I’d like to leave my 2 cents in this thread from my experience. I’m assuming everyone here is driving a MT e90. If not, you can disregard a few of the things I am going to mention. I drive a 06’ e90 325i.
1. No reason to be clutch happy. If you’re coming from a MT Honda, you will notice that going over speed bumps (unless obnoxiously huge) does not need you to be pressing on the clutch. The car’s electronics gives the vehicle the appropriate amount of gas to keep it going forward in first gear, and there is enough power to the wheels that allows you gently go over speed bumps without pressing the clutch. With this in mind, I’d like to share that while in traffic, I like to make use to the car’s given torque that keeps the car moving at a very slow pace. Give yourself some room between you and the car in front of you so that you don’t find yourself stopping and going constantly. Yes we don’t want people to try to cut in front of us so we tail the other person or something (that’s reckless btw!), but you will catch yourself pressing on your clutch and stopping for no reason and that’s no way to conserve gas… So give yourself some room and let the car cruise. I live in LA and traffic here is horrible, but I only see myself stepping on my clutch only when I KNOW I’m coming to a complete stop. The e90 can reach ridiculously slow speeds before I need to step on the clutch to avoid stalling.
2. DON’T throw your car in neutral before coming to a stop at a red light from 500ft away or while turning. I was fortunate enough to never build this bad habit because my brother would yell at me while I was learning and if I did this he would get mad haha. It’s a poor driving habit that really can put you in danger if an emergency were to occur (this is something I tell EVERYONE when I teach them how to drive MT). If you are coming towards a red light/stop sign, you can practice your rev matching and engine break, practice your heal-toe, or just break as you would in an automatic vehicle till you’re about to come to a complete stop, then press the clutch and throw the car into neutral before stopping.
3. The best way to practice Rev-matching is on the freeway! Every car is different and for myself I find myself with the e90 (n52 engine fyi) at 75mph at around 3000rpm (a bit less but you get my drift) in 6th gear. 6th-5th at this speed brings my revs to a bit less than 3500rpm and 5-4th, brings me to around 4000rpm. I make it a habit to not just skip from 6 to 4th while breaking, but if I need to pass someone (in a speedy way =P) I’ll skip around in my gearbox. I’m not fond of it but I do catch myself going from 6th straight to 4th sometimes. I try not to do this due to proper racing technique. I love heel/toe’ing (though its not necessary for daily use) but the mere action of being able to do this flawlessly is rewarding and you don’t skip gears while you heal-toe. I tell new drivers to not skip around in the gear box even while revmatching to speed up because going through the gears allows you to better know your car how it reacts at different speeds at different gears. Get to know your car
4. From stop to a rolling start, some people will notice a rumbling from their car. This is cause by the clutch delay valve that is in your BMW and you are releasing your clutch without giving it enough gas to get power to your wheels. In order to smoothen out your driving you are gonna be on your clutch a bit longer than you’d ideally like to be while giving it the appropriate amount of gas. You can buy a modified CDV (thinking about getting one at bavauto.com) for about 30 bucks. This technically is “riding” your clutch, but is normal wear and tear on a BMW. You don’t need to ride your clutch for a LONG time, but more than what you would like to. Practice in your car and work out the kinks. I notice I am doing from a stop in first and also when I’m switching from 1st to 2nd, I am on the clutch a tad bit longer than I’d like to be. All the other up shifts are smooth as long as you don’t just drop your clutch as soon as you’re in gear.
5. Lastly, just practice, and don’t pick up bad habits I can’t really advice you how to smoothen out your driving while switching gears unless we are in a car haha =P
PM if you have any questions love to be a source for people
2006 E90 325i | Sports Package | 6MT | 3IM | PE | AA |