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Hello,

I've never driven manual before, and I'm about to buy a used manual mazda 3 (2007, about 26000 miles)
I don't want to destroy my clutch.

Do you have any tips for proper manual shifting techniques? Things to look out for?
 

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Honestly, find a friend or another adult that can teach you. You can only learn so much online but being shown it is much better. Best thing to do is give it more gas than needed at first when releasing the clutch so you don't kill it. Although don't let out of the clutch too late or you'll burn it up. Find the sweet spot. When shifting, just make sure it's a little up in the rpms while shifting so it doesn't give you that "jerk" from having to rev up by itself to get the right rpm in that next gear. Just practice, it's not as hard as you think it'll be! :D
 

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When I was first learning how to drive stick, I was having a hell of a time, until a friendly guy at a used car dealership give me this key advice: When you're first starting out and letting off the clutch as you push down on the gas, do BOTH gradually and at the same time. Just ease them both, slowly. Then as you learn where the point is that it grabs, you'll get quicker at it. You also do it quicker when shifting into 2nd, 3rd, etc. But that's a lot easier anyway.

Before I was told that, I kept letting off the clutch too quick and trying to time it "just right", and didn't even realize you could do both pedals slowly. But like titaniumSS said, if anything, give it a little more gas. Have the engine starting to rev up just a bit as you let off the clutch.

Good luck. It's cake once you get the basics.
 

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Another tip: It also helps to understood how a clutch works, if you don't already. Do a quick search on google. Once you understand how the mechanics of it work, it makes more sense when you're actually doing it.
 

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How a clutch works...
http://auto.howstuffworks.com/clutch.htm

Also, go to a driving school - most offer short courses (4 hours or so) on how to drive a manual. Better to be taught by a professional - on the driving school's car!

TIM
 

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Learn to listen to your engine. That is your feedback. The engine’s sound and vibrations will tell you if you need more gas or clutch. The required combination of clutch and gas will constantly change based on the weight in the car, A/C, hills, rate of acceleration, etc.

If you intend to time an intersection, elevate your rpm at least 2 seconds before you intend to “hit the gap.” Don’t wait for the gap in traffic to reach you and then make your move. Anticipate it. The risk is that you may rush the process and let the clutch out too quickly without enough gas and stall the car right in the intersection. That could make for a very bad day.
 

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Whats a good rpm to shift at for 2nd? 3rd? 4th? I have always driven a manual before but my previous car was a 78 bug with no tach. I just shifted when the engine whined to high. of course I was in 4th gear by 45mph
 

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[quote author=Monkey85 link=topic=138388.msg2983296#msg2983296 date=1236616362]
Whats a good rpm to shift at for 2nd? 3rd? 4th? I have always driven a manual before but my previous car was a 78 bug with no tach. I just shifted when the engine whined to high. of course I was in 4th gear by 45mph
[/quote]

Ummm, it all depends, how fast do you need to accelerate?

Stay below redline, and all is good. :)
 
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