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Old 12-10-2010, 07:47 AM   #1
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"how to drive a stick" question

It's been almost a year since I got my new baby and I still have a feeling that I'm not driving it right..
Last time I drove a stick was 15 years ago and it was my dad's car and it was 15yo at that time

Do you guys press clutch when braking?
Do you put the car in neutral when going downhill?

It seems that I can never match the speed when shifting in 1st or 2nd from neutral.
It's pretty smooth when I got from one gear to another, but if I put it in neutral when going downhill and the try to shift in lower gear (1,2,3) I always get that pinch.. it's never smooth.

Any tips for "how to drive a stick" ?

Thanks
Sasha

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Old 12-10-2010, 07:58 AM   #2
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I hope you're joking about putting the car in neutral when you go downhill and then trying to put it back in gear. Because, you should never, ever, never do that. And, again, if you're not joking, you do not push the clutch every time you brake. Only push the clutch when coming to a complete stop, or when shifting.
My suggestion is to get with someone who drives a stick every day and let them ride with you and give you some instructions.
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Old 12-10-2010, 08:37 AM   #3
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I'm not joking.. that's how I was tought to drive a stick back then.. it was the right thing to do for the car I was driving back home..
It feels wrong on boxster... that's why I'm asking.

Thanks
Sasha

PS: It seems that here in US not many people are driving stick... from all the people I know here, I'm the only one that drives a stick.
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Old 12-10-2010, 08:43 AM   #4
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Sasha you should just go out and drive when you have nowhere to go or no place to be. Focus your attention on how the car feels, sounds and responds to different things that you try in it. In a manual car you have to think about what the car is doing to determine what gear you need to be in. There is nothing wrong with putting the car in nuetral on a down hill but if you are going 70 mph at the end of the hill than you should put the car back into the appropriate gear. In a boxster five speed that would be fifth gear at 70. You also need to rev-match the engine. As you have been rolling along on the downhill in nuetral your cars engine has slowed to idle speed. So if you go from nuetral to 5th gear at 70 when you release the clutch the engine will not be turning at the same speed as the gears in the transmission thus you would get the "pinch" or jerk you are talking about. But if you bring the engine speed up as you let out on the clutch than the transition will be smooth. Practice makes perfect.

Never try to put the car into to low of a gear without rev-matching the engine to the cars speed. doing so is hard on your car and can in some cases cause a spin.
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Old 12-10-2010, 08:44 AM   #5
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Did you learn to drive on a Trabant or a Skoda? Probably the only cars you will find in the US with a manual transmission will be sports cars. And, many of those are going to automatics. When I lived in Germany and bought my first Porsche in 1981 you could not get a 911 with an automatic.
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Old 12-10-2010, 08:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sasha055
I'm not joking.. that's how I was tought to drive a stick back then.. it was the right thing to do for the car I was driving back home..
It feels wrong on boxster... that's why I'm asking.

Thanks
Sasha

PS: It seems that here in US not many people are driving stick... from all the people I know here, I'm the only one that drives a stick.
Stick with it Sasha. It is worth the effort. The joy of driving a manual car is something to behold, most certainly in a Boxster! Both of my boys had to learn to drive in a manual. I would not let them drive an automatic until they were proficient at driving a stick. I wanted it to "stick" with them; to be their first memory of driving. Thomas is learning right now and he is practicing at night when he cannot see his feet. Keeps him from looking down at the pedals. But then I can't see his feet either. He has yet to kill the car when comming to a stop. Last night I figured out why when he told me he was pushing in the clutch everytime he used the brake. He now knows that he only needs to use the clutch when shifting not when braking.
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Old 12-10-2010, 09:12 AM   #7
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If you're jerking the car (no pun intended) then that means you're not shifting properly.

You need to rev match when downshifting or shift into gear from neutral at speed.

Search on youtube on "double clutching" and "heel and toe".

The only time that you would press both the clutch and brake pedals are when you're doing an emergency stop.

Yeah you're not driving if you have an auto. I learn that when I got this car.

Last edited by ekam; 12-10-2010 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 12-10-2010, 09:32 AM   #8
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It wasn't a skoda.. it was a Lada

I love stick.. (that didn't sound right..)
I started driving stick when I was 13.. at 26 I moved to US, and bought a auto (I actually never saw automatic transmission car before moving to US)

I'll look into heel&toe videos.
I tried different styles of driving but it's hard to break old habbits.
Back home it was a rule to put it in neutral when going downhill.. I actually stopped the engine if the hill was longer to save gas. and when braking I always push clutch first.. it's an instinct.

Thanks
Sasha
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Old 12-10-2010, 09:34 AM   #9
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The whole putting car in neutral to save gas thing no longer applies when electronic fuel injection engines became popular.

Last edited by ekam; 12-10-2010 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 12-10-2010, 09:43 AM   #10
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Just watched the videos of "heel toe" and double clutching..

Double clutching feels like an overkill can't I rev a bit angine while I press clutch the first time?
"Heel toe" technique should be a sticky page in here.. it's priceless

Sasha
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Old 12-10-2010, 10:00 AM   #11
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The only time that you should heel-toe is when you are driving the car at it's full potential. Race car drivers and people who drive HSTs heel-toe because they wait until the last second to brake for a turn. They never coast. It is gas or brake. And when you are trying to get into a corner fast while braking and shifting you need an extra leg for the accelorator pedal to rev match. So you use your heel. This is an advanced driving technique and should not be used on the street, in most cases.
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Old 12-10-2010, 10:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yelojkt
The only time that you should heel-toe is when you are driving the car at it's full potential. Race car drivers and people who drive HSTs heel-toe because they wait until the last second to brake for a turn. They never coast. It is gas or brake.
I don't think that's true. You can slow down with your foot on the brake before doing heel and toe.
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Old 12-10-2010, 10:39 AM   #13
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From the experts at NPR's Car Talk.
http://www.cartalk.com/content/stick-shift/index.html
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ekam
I don't think that's true. You can slow down with your foot on the brake before doing heel and toe.
Your'e right Ekam I heel-toe on the street to practice muscle memory you just really need to be aware of your driving style while doing it and don't let it get to aggresssive. You can really freak people out when you come off an intersection turn at speed into the lane beside them. Going the same speed they are going in a straight line.
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Old 12-10-2010, 01:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yelojkt
The only time that you should heel-toe is when you are driving the car at it's full potential. Race car drivers and people who drive HSTs heel-toe because they wait until the last second to brake for a turn. They never coast. It is gas or brake. And when you are trying to get into a corner fast while braking and shifting you need an extra leg for the accelorator pedal to rev match. So you use your heel. This is an advanced driving technique and should not be used on the street, in most cases.

Nonsense. Heel and toe is a perfectly legitimate way to drive on the street. In fact, it's the only way to drive if you want to drive smoothly and in full control. You certainly don't need to be anywhere near the limit to do it or to benefit from it. Heel and toe is not actually about getting into corners fast, it's about matching road speed and engine speed. It also just happens to reduce wear on the clutch.
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Old 12-10-2010, 02:26 PM   #16
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As stated earlier, never, ever coast down a hill in neutral. If an emergency presents itself, you'll lose valuable seconds fumbling to get it back in the proper gear. By that time you could be fender deep in an accident. You always need to drive defensively, and coasting is not defensive driving.

You can also smoothly downshift without H-T, it just takes practice. The good news is you get to practice while driving a Box. Have fun.
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:47 PM   #17
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Slightly off topic, 1 constant issue I have is when I'm coasting to a stop in traffic, and the traffic picks up again. I'm at 4-6 mph in neutral. I cant get the gear to first and its too slow for second. This only happen for first gear. I never have this issue when coasting at 12 or 15 and needing to grab 2nd.

Any ideas guys ?

Is it my car or my driving ?
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:58 PM   #18
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It's not too slow for 2nd... just slowly let the clutch out while gently giving it gas.
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Old 12-10-2010, 05:16 PM   #19
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No coasting allowed :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sasha055

Do you put the car in neutral when going downhill?

Thanks
Sasha
In Pennsylvania it is against the law to coast with your car in neutral. You don't have it 'under control'. I'm sure that this applies in many other states too.

For our sake in case we meet you coming the other way downhilll... and for the sake of your gearbox don't do it.

Glad you asked the question but sorry you were given bad information on how to handle a manual gearbox.

Cheers

J T

Last edited by J Tinsby; 12-10-2010 at 05:18 PM. Reason: Correction
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Old 12-10-2010, 05:19 PM   #20
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Sasha,
You may also want to look into the Porsche club's "skills day" that they hold out in bremmerton. Its a great way to spend the day learning the limits of your Boxster. The instructors are good and its generally a lot of fun. My ex. GF took mine to one of those and quickly outgrew the challenges. But felt far more comfortable driving the car in general.

I agree more people in the US should drive stick, it would help to get cell phones unglued from people ears.

-Greg

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