Automotive

Manual Transmission Driving Tips

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  • May 27th, 2015 3:18 am
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UrbanPoet wrote:
Mar 18th, 2013 5:16 pm
You can do that? I thought it would just make a lot of funny noises and rev weird.
Nope, say you're going 60kmh, you can either be in;

2nd at 4k rpm
3rd at 3k rpm
4th at 2k rpm
5th at 1.6k rpm

Of course not every car will have the same rpm to speed ratio for the gears. But if you were in 2nd and say you wanted to go to 5th, you could.

All you'd have to do is wait a bit longer after clutching in for the rpms to drop to 1.6k to prevent jerking the car.
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Generally speaking, what is a optimal rev range for an engine to be in before it can be considered bag as it is starving or bogging down? My "crapbox" is allowed but s*itbox isn't. How pedantic (NSX)... boo). doesn't even have a tachometer but as subjectively speaking, it feels like it's in a nice sweet spot when I'm in 3rd cruising at 40km/h. I still have room and decent pickup if I need it for avoidance maneuvers and playing by ear, the engine isn't tellimg me I should shift up or it will explode.
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Supercooled wrote:
Mar 19th, 2013 2:53 am
Generally speaking, what is a optimal rev range for an engine to be in before it can be considered bag as it is starving or bogging down? My s**tbox doesn't even have a tachometer but as subjectively speaking, it feels like it's in a nice sweet spot when I'm in 3rd cruising at 40km/h. I still have room and decent pickup if I need it for avoidance maneuvers and playing by ear, the engine isn't tellimg me I should shift up or it will explode.
Depends entirely on the engine. Some engines are happy at almost any point in their rev range, others happy only in the upper part...some are only happy in the lower part of their rev range, but that would apply mainly to older cars before manufacturers learned how to meet emmissions and fuel economy efficiently.

There is a lot of "interesting info" in this thread. Here are some tidbits of info:

- Contrary to an early post, the way to shift a manual for optimum fuel economy is to shift early and bog at full throttle to accelerate. Like a later post said, this places the engine under increased load and actaully makes it work more efficiently. In the effort to improve fuel economy ratings, more and more modern automatics are geared to upshift sooner.
- If you are looking for a new car and fuel economy is paramount, in most cases the automatic version will get better fuel economy. This did not used to be the case, but that was back in the day of 3 and 4 speed autos. Increasingly 6 speed autos are the minimum with 7 and 8 speeds becoming more common. Since not even the most die hard car nut really wants an 8 speed manual, the automatics often trump the manual equivalent, especially on the highway if the automatic has a really tall overdrive gear. Similarly CVT's will often offer better fuel ecomomy than manuals. Lastly, "stop-start" functionality doesn't work with a manual...its possible I suppose, but would be coumbersome
- Don't necessarily expect a manual to be faster for some of the same reasons it won't be more fuel efficient
- Basically, only buy a manual if you really enjoy driving.

One more point. Other than starting off from a stop a clutch is not really "necessary". Now I'm not suggesting that anyone drive all the time without using the clutch, but its possible to up and down shift from any gear at any RPM (not any specific speed as suggested by a previous poster) without the clutch. You just have to match the speed of the engine to the speed of the transmission and the shift lever will pop right into gear. In my experience it is easier to do this (especially up shifting) in a car with a heavier fly-wheel.

My 2 cents
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I don't know if I would attempt to do it without the aid of the clutch.
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Supercooled wrote:
Mar 19th, 2013 2:53 am
Generally speaking, what is a optimal rev range for an engine to be in before it can be considered bag as it is starving or bogging down? My "crapbox" is allowed but s*itbox isn't. How pedantic (NSX)... boo). doesn't even have a tachometer but as subjectively speaking, it feels like it's in a nice sweet spot when I'm in 3rd cruising at 40km/h. I still have room and decent pickup if I need it for avoidance maneuvers and playing by ear, the engine isn't tellimg me I should shift up or it will explode.
Tap the gas. If it accelerates (too much) and you don't need it to, shift up. If you use the gas and the engine starts shaking then you need to downshift. I cruise in 5th (In a 5 speed) at 60kmh on a long flat road in my commute. If I drop down to 50 or meet a hill I downshift to 4th for like 5 seconds and just up shift again. There is no throttle response at 1.6k rpm but beats driving in 4th at 2.1k rpm.

I've read online of people driving around at 3k rpm because of avoidance maneuvers, but honestly, if there ever was a need for quick acceleration you can downshift to your needed gear pretty fast (That is of course if you just don't freeze up like a deer in the headlights).
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Oct 11, 2006
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^ cruising at 3k will be noisy too

Different car have different RPM you can cruise on. It's like you can happily cruise in low RPM on a FI car because they have tons of low end torques. My car is a NA and i drive it around 2k RPG, since anything lower will be completely torque-less.
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I thought I was going slow enough yesterday to downshift from 2 --> 1, but instead I got a nice, lound CRUNCH. :( Now I know just to leave it in 2nd gear...Anyways, gears seem to be shifting normal, so hopefully I didn't do too much long term damage
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Jermyzy wrote:
Mar 20th, 2013 4:56 pm
I thought I was going slow enough yesterday to downshift from 2 --> 1, but instead I got a nice, lound CRUNCH. :( Now I know just to leave it in 2nd gear...Anyways, gears seem to be shifting normal, so hopefully I didn't do too much long term damage
One of the first mistakes I made.

For my 04 civic, I can't get the shifter into first if the car is moving at all, no matter how slow I'm going.

Usually 2nd is good enough, but if you want to downshift into first you have to double clutch. Sometimes if you're going too slow even for 2nd it's faster to just come to a complete stop and then go back into first. 1st gear is really just to get you moving from a complete stop (especially if you're on a hill).
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Swswswish wrote:
Mar 20th, 2013 5:10 pm
One of the first mistakes I made.

For my 04 civic, I can't get the shifter into first if the car is moving at all, no matter how slow I'm going.

Usually 2nd is good enough, but if you want to downshift into first you have to double clutch. Sometimes if you're going too slow even for 2nd it's faster to just come to a complete stop and then go back into first. 1st gear is really just to get you moving from a complete stop (especially if you're on a hill).
This guy puts this Z into 1st when demonstrating the Re-Match feature. Sounded pretty bad but I guess it can be done if your'e higher up in the rev.

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Swswswish wrote:
Mar 20th, 2013 5:10 pm
One of the first mistakes I made.

For my 04 civic, I can't get the shifter into first if the car is moving at all, no matter how slow I'm going.

Usually 2nd is good enough, but if you want to downshift into first you have to double clutch. Sometimes if you're going too slow even for 2nd it's faster to just come to a complete stop and then go back into first. 1st gear is really just to get you moving from a complete stop (especially if you're on a hill).
My car is also super picky when it comes to first gear. I can only go into first with a proper double de-clutching, but Ill only do it in those in-between situations where I need first and second wont cut it. Other than that second should be able to pull away from a roll.
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First gear is designed for take off conditions only. Trying to put it in at any other time and you are just raping your syncros.
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AtlsNBP wrote:
May 26th, 2015 2:16 pm
First gear is designed for take off conditions only. Trying to put it in at any other time and you are just raping your syncros.
+1

2 - 3 sometimes 4 for city
5 - 6 highway speeds / cruising
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If you can't get it into first double clutch

Depending on how much torque your engine has dropping to first might be necessary, I drop to first all the time when rolling stop signs
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Hi everyone, I have been learning back on manual transmission for past month now. I have a few questions:

1. When slowing down my car wont let me go into first gear until or unless i am near stopping or less than 10 kmph. Is this normal? on complete stop the gear goes to first like silk. Is this normal?
2. Is it safe to put car into 5th gear in speeds around 60-70 kmph? I find in 5th gear crusing is fine on the speed but acceleration is not.
3. What speeds do you guys normally cruise in gear at? for me is this:

1 st gear 0-20/30
2 nd gear 30-50
3rd gear 50-70
4th gear 70-100
5th gear 100+

Some times in the city over 60 isnt an option so i set it to 5th gear at 60-70 range.
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masarwar wrote:
May 26th, 2015 6:09 pm
Hi everyone, I have been learning back on manual transmission for past month now. I have a few questions:

1. When slowing down my car wont let me go into first gear until or unless i am near stopping or less than 10 kmph. Is this normal? on complete stop the gear goes to first like silk. Is this normal?
2. Is it safe to put car into 5th gear in speeds around 60-70 kmph? I find in 5th gear crusing is fine on the speed but acceleration is not.
3. What speeds do you guys normally cruise in gear at? for me is this:

1 st gear 0-20/30
2 nd gear 30-50
3rd gear 50-70
4th gear 70-100
5th gear 100+

Some times in the city over 60 isnt an option so i set it to 5th gear at 60-70 range.
1. Yes, that is normal, as mentioned earlier, 1st gear is really only meant to get you going from a full stop. That being said I never downshift to 1st.

2. Depends on the gearing of your car. If you say the acceleration is not good, it may be better to stay in 4th gear. Remember that its not just revs that control gas mileage its the throttle angle (how hard you are on the gas pedal) that determines the injector duty cycle (higher duty cycle = more fuel injected = more fuel consumed).

3. I decide based on some info given in number 2 and traffic conditions. You will need to learn how your engine responds in different scenarios and adjust your driving accordingly. For example, in slow moving highway and city traffic, I will upshift fairly early and quickly because in these situations acceleration is not really necessary and the speed is really constant so I keep revs low AND keep throttle pressure low. While faster moving traffic will have me upshifting later because it is possible traffic will pick up and it will be easier to accelerate.

Keep practicing and you'll see what I mean and will get the hang of it. Don't sweat it and have fun learning too, that always helps!
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