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Author Topic: Tell me of stick shifts and not panicking..  (Read 13466 times)

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Winterlight

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Re: Tell me of stick shifts and not panicking..
« Reply #45 on: September 24, 2014, 08:49:38 AM »


Few things that happened..

  Realized this morning we never discussed reversing AFTER I got into a situation in my apartment parking lot where I needed to reverse. Thank god for gravity and Google. I drove the car over to where my truck was parked to get my grooming bag and my horse's blankets, pulled into a spot to turn around..and could not figure out how to put the car in reverse. The parking space was on a slight incline so I popped it in neutral and let gravity do the work for me then called my husband (yay hands free) and asked how the hell to put the car in reverse. Practiced that a few times and off I went.

Get to my very first light which has two turn lanes going left across the intersection, I took the inside lane thinking if I stalled it I would be more out of the way. Okay, first of all - that light is way too short. It took five light cycles to get through it. The first one there was a car behind me who got really quite pissy with me, honked at me, then went around me into the outside turn lane and made himself look like n donkey's rear end. Second light cycle he took off, I still couldn't get it, and then a HUGE truck pulled in behind me (Looked like a big GMC). I started to panic then remembered to just take a deep breath and focus on what was in front of me and the car. Stalled it a third time, big truck backed up...and then just sat there. Stalled it a fourth time, then I got pissed off at myself and got more aggressive and the fifth and I took off. Yay! GMC dude followed me through the light then went around me and tipped his hat to me.

OP, I say this gently and with concern for you: The bolded shows you are *not safe* to be driving this car on the public road. If you don't know how to put your car in reverse, you are not safe to be on a public road in it. If it takes you five cycles to get through a set of lights because you can't control the clutch or put it in gear, you are not safe to be on a public road.

Please don't continue to drive on a public road until you've had some lessons in a manual, whether it be from a friend/family member or preferably a qualified instructor. I thought this was a case of just being nervous about crunching the gears, not about having no idea how to put the car into a gear in the first place - this is not simply just 'being nervous' - this is having no idea how to control your car.

You talk about not knowing how to reverse as if it's no big deal. What if you need to quickly reverse out of the way of a speeding car that's just run a red light and is about to hit you?! Then what?

It absolutely horrifies me that people are legally allowed to get into cars that they have no idea how to control and put themselves (and others) at risk due to their lack of skill.

I agree. This is unsafe for everyone. Please go practice somewhere and get some lessons before you or someone else gets hurt.
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TootsNYC

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Re: Tell me of stick shifts and not panicking..
« Reply #46 on: September 24, 2014, 08:51:57 AM »
Quote
Please don't continue to drive on a public road until you've had some lessons in a manual, whether it be from a friend/family member or preferably a qualified instructor.

Lessons are great.

They are -not- a substitute for practice, practice, practice.
Not just for a solid 45 minutes the first time, but the next day for 20, and the day after that for 20. Give your mind, and your body, time to process the things it is learning (This happens during sleep, and during times you're doing other stuff). And give it time to apply them, so multiple sessions.

Ride the clutch all the way out every time (don't worry--four or five practice sessions is not going to ruin the clutch--or, certainly far less than driving the way you are will risk!), feel with your legs and your feet. Even with your butt. Feel the car move, feel the gears kick in.





Jocelyn, can I ask where you're from? I'm from the UK, learned to drive a manual car (stick shift) and I have never heard of the above. Rather I was taught that you should never depress the brake and accelerator at the same time. You should keep your heel on the floor of the car and swivel it between pedals. Practice allows you to swivel quickly off the brake, pressing the accelerator whilst raising your left foot off the clutch at the same time.
At first it seems a lot to remember - like rubbing your tummy and patting your head at the same time, but like all things practice makes perfect  :)

I'm from the U.S., and I was taught the same thing.

There's always a brief gap between switching from brake to accelerator, but it's pretty darned brief. I sure don't need more than a second or two. And once I got comfortable with the clutch (longer the first time ever, so of course on level ground while practicing, but even when switching to a new car), my *clutch* foot was ready to go at the right time.

Goosey

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Re: Tell me of stick shifts and not panicking..
« Reply #47 on: September 24, 2014, 08:54:28 AM »


Few things that happened..

  Realized this morning we never discussed reversing AFTER I got into a situation in my apartment parking lot where I needed to reverse. Thank god for gravity and Google. I drove the car over to where my truck was parked to get my grooming bag and my horse's blankets, pulled into a spot to turn around..and could not figure out how to put the car in reverse. The parking space was on a slight incline so I popped it in neutral and let gravity do the work for me then called my husband (yay hands free) and asked how the hell to put the car in reverse. Practiced that a few times and off I went.

Get to my very first light which has two turn lanes going left across the intersection, I took the inside lane thinking if I stalled it I would be more out of the way. Okay, first of all - that light is way too short. It took five light cycles to get through it. The first one there was a car behind me who got really quite pissy with me, honked at me, then went around me into the outside turn lane and made himself look like n donkey's rear end. Second light cycle he took off, I still couldn't get it, and then a HUGE truck pulled in behind me (Looked like a big GMC). I started to panic then remembered to just take a deep breath and focus on what was in front of me and the car. Stalled it a third time, big truck backed up...and then just sat there. Stalled it a fourth time, then I got pissed off at myself and got more aggressive and the fifth and I took off. Yay! GMC dude followed me through the light then went around me and tipped his hat to me.

OP, I say this gently and with concern for you: The bolded shows you are *not safe* to be driving this car on the public road. If you don't know how to put your car in reverse, you are not safe to be on a public road in it. If it takes you five cycles to get through a set of lights because you can't control the clutch or put it in gear, you are not safe to be on a public road.

Please don't continue to drive on a public road until you've had some lessons in a manual, whether it be from a friend/family member or preferably a qualified instructor. I thought this was a case of just being nervous about crunching the gears, not about having no idea how to put the car into a gear in the first place - this is not simply just 'being nervous' - this is having no idea how to control your car.

You talk about not knowing how to reverse as if it's no big deal. What if you need to quickly reverse out of the way of a speeding car that's just run a red light and is about to hit you?! Then what?

It absolutely horrifies me that people are legally allowed to get into cars that they have no idea how to control and put themselves (and others) at risk due to their lack of skill.

I agree with this. I think you owe it to yourself and to other drivers to learn how to drive this car safely and efficiently before you put yourself and others at risk.

I admit, I would have gone around you at the light as well. If the lane next to you was open and you couldn't get through a light, you were a road obstacle and I'd be wanting to get away from you asap.

I am in the States and I learned stick here. I did not go out on public roads until I had a good handle on controlling my vehicle. I would have never considered going out on public roads before then. There is "giving leeway for a learner" and then is "wow this person is being dangerous"

perpetua

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Re: Tell me of stick shifts and not panicking..
« Reply #48 on: September 24, 2014, 08:56:28 AM »
Quote
Please don't continue to drive on a public road until you've had some lessons in a manual, whether it be from a friend/family member or preferably a qualified instructor.

Lessons are great.

They are -not- a substitute for practice, practice, practice.
Not just for a solid 45 minutes the first time, but the next day for 20, and the day after that for 20. Give your mind, and your body, time to process the things it is learning (This happens during sleep, and during times you're doing other stuff). And give it time to apply them, so multiple sessions.


I agree, practice is king. But in this case, the OP doesn't even know where gears are on her car to the extent that she has to call someone from the car to ask how to put it in reverse. She can't find the gears at the lights for five whole cycles, and she stalls every time she tries to pull away.

That isn't something you can 'practice' your way out of. She needs to be *taught* how to drive this car before she can practice.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2014, 08:58:14 AM by perpetua »

TootsNYC

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Re: Tell me of stick shifts and not panicking..
« Reply #49 on: September 24, 2014, 08:59:03 AM »
Yes, that's why I said "lessons are great."

My concern is that she is already going out onto the road badly, badly prepared. I'm concerned that she'll get lessons, and then go back out on the road, "Oh, I've had lessons."

She needs lessons, yes--"lessons are great."

Almost more than that, she needs practice.

If nobody gave her lessons, and she had a big empty parking lot, she could probably figure it out, given enough time.
  But going out on the road without *practice* is really dangerous. Even -with- lessons. Lessons (while "great") aren't enough.

HiverFleur

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Re: Tell me of stick shifts and not panicking..
« Reply #50 on: September 24, 2014, 08:59:57 AM »
I did it! I lost count of how many times I stalled the car - but I am REALLY good at throwing it in neutral, starting it and throwing it back in first for another try very quickly. Bonus points for the car; it's a push button start. Don't have to turn a key, just push in the clutch and brake, press the button and there you go.

Few things that happened..

  Realized this morning we never discussed reversing AFTER I got into a situation in my apartment parking lot where I needed to reverse. Thank god for gravity and Google. I drove the car over to where my truck was parked to get my grooming bag and my horse's blankets, pulled into a spot to turn around..and could not figure out how to put the car in reverse. The parking space was on a slight incline so I popped it in neutral and let gravity do the work for me then called my husband (yay hands free) and asked how the hell to put the car in reverse. Practiced that a few times and off I went.

Get to my very first light which has two turn lanes going left across the intersection, I took the inside lane thinking if I stalled it I would be more out of the way. Okay, first of all - that light is way too short. It took five light cycles to get through it. The first one there was a car behind me who got really quite pissy with me, honked at me, then went around me into the outside turn lane and made himself look like n donkey's rear end. Second light cycle he took off, I still couldn't get it, and then a HUGE truck pulled in behind me (Looked like a big GMC). I started to panic then remembered to just take a deep breath and focus on what was in front of me and the car. Stalled it a third time, big truck backed up...and then just sat there. Stalled it a fourth time, then I got pissed off at myself and got more aggressive and the fifth and I took off. Yay! GMC dude followed me through the light then went around me and tipped his hat to me.

I did pretty good all the way to the barn, then from the barn to my mom's house. Had a big of trouble getting out of her driveway when we left for lunch. She followed me to the restaurant and stayed behind me on the road I was most nervous about. I stalled it a couple of times but just restarted it and kept going. The light right before the restaurant, I stalled it again, another truck was behind me. He was also patient and I ended up behind him in line at the restaurant. He asked if it was a new car and I got a little embarrassed and nodded. He just grinned and said I'd figure it out and to ignore the impatient people.

So all in all it was a good day. I think this morning I was really worried about hurting the car and I just need to not worry about that..I'm not going to. And the first clutch replacement is free from the dealership. So there's that.

You were in the wrong in this situation, not him. Do you really feel like it's ok to hold up traffic for 5 light cycles?

perpetua

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Re: Tell me of stick shifts and not panicking..
« Reply #51 on: September 24, 2014, 09:00:43 AM »
Yes, that's why I said "lessons are great."

My concern is that she is already going out onto the road badly, badly prepared. I'm concerned that she'll get lessons, and then go back out on the road, "Oh, I've had lessons."

She needs lessons, yes--"lessons are great."

Almost more than that, she needs practice.

If nobody gave her lessons, and she had a big empty parking lot, she could probably figure it out, given enough time.
  But going out on the road without *practice* is really dangerous. Even -with- lessons. Lessons (while "great") aren't enough.

Oh, absolutely. She needs both - sorry, I misunderstood you. Your post read a bit like "She doesn't need lessons, she just needs to practice". My bad :)

LadyClaire

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Re: Tell me of stick shifts and not panicking..
« Reply #52 on: September 24, 2014, 09:03:16 AM »
I did it! I lost count of how many times I stalled the car - but I am REALLY good at throwing it in neutral, starting it and throwing it back in first for another try very quickly. Bonus points for the car; it's a push button start. Don't have to turn a key, just push in the clutch and brake, press the button and there you go.

Few things that happened..

  Realized this morning we never discussed reversing AFTER I got into a situation in my apartment parking lot where I needed to reverse. Thank god for gravity and Google. I drove the car over to where my truck was parked to get my grooming bag and my horse's blankets, pulled into a spot to turn around..and could not figure out how to put the car in reverse. The parking space was on a slight incline so I popped it in neutral and let gravity do the work for me then called my husband (yay hands free) and asked how the hell to put the car in reverse. Practiced that a few times and off I went.

Get to my very first light which has two turn lanes going left across the intersection, I took the inside lane thinking if I stalled it I would be more out of the way. Okay, first of all - that light is way too short. It took five light cycles to get through it. The first one there was a car behind me who got really quite pissy with me, honked at me, then went around me into the outside turn lane and made himself look like n donkey's rear end. Second light cycle he took off, I still couldn't get it, and then a HUGE truck pulled in behind me (Looked like a big GMC). I started to panic then remembered to just take a deep breath and focus on what was in front of me and the car. Stalled it a third time, big truck backed up...and then just sat there. Stalled it a fourth time, then I got pissed off at myself and got more aggressive and the fifth and I took off. Yay! GMC dude followed me through the light then went around me and tipped his hat to me.

I did pretty good all the way to the barn, then from the barn to my mom's house. Had a big of trouble getting out of her driveway when we left for lunch. She followed me to the restaurant and stayed behind me on the road I was most nervous about. I stalled it a couple of times but just restarted it and kept going. The light right before the restaurant, I stalled it again, another truck was behind me. He was also patient and I ended up behind him in line at the restaurant. He asked if it was a new car and I got a little embarrassed and nodded. He just grinned and said I'd figure it out and to ignore the impatient people.

So all in all it was a good day. I think this morning I was really worried about hurting the car and I just need to not worry about that..I'm not going to. And the first clutch replacement is free from the dealership. So there's that.

You were in the wrong in this situation, not him. Do you really feel like it's ok to hold up traffic for 5 light cycles?

I have to agree here. Holding up traffic for several light cycles is more than a temporary inconvenience, and I would have absolutely gone around OP as well. There are places where you could get a ticket for obstructing traffic, which is essentially what she was doing.

Kiwichick

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Re: Tell me of stick shifts and not panicking..
« Reply #53 on: September 24, 2014, 09:11:02 AM »
Add me to the list of people who think driving this car without knowing how to is putting yourself and others at risk.

Reversing a car in neutral meant that your clutch was not engaged and therefore you had no real control over the car since the drive shaft couldn't have been engaged either.

SingMeAway

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Re: Tell me of stick shifts and not panicking..
« Reply #54 on: September 24, 2014, 09:13:47 AM »
Well, as others have said, practice, practice, practice. Especially the getting going in first. The BRZ is a wonderful car, but it is NOT an easy car to learn clutch on. It's very high-revving which makes getting going out of first a trick even for seasoned standard drivers. DH works for Subaru and he has seen lifelong manual drivers stall a BRZ repeatedly trying to get out of the dealership parking lot, much to their embarrassment.

Repeatedly stalling at the light really sounds like nerves, so find yourself a nice empty parking lot and do nothing but stop and start. You need to get comfortable moving off of a stop. You also need to orient yourself to the car if you're not comfortable finding reverse, etc... You don't want to be looking for things while driving or maneuvering.

I relearned (hadn't driven clutch in 15 years) on the Subaru WRX, which as far as I'm concerned, is akin to learning to fly a plane in an F-16 :). I'm now driving the Subaru STI and I am a committed stick-person. So much more control  :D.

Anyway, when I was driving with the WRX for the first few months, one of things I did was not have any loud music or anything in the car. Being able to hear the engine really helped in knowing when to shift. Part of what I like about driving stick is that you need to listen to the car and focus more.

Best of luck!

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Tell me of stick shifts and not panicking..
« Reply #55 on: September 24, 2014, 09:22:47 AM »
I learned to drive on a truck that was '3 on the tree' - the gear lever was on the steering column and there were only 3 forward gears plus reverse.  Gives you a bit of a hint as to my age, seeing as they haven't made those for years, as far as I know.  Once I'd learned, mostly, to drive, I drove my Mom's car, which was 5 on the floor.  But the driver's ed car was automatic.  I think I gave the poor instructor whiplash when I ended up with both feet on the brake.

I agree with practice, practice, practice in a safe spot to do so, like a big empty parking lot, until you are proficient.  If you can find an area with a bit of a gradient, use that, too.  Both starting in an uphill position and in a downhill position.  If I'm on a really steep hill, I'll set the handbrake and gently let it off as I start to press on the gas, rather than the heel toe method described above.  I've never heard of that.  Using the handbrake in my truck was more difficult because it was one you pushed down with your foot and it was either all or nothing.  You couldn't just let it off gently.  There was one hill on my route of travel that I'd have to stop on if the light was red.  If the conditions were at all dicey, I'd go another, longer, route to avoid the hill.

My new vehicle is a 6 speed (Subaru Forester), rather than a 5 speed.  I'm guessing the BRZ is a 6 speed, as well.  It is a sporty little number and I can see it being more difficult to master.  It took a few weeks before my shifting was smooth again because of the slight differences in the gearing.  My oldest nephew was driving with me during this break-in period.  And asked me to teach his friends how to drive stick!  So my jerky driving was still better than most of his friends.

I do understand the reverse issue, though.  I've always driven vehicles where reverse is just one of the gears, usually after the highest gear so you don't slip into reverse by mistake.  But the new vehicles have added an extra step now for shifting into reverse.  In my nephew's friend's Audi, I had to push down on the gear shift and move it to the left.  In my new car, I have to lift up on a ring around the gear shift and move it to the right.  It isn't instinctual at all; it is something you have to be told and if the OP didn't think to ask, I can see how she wouldn't know.
After cleaning out my Dad's house, I have this advice:  If you haven't used it in a year, throw it out!!!!.
Ontario

athersgeo

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Re: Tell me of stick shifts and not panicking..
« Reply #56 on: September 24, 2014, 09:25:05 AM »
Practice the 'heel-toe'. When I say practice, I mean practice this in an open parking lot until you feel comfortable with the technique, then on flat roads. But properly done, you can be stopped on an uphill grade, and start up without rolling back or stalling!
Put your right heel on the brake, and your toes hovering on the accelerator. As you start to let out the clutch, roll the weight of your foot off the heel, onto the toes. Then pivot on the ball of your right foot til your foot is in the usual comfortable driving position. This makes the split-second difference between actually moving the ball of your right foot off the brake and onto the accelerator. You're giving the car the gas as you're letting out the clutch, and you won't roll back or stall out.

Jocelyn, can I ask where you're from? I'm from the UK, learned to drive a manual car (stick shift) and I have never heard of the above. Rather I was taught that you should never depress the brake and accelerator at the same time. You should keep your heel on the floor of the car and swivel it between pedals. Practice allows you to swivel quickly off the brake, pressing the accelerator whilst raising your left foot off the clutch at the same time.

Eh - it's an old technique, and not one I was taught by my driving instructor, but it was one I had to learn (rapidly, from my parents) when I got my first car, which was an old (C Reg) fiesta with a manual choke*. If I didn't heel-and-toe it when I was stopped (and before the engine had fully warmed up) it tended to stall and potentially flood. And that was in 2002/2003!

*It also ran on leaded petrol - which was something of a challenge to find as most garages had stopped selling the stuff by then. Fortunately, I replaced it about eighteen months later - unfortunately, the car I replaced it with was an utter lemon, but at least it ran on unleaded which meant I could stop driving five miles out of my way just to buy gas...

perpetua

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Re: Tell me of stick shifts and not panicking..
« Reply #57 on: September 24, 2014, 10:23:24 AM »
There is a difference between stick and automatic when starting forward or making a turn after a stop.  When I drove stick, there were turns across traffic that I would not take right away because I knew that putting the car in gear and getting it moving would take a second or two.  And yes, there was the occasional ignoramus behind me who had no knowledge of the transmission system I was using. 

See, the thing is: there shouldn't *be* a difference, as other people perceive it. If you're at the front of the queue, you should be in gear, with the clutch at the biting point, with the handbrake on. Then when the lights change, all you have to do is release the handbrake and you move off instantly. If you're a few cars back in the queue, then you've got the time while people are moving off ahead of you to put the car in gear and go.

I can tell you right now that that's not gonna happen.  My handbrake is located to the left of the steering wheel, way down near my knee.  If I had to release that thing while driving, I couldn't see over the dashboard, and besides, i can't even *reach* the handle when I'm seat-belted behind the steering wheel.
I hate the location, but I didn't design the car.

So how do you put the handbrake on when you need to stop the car and have it stay stopped?

Moralia

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Re: Tell me of stick shifts and not panicking..
« Reply #58 on: September 24, 2014, 10:30:53 AM »
OP, it does sound like your nerves got to you.  Don't worry, just get some practice in a quiet place and it will come to you.

When I learned two years ago, I spent a couple of weeks driving around the block a couple times a night and a couple hours in the parking lot at my husband's workplace (also practicing hill starts in the empty parking garage) on the weekends before I was really confident enough to drive around town.  I still stalled occasionally and waved people around me when I was having difficulty. It does get easier and as you've experienced, other manual drivers do recognize it's a process.

You can also get on youtube and watch some people explaining and demonstrating, it might help you.

http://www.cartalk.com/content/proper-way-use-clutch
http://www.cartalk.com/content/god-save-clutch

HiverFleur

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Re: Tell me of stick shifts and not panicking..
« Reply #59 on: September 24, 2014, 10:31:57 AM »
There is a difference between stick and automatic when starting forward or making a turn after a stop.  When I drove stick, there were turns across traffic that I would not take right away because I knew that putting the car in gear and getting it moving would take a second or two.  And yes, there was the occasional ignoramus behind me who had no knowledge of the transmission system I was using. 

See, the thing is: there shouldn't *be* a difference, as other people perceive it. If you're at the front of the queue, you should be in gear, with the clutch at the biting point, with the handbrake on. Then when the lights change, all you have to do is release the handbrake and you move off instantly. If you're a few cars back in the queue, then you've got the time while people are moving off ahead of you to put the car in gear and go.

I can tell you right now that that's not gonna happen.  My handbrake is located to the left of the steering wheel, way down near my knee.  If I had to release that thing while driving, I couldn't see over the dashboard, and besides, i can't even *reach* the handle when I'm seat-belted behind the steering wheel.
I hate the location, but I didn't design the car.

So how do you put the handbrake on when you need to stop the car and have it stay stopped?

I turn off the car and push the foot pedal with my left foot, while my right foot is on the brake pedal. No rolling.  It's not the usual handle that you pull up to engage and let down to release.  There's a pedal to engage the brake, and a release lever to release it.
And this is in a manual car? I've only ever seen the pedal emergency brake in vehicle that have the shifter on the steering columns, trucks, SUVs, minivans, ect.


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