General Civic Talk Talk about the Honda Civic generally here.

driving a stick

  #1  
Old 02-06-2009, 05:14 PM
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hey, whats up. so i'm assuming most of you have manual transmitions. i was wondering today what "the right" way to handle driving a stick. things such as coming down hills in nuetral, leaving it in gear when parking, stuff like that. just wondering what good and bad practices are for maintaining a smooth tranny.

-doug
 
  #2  
Old 02-06-2009, 05:18 PM
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none of the things you mentioned are bad for the transmission, heres a rule of thumb i live by if you here it grind thats bad
 
  #3  
Old 02-06-2009, 05:24 PM
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-I don't ever leave my car in gear while parked, never have never will. I don't think it hurts car with it in gear either.
-And previously mentioned, don't grind.

Going up hills from a still standpoint is hard at first, but within a week's driving you should have everything down. And shortly you'll be driving a stick without thinking about it.

After I felt comfortable I would practice shifiting without making the car jerk, try to make it feel like an auto. And other times I would try to shift as fast as possible without griding. Doesn't mean to speed, but when shifting shift faster. Just little things you practice helps you out I think...or just makes it more fun.

Another thing, if you're downshifting, you'll notice the rpms spike after each lower gear is engaged. This will wear the clutch down if you don't bring the RPM's up. Basically it keeps the clutch from jerking the car.
 
  #4  
Old 02-06-2009, 05:34 PM
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Basically the key to driving stick is keeping things smooth... the smoother you shift/use the clutch, the less it hurts your clutch/transmission. When you shift, don't just drop the clutch; feather the clutch like you're taking off from a stop, just a lot faster (basically you're doing a smooth release of the clutch pedal).

Like inthezoneac said, starting on a hill is hard; actually, I'd say it's the hardest part about driving stick. One trick I'll give you is to use the parking brake; you have no idea how much it helps.

Also, he touched on the rpm's spiking on downshifting, but he didn't really cover how to make things smooth. To downshift nice and smooth, you have to do what we call "blipping the throttle". It's just a quick tap of the throttle to bring the rpm's up while you're shifting. It's a form of rev-matching that gets the engine speed close to the transmission speed so things stay nice and smooth. When you blip the throttle, don't even bother with the tach, just do it by feel... you'll pick it up a lot faster than you would if you stared at the tach. And once you get that mastered, you can work on heel-toe driving
 
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Old 02-07-2009, 07:03 AM
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the downshifting thing you mentioned is pretty cool, i've never even heard of that. i've been driving a stick for around 4 years but this is the first car i've had that has a reaaaaally smooth trans and i'd like to keep it that way. in PA there are some giant hills.. i was wondering if it was good practice to put it in nuetral when going down hills. then using the technique you mentions to rev the rpm back up when going back into gear.
 
  #6  
Old 02-07-2009, 08:19 AM
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yea i dident know how to drive standerd till i started working for a dealership i learned the best way not on my own car!!.all cars have different feels but you will get the hang of it.
 
  #7  
Old 02-07-2009, 08:24 AM
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well actually if you put it in 5th you should maintain your speed and waste no gas b/c you use absolutely no gas when you foot is not on the throttle and your car is in gear. and also what if there is an emergency where you need to accelerate you lose valuable time putting it into gear.
 
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Old 02-07-2009, 08:27 AM
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On a front engine/front-drive car, coasting down hills shouldn't damage anything. On rwd/4wd/awd, it's not great for the driveshaft, but I doubt it seriously damages anything; I coast down hills all the time. And if you're coasting down a hill, I'd definitely recommend rev-matching when you put it back in gear; it keeps things smooth and it won't wear your clutch out as much.

*edit: josh, you use gas anytime the car is running. If I'd fill my car up and just let it idle, it'd eventually run out of gas. Now, it might take 2 or 3 days, but it'll eventually run out of gas. And I forget exactly how the gearing is on a civic, but isn't 60mph somewhere around 3k rpm? 800rpm (idle) and 3000rpm (60mph) is a big difference in gas usage. And name an emergency that's going to occur in a matter of seconds where you need to accelerate going downhill. I've never encountered a situation where I had to accelerate going downhill to avoid anything.
 

Last edited by reaper2022; 02-07-2009 at 08:30 AM.
  #9  
Old 02-07-2009, 11:07 AM
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well for taking off on a hill i use my ebrake ALOT to keep me inplace before the clutch grips and pulls you forwards... its easier that way in my area from all the stupid people that pull right up on your @ss on a steep hill!
only time i really downshift is on the interstate exit ramp or on a steep down hill grade when i know cops like to be at the bottom since they know its a easy ticket location!!!!!


other than that dont over rev the motor when you dont have to for best milage.... and do your best to not grind if your syncros are damged try to do your best to find the sweet spot to shift to not grind or just try to skip that gear to prevent any more grinding and metal debri to be shreaded into the tranny case...
 
  #10  
Old 02-07-2009, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by reaper2022 View Post
On a front engine/front-drive car, coasting down hills shouldn't damage anything. On rwd/4wd/awd, it's not great for the driveshaft, but I doubt it seriously damages anything; I coast down hills all the time. And if you're coasting down a hill, I'd definitely recommend rev-matching when you put it back in gear; it keeps things smooth and it won't wear your clutch out as much.

*edit: josh, you use gas anytime the car is running. If I'd fill my car up and just let it idle, it'd eventually run out of gas. Now, it might take 2 or 3 days, but it'll eventually run out of gas. And I forget exactly how the gearing is on a civic, but isn't 60mph somewhere around 3k rpm? 800rpm (idle) and 3000rpm (60mph) is a big difference in gas usage. And name an emergency that's going to occur in a matter of seconds where you need to accelerate going downhill. I've never encountered a situation where I had to accelerate going downhill to avoid anything.
60mph tells me to switch to 3rd gear
 

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