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Old 09-19-2002, 10:50 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 15764
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Brick NJ
00RS -Dumb all over
A little ugly on the side

Default question on RPMS when not in gear

Car idles at 500. I would have though when i was coasting to a stop while in neutral, that the rpms would be 500. This is not the case.
Example: Me doin 70 on parkway, heading towards a toll. I take it out of fifth and leave it in neutral. As I'm coasting to the toll the RPM's stay at 1000 untill I am just about completely stopped. Then it drops to the normal 500 RPM idle.

It's just something i noticed and was curious about. Can anyone explain this.
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Old 09-22-2002, 11:12 PM   #2
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 22377
Join Date: Aug 2002

Goofy isn't it? Happens on mine as well; I assumed it was to keep vacuum for the brake booster or some such.
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Old 09-23-2002, 01:17 AM   #3
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 11190
Join Date: Oct 2001
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Central WI
1999 Impreza 2.5RS


Actually it idles at about 750 RPM, it just looks like 500 RPM due to the notches on the tach.
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Old 09-23-2002, 01:18 AM   #4
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Member#: 24172
Join Date: Sep 2002
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Jacksonville, FL
04 STI


So do most people put in neutral when slowing to a stop? I do but always wondered if downshifting is better for the tranny. And mine idles the same way.
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Old 09-23-2002, 09:35 AM   #5
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 24732
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Kennesaw, GA
2002 Impreza 2.5 RS
Platinum Silver Metallic


I always put the car in neutral whenever I get a chance, even when I'm coming to a stop sign. I was once told by my dad the more rest you give the clutch, no matter how short, the longer it will last-he had the factory clutch in his 86 Laser Turbo for 160,000 miles, so I take his advice. Downshifting doesn't hurt, but I try not to do it too much, replacing your brakes is a lot cheaper than replacing your tranny or clutch. Just my thoughts...
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Old 09-23-2002, 05:20 PM   #6
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Member#: 6000
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Ottawa, Canada
2000 GC8 STi V4 swap


Ok, a couple of interesting issues here that should be explained.

a) Your tranny has a neutral switch that tells the ECU when it's out of gear. The ECU holds the idle a little higher when this is the case. I don't remember how this routine worked in the ECU code when I reverse engineered the MY2000 ECU but I seem to recall it's also VSS dependant so if you're rolling and put the clutch in it will behave the same.

b) Taking the car out of gear and using the brakes to slow down uses more fuel and consumes your brakes faster. The car was designed to be downshifted. Since you're not going to be dragging the clutch to slow down it has very little to do with clutch wear.

First, the fuel issue. Your car turns the engine off when you're using engine braking. This means no fuel, no spark until it hits about 1800 RPM. Sometimes when it's really cold out you feel a slight surge when it brakes down to this RPM. That's the ECU turning your engine back on so it doesn't stall.

The clutch issue. You need to downshift correctly. This means matching the revs of the engine. I know there are lots of people who push the clutch in, stick the shifter in the next lowest gear and let the clutch out. While this works fine in a jerky sort of way it is not the correct technique. This will wear your clutch out slightly faster than normal. So long as you don't slip your clutch all the time, it should still easily last you 150,000-200,000 km. This amount of mileage will take the average driver 8-10 years.

So those who are forever popping their car out of gear to coast down hills believing they're saving gas are wrong with today's modern cars. Those who spend their time obsessing about how to make a clutch last longer than the car... YOU SOUND LIKE MY DAD!

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