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Is engaging 1st gear by revving to around 1500 rpm bad?

I am having trouble starting from a standstill in a manual car.

I would usually rev to around 1500 rpm a little before the clutch begins to grab. As I am at around 1500rpm, I would slowly let the clutch out till the catching point. The rpm’s will naturally drop and I would slowly give it a little more gas while releasing the clutch till it is completely out. Once the clutch is fully out, I then give it even more gas. I find it truly hard to reach the catching point first and then give it gas. Instead, I give it gas first then release the clutch.

I have a subaru wrx by the way.

You are going to need a new clutch soon. Find a empty parking lot and practice getting the vehicle to move without using the gas pedal. Yes, it can be done and your skill level will increase. I would say have someone teach you but manual shift drivers are scarce .


Agree with @VOLVO_V70, your clutch is failing. Make sure you cable or hydraulics that engage the clutch are working. If you accelerate suddenly in a higher gear does the car respond right away or does it seem to lag a bit?

If your clutch is in good shape you should be able to start (on level ground) without raising the rpm above idle. It just takes some practice to do it is all. Ray has mentioned his theory on how to teach newbies to use a clutch on the show. As I recall he says to go to an empty parking lot, level ground, nothing nearby you might run into, and put it in neutral and idle, clutch pedal out. Keep your right foot entirely off the gas pedal for this. No brakes needed b/c it is level ground. Now push the clutch in and put it into 1st. Now just slowly release the clutch pedal until it begins to grab. Keep releasing it a little at a time until the car starts moving and the clutch pedal is completely out. If the engine stalls out, no worries, try again. Eventually you’ll be able to do it over and over again, never failing. At that point it will be easy to start off from a stop by raising the engine rpm just a little above idle,. which is what experienced drivers do without thinking about it, by habit.

I spend half my time in Shenzhen, China. Before the government subsidized/ordered the switch to battery electric buses, most of them were stick shifts and that’s how many drivers started from a stopped. They would rev the engine to about 1500 on an engine that redlines at 2300 before the clutch foot comes up.

When you get off the bus at your stop and the bus drives away, you would sometimes get that burning clutch smell. The point of the story is don’t ever loan your car to anyone. Less importantly, go practice finding your friction point and launching from idle

It is better to engage the clutch @1000 to 1200 RPMs, easy with a V-8 from 40 years ago but small displacement engines generally lack low RPM torque making a 1000 RPM take-off a challenge.

I frequently engage the clutch at 1500 RPMs, will I need to replace the clutch soon? I doubt it, I can chirp the tires when shifting from first to second at 5000 RPMs as I have for the last 6 years. I am not interested in preserving a car for 20 years, I have the oldest car in the employee parking lot and i am looking for a reason to buy something newer.

I have engage the clutch on a street car many times @ 3000 RPMs on the drag strip and drove it for 40,000 miles before selling it, if a Subaru can’t handle a 1500 RPM take-off, that’s too bad.

You are even smarter than ‘volvo-boy’. The best way to teach someone to drive a standard is simply to release clutch slowly and steadily - as you apply the accelerator - also slowly and steadily - to get vehicle moving away (slowly and steadily). As you gain experience this procedure is done quicker - to get into the traffic flow (quicker). Wasting time in a parking lot with no foot on accelerator is illogical at best. Have a nice day.