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      02-07-2008, 02:54 PM   #13

Drives: ....
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: .

iTrader: (4)

Garage List
2008 M3  [2.00]
2007 335i  [4.50]
2008 528i  [4.00]
2006 Infiniti - G35 ...  [4.00]
Bad Practice

Leaving car in neutral
I am guilty of this. I am going to quote a friend of mine. I sent him an email (when you guys grilled me before)

Hey jay i wanted to ask you something. in regular normal driving, not tracking, when you take a curve, not the sharpest, do you engage the right gear before or after the turn?
Since i got the manual until today i have been down shifting either in the middle or after the turn and never before.

Is there any disadvantages to what im doing in terms of interruption of drivetrain, safety, clutch wear, gears wear, etc??
My friend's Answer:
On the track, ALWAYS before, else you could get yourself into trouble. If your car’s suspension is “well balanced” or aggressively set up (has a tendency to oversteer) – i.e. you can “rotate” the car, change the yaw, adjust your line, or “turn with the throttle” – then not having the car in gear at any point during a turn will take away a rather critical degree of control. You generally want to get on the gas, at least partially, right after you’ve entered the turn (after you’ve chosen your line). If you’re at the limit of traction, in a turn, and on the gas, and you lift the throttle to shift gears, the car may oversteer (fishtail) or worse - spin, depending on how aggressively you’ve set up your suspension. You should also get on the gas a bit before you exit the turn to maximize your exit speed - downshifting right at the exit of a turn will hurt your exit speed.

On the road (not turning @ the limit of traction, you still usually want to be in the right gear before you enter a turn. It’s much smoother that way, and it’s a good habit to build. This is also best for your drive train (be sure to rev-match, and if you can, double-clutch, when you downshift to save your syncros).

Many of the habits of driving well and those of saving your car’s mechanics are generally one in the same.

Riding the Clutch