MINI Cooper Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
aaaaaalright
Joined
·
103 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Whats up everyone, I just ordered my 2005 MCS on wednsday, should be here sometime in october. However up until then i will still be driving my automatic 87 monte carlo ss, and i have never drove manual before. Is there any good advice you can give to a beginer at driving manual?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
429 Posts
Your best bet would be finding a friend or someone who would teach you first hand. Driving a manual can be difficult in the beginning but makes driving much more fulfilling.
Ok...crash course in driving a manual (pardon the pun ; ) :
Before you leave the lot, go through the gears a few times to get yourself acustomed to the pattern and the forces required to move into each gear. Reverse gear will require some force to push the shift knob all the way to the left. The easiest way to launch the car is to rev up to 1.5k or so and gently let up on the clutch. You will learn that the clutch begins to catch at a certain point. Once going, shifting will just require practice (along with everything else). For a beginner, push the clutch in completely, shift into the next gear, and then gently lift up on the clutch along with giving it a little gas. You can shift without giving it any gas but it won't be as smooth and requires a very slow clutch release (you may want to start like this if you feel uncomfortable using both feet at the same time). When you need to downshift just do the same steps as above but shift into a lower gear. When you need to come to a stop, you may just want to push the clutch in and put the car in neutral (the middle of the gear lever when no gear is engaged).

When I was learning to drive, I kept wanting to look at the shift lever while shifting (know the pattern so you can at least safely get the car to an open and deserted road to practice). I learned to drive on a manual before I ever drove an automatic so it's very do-able, especially for somebody who already is used to the other aspects of driving. Try to shift around 3k rpm to start. Partly so you can get acustomed to the car and partly due to the car's break-in period.

I found a few links from a Google search to do with driving a manual transmission. You may want to look at them:
http://www.standardshift.com/
http://www.hints-n-tips.com/kylearticle8.htm
http://www.ehow.com/how_3234_drive-car-with.html

Hope that gets you started. Post back if you have any questions. Any of us will be happy to answer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
899 Posts
This is a funny post to all of us UK drivers. Hardly anyone in the UK sits a driving test in an automatic. Those that do are limited to only being allowed to drive an auto, unless of course they take another test in a manual. For this reason it would be illegal for someone to drive a manual if they had only passed their driving test in an auto.

Clutch control (and handbrake) is an important part of the driving test, with attention to hill starts being a specific part of the test. Stalling the engine at a junction would bring a fail for example due to the potential danger you could be in.

Of course passing your test in a manual allows you to drive both manuals and automatics.

If you have never driven a manual then my advice is you should go for a driving session with an experienced manual box driver and go through starting, hill starting, stopping, appropriate use of gears and handbrake/clutch control.
 

·
I will crush you
Joined
·
555 Posts
My piece of advice: Don't let the other drivers upset or discourage you. Take your time, do it right, and be very calm. If you get flashed/beeped at in your first few weeks just make believe they are saluting your most excellent choice in automobiles :D ;)
 

·
Motoring since 8/4/04 :)
Joined
·
553 Posts
The most important thing is clutch control.

To pull away: Put the clutch in all the way to the ground. Put the car into first gear. Press the accelerator keeping the car at around 1500-2000rpm's (as you are learning more revs will be helpful)
Very very very gently lift the clutch. As you feel it start to "bite" apply some more accelerator and keep lifting the clutch. If the car starts to jerk forward it means you don't have enough power so before you stall it, push the clutch all the way in and start over.

Once you are going its much easier. Remember not to ride the clutch (keeping your foot on the pedel) at all or your clutch will need fail early.

Most importantly, stay calm, it can be quite un-nerving to stall in traffic. It might be wise to learn the basics first in a deserted car park.

I would also avoid starting on hills while you learn as you'll need to either hold the car with the handbrake or by holding it still using the clutch and accelerator.
 

·
Domestic Motor Pool Chief
Joined
·
1,150 Posts
When you are riding around as a passenger in a manual car pay some attention to what the driver is doing so that when you get your car you can concentrate on the technique of it - not the "what do I want to be doing now part?".

Remember that after you learn how most likely you'll never want to go back to an automatic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
As you start learning to drive a manual keep in mind that you will go through a learning curve as with anything else. At first you will be frustrated (this is so complicated), embarrassed (killing the car in traffice - quadruple the embarrassment factor if someone is in the car with you), and so on. With time it will start to feel natural and shortly after that you will not even realize you are driving a manual as it just happens (i.e. like walking without thinking). The benefit of all of this is that it opens up a whole new element of motoring - making the driving much more enjoyable and participative. You will be amazed at how soon you will be enjoying your new skills.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
About this Discussion
7 Replies
8 Participants
desjo
MINI Cooper Forum
Join our Mini Cooper Forums to talk about your new Mini. From reviews, mods, accessories, reliability concerns and more, this Mini Owners Club is full of info!
Full Forum Listing
Top