CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Manual car question

I don’t think the original poster is having an issue driving a manual transmission, and advising that person to “improve his/her technique” is like telling someone to improve their technique in riding a bicycle. Once you get the hang of it, you’re done. I think the OP had to stop quick, on a dime, and stalled out the car. I did that to my own car once to avoid hitting a deer (from 50 mph-to-0 in a split second). I was lucky there was no one behind me.

Automakers should report the 60-to-0 mph distance/time instead of the opposite when trying to sell cars. Stopping quick is far more important and can be life saving.

Not really. The phrase “get the hang of it” is entirely too vague. I “got the hang” of riding my bike after dad took my training wheels off. Then I saw the older kids taking jumps on their BMX, got one of those, and “got the hang” of riding my bike again. Then I got a mountain bike and started bombing down mountain sides and had to “get the hang” of riding it yet again.

Know how to double clutch? Heel-toe brake? Rev-match? Hill start without rolling back or using the emergency brake? Clutchless-shift? If not, then you might think you’ve gotten the hang of driving a manual, but there’s a lot of skill level above yours.

Regarding OP specifically, yeah, he does need to improve his technique. The first instinct when slamming on the brake in a manual should be that your other foot is slamming on the clutch. If that’s not internalized, you need technique improvement. It could save you a lot of money some day - before I had that internalized as a young driver I panic-braked on the interstate because a guy going much slower cut me off. I locked the wheels, then stopped braking, the clutch had to deal with a 3000-0-almost 3000 instant RPM change, it didn’t, blew apart, and cost me $1000 in towing and repair.

Once I taught my kids to drive a manual on s flat surface and they felt confortable. Then I took them hill climbing. Totally different beast.

Sure, hill climbing can be a challenge. But all this “rev-match” “double clutch”, etc? Is that really necessary if you’re just using the car to commute, go to the grocery store, drive on city streets, like most of us do? I’m more concerned about safely getting from point A-to-B in one piece than anything else.

Likewise for bicycles. If you can ride one, fine. I don’t need to do jumps or bomb down mountain sides. I’m an almost 50 year old lady. Not that I would be opposed to trying that, but it’s not something I feel I need to (or even want to) learn to do if I want to go for a bike ride. Sheesh.

I seem to remember confusing one of my manuals in the past by stalling at least once. I restarted and the car ran funny for a few seconds until I gave it a rev and everything settled back to normal. I think a sensor or ECM input got confused. I was a little worried this was a sign of some failure but never had any further issues.

This thread is just one of three threads that the OP posted, each noting a different problem that he/she has had recently with operation of the manual trans, thus my suggestion about the need for an experienced friend to do some coaching.

1 Like

Doesn’t that depend on where you live? Florida? - no problem. Vermont ? - You can’t drive 5 miles without hitting a hill.

1 Like

Slightly off topic, but I can’t help myself. How can one stall a car while not in gear. Are there two quantum states of the shifter and we can’t tell whether or not it is actually in gear until we let out the clutch?

If that’s what the car needs you to do, then yes. All the manual cars that I’ve had won’t let you downshift to first without strong arming the shifter unless you double clutch, which is a fancy rev match. And the places that I’ve been living at do require occasional downshift to first at high speed

Those are advanced techniques that when properly executed can add a sense of accomplishment even during everyday driving. Most manual drivers like you are not interested in learning them but some are.

High speed?

Well, high enough to require revving to around 5000(redline is at 6500) before letting out the clutch.

There is no need to either rev match or double-clutch any car with a synchronized transmission (which is basically any car manufactured in the last 50 years). If doing so makes you feel cool and impresses your friends, so be it, but it has no relevance to the optimal operation of a manual-transmission automobile in 2016. I have no trouble shifting into first gear (at low speeds, of course), in my 2009 Hyundai Accent without rev matching, and that car was just about as cheap as they come.

Syncros can wear out, if you can rev match you can still drive the car or truck. I lost the clutch ( wouldn’t disengage) when pulling out to the trucking company gate in Indianapolis. 13 speed transmission and grossing 80,000 pounds.

I wrote it up to be fixed when I got to the Buffalo terminal , 500 miles later

2 Likes

“All the manual cars that I’ve had won’t let you downshift to first without strong arming the shifter unless you double clutch, which is a fancy rev match. And the places that I’ve been living at do require occasional downshift to first at high speed.”

Electronic rev limiter will not prevent a grenaded engine if you force a M/T into first gear at high speed. Apparently you were attempting to describe a static tire smoking launch with M/T already in first gear. Apples and oranges

On one of my previous cars, the 3rd gear synchro wore out . . . so I had to rev match to get into 3rd gear

It wasn’t that big of a deal, actually, and I got used to it very quickly

I never did tear the trans down and replace that synchro . . . didn’t seem worth the hassle to me

I drove it like that for years

Sorry. I should have clarified “vintage vehicles” The last vehicles I had to double clutch were old military Jeeps and trucks. The last vehicles I could rev match were 2002 Mitsubishi Eclipse, 1996 Mazda Miata, and 1991 Mazda RX-7. The goofy throttle by wire in my 2010 Kia Forte SX and probably your 2009 Hyundai Accent removed that satisfaction.

The bros say it unnecessary to Bernsteining the clutch.:grinning:

Huh? What is “Bernsteining”?

Look at show #1638, this weeks show. The circle is complete. :pray: