Gear Shifting & RPM recommendations - MINI Cooper Forum

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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old Aug 5th, 2011, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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Gear Shifting & RPM recommendations

This may seem like a dumb question, but here goes anyway.

It's been several years since I've driven a manual transmission and I am curious what's the recommended RPMs should be before one shifts gears.

For ex., I've been shifting at 3k rpms. The wife likes to shift at 2.5k.


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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old Aug 5th, 2011, 03:20 PM
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there's no definite answer, really it's what the car feels comfortable with.

I would say for a petrol cooper anything between 2.5K and 3K would be ok for normal day to day driving.

but I would open her up a bit through the gears every now and then ( to just below red line ) to blow out the rubbish and let the blood flow through her veins so to speak.

Iain

ps as long as your not still running it in !!
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 2011, 07:25 PM
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Silver Black When to shift gears

I shift into the next higher gear when the tach reaches 4,000 RPMs. I like the feel at that point and keeping it in lower gears in the city reduces the likelihood that I am going to get a speeding ticket. I have always tended to keep the revs up both in cars and motorcycles so not to put a strain on the engine.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 2011, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by loulaurent View Post
I shift into the next higher gear when the tach reaches 4,000 RPMs. I like the feel at that point and keeping it in lower gears in the city reduces the likelihood that I am going to get a speeding ticket. I have always tended to keep the revs up both in cars and motorcycles so not to put a strain on the engine.
I'll say that after driving the MINI a bit, I've been trying to find the sweet spot, i.e. the RPM no. that allows one to shift without using the clutch (I still use the clutch, but look for the moment when it changes gears the smoothest).

So far I've found that if I am taking off slowly, it changes best in low RPMs (between 2000-2500) for the first three gears.

The higher gears sweet spot seems to be 3k or a bit higher even.


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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 2011, 11:07 PM
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Personally I would listen to the engine and feel what the car wants to do.

If youre looking at the rev counter you run a risk of crashing.

I drove an auto for around two years before getting back into a manual. It took me around an hour to get the hang of it again.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old Sep 3rd, 2011, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Personally I would listen to the engine and feel what the car wants to do.

If youre looking at the rev counter you run a risk of crashing.

I drove an auto for around two years before getting back into a manual. It took me around an hour to get the hang of it again.
Yeah, I dont disagree exactly, but I noticed that I was not consistent - and I've heard that lack of consistency in shifting is what can shorten the lifespan of the MT.

I've driven a MT for years and shifted solely due to "feel", but with this new baby of mine, I want to see if I can do a little better.



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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old Sep 3rd, 2011, 07:31 PM
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Hi

It is more to do with how you change gear rather than when in the rev range. As long as you either "match the revs" or do a sustained rev gear change then you should not do any damage. The key is to have the engine speed running at the right revs for the gear you are engaging. Being smooth is the key here. There are plenty of articles on techniques for this if you do a search on Google.

The actual number of revs really just changes your fuel consumption. A rough guide for economy driving would be to change about 2500 revs in a petrol and 2000 in a diesel. If you want to go quick then aim for 90% of the Max revs which is usually peak power for most engines (check your engine specs for a more precise figure). Redlining the engine is fun at times but at the red line power usually has started to drop off.

I am sure someone more knowledgeable than me can offer better advice.

Regards
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old Sep 4th, 2011, 10:01 AM
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I don't think there is a 'right' answer - to some extent, it depends on your personal preferences.

If you want maximum performance available, even at times when you're not using it, then let the engine rev up to 4000 or more. If you're just cruising along a flat road in low speed traffic, then changing up below 2000 will be as much as you need.

Do not be afraid of revving the engine - many people do not rev them enough - but using more revs than you need does increase fuel consumption. 'Slogging' an engine, trying to make it deliver power at too low revs, isn't good for them, so change down if in doubt.

Do US cars not have the gearchange indicator? That is quite a sophisticated piece of work and it will tell you to change up when it thinks that the same performance or acceleration is available in the next higher gear. Equally it will tell you when you should change down because the speed is too low for the current gear - if you like, an 'anti-slogging' warning.

But most of all, do what feels fun.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old Sep 4th, 2011, 08:50 PM
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Many people do seem to change out of first too fast, you can get speed out of first. Although maybe I just keep it in first too long...

The mini will not go into the red zone anyway to protect the engine, according to the manual.

Incidentally don't use the gears instead of brakes to sequentially slow down in normal driving unless you want to buy new clutches all the time.
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