Welcome to the North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club Saturday July 30, 2016
Home Forums WikiNASIOC Products Store Modifications Upgrade Garage
NASIOC
Go Back   NASIOC > NASIOC General > Newbies & FAQs

Welcome to NASIOC - The world's largest online community for Subaru enthusiasts!
Welcome to the NASIOC.com Subaru forum.

You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, free of charge, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, so please join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us.
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads. 
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-08-2016, 10:43 PM   #1
Saucee
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 442378
Join Date: Mar 2016
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Illinois
Vehicle:
2017 WRX
WR Blue

Default 2017 WRX. New to MT vehicles.

Hi there,

After a year of lurking on this site I decided to pick up a 2017 WRX a few days ago. This is my first MT car and I have a few questions about proper driving technique. I've watched countless youtube videos, and have read both of the pinned threads regarding shifting, but I still have some questions. I have about 3 hours behind the wheel (lots of stalling and clutch dropping ), and I realize "practice makes perfect", but I'd like to learn the proper way of driving now instead of correcting bad habits (and replacing the transmission) later.

When should I be using first gear? I have been taught that it is only used to get the car moving from a stand still and that once the vehicle is rolling, second gear should be used at low speeds (the only exception being steep hills, not manny of those in Illinois). But that doesn't sound right to me.

What RPM should I hold when I am cruising around? I'm sticking to the guidelines for the 1,000 mile break-in so I try to keep it below 4,000 RPM in all cases. Until now, I have been shifting up whenever I exceed 2,500 RPM. Does ideal RPM for shifts differ between gears?

Should I be pressing the accelerator on upshifts before the clutch pedal is fully released? If so, what RPM should I maintain while I lift the clutch pedal? Does ideal RPM differ between gears?

How quickly can I release the the clutch pedal while maintaining smooth acceleration? (I realize this one can be kind of difficult to explain, since there is a goldilocks zone between dropping the clutch and riding the clutch, but a ballpark estimate would be nice) Can I release the clutch pedal quickly up to the biting point? Past the biting point?

What should I focus on to improve how smooth my shifts are?
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads.
Saucee is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads.
Old 06-09-2016, 01:53 AM   #2
Zombaru
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 280577
Join Date: Apr 2011
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: East Coast
Vehicle:
2015 WRX Base
Crystal White Pearl

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saucee View Post
Hi there,

When should I be using first gear?
When accelerating from a dead stop or less than 5 mph.

Quote:
I have been taught that it is only used to get the car moving from a stand still and that once the vehicle is rolling, second gear should be used at low speeds (the only exception being steep hills, not manny of those in Illinois). But that doesn't sound right to me.
Thats right for the most part. You will get to know when to use 1st and when to use second the first time you get stuck in crawling traffic. If you are using 2nd and the car feels like its struggling, that means you are bogging the engine and the gear is too tall. Shift down to 1st in that instance. This rule can apply to any gear. If you are pressing the gas and the car struggles to pick up speed or does so very slowly, you need to shift down to a lower gear.

Quote:
What RPM should I hold when I am cruising around?
I usually cruise around between 1750 and 2000 depending on the speed limit. I am almost always in 6th gear when I am going over 45 mph. Just keep in mind that you will need to down shift if you want to punch it. NEVER EVER floor the car in 6th gear unless you are going fast enough to do jail time or you are on a track. Even 5th gear isn't really a good gear to floor it in. At highway cruising speeds (50+ mph) you should used 4th or 3rd to pass.

Quote:
Until now, I have been shifting up whenever I exceed 2,500 RPM. Does ideal RPM for shifts differ between gears?
No. It differs depending on your rate of acceleration. While you are learning to drive, I hope you are doing so without the radio on. The engine will "tell you" when it needs to shift. You can also feel it as well. This is difficult to explain. For light, normal, sane daily driving I usually shift around 3k. The faster I want to accelerate, the higher I let the revs go.

Quote:
Should I be pressing the accelerator on upshifts before the clutch pedal is fully released? If so, what RPM should I maintain while I lift the clutch pedal? Does ideal RPM differ between gears?
Kind of? You want to be getting into the throttle just as your clutch is biting. It almost has to happen simultaneously. I don't know how quickly you shift but you want the RPMs to fall as you are shifting. The engine speed at 20 mph in first gear is going to be higher than 20 mph in second gear. You don't need to shift lightning fast. Just shift normally and smoothly transition from clutch to gas.

Quote:
How quickly can I release the the clutch pedal while maintaining smooth acceleration? (I realize this one can be kind of difficult to explain, since there is a goldilocks zone between dropping the clutch and riding the clutch, but a ballpark estimate would be nice) Can I release the clutch pedal quickly up to the biting point? Past the biting point?
This is a hard one to answer because it depends on the gear you are shifting into. The higher the gear, the more forgiving it is and thus the faster you can let out the clutch. Get to know where that biting point is. Get to know it like the back of your hand. You can let the clutch out very quickly up to that point. Once that clutch starts to bite, that's when the finessing comes into play. The more you drive, the more you will get used to it and the better you will become. Also, if the RPMs are at the correct level for the speed you are travelling and gear selected, it will be even easier and smoother.

Quote:
What should I focus on to improve how smooth my shifts are?
Get to know your biting point for the clutch like I said earlier. Here's a good drill for you to practice. Go out to a big open FLAT parking lot. Put the car in first gear. Now take your right foot and get it away from the brake and gas. You won't be needing those pedals. Now only using the clutch, slowly let out the pedal until you start to feel it grab. Now ever so slowly let it out more and more and the car will gradually pic up speed. Eventually the clutch will be fully engaged and rolling in first gear at a speed similar to what an automatic does if you were to put the car in drive and take your foot off the brake. At this point you can stop the car and repeat. Or, if you like you can shift into second gear and repeat the same process. You will notice its a lot easier to do from 1st to 2nd with the car already rolling. This kind of illustrates my point I made in the previous question. Don't do this past 2nd. Practice this a lot or until it becomes easy to you. don't cheat and do it on a cold engine (higher engine idling makes it easier to do)

Also, learn to time your clutch release with the optimum RPM for the gear you are shifting to.

Couple that all with smooth as butter clutch modulation and years of practice and you too can fool a blindfolded person into believing you own an automatic.

Now if you are flooring it and going for that 0-60 time or at the drag strip etc, you will never shift smoothly without sacrificing some speed. Because in order to be smooth you have to slow down your motions a bit. Slower shifting = slower acceleration. I've been driving stick for 16 years and I can't shift smoothly while going balls to the wall, granted I will be smoother than a newbie manual driver but still not smooth. This is due to the abrupt disengagement of the clutch when shifting gears. You can smooth this out a bit by staying on the accelerator for a split second (and I mean like .01 seconds) after pushing in the clutch. Also, a swift but smooth pushing of the clutch rather than a quick stab of the clutch will also smooth over the transition. I'm kind of getting into advanced stuff here so just keep this in mind as you get better. Master the art of driving normally first. Then work on this stuff.

Other things you may want to learn how to do properly is downshifting and rev matching.

Heres a video on that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiCaHaw07Io

Last edited by Zombaru; 06-09-2016 at 02:15 AM.
Zombaru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2016, 02:17 AM   #3
Zombaru
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 280577
Join Date: Apr 2011
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: East Coast
Vehicle:
2015 WRX Base
Crystal White Pearl

Default

You can also watch this guy's videos as well

https://www.youtube.com/watch?annota...&v=2Z21zzd2odE
Zombaru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2016, 02:59 AM   #4
Zombaru
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 280577
Join Date: Apr 2011
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: East Coast
Vehicle:
2015 WRX Base
Crystal White Pearl

Default

Zombaru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2016, 09:34 AM   #5
mishapopa
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 393629
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Canada
Vehicle:
2015 Turbo Econobox
Blue

Default

It's really difficult to explain how to drive a manual to someone. It's like trying to explain how to ride a bicycle. It's something that takes days to learn and decades to master.

I could tell you how it works, I could try telling you what to do but at the end of the day it's all about matching the angular velocity of the flywheel to the clutch.

No one is perfect at driving manual, especially on a stupid car like a WRX. A decade of driving manual and 2 years of driving my WRX and I still suck at putting this car into 2nd gear. Passengers don't notice but I sure do. I can drive Honda/Toyota/Ford manuals as smooth as a CVT so I'm always working on it with this dumb car.
mishapopa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2016, 10:07 AM   #6
Bluenoser
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 441224
Join Date: Feb 2016
Chapter/Region: E. Canada
Location: Ottawa, ON
Vehicle:
2016 WRX Sport-Tech
DGM

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mishapopa View Post
No one is perfect at driving manual, especially on a stupid car like a WRX. A decade of driving manual and 2 years of driving my WRX and I still suck at putting this car into 2nd gear. Passengers don't notice but I sure do. I can drive Honda/Toyota/Ford manuals as smooth as a CVT so I'm always working on it with this dumb car.
I've owned mine for about three months now so it makes me feel a little bit better that someone else much more experienced notices this. I know there's partially the whole "rev hang" thing to blame, but I still cringe a little bit inside when I see my passenger's head bob forward when I'm trying to drive smoothly.
Bluenoser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2016, 03:15 PM   #7
Saucee
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 442378
Join Date: Mar 2016
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Illinois
Vehicle:
2017 WRX
WR Blue

Default

Thanks for that informative post Zombaru. I'll try to apply this stuff the next time I'm out driving.
Saucee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2016, 03:27 PM   #8
Mitchwrxpaps
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 415635
Join Date: Mar 2015
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Massachusetts
Vehicle:
2016 WRX Limited 6MT
Lapis Blue Pearl

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zombaru View Post


I usually cruise around between 1750 and 2000 depending on the speed limit. I am almost always in 6th gear when I am going over 45 mph.

Is this a Joke? I don't shift into 6th until 65-70...
Mitchwrxpaps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2016, 03:30 PM   #9
Mitchwrxpaps
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 415635
Join Date: Mar 2015
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Massachusetts
Vehicle:
2016 WRX Limited 6MT
Lapis Blue Pearl

Default

These cars are happiest cruising around 2500 RPMs (for fuel efficiency), try not to give it too much gas until over 3k rpms, and don't be afraid to redline it now and then
Mitchwrxpaps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2016, 03:41 PM   #10
tibug
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 273906
Join Date: Feb 2011
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: deRpression hurts
Vehicle:
2006 VTECAccordVTEC
Also it has VTEC.

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitchwrxpaps View Post
Is this a Joke? I don't shift into 6th until 65-70...
Yeah, I would think that less than 2000 RPM is too low a cruising RPM for this motor. Even my Honda with a V6 and a 6-speed I'll pretty much keep above 2000 RPM all the time, because I can feel that the motor just doesn't want to spin slower than that. Besides diesels, every 4 cylinder I can recall driving is not too happy below 2000.
tibug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2016, 10:00 PM   #11
Zombaru
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 280577
Join Date: Apr 2011
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: East Coast
Vehicle:
2015 WRX Base
Crystal White Pearl

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitchwrxpaps View Post
Is this a Joke? I don't shift into 6th until 65-70...
No joke. If you aren't accelerating, just holding speed and are travelling on flat pavement 6th gear works perfectly fine for me 45+ mph. I used to cruise in my dad's 03 350 Z in 6th gear at 40. As long as you aren't trying to accelerate from 45 in 6th gear you are fine. Its called a cruising gear for a reason. I routinely get 29-30 mpg in my 15 WRX.

As far as fuel economy goes can someone explain to me how cruising in 5th with higher RPMs would yield a higher fuel economy than you would in 6th gear at the same speed? The only thing I can think of is that it would have something to do with throttle position. But lets not let this go too far outside the scope of the OP.
Zombaru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2016, 10:02 PM   #12
Zombaru
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 280577
Join Date: Apr 2011
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: East Coast
Vehicle:
2015 WRX Base
Crystal White Pearl

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tibug View Post
Yeah, I would think that less than 2000 RPM is too low a cruising RPM for this motor. Even my Honda with a V6 and a 6-speed I'll pretty much keep above 2000 RPM all the time, because I can feel that the motor just doesn't want to spin slower than that. Besides diesels, every 4 cylinder I can recall driving is not too happy below 2000.
Can someone with a CVT chime in and tell us where your RPMs sit while cruising between 50 and 70 mph?

This will be your answer for optimum RPM for cruising.
Zombaru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2016, 10:04 PM   #13
Abismo
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 99707
Join Date: Nov 2005
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Missouri
Vehicle:
2010 WRX
CWP

Default

How far into illinois are you? im in STL so I can help you in person actually. Drove a few cars stick civic/wrx and once a mustang cobra.
Abismo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2016, 11:15 PM   #14
Saucee
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 442378
Join Date: Mar 2016
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Illinois
Vehicle:
2017 WRX
WR Blue

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abismo View Post
How far into illinois are you? im in STL so I can help you in person actually. Drove a few cars stick civic/wrx and once a mustang cobra.
Chicago suburbs. Kind of far away, but thank you for the kind offer.
Saucee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2016, 11:29 PM   #15
mishapopa
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 393629
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Canada
Vehicle:
2015 Turbo Econobox
Blue

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zombaru View Post
Can someone with a CVT chime in and tell us where your RPMs sit while cruising between 50 and 70 mph?

This will be your answer for optimum RPM for cruising.
Because the CVT has a torque converter you can't really assume you should drive a manual like you drive a auto. In a direct drive transmission (manual), there's a much higher load on the engine at low revs whereas on an auto, the torque converter acts like a sponge.

Realistically there's no problem cruising at 45 mph in 6th as long as you're not putting much load on the engine.

I personally find the WRX is pretty happy at ~2500 RPM for cruising so I very rarely use 6th gear.
mishapopa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2016, 12:43 AM   #16
Zombaru
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 280577
Join Date: Apr 2011
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: East Coast
Vehicle:
2015 WRX Base
Crystal White Pearl

Default

Thats exactly what I though Misha. Although you taught me something new about automatics. Thanks.
Zombaru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2016, 09:46 AM   #17
Abismo
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 99707
Join Date: Nov 2005
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Missouri
Vehicle:
2010 WRX
CWP

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saucee View Post
Chicago suburbs. Kind of far away, but thank you for the kind offer.
Darn well best advice I can give is just drive a lot. Youll figure things out pretty easily.

Also you can skip gears too, you dont always have to go sequentially
Abismo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2016, 09:59 AM   #18
Annihilator817
*** Banned ***
 
Member#: 296742
Join Date: Oct 2011
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: RI
Vehicle:
'16 STI, '11 WRX,
'96 328i DSP

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abismo View Post
Darn well best advice I can give is just drive a lot. Youll figure things out pretty easily.

Also you can skip gears too, you dont always have to go sequentially
Be careful recommending that to someone new to manuals.

I can see a lot of inexperienced people taking that advice and ending up mechanically over revving their motor.
Annihilator817 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2016, 02:00 PM   #19
Abismo
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 99707
Join Date: Nov 2005
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Missouri
Vehicle:
2010 WRX
CWP

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Annihilator817 View Post
Be careful recommending that to someone new to manuals.

I can see a lot of inexperienced people taking that advice and ending up mechanically over revving their motor.
I should have specified upshifting.. i mean on the highway sometimes depening on how fast i go on the onramp ill skip 4th and go straight to 5th (dont have a 6speed).

Yes. Downshifiting into too low a gear is bad. It even says this in the owners manual. But it also shouldnt be too hard a concept to grasp either.
Abismo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2016, 05:15 PM   #20
ctdmax
NASIOC Supporter
 
Member#: 319264
Join Date: May 2012
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Vehicle:
2016 WRX Limited
WRB

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitchwrxpaps View Post
Is this a Joke? I don't shift into 6th until 65-70...
I don't think my WRX has ever seen 6th gear below 50mph.
ctdmax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2016, 09:34 PM   #21
n2oiroc
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 141952
Join Date: Feb 2007
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: milwaukee, wi
Vehicle:
15 legacy 16 wrx

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ctdmax View Post
I don't think my WRX has ever seen 6th gear below 50mph.
x2. that poor car.
n2oiroc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2016, 10:27 PM   #22
Saucee
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 442378
Join Date: Mar 2016
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Illinois
Vehicle:
2017 WRX
WR Blue

Default

I went out today and did much better. Starting and upshifting is not a big problem anymore, however I am still riding the clutch on upshifts. My current goal is to remember to put down the handbrake . I tried backing into my garage with the hand brake on today and stalled the car. Its crazy how quickly the brakes get hot in this kind of situation . I have some new questions.

When slowing down at a red light should I downshift, or can I keep the car in gear and just switch it to neutral before I stop moving?

When downshifting in a corner, at which point should I push in the clutch pedal and change gears? Prior to entering the corner, midway through, or right before I exit?

Thank you for all of your help. I can feel I'm getting better already.

Last edited by Saucee; 06-10-2016 at 10:35 PM.
Saucee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2016, 11:11 PM   #23
mishapopa
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 393629
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Canada
Vehicle:
2015 Turbo Econobox
Blue

Default

Stop using the handbrake, that's a terrible habit. Pretty sure you have hill assist to... assist you. I personally disabled it the day I bought my car. Engage the clutch, tap the throttle and push the clutch back in if you need to make a small displacement adjustment.

No matter what you do, there will be a transient of you riding the clutch. Try to minimize it. Ideally it should be an on/off device but I'm not saying let go of it abruptly unless your rev match is perfect.

Here's the beauty of driving a manual, everyone will have a different opinion about your 2 questions but I'll tell you what I do. There really isn't a wrong answer.

When coming to a stop, I put the car in neutral, let go of the clutch, and start pressing the brakes. This is probably illegal in many states but I couldn't give less of a ****. Just remember, putting your car in neutral to coast does not necessarily save fuel, you save a more fuel engine braking.

I try to downshift prior to turning (which is the correct way) but often end up down shifting mid-turn, which is a terrible habit.

As long as you're not smelling any clutch, grinding gears, or stalling on flat roads, you're definitely getting better!
mishapopa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2016, 12:37 AM   #24
Zombaru
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 280577
Join Date: Apr 2011
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: East Coast
Vehicle:
2015 WRX Base
Crystal White Pearl

Default

So I was poking around the owner's manual today for something totally unrelated and I remembered my first car's owner manual (92 Prelude Si) having suggested shift points so I checked this one out. Low and behold, Subaru does give you a recommended shift point (as well as max speeds for 1st and 2nd gear) They list the recommended shift point for 6th gear at 50 mph. So what am I off by, by using it @ 45? 200 RPM? And for those of you waiting till 65+, well you should use 6th sooner. And guess where 6th gear @ 50 mpg puts the RPM needle....right around 1750 RPMs.

I get what all you guys are saying but its kinda hard to argue with the company that build the car.
Zombaru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2016, 10:16 AM   #25
Mitchwrxpaps
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 415635
Join Date: Mar 2015
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Massachusetts
Vehicle:
2016 WRX Limited 6MT
Lapis Blue Pearl

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zombaru View Post
So I was poking around the owner's manual today for something totally unrelated and I remembered my first car's owner manual (92 Prelude Si) having suggested shift points so I checked this one out. Low and behold, Subaru does give you a recommended shift point (as well as max speeds for 1st and 2nd gear) They list the recommended shift point for 6th gear at 50 mph. So what am I off by, by using it @ 45? 200 RPM? And for those of you waiting till 65+, well you should use 6th sooner. And guess where 6th gear @ 50 mpg puts the RPM needle....right around 1750 RPMs.

I get what all you guys are saying but its kinda hard to argue with the company that build the car.
Yea...ever heard of LSPI? Yea, I'd like to avoid that. I also didn't buy a wrx for fuel economy...so no, I will not shift any sooner.
Mitchwrxpaps is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:15 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Powered by Searchlight © 2016 Axivo Inc.
Copyright ©1999 - 2016, North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club, Inc.