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F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 (2012 - current)
The sixth generation 3 series, chassis code F30. 2013 model year 328i and 335i sedans now in production. Read the F30 frequently asked question thread for all your basic question and dive into all the details in the ultimate F30 information thread.

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  #1  
Old 01-07-2013, 08:00 PM
dan-kc dan-kc is offline
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anyone go from longtime auto driver to manual?

i've been driving plain jane buick/chevy type automatic transmission cars for 15 years. i haven't driven a stick as a regular car for 20 years.

i used to have an e36 stick, and loved zooming around in it, but since then, in my big GM's, i've obtained real bad driving habits. i eat subs in there, put my feet up, it's like i'm on a couch, barely paying attention and chilling...

anyway, now i've socked a little dough away and thinking to take the plunge. i like the idea of the manual, because i enjoyed shifting, and hate the idea of the bmw auto trans - the whole eco thing, the shifting when it wants not when i want. i know there are paddle shifters, but still. and i hate having to buy like 2 extra options to get the auto trans to shift fast. that's really lame. a base car should shift fast.

anyway, i'm concerned that i spend all this dough on a manual, learn i get exhausted just driving, and need my couch situation back, and i'm stuck with a car with a manual where there is no market for it.

are there people like me out there that went for years driving an auto, and maybe picked up some bad habits, and are now back to a stick? if so, was it a good decision for you or do you regret it? (i'm not in a big city - so won't have much stop and go traffic)
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  #2  
Old 01-07-2013, 08:13 PM
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I did the exact opposite a couple cars ago. Can't see ever going back.

But pretty soon, lots of people are going to post and talk about how automatic transmissions are for pussies, and they will never ever drive anything but a stick...
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  #3  
Old 01-07-2013, 08:30 PM
dan-kc dan-kc is offline
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by the way, the configuration i'm thinking of is 335i, manual, the $3200 m package, estoril blue/tan, heated, pdc & rear camera. no premium, no leather, no nav. would like comfort but it's a shame to be that lazy for that kind of money. not sure about xdrive. may make separate post on that
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:52 PM
ND40oz ND40oz is offline
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I think the estoril/tan leatherette combo would make it harder to get rid of then a manual. There will be people that want a manual and the dealer won't have any on the lot, so a lightly used one would be the next best thing for people don't want to wait for a custom order.
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  #5  
Old 01-08-2013, 12:24 AM
jdong jdong is offline
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I think the lack of premium and/or nav would make the configuration harder to sell as well, if that's part of the end game.
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  #6  
Old 01-08-2013, 03:16 AM
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johnofcross johnofcross is offline
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Back to topic, I started driving in an automatic as an 18 yr old, and now I'm 25 switching to a manual. Love every minute of it. Because there is something to do, which is shifting, I can't get distracted while driving. So no eating, texting, etc. This extra focus on driving makes me more aware of the road, so I feel a much safer driver. I find it a bit of a game to be on the right gear at any time, so I have to be aware of my situation on the road at all times. Kinda feeds my OCD nature a bit. Because I never started off as a manual, I'm still rough around the edges, but I'm getting there.

It might just be me, but because ASS is so intuitive for manuals, I tend to downshift a lot to get that blue-charging meter up for ASS. The engine braking helps charge the batteries more, and I think I get more mpg out of it. But it doesn't help that I gun the engine after the lights
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  #7  
Old 01-08-2013, 04:50 AM
otonimus otonimus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnofcross View Post
The engine braking helps charge the batteries more, and I think I get more mpg out of it.
Downshifting saves your brakes, not gas. Mileage is directly related to rpm's, and downshifting causes your rpm's to go up, not down.

I hope you are "blipping", or rev matching, prior to letting the clutch out on all of these downshifts... it's easier on your engine and clutch, and makes for a much less jarring downshift... and it's fun. Perfect blips is where the real art of driving a stick is.

To the 2nd post: it's not about not being a p*ssy. It's about having more control over the car. If you're a serious driver, there's just no comparison. But it comes at a price. It's a pain in heavy traffic, and you don't have your right hand free to do whatever.

I'm a die hard stick driver, but certainly wouldn't dis anyone who prefers an automatic.
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  #8  
Old 01-08-2013, 06:31 AM
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johnofcross johnofcross is offline
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Originally Posted by otonimus View Post
Downshifting saves your brakes, not gas. Mileage is directly related to rpm's, and downshifting causes your rpm's to go up, not down.

I hope you are "blipping", or rev matching, prior to letting the clutch out on all of these downshifts... it's easier on your engine and clutch, and makes for a much less jarring downshift... and it's fun. Perfect blips is where the real art of driving a stick is.
Of course, is there any other way? I heel-toe on a traffic light stop.

But I'm talking about the blue gauge next to the MPG gauge (if you have the extended info option). When you slow down, that blue gauge fills up. It doesn't fill up just with the brakes, because if I go neutral, that blue gauge doesn't move. But when I engine brake (after a proper downshift), that gauge fills in. And I like to keep it filled in for a long time, to recharge the battery.

IDK it might be just me, and I might be doing something wrong here. It's my game when I drive.
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  #9  
Old 01-08-2013, 07:25 AM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dan-kc View Post
i've been driving plain jane buick/chevy type automatic transmission cars for 15 years. i haven't driven a stick as a regular car for 20 years.

i used to have an e36 stick, and loved zooming around in it, but since then, in my big GM's, i've obtained real bad driving habits. i eat subs in there, put my feet up, it's like i'm on a couch, barely paying attention and chilling...

anyway, now i've socked a little dough away and thinking to take the plunge. i like the idea of the manual, because i enjoyed shifting, and hate the idea of the bmw auto trans - the whole eco thing, the shifting when it wants not when i want. i know there are paddle shifters, but still. and i hate having to buy like 2 extra options to get the auto trans to shift fast. that's really lame. a base car should shift fast.

anyway, i'm concerned that i spend all this dough on a manual, learn i get exhausted just driving, and need my couch situation back, and i'm stuck with a car with a manual where there is no market for it.

are there people like me out there that went for years driving an auto, and maybe picked up some bad habits, and are now back to a stick? if so, was it a good decision for you or do you regret it? (i'm not in a big city - so won't have much stop and go traffic)
The choice is only something you can decide. I would recommend you arrange back to back test drives of each vehicle. Extended test drives if you can manage it.

As for tiring of driving a manual...I never tired of it except when I was in stop and go traffic. Otherwise I never tired of shifting. With all that said I prefer an automatic as my spirited driving is much less than it used to be.
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  #10  
Old 01-08-2013, 07:38 AM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is offline
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I've had manuals my whole life so I'm biased, but I can tell you that when my partner and I relocated to CA in 1999, we moved both my stick shift BMWs and left his automatic sunfire where it belonged in MI. He had never really driven a stick and at first he was freaked out about driving my e30 convertible on the hills and in traffic. We have four cars, all stick shifts. His daily driver is a Mini Cooper S with Dinan package which he loves and he is also fond of my e46 soft top. He is never going back to an automatic.

Get the stick!

Oh, and thought brown interior was leather only. I need to look at the configuration again.
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  #11  
Old 01-08-2013, 08:56 AM
Reedo302 Reedo302 is offline
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I have had automatics my whole life until I got my E46 M3 SMG. The SMG was sort of a compromise between the two, as the automated mode was terrible, but the manual shift mode excellent when you learned how to modulate the throttle.
Then I went back to automatic and I was very bored. I realized how much I despised a plain-jane automatic, but to be fair, it was a 4-speed slushbox on a Mazda.
I got my 1999 M Coupe as a fun second vehicle and was into a 5MT. I've driven manuals extensively, but that was the first one I've actually owned. It's a whole different experience that really made me enjoy every aspect of driving all the time. There was never a point that I didn't enjoy driving it, except in wall-to-wall traffic during major traffic jams. The only time having a manual has been a problem was when I was talking on the phone or trying to do something else while shifting. Bluetooth solves this now. If your car doubles as an office, getting an auto is ideal. Otherwise, it's all about what you want out of the car. I can't have a manual transmission as a primary vehicle because my wife can't drive one.
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  #12  
Old 01-08-2013, 09:13 AM
MonkeyCMonkeyDo MonkeyCMonkeyDo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnofcross View Post
Of course, is there any other way? I heel-toe on a traffic light stop.

But I'm talking about the blue gauge next to the MPG gauge (if you have the extended info option). When you slow down, that blue gauge fills up. It doesn't fill up just with the brakes, because if I go neutral, that blue gauge doesn't move. But when I engine brake (after a proper downshift), that gauge fills in. And I like to keep it filled in for a long time, to recharge the battery.

IDK it might be just me, and I might be doing something wrong here. It's my game when I drive.
Wow you are spending alot of time looking at your console instead of the road. Thank god I dont drive near you
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  #13  
Old 01-08-2013, 09:37 AM
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johnofcross johnofcross is offline
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Wow you are spending alot of time looking at your console instead of the road. Thank god I dont drive near you
Hahaha I don't look there anymore. After that initial observation, I can actually feel when the regen system kicks in. Now I'm a heel-toe expert (not even close to a master yet)
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  #14  
Old 01-08-2013, 10:10 AM
jfox335i jfox335i is offline
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Manual all the way. I switched to the 8spd auto, and I miss having a manual. Next car will have 6spd, it's an non negotiable requirement.
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  #15  
Old 01-08-2013, 10:57 AM
samualcc samualcc is offline
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I came from 8 years of driving a manual, and I can say I don't really miss it. There are some times where it might be nice to have the absolute control, but I honestly never derived the excitement or enjoyment of rowing the gears myself. It is a good life skill to have, but won't really ever be a requirement for me again.

It helps that the 8AT is a very good transmission. Sometimes I just want to mash the gas and go without doing any additional work. I know it sounds lame, but I guess we ll change

Quote:
Originally Posted by otonimus View Post
Downshifting saves your brakes, not gas. Mileage is directly related to rpm's, and downshifting causes your rpm's to go up, not down.
I would challenge this assessment only because I have read that it is more fuel efficient to leave a manual vehicle in gear with the clutch out, than to coast to a stop in neutral. You are forgetting a crucial component of fuel utilization, and that is throttle position. It seems reasonable to me to assume that if you are in gear and above engine idle speed, and your foot is off the gas, no gas is going to the engine. Instead the inertia of the vehicle is simply driving the vehicle (and engine), which is where you get engine braking from. I see no reason why any fuel would be expended until you hit engine idle speed, after which the computer would start providing gas regardless.

Pure engine braking, with no throttle application should save both the brakes and fuel regardless of RPM. However what effects it might have on the rest of the drive train, I don't know. I have always left a manual vehicle in gear as long as possible, while using the brakes as well. Brakes were designed to stop cars, and pads are cheap
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  #16  
Old 01-08-2013, 11:04 AM
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captainaudio captainaudio is offline
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Brakes are for slowing the car and the transmission is to keep the engine operating at the proper speed. Although there will be some engine braking downshifting while slowing down (with the brakes) is to keep the car in the optimum gear. Coasting in neutral is never a good thing to do.

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Old 01-08-2013, 11:11 AM
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Brakes are for slowing the car and the transmission is to keep the engine operating at the proper speed. Although there will be some engine braking downshifting while slowing down (with the brakes) is to keep the car in the optimum gear. Coasting in neutral is never a good thing to do.

CA
Hate to jack to thread, but why is that?

I just regen alot more so I can have the engine turned off longer at the lights. To save more fuel of course.
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Last edited by johnofcross; 01-08-2013 at 11:12 AM.
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  #18  
Old 01-08-2013, 11:16 AM
samualcc samualcc is offline
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Originally Posted by johnofcross View Post
Hate to jack to thread, but why is that?

I just regen alot more so I can have the engine turned off longer at the lights. To save more fuel of course.
He is referring to the practical implications of being in neutral rather than in gear. If you are always in the proper gear, you can respond faster to potential roadway hazards. It means you can accelerate immediately rather than having to react by putting the car back in gear.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:23 AM
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cheikh82 cheikh82 is offline
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Taught my wife to drive stick and now she swears by it. Our F30 is an AT, but my brother has a 6speed. Well my wife rather drive his car than ours.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:28 AM
samualcc samualcc is offline
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Originally Posted by cheikh82 View Post
Taught my wife to drive stick and now she swears by it. Our F30 is an AT, but my brother has a 6speed. Well my wife rather drive his car than ours.
There is a joke there... but I don't know you very well
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:35 AM
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cheikh82 cheikh82 is offline
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There is a joke there... but I don't know you very well
Lol, I think I know where you going with this. I'd like to hear it tho. Nothing better than a joke at this time of the day.
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  #22  
Old 01-08-2013, 11:44 AM
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SD Z4MR SD Z4MR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
Coasting in neutral is never a good thing to do.
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnofcross View Post
Hate to jack to thread, but why is that?
Quote:
Originally Posted by samualcc View Post
He is referring to the practical implications of being in neutral rather than in gear. If you are always in the proper gear, you can respond faster to potential roadway hazards. It means you can accelerate immediately rather than having to react by putting the car back in gear.
There was a long thread here or in the E9x forum about "coasting", you should search for it. More than likely it is actually illegal in your state for the reasons given by samualcc.
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  #23  
Old 01-08-2013, 03:00 PM
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johnofcross johnofcross is offline
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There was a long thread here or in the E9x forum about "coasting", you should search for it. More than likely it is actually illegal in your state for the reasons given by samualcc.
Ahh, I thought there was a mechanical issue he was referring to. I will now look for the said post.

<-- returning back thread
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:20 PM
dan-kc dan-kc is offline
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problem would be finding a manual from a dealer. think finding one would be real tough, if not impossible. i could potentially drive a used one. i agree with the person who said that with a stick, he focuses on driving, and agree the stick must be much safer these days as you stay centered in your seat over the wheel focused on driving, instead of giving in to the urges of multi-tasking. i also wonder if guys who easily prefer an auto never grew up driving with a stick and a fast car or motorcycle revving the heck out of it and having that desire burnt into their dna. i honestly think i've driven a stick car once in last 13 years since i've had my m3, and it was a recent drive with a honda civic stick, and it was totally dreadful. i couldn't wait to stop driving it and was relieve to be able to get back in my cushy auto. so not sure if it is a stick that is too much for me, or a civic. i will just have to find a manual 335 somewhere to test drive and see. it is sad so few people, and women drive sticks. not being able to share the car with someone else is a real downside.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:33 PM
iamthewalrus iamthewalrus is offline
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Originally Posted by johnofcross View Post
Back to topic, I started driving in an automatic as an 18 yr old, and now I'm 25 switching to a manual. Love every minute of it.
Same here. Grew up driving automatic only and learned to drive manual at age 26. Over the last 11 years, I've owned only manuals. I don't see myself going back to an automatic any time soon. Yes, driving manual requires you to be more attentive and requires a little finesse occasionally (particularly here in San Francisco). But to me it's totally worth it. I really enjoy the feel of driving manual.

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