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  #1  
Old 05-12-2002, 03:12 PM
krapper krapper is offline
Just passed you...
Location: NY
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 40
Mein Auto: '02 BMW 325Ci
Learning to drive manual...

Hello All,
I will be ordering my new 325ci with manual transmission soon. I was just wondering if anyone here learned to drive manual on their bmw. I have some sort of manual experience before but nothing with in traffic or on hills, pretty much just trying to drive a friends once or twice (Not BMW). I also test drove a manual 325ci but just in a parking lot. I did pretty godo too, only stalled once or twice. I'm getting manual because I know that it'll be much more fun once I learn to drive it, saves gas and is quicker too. Any comments and/or experiences about learning to drive manual would be appreciated. I'm pretty sure that I'll be able to pick it up quick.
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  #2  
Old 05-12-2002, 04:03 PM
Mystikal Mystikal is offline
Kickin' it old school
Location: Toronto
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 3,078
Mein Auto: E30 325is
I learned from scratch on my 323 in an empty parking lot in 20mins. I'm sure it won't be too hard at all.

From a stop: While slowly bringing in some gas let out the clutch smoothly and slowly. You will very quickly pick up how much/how fast you use each pedal. Upshifting and downshifting are the easiest, as you know. Off gas, clutch, shift, gas while lettting out clutch. The faster you do it the better, but don't try and be a Touring Car pilot on your first week out.

My favourite tip: Be as smooth with the clutch as you can. It makes a world of difference.

Good luck! :thumb:
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  #3  
Old 05-12-2002, 07:51 PM
pps-325xit pps-325xit is offline
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Location: SF Bay Area, CA
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 561
Mein Auto: '01 325xiT, '05 X3 3.0i
And once you learn how to drive a BMW with a manual transmission, you can probably drive just about any other manual. I've owned 3 cars (all manuals), and the BMW was the most finicky (at least initially). After break-in, the clutch is a lot more forgiving. I still occasionally stall in reverse
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  #4  
Old 05-12-2002, 08:10 PM
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KP KP is offline
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Location: Durham, NC
 
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Mein Auto: MY01.5 325Ci/93 Miata
if you have a friend with a prelude, take a chance. One of the fussiest I've ever driven, and if you can drive a prelude manual, you can drive about any manual. If you have a friend with a manual, perhaps you could trade cars with him before the car gets here
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  #5  
Old 05-12-2002, 09:08 PM
BS' Bimmer BS' Bimmer is offline
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Mein Auto: Now: 325i Someday:M5
I actually found the BMW clutch very easy to use (although I didn't learn on it). I couldn't imagine a better car to learn on. The best tip I can give you is to find a slight incline/hill. You should be able to keep yourself from rolling backwards with the clutch alone. Once you've found the take-up point that way, start throwing in the gas and move up the hill a little ways. Once you get the hang of it, flat ground is no problem . . . plus you won't freak out the first time you have to come to a stop on a hill. :thumb:
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  #6  
Old 05-13-2002, 10:25 AM
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Pete Teoh Pete Teoh is offline
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Location: North Cackalacky
 
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Mein Auto: ****
Quote:
Originally posted by Dave 330i
It would be nice to practice at a K-Mart parking lot before they open.
... or just find one that's closed... permanently.
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  #7  
Old 05-13-2002, 11:38 AM
tam3 tam3 is offline
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Location: Atlanta, GA
 
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Mein Auto: '02 M3 & '97 850ci
dave 330i:

That's exactly how I was taught to drive my friend's 330i (and in a K-Mart parking lot, too!)

Krapper:

If I can do it, anyone can. Before driving my friends 330, I had never driven a manual before ever. I was out on the road within 10 minutes (if even) of parking lot instruction. Since you've driven a manual before you should have no problems getting right into the swing of things with the bimmer.
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  #8  
Old 05-13-2002, 12:39 PM
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Kaz Kaz is offline
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Location: OC, CA
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
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Mein Auto: 01 325iT, 88 M6
Quote:
Originally posted by BS' Bimmer
I actually found the BMW clutch very easy to use (although I didn't learn on it). I couldn't imagine a better car to learn on. The best tip I can give you is to find a slight incline/hill. You should be able to keep yourself from rolling backwards with the clutch alone. Once you've found the take-up point that way, start throwing in the gas and move up the hill a little ways. Once you get the hang of it, flat ground is no problem . . . plus you won't freak out the first time you have to come to a stop on a hill. :thumb:
Hmm... 2nd from an old Civic with a badly adjusted clutch, my car has the worst overall clutch feel of any MT car I've ever driven. I learned on a Datsun 510 that had the most forgiving clutch with the best modulation I've ever felt.

As for the incline technique, I like the idea. I'd start with going the other way (downhill) first, then progress to going uphill, though to ease the learning curve.
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