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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Tracking, Autocrossing, Dragstrip, Driving Techniques > Official Learn To Drive Manual Cars Thread



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      02-07-2008, 05:04 PM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by checuervo View Post
I assume when people say "don't rely on engine braking, use your brakes" that you don't suggest pressing the clutch the entire time you brake... right?
You only need to depress the clutch if you intend to change gear. Otherwise park your left foot on that nice rest that BMW have provided. Your car should always be in gear except when you are stopped or are changing gear. Never coast in neutral or with the clutch depressed.
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      02-07-2008, 05:19 PM   #90
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Many things have been covered in this thread and I would just like to add one thought:

You know you're driving a MT correctly when your passenger doesn't realize you're driving a MT. Think about it....
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      02-07-2008, 05:29 PM   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magillagorilla View Post
Great thread.

I'm in the process of learning to drive a manual trying to make my mind up between step and stick on my 335i order. Unfortunately, Seattle's hills make a stick more of an issue that it otherwise would be. Had a series of stalls on a hill yesterday afternoon that was brutally embarrassing and seemed to last forever. I can still remember the look on the woman's face who was sitting in a different car waiting for me to get up the hill. UGH!

While hill starts and regular driving are getting manageable at this point, I seriously have not been able to get the car in reverse without stalling it. Fear I guess is that I'm going to go flying backwards if I give the car too much gas. I can't modulate the speed properly so I react by not giving the car enough gas, resulting in a stall.

I take it that what I should be doing is only partially letting go of the clutch?
noooo... no one cares if you stall or not, no one knows what you're doing, they're not watching you. forget them. the entire world to you is gas pedal, road, and stick...

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Originally Posted by jdink View Post
Ok... So i just got back from my lunch break, which i spent driving around instead of eating and came up with the following observations about driving my new 335 6MT

When I do a slow start if i do not feather the clutch until about 3000 RPM then I get a jerky like motion. If i start faster and keep an adding preasure to the gas at an increasing rate I do not have to feather as much and it is much more smooth. Using this second type of start I reach a much higher RPM and probably eat up a lot more gas.

Downshifting is very jerky if i do not rev match (the RPM falls off very quickly). In order to get a smooth downshift I can either

a) 1. Press in the clutch 2. rev engine 3. downshift 4. Depress Cluch

or

b) 1. Press in the cluch 2. shift into neutral 3. rev engine 4. shift into the lower gear 5. depress clutch.

Option a is faster, but is there any benefit do doing option b? (i guess option c would be to do the double clutch, but that seems unnecessary per previous posts)

Another observation is when I come to a stop. Typically i find myself shifting into neutral, holding in the cluch all the way and breaking. I find it to be the smoothest way to come to a stop. Downshifting at low speeds with rev matching while coming to a stop seems counter productive (since you arn't trying to speed up). Also, if suddenly the light turns green before i come to a complete stop, or have just stopped, I shift from neutral into second to start.

Does anyone have a good technique for driving at low speeds? I realized last night when I let my friend drive my car (he drives a m3 so i trusted him) that sitting in the passanger seat is scary as heck, and i can't even imagine what it is like if a) you havent driven with someone before and b) don't trust a cars handling...esp in rainy washington I guess feathering is a must, but whats a good way to avoid jerky movements in downshifting without rev matching?
sounds like you ditch the clutch too early. patience grasshopper

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Originally Posted by BK View Post
EVERYONE. Those who say they fully release their clutch when backing out of a parking space are either lying or have 400 foot driveways.

Interesting thread. I rev match on downshifts, but don't double-clutch. I'm not convinced there is any benefit to it.
LOL i just came back from lunch, and while backing up i wanted to try not riding the clutch. it was 0.5 seconds then i had to go back to the clutch again hahaha

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Originally Posted by checuervo View Post
About the engine braking issue, I remember listening to an episode of CarTalk a few years back, where they compared relying on engine braking versus relying on just the brakes. They basically concluded that both were equally good/bad for the car as a whole. So a mix seems the best bet.

I assume when people say "don't rely on engine braking, use your brakes" that you don't suggest pressing the clutch the entire time you brake... right?
brake = to stop car
engine = to make it go

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      02-07-2008, 05:31 PM   #92
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My friend always does this. Whenever hes slowing down lets say from 40, he'll drop it into second and slowly let out the clutch to slow the car down. This is bad right? I always thought its a bad idea so i never did it. Can someone clear that up for me.
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      02-07-2008, 05:32 PM   #93
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here's MY question

let's say ur going in 4th gear, and it turns red and u want to stop. how do you stop???

i got into the habit of leaving the gear in all the way until like 5 mph, make the car shake then clutch to neutral.. it's bad i know...

but at what point do you guys put in neutral when you stop? at what point do you depress the clutch?

also, as you stop do you keep down shift to match ur speed with the right gear?
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      02-07-2008, 05:34 PM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by .:bHd:. View Post
My friend always does this. Whenever hes slowing down lets say from 40, he'll drop it into second and slowly let out the clutch to slow the car down. This is bad right? I always thought its a bad idea so i never did it. Can someone clear that up for me.
called engine braking. He's pre-maturely wearing out his clutch, bad practice, very bad. BUT FEELS GOOOOOD
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      02-07-2008, 05:49 PM   #95
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Shoes and seating position are also factors. Try engaging the clutch with heavy work boots and you'll know what I mean. If you're starting out, stick to gym shoes or dress shoes. A rock solid sole will prevent you from getting that "feel" of the catch point.

Seating position will vary from driver to driver but you don't wanna be so far away that you have to extend your leg completely to disengage the clutch. Unfortunately, this prevents gangsta lean.
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      02-07-2008, 05:51 PM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mantis View Post
called engine braking. He's pre-maturely wearing out his clutch, bad practice, very bad. BUT FEELS GOOOOOD
+1, depends on the situation. It makes sense if your downshifting in anticipation of a light turning green or traffic begins to speed up. But coming to a stop is a waste.
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      02-07-2008, 05:53 PM   #97
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I've only skimmed the first few posts because I have been driving a MT for a few years and don't think I need to learn at this point, but why would you need to push in the clutch twice to revmatch a downshift? That just seems like it would take waaaaay to long to do smoothly.

Just put the clutch in, select the lower gear, and as you are letting the clutch back out blip the throttle right before the engagement point. I guess I don't see the point of double clutching then.
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      02-07-2008, 05:55 PM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mantis View Post
called engine braking. He's pre-maturely wearing out his clutch, bad practice, very bad. BUT FEELS GOOOOOD
You can engine brake without putting extra wear on the clutch... just revmatch on the downshift. That guy's friend is just an idiot by letting the clutch out slowly to slow the car down. If you revmatch on your downshift, it will still slow down the car and not put any extra strain on the clutch than a regular upshift would, but I think you already know this.

BTW, Mantis, after switching over from the auto to the MT, do you now see why a lot of enthusiasts are so passionate about driving a MT? Regardless of what shifts a tenth of a second faster, there is just no comparison when it comes to the driving experience IMO. Mostly because my car is a manual, I look forward to driving it everday.
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      02-07-2008, 06:05 PM   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STE92VE View Post
Many things have been covered in this thread and I would just like to add one thought:

You know you're driving a MT correctly when your passenger doesn't realize you're driving a MT. Think about it....
good point. u gotta do CDV delete for sure then

Quote:
Originally Posted by kikkomanrj View Post
Shoes and seating position are also factors. Try engaging the clutch with heavy work boots and you'll know what I mean. If you're starting out, stick to gym shoes or dress shoes. A rock solid sole will prevent you from getting that "feel" of the catch point.

Seating position will vary from driver to driver but you don't wanna be so far away that you have to extend your leg completely to disengage the clutch. Unfortunately, this prevents gangsta lean.
nice! yah i know... i been researching the best driving shoes for a while now... i even have a thread on that

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoostedBMW View Post
I've only skimmed the first few posts because I have been driving a MT for a few years and don't think I need to learn at this point, but why would you need to push in the clutch twice to revmatch a downshift? That just seems like it would take waaaaay to long to do smoothly.

Just put the clutch in, select the lower gear, and as you are letting the clutch back out blip the throttle right before the engagement point. I guess I don't see the point of double clutching then.
believe it or not, it becomes pretty fast to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoostedBMW View Post

BTW, Mantis, after switching over from the auto to the MT, do you now see why a lot of enthusiasts are so passionate about driving a MT? Regardless of what shifts a tenth of a second faster, there is just no comparison when it comes to the driving experience IMO. Mostly because my car is a manual, I look forward to driving it everday.
bro... i never doubted MT. i knew i was going to regret getting auto. but when my 6MT G35 was gone i was like i want it backkkkkkk
so im back
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      02-07-2008, 06:06 PM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mantis View Post
here's MY question

let's say ur going in 4th gear, and it turns red and u want to stop. how do you stop???

i got into the habit of leaving the gear in all the way until like 5 mph, make the car shake then clutch to neutral.. it's bad i know...

but at what point do you guys put in neutral when you stop? at what point do you depress the clutch?

also, as you stop do you keep down shift to match ur speed with the right gear?
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      02-07-2008, 06:18 PM   #101
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Keep breaking, keep clutch down, shift to third (but keep clutch all the way in), shift to second (still keeping clutch al the way in), come to a stop and shift into neutral and let go of the clutch. that way you are always ready incase something darts out into the road, or if the light turns green again you are ready to go!
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      02-07-2008, 06:21 PM   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mantis View Post
but at what point do you guys put in neutral when you stop? at what point do you depress the clutch?

also, as you stop do you keep down shift to match ur speed with the right gear?
Keeping in mind everyone has their own driving style, here's mine. This is assuming normal, relaxed driving:

Assuming I'm in 5th or 6th, I usually downshift my way to 4th before I stop for a light. 4th is enough to offer some engine braking but not get too ridiculous about it. Brake while in gear until you're right near 1K RPMs (which is damn slow, maybe 5-10 mph), put in the clutch, pull it out of gear and fully stop. I usually sit there in neutral and don't put it in 1st until I'm getting reading to move again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kikkomanrj View Post
Seating position will vary from driver to driver but you don't wanna be so far away that you have to extend your leg completely to disengage the clutch. Unfortunately, this prevents gangsta lean.
I loved this comment.

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Originally Posted by BoostedBMW View Post
I've only skimmed the first few posts because I have been driving a MT for a few years and don't think I need to learn at this point, but why would you need to push in the clutch twice to revmatch a downshift? That just seems like it would take waaaaay to long to do smoothly.
There are probably YouTube videos of race drivers doing it. They are blazing fast when they double clutch a downshift. It's cool to watch.
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      02-07-2008, 06:24 PM   #103
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Engine braking is also useful in the snow. You can slow down a bit before getting on the brakes. Otherwise getting right on the brakes you have a chance of locking up and sliding.
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      02-07-2008, 06:27 PM   #104
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just random thought: in some middle eastern countries, you get a short yellow for like 2 seconds so you get ready and put it in first and so on!!!

i wish that is available here... so i get ready before impatient LA/OC drivers stop honking or getting impatient
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      02-07-2008, 06:49 PM   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by checuervo View Post
About the engine braking issue, I remember listening to an episode of CarTalk a few years back, where they compared relying on engine braking versus relying on just the brakes. They basically concluded that both were equally good/bad for the car as a whole. So a mix seems the best bet.

I assume when people say "don't rely on engine braking, use your brakes" that you don't suggest pressing the clutch the entire time you brake... right?
If your driving down a hill and you brakes straight up FAIL, what's the 1st thing you should do? You should downshift to slow the car down because engine braking is virtually fool proof. If you downshift and lay off the gas, you WILL slow down, no matter what. Your transmission would have to blow up or your clutch would have to disintegrate for you to NOT be able to engine brake and the chance of that happening is far less than something going wrong with the brakes (fade, etc).

So yes, a blend of engine braking and regular braking is best when descending a steep grade. DEFINATELY don't push the clutch in all the way and RIDE your brakes all the way down

I'm not that familiar with the program "CarTalk", but I have a feeling it's probrably not the best place to get your info from.
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      02-07-2008, 06:54 PM   #106
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For coming to a stop, I do a similar technique as described by BK above with these exception. I usually drop the gear to 3rd and leave it in 3rd, kinda watch the RPM needle and pay very close attention to the RPM just when it is below 1K (so far up to this point I have not touched the brake-unless someone decided to switch lane right in front of me), then when it is time to really stop because the light is still red, I just press the clutch and brake at the same time and control the stopping motion with the brake. Probably why I have over 50K and my brakes looks like brand new

btw, my car does not shake when I am in 3rd gear and the rpm needle is just below the 1K marker as long as I control the gas and keep the RPM needle steadily right below the 1K mark.
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      02-07-2008, 07:13 PM   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mantis View Post
noooo... no one cares if you stall or not, no one knows what you're doing, they're not watching you. forget them. the entire world to you is gas pedal, road, and stick...
Unfortunately, everyone on the street knew what I was doing (or should I say, not doing). The stalling/lurching car was a sure sign.

Sad part is that I'm fairly used to performing in pressure situations (I'm a-gasp-trial lawyer), but I absolutely hate feeling like I'm either: (a) holding other drivers up; (b) or potentially destroying the car's clutch.
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      02-07-2008, 07:16 PM   #108
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LOL my friend this is EXACTLY how you hold other drivers and destroy your clutch.

freak out, stall, hold who's behind you, and kull clutch
always be relaxed and assume there's no one behind you. just ignore em
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      02-07-2008, 07:21 PM   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nub340 View Post
So yes, a blend of engine braking and regular braking is best when descending a steep grade. DEFINATELY don't push the clutch in all the way and RIDE your brakes all the way down

I'm not that familiar with the program "CarTalk", but I have a feeling it's probrably not the best place to get your info from.
Haha, no, the CarTalk brothers weren't saying push the clutch in and ride the brakes ... I just wanted to make sure that's not what I was hearing.

And the show's a riot, the guys are older than dirt, kinda senile, and still seem to know their stuff. http://www.cartalk.com/
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      02-07-2008, 07:44 PM   #110
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Good stuff on this thread- just went on a ride to the grocery store to pick some items and used the techniques w/downshifting and blipping the revs- I've always done that anyway but, I was more conscious of what I was doing this time around- also used the techniques when turning- braking, then double-clutching etc..
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