300ZX Turbo and it's 3.0L V6, you could simply put the car in first, slowly let out the clutch without touching the gas, and it would just move off by itself. I don't think you can do that very easily with that Subie.

thing is.....the average europan/japanese city-minicar crapbox doesnt have low end torque either,or high end torque, or middlerange torque.
It has a hamster going around in a wheel under the bonnet..... I'm talking 950-1200 cc engines here with 75 hp at best, there all manuals.....people drive em all over the place, especialy around town....
And the people buying these things are usually people with no intrest in cars whatsoever, so as proven by Topgear their no good at driving :cool:
 
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