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Old 09-27-2000, 09:03 PM   #1
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 1052
Join Date: Mar 2000
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: does it comfort you to know
you fought
the good fight?

Post the time has come to pick up my sudie (friday) and need tips to drive back.....

you see i have never driven stick before and i definitely wanted a 5-spd in this car. what tips can you guys (gals) give to a new stick driver. any pros and cons on how to get my new car back to my house from the dealer safely appreciated along with basics to driving and maintaining a manual tranny would be helpful too.


almost (still 2 more days) proud new owner of 2001 silverthorn impreza-rs coupe
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Old 09-27-2000, 09:09 PM   #2
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Location: Des Plaines, IL
2006 Acura TL 6spd
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I would go to a parking lot and practice engauging 1st over and over as close to the lot as possible. Traffic isnt a fun place to learn the stall point of your engine. If you cant find a place to practice for awhile before driving home, I would seriously consider having someone come with you who knows stick, so a) they can advise you, and b) rescue you if you cant get the hang of it quickly.
The RS clutch is a little tricky, so good luck.
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Old 09-27-2000, 09:15 PM   #3
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Location: Silverdale, WA
2001 RS
Aspen White


Oh my, seriously NEVER driven a stick? Hmmm, that funny smell is the clutch... Might try practicing in a parking lot before you take it out on the road. Just practice starting and stopping, don't go fast enough to do any shifting (yet). Once you are comfortable at where the clutch is releasing, practice shifting from 1st to second, then stopping. I would not recommend downshifting until you are more practiced. When you want to stop just put in the clutch and use the brakes to slow and stop, after you are stopped shift into first. Good-luck. (Maybe sign up for a driving class would be a good idea too)
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Old 09-27-2000, 09:36 PM   #4
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Location: McLean, VA, US of A
2000 2.5RS
aspen white


aaaaaahhhhhhhh, never driven stick, man then u've never really been alive.

it took me awhile to even learn how to start the car, ur gonna need a few days of practice before u go out drivin.

my advice if u want, it home right quick, then get a fam memeber or a pal to drive it home for u then practice....takes awhile to master.....and i am a master......
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Old 09-28-2000, 06:58 AM   #5
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762 PGT Impreza L,
Silverado EXT, Yaris


Trust me...don't learn stick on the way home from the dealer. Explain the situation to them and they may be able to get you a shuttle and a driver. If you must drive it home, practice in their parking lot (away from other cars) first. Here's the easiest way to learn.

Driving stick is just like adjusting the water in a shower. You want to mix the gas and clutch until it's "just right." Start out by not touching the gas at all. Start the car in neutral (always start the car in neutral as a beginner) and, without touching the gas, put it in first gear and slowly (SLOWLY!) let out the clutch.

The engine will lug (strain) a little, the RPMs will drop to about 700 and you'll start moving very slowly. Try going in circles in first gear WITHOUT touching the gas. Get back in a straight line and shift to second. Push in the clutch, go to second and SLOWLY let out the clutch, WITHOUT touching the gas. This requires a LOT of room (big parking lot), but you should be able to get all the way up to third or fourth. On a totally flat lot, I've gotten all the way to fifth.

Why am I telling you this? It teaches clutch control. If you can shift without stalling with no gas, you can shift smoothly. Now, try mixing gas with the clutch. Stop the car, go to first gear, give it some gas (never go over 3k RPM when first learning) and slowly let out the clutch. You'll feel slip slip slip LOCK and the car will start moving.

Generally, once you get the hang of it, the clutch should slip for less than a second. If it takes more than a second to shift you're giving it too much gas, revving it too high and letting the clutch out too slowly. Then again, if you stall it, you let the clutch out too quickly or didn't give it enough gas.

Basically, you should rev to about 1.8k to 2.5k RPM to launch in first gear. If you're at 4k RPM in first gear, push in the clutch, drop it to 3.1k RPM and go to second. There's ~900 RPM difference between gears. To get a smooth shift, you want to drop the RPM when upshifing and increase the RPM when downshifting.

So, 4k RPM in 4th, drop to 3.1k RPM to go to 5th. If at 2.5k RPM in 3rd, increase to 3.4k RPM to downshift to 2nd.

Uhm. I'm rambling now. Do a Websearch...that should get you some more info.

Trunkmonkey is here! There is no cone...
Sean Sosik-Hamor < [email protected] >
Epinions Automotive Reviews by `Sean
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Old 09-28-2000, 07:14 AM   #6
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Gee, it was so long ago that I learned...

In Drivers Ed, they took us to an out of the way road, with not much traffic and had us practice "hill starts"
If you have a place where you could do this, it'll really get you acclimated to clutch control quickly! On a hill, stop. Put your E-brake on. Put the clutch in, put the car in first-with the clutch still in, have your foot on the brake and clutch at the same time.
Take your foot off the brake, and give your car a little gas...a LITTLE, don't rev the car, just do it slow, and you should feel the car start to pull against the Emergency/parking brake.

It's very tricky, but great practice, while you're slowly giving it gas, and coming off the clutch just a little at a time, try disengaging the parking brake, and going forward. You'll roll back if you're not coordinated enough to get the mix between gas and clutch to the right point...but practice!

This was the hardest thing to learn. You'll stall a ton-but it's great practice. In Driver's Ed, we spent an entire afternoon doing this. You'll learn not to roll back, and not to stall on the hill.
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Old 09-28-2000, 07:26 AM   #7
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA, USA
2000 Impreza RS


I learned how to drive a manual in a friends Honda Accord and a Chevy Camaro. The RS clutch is VERY tricky, especially when it's just getting broken in from the dealership. I suggest you have somebody else who's good at driving sticks drive it for a bit to "break it in"

Definitely practice in a parking lot. Try to find one that has a hill near by because that will take lots of practice too.
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Old 09-28-2000, 08:54 AM   #8
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Location: New Jersey

Well, I hope you're more coordinated than my girlfriend...I keep trying to teach her how to drive a stick (No, not on my scoob! She doesn't have the priviledge of driving this car yet :P)...She toodles along, jerking the car...Suddenly, we're coming up to a stop (in a parking lot, yes...no street for her!)...'WHICH ONE'S THE BRAKE!' 'whaaat?? Press them both, one is the clutch and one is the brake...you'll stop' 'WHICH ONE??' ::guard rail coming closer and closer:: ::reachers for parking brake, ready to pull it:: ::girlfriend finally finds the brake pedal::

But hey, she can do reverse flawlessly...just can't go forward
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Old 09-28-2000, 09:49 AM   #9
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Actually, I find the RS clutch to be pretty forgiving; the engine's torque makes up for that.

On the other hand, I've driven a few other folks' RSs around here and their clutches vary...

One thing to check (this happened to me on a test drive of my new car and took the dealer two weeks to fix; you shuld check it before you go); hold in the clutch with the engine running and shift through all the gears (1-2-3-4-5-Neutral-R). I had bad synchros that made a grinding sound whenever I shifted into second. The dealer replaced a lot of stuff.

The best thing for you to do is find a very good friend with a manual transmission who will let you practice on his car (I say a very good friend because you could damage his/her clutch). Once you do know the manual, it will become like riding a bike or playing an instrument or throwing a ball; second nature.
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Old 09-28-2000, 01:06 PM   #10
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Join Date: Jun 1999

The RS was the first 5spd I have driven also I told a frien of mine pretty much the same thing here and they had no problems driving it. as long as you have driven any car before. starting off is the hardest part.

This is what I have found with the car. feel the gas pedal and how quick the engine revs first. just get used to it. then practice keeping Idle at about 1000rpm maybe a little more. as long as you keep it above 1000 and under 1500 you should never stall, and your clutch should be OK. then at 1000 (try to hold it there as the car moves) start to let the clutch out slowly. Once you are moving you can be as sloppy as you want and the car shouldn't stall, it might buck. If it starts bucking in 1st gear, just let off the gas it is too hard to try and steady your foot while it is bucking. (trust me I know)
Well you should be well on your way to some happy motoring. I spent the entire 1st day driving around town just learning by the 6th hour of continous driving I was pretty good. must have stalled like 10 times. but the next day I only stalled 1 time. and one more thing you don't have to go past 3000rpm when you shift, and 1st gear is very quick to rev out as I found after my first stop light.
Hope this helps my friend that I tought was a girl, and after that she bought herself a standard. if she can do it anyone can. ( no offense to any girls here )
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Old 09-28-2000, 01:18 PM   #11
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What, your not going to try to drive the car home from the dealer??

When I picked my car up last june I had a total of about 19 minutes driving a 5spd (94 talon) 3 months before getting my car, getting home was tricky! Especially considering I had to learn how to drive that night so I could go to work the next day!

Get a friend to drive you home, then practice, if you understand the principles behind it, you should have no problem teaching yourself, I wish I had the luxury of someone helping me out!
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Old 09-28-2000, 01:35 PM   #12
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Lots of people already giving lots of good tips....

The way I learned was that the brake and clutch worked inversely. That means that you brake, then let off the brake as you engage the clutch, then brake again and gas. Pretty basic. Don't try any performance stuff at first. Be smooth and be gentle with the pedals. Take it very easy. Avoid traffic like the plague.

That's what I did to first start learning. After that, I did some shifting in a straight line, no gas, and then with gas. Sean's tips are good, though I wish I did all of them when I was learning. See, I learned (well, sorta) to drive a stick in a dealer lot. It's been a while since I drove one last, though.

If you have to drive up any hills, don't learn the hard way. Use the parking brake if you have to to keep the car from falling down the hill, then rev and launch. Go out to a hill one day with a buddy and practice.

I am by no means an expert, but it's really not as bad as people say to learn. To be good at it, well, that's a lot harder.
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Old 09-28-2000, 03:36 PM   #13
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Location: sj, ca usa

i'm fairly new driver to stick as well, just above 2000 miles total. i learned on my friends civic for 2 weeks before i picked up my RS from the dealer. surprisingly didn't stall on my way home, 50 miles of on/off rush hour traffic on freeway. of course, i don't suggest you do this..

i'm interested in the driving tips that Sean gave.. maybe i'm reading this wrong but how can you drive in circles without give any gas at all? would you have to be holding in the clutch halfway the whole time, and wouldn't that really scrape down that clutch? now, i haven't actually tried this yet, (i will after i turn off my comp) but i'm pretty sure my car will bog down to the point of stalling if i release clutch slowly for more than 2 seconds, let alone driving circles. and going through the whole gearbox w/out touching the gas? i must be missing something here.. ok, i better try all this before asking any more questions, but can u explain again in more detailed way perhaps? i'm all for learning here. thanks! -g
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