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hey...just want to know some tips on how to drive a manual...when to shift...what i do if i stall...how do i stalll..and so on......
gimmee some tips thanks guys.......... :wink:
 

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use your foot/ankle to press the clutch and less leg, release the clutch slowly at first giving it a bit more gas (yes a bit) the more you let off the clutch pedal.

For normal acceleration shift around 2.5-3K rpm which will be somewhere around 12mph, 23mph, 35mph, 45 mph

For faster acceleration....shift at or below redline :-D

when you stall press in the clutch and start the car back up, take it easy and don't get in a hurry or you'll probably stall it again. if you think you're going to stall just press in the clutch and everything will be fine, engine will smooth out and go back to neutral.

Find a large empty parking lot late at night to practice in. Shouldn't take too long to get things flowing naturally.
 

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To maximize your HP and torque potentials you should shift between 5500 and 6500 rpm in the 3s. Shifting at that point will land smack in the middle of the next gear's max HP and torque curves.

Don't do this in the snow as the engine will apply all 150lbs of torque through to the tires and most likely spin them out and you'll lose contact. For snow driving most will quickly shift out of 1st and stay in 2nd for the majority of the climb to speed limit since 2nd drives far less torque and HP during the low speeds.
 

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Up-shiftting:
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Up shifting at the moment where the engine is running at 3000-5500 RPM (or even redline @ 6500). The optimal RPM depends on several factors. Late up-shifting is recommended when:
- you are in a hurry
- you are going up hill (or heavy load from wind, etc ...)

There is one exception: in normal driving condition, you can upshift quick from first to the 2th gear. There is no need to stay very long on the first gear. The first gear is mostly used for start the car from stopping and climb on a very steep road (+20%).

Usually you don't need to apply the gas before release the clutch when upshifting. Here is how it works:

Press down the clutch and release the gas pedal in the same time using opposite movements on both feet. During that (short) time, upshift at the moment when the engine starts to be uncoupled to the wheels. Do not apply force to manipulate the shifter, you just need to guide it gently up and down and a little bit diagonally for 2-3, and 4-5. When the clutch pedal is at the bottom (or not too long after), the shifter should completely shifted up. During and after this period, engine RPM is dropping (no action on the gas pedal then). The clutch must be released in such way that the engine RPM (dropping) is matching the car speed (for the upper gear) when the clutch starts to engage again. Usually it imply a "right" (fast) speed clutch release from the bottom to 1.5 inch off the floor, and then a smooth release afterward together with an acceleration with the right foot.

OK, so what is a "right" speed of release? Usually the right speed is slow for small gears (1-2) and faster for bigger gears (4-5). Why? Because the ratios of the gear-ratios (hem, still follow me?) are larger for 1-2th, than 2-3th, which is larger than 3-4, etc... For Mazda3, these ratios-of-ratios are: 1.8, 1.4, 1.35, and 1.3. The larger is this ratio, the lower RPM needs to drop at, i.e., you have to release slower.

It sounds complicated but with little practices, it will become very quick a second nature and you don't have to even think about it. If you do it right, you can shift fast and the clutch will last longer.

Downshifting with matching engine RPM and car speed is another story, and it requires much more driver skill. It's called something like heel-and-toe technique. But until then..

Down shiffting
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Down-shifting when slowing down:

First, IMHO down-shifting is a good habit. Some may prefer just breaking. But let's not debate the issue here.
For the beginner, it's good to practice down-shifting the gears one by one. Dropping 2 or 3 gears at once is possible in some case (hard breaking, panic stop, ...). But Let's assume we are in a normal driving condition, and want to slow down at to stop sign, before a curve, etc,... First rule: never downshift to the first gear unless the car is almost at complete stop. A good range of engine revolution for down-shifting is 2000-2500 RPM. It can be performed around at 3000 RPM if the breaking from engine is more desired (e.g. going down hill), but down-shifting at above 3000 RPM is usually not recommended. Start to slow down the car by breaking with the right foot. Wait until the RPM drop to a desired target number. Push the clutch pedal with the left foot while maintain the right foot on the break pedal. Downshift at the moment where the engine starts to be uncoupled to the wheels. As always, do not apply force to manipulate the shifter, you just need to guide it gently up and down and a little bit diagonally for 3-2, and 5-4. If force is applied more than necessary, a common mistake one could make is downshift from 5th to 2th instead of 5-4 and it will not do any good for the engine. If it ever happens, you must push down the clutch as soon as you see (or hear) the engine RPM go higher than expected and then correct your shifter. When the clutch pedal is at the bottom (or not too long after), the shifter should completely shifted down. Release *slowly* the clutch pedal. When the clutch starts to engage again, the engine RPM will go up. One can applied less pressure on the break pedal as the engine will help to slow down the car. For references, if the shifting is performed at 2000 RPM, the RPM will go up to 2800, 2700, 2550 for 2th, 3th, and 4th gears respectively. If the shifting is performed at 2500 RPM, we will get 3500, 3350, 3200 RPM.

Down-shifting to accelerate:

Press down quickly the clutch and release the gas pedal in the same time using opposite movements on both feet. During that time, downshift quickly at the moment when the engine starts to be uncoupled to the wheels. When the clutch pedal is at the bottom (or not too long after), the shifter should completely shifted down. Release clutch and press down the gas pedal in the same time using opposite movements on both feet to accelerate. The release can be performed faster than in the previous case. Before for clutch is engaged, pressing down the gas pedal will help to bring the engine RPM up and matching the car speed. Accelerate to beat the mustang next to you. :)

Hell-and-Toe dow shiffting
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Hell-and-toe down-shifting:

As you have noticed, the only time you cannot (a priori) match the engine and the car speed is when you downshift while slowing down. In consequence, it requires you to release the clutch slow and gently, otherwise your car will jerk backward. When cornering, sometime you might wish not waiting the engine RPM to drop too low, nor wish your car bucking or slowing down by engine-break, and still be able to downshift quickly to a lower gear and ready for a fast acceleration when exit the corner. In short, you are in a big hurry at the corner! Question: is there anyway to accomplish that? Answer: yes! Before the corner, start slowing down with your break and clutch as described above. If you are born with 3 legs, just before releasing the clutch, you can push the gas pedal (using the extra leg) to raise the engine RPM, matching the car speed and then release quickly the clutch pedal. Unfortunately, you don't have 3 legs! Here is the solution for 2-legs-human-being: while your right foot is still applying pressure on the break, roll the outside edge of your foot outward to touch the gas pedal temporally and raise the engine RPM. This short blipping of the gas pedal should happen just before you release the clutch. With a good coordination, usually it happens exactly when your shifter pass through the neutral position in its course, and the engine starts to be uncoupled to the wheels, i.e., when the clutch pedal is pushing at about one inch off the floor. Beside a complex coordination, another difficulty is to raise the engine RPM by a right amount to match the new gear. That means that the side of the right foot must apply the right pressure and duration on the gas pedal as well as the ball of the same foot for controlling the right pressure on the break pedal. With too little RPM raised the car is still bucking a little; too much RPM, the car will jerk forward! It took me few weeks of practice to finally do it properly, but afterward, it's a great fun. As someone have said: "happiness is not around the corner, happiness is the corner!". It should also reduce clutch wear as compared to a classical down-shifting, if there is any.

As a final note, as you have noticed, in all shifting operations, you should keep your eyes on the tachometer instead of the speedometer, and of course the road.

Bruno
 

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Very detailed description Bruno! I still haven't tried heal+toe (yet).

Did you actually type it out or did you have it saved in a file? :)
 

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Dinu, I did post the above on another board long time ago. Fortunately, the P5/MT and Mazda3/MT have the same gear ratios, so I just copy/past without even changing the numbers ;-)
 

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A tip I learnt from the Motoring XX tv show on TSN (many years ago) is not to 'mash' through your gears as quickly as you can. Apparently, over time, this could lead to premature wear on your gear synchros. For example, when shifting from 3rd to 4th, you should pause momentarily in the center position allowing the synchros to sync up before poping it into 4th. Yes, this will definitely slow down your gear change, but for normal commuting, this is a good habit to pick up.
 

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My first car was a 76 (I think) VW Rabbit with a 4 speed MT. Talk about hard knocks learning how to drive a manual. The shifter gates on that car were wacky, 1st and 3rd were so close together in feel and actual proximity that for a long while as I was trying to learn starting I kept putting it into 3rd with spectacular results obviously. But once I figured out what I was doing wrong (even my dad couldn't figure out what my problem was because he had no trouble finding the gate) I was off and flying, it really doesn't take too long once you have a little instruction and some open space to try it.
 

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Goto an empty parking lot and just practice, if you have a friend who knows MT or a parent ask them to go with you and give you pointers.

One word of advice if they are trying to help you fix something your doing wrong LISTEN to them atleast while they are with you (because you asked them to).

Nothing drives me nuts more than going MORE GAS MORE GAS and then having the person let off and stall out. . . . uggg

ohh well good luck :)
 

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I find another useful tip for manual tranny newbie

How to launch the car on the hill (this circumstance will happen soon or later):

- pull the parking brake to stop the car for going backward from gravity
- release slowly the clutch while giving enough gas throttle
- when feeling the friction point is reached (i.e., when the back of the car sinks)
- release the parking brake and go

And btw, launching the car in hill without the assist by parking brake is a good way to benchmark your progress in mastering the MT and your left foot can find the clutch friction point. But don't get too panic at the few first time of practicing in hill.
 

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Also, I wouldn't make your first time out on the road with other people during 6:00 rush hour. Not being perfectly comfortable with Manual is enough without the added agitation of people flying every which way.
 

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This is a great list of MT shifting pointers -
Since you are new, don't get too wrapped up in the toe to heal stuff. Just learn to shift smoothly so you won't wear out your clutch in a hurry or do any harm to the drive train. I would emphasize two things:

1) Don't ham fist it! Someone above already mentioned it but it's worth mentioning again. Don't force the lever into gears - use a gental nudge when moving from gear to gear. If it's hard to shift, you are not lined up properly or the car (tranny) has not warmed up enough. There's nothing worse than a Kaptain Kruch gear box (notchy) to take the fun out of spirited driving with a 5-speed.

2) Don't ride the clutch - or a better way of putting it, don't get into the habit. Take you foot off and away from the clutch pedal when you have finished your shift. Also, when you come to a stop, put it in Neutral and release the clutch. Lastly, don't use the engine for slowing down (at least until you have learned toe to heal) - put it in neutral and use the brakes - you've got 4 wheel disc and ABS to bring you to a stop. Why use an engine that costs $1000's rather than brake pads that cost under $100 (I don't mean you can't down shift, just don't do it to slow down the car)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
hey thanks for the pointers guys...ill have to save these for later when i get some training....itll probaly make it easier for me to drive a Mt later on!
 

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basically double clutching is you are doing the work for the synchro. You rev match before downshifting. Let say you are in 4th, going at 100km/h and thinking.. hmm i need more speed. since you are in 4th. you are probably going at around 3500 rpm. To travel at the same speed in 3rd, you have to achieve an rpm of 4500. So you push in the clutch, shift into netural, then let of the clutch, rev up to 4500, then shift into 3rd and gun it. By doing that, you accelerate faster since you don't have to wait for it to go up to 4500 from 3500 and then your car will accelerate.

Heal toe is the same except you are breaking while double clutching. Back in the days when there's no synchro for gearing, you need to double clutch to save your tranny.
 

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Let say you are in 4th, going at 100km/h and thinking.. hmm i need more speed. since you are in 4th. you are probably going at around 3500 rpm. To travel at the same speed in 3rd, you have to achieve an rpm of 4500. So you push in the clutch, shift into netural, then let of the clutch, rev up to 4500, then shift into 3rd and gun it.
So you essentially have to calculate and execute that all in a single moment? I suppose it becomes a second nature after much practice.
 
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