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I love my BMW.
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've had my 325i for about 3 weeks now (1200 miles) and I still haven't been able to get used to the manual transmission. I barely get a smooth shift between the first 4 gears....esspecially when I get out of first. :mad: My dad suggested that BMW has a precise transmission that will take some time to get used to. Did/Does anyone else have this problem? Is it because the car is still getting broken in? Or is it me? ANY TIPS!??

EDIT: Not my first manual.....I've never driven auto before either.
 

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My sister who has a 2004 BMW 325xi with manual transmission told me (I am expecting a 2006 330xi) that for the first 2 months, the shifter, clutch and gates with be tough and rough. After that you should notice that these things will get smoother so yes I think it is just a break-in period. If you have shifted properly and still feel something is wrong, take the car to the dealer.
 

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mapsbmw said:
I've had my 325i for about 3 weeks now (1200 miles) and I still haven't been able to get used to the manual transmission. I barely get a smooth shift between the first 4 gears....esspecially when I get out of first. :mad: My dad suggested that BMW has a precise transmission that will take some time to get used to. Did/Does anyone else have this problem? Is it because the car is still getting broken in? Or is it me? ANY TIPS!??
Have you driven a manual before?

I have never owned a car with an auto, but all my previous cars were Hondas. I tell ya - Honda's manual gearboxes are a lot more forgiving than bimmer's, imho. If this is your first manual, tough luck.

Try giving it a steady gas above 2.5k rpms when starting in 1st gear. Try to upshift at 4k rpms from 2 to 3 or from 3 to 4. (I found that the shifts are smoother if you keep the engine generally b/w 3k and 4k.) Always blip the engine when downshifting.
 

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It's all timing. Make sure you press the clutch all the way to the floor. The gear will release much earlier that the floor. However, the clutch delay valve will interfere if the clutch isn't down enough. Since the beginning I only had trouble with the 1-2 shift. Once I had the timing of clutch and gas mastered, it literally drops effortlessly into second. When it is cold, I find it is more notchy and I need to slow the timing down. Once in a while I find my timing is off and the main culprit is that the clutch isn't fully released i.e. not on the floor.
 

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I love my BMW.
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Discussion Starter #8
whiskey.org said:
Racist bastard
LOL...I hope this comments stems from me prefering a manual over an automatic. I have driven a car with an automatic....but I never have owned one. I will admit, a BMW with an auto is so smooth....but I can't make the commitment. I'm afraid I'd regret it.
 

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mapsbmw said:
Sorry....not familar.
I meant to say: "When downshifting, always try to match the current rpms with the expected rpms in the gear into which your are downshifting. This means revving the engine up by slightly tapping on the gas pedal."
 

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I think most BMWs have that "characteristic" 1-2 shift :D It takes some getting used to...it just makes our cars more endearing ;)
 

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Dude,,

Anything that is that new needs to get "broken in" a bit. Give it time and you will figure all of it out.
Congrats on your new car!
Enjoy the ride!
325ic a beer:drink: :beerchug: :hi:
 

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I think its a great box - loved it from day 1 :thumbup:
 

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Honda does make great gearboxes, the best gearbox I ever had was in my S2000. Change gears with a flick of the wrist, not even. But the clutch in Hondas always feels very weak.
 

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I also have an S2000; had it for four years. While the shifter is great, it is not especially easy to make a smooth transition from first to second. There is a big rpm change between the two gears, and one can rarely coordinate accelerator and clutch perfectly, to eliminate that feel of a sudden change. The other gear changes can be made fairly smoothly. However, if you want shifts that can barely be felt, forget about a manual transmission.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well I have 1600 miles on the ODO and I have been getting a lot smoother shifts. Getting out of first is still a little funny, but overall and improvement!
 

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Well, somebody who doesn't know better will come in and tell you that it's a "high performance" gearbox or a "precise" gearbox that requires practice and adjustment to drive well.

Actually, it's quite the opposite - the 3 series clutch assembly is complete crap, one of the worst I've ever driven. Heh, well, bottom line is that you'll never be totally consistent with the stock setup, especially if you leave the CDV in there.

You've got three things working against you:

-CDV: clutch delay valve; essentially a small valve located along the clutch hydraulic line - usually near the slave cylinder - that slows the transmission of hydraulic fluid and thus clutch engagement. Even if you sidestep the clutch, it will only engage as fast as the CDV allows it. Bottom line: makes it very difficult to time your de-clutching.
-Dual-mass flywheel: heavy, slow, awkward, crappy. This is the reason why rev matching is tedious and slow.
-Self-adjusting mechanism: over-engineering at its finest. This is responsible for the vague, sloppy feel of the clutch pedal, and, at times, premature failure of the clutch assembly.

What can you do? Remove the CDV, and, to really improve it, replace the dual-mass flywheel with a lightweight solid mass unit (you'll have to wait for Rogue and UUC to develop one for the E90), and replace the clutch disc and pressure plate with an aftermarket setup.

Personally, I have an E34 M5 clutch disc and pressure plate in my car, mated to the 8.5 lb UUC flywheel. I absolutely love it and so does everybody who drives it. So much so that I'd probably be tempted to throw out an otherwise perfectly good clutch and flywheel on a brand-new E90 at my own expense, just to have the awesome feel and response of a good aftermarket setup.
 

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:(
mapsbmw said:
Well I have 1600 miles on the ODO and I have been getting a lot smoother shifts. Getting out of first is still a little funny, but overall and improvement!
I have also driven standard transmission all my life. So I was very confused why I could not drive my 318ti very smoothly, this included stalling the car at traffic lights. Not cool.

I realized that the engagement point of the transmission occurs when you have released the most of the clutch pedal which was quite different to my previous cars, VW's. So I worked on coordinating my right foot depressing the gas pedal with the release of the clutch. :D
 

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Contrary to popular belief the BMW stick shifts suck. BMW enthousiasts are so caught up in their propaganda, they´ll simply refuse to admit, that most other auto makers do sticks better than BMW.

The E90 stick is notchy, unprecise, has a very long throw and need substantial force to engage in the first 4 gears. While different model BMWs have better or worse sticks, the general theme is allways the same. Just the degree of sucking changes. The clutch is fine though, relatively light with good feel and travel. Thus the matter of clutching and driving the car smoothly (a function mainly of throttle response and clutch precision) is easy. But the shifting itself is simply no fun in current BMWs. Shorter or weighted shift knobs help only marginally on the problem and unfortunately theres no way to tweak the linkage.
Only a completely different shifter setup (SSK) helps to a degree. It eliminates the excessive play in the linkage from the plastic bushings. But the shifter still stays a bit notchy and heavy.

So don´t despair and don´t let the enthousiasts tell you it´s all your fault. The BMW stick is simply not top knotch. Which is a pitty because in most every other aspect the Bimmer shines.

For really good shifter action, the original mazda Miata still is the benchmark. Mechanical action like an expensive rifle. No BMW has ever come close.

I know, I´m going to get flamed for this post. Many will say, I have no idea how to shift and simply am incompetent. So be it. I stand by my observations and for reference, I´ve probably put more stick shift miles under my butt than most that will respond (about 600.000mls), with more different cars than most (at least 150, probably a lot more with all the rentals I´ve driven (which are mostly stick over here in Europe)).

While many sticks are boring and lifeless, the BMW stick is boring, lifeless and unsatisfying.

The best BMW I ever drove was my E46 330Ci SMG. It had the involvement of a car without a torque converter while the SMG took away the hassle of dealing with that lousy shifter. That car was flawless.
I guess till ZSG comes around I´ll have to live with a bad shifter (oh well, the 330 pulls fine in 6th) because despite my ranting on the MT, I love the rest of my Bimmer so much, I cannot imagine driving anything else (though the Alfa159 V6 3.2 is really tempting)
 

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tierfreund said:
Contrary to popular belief the BMW stick shifts suck. BMW enthousiasts are so caught up in their propaganda, they´ll simply refuse to admit, that most other auto makers do sticks better than BMW.
...
So don´t despair and don´t let the enthousiasts tell you it´s all your fault. The BMW stick is simply not top knotch. Which is a pitty because in most every other aspect the Bimmer shines.
...
For really good shifter action, the original mazda Miata still is the benchmark. Mechanical action like an expensive rifle. No BMW has ever come close.
...
I know, I´m going to get flamed for this post. Many will say, I have no idea how to shift and simply am incompetent. So be it.
...
While many sticks are boring and lifeless, the BMW stick is boring, lifeless and unsatisfying.
My thoughts EXACTLY. If somebody flames you, I'll back you up.

I personally haven't driven the original Miata, but the S2000 is pretty damn good.
 

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akhbhaat said:
My thoughts EXACTLY. If somebody flames you, I'll back you up.

I personally haven't driven the original Miata, but the S2000 is pretty damn good.
:stupid: I've driven a lot of different manual transmission cars, and my BMW is the only one I have problems. If I time the clutch release perfectly, everything is smooth, but it takes so much more skill than any other car than I've driven. I think a lighter flywheel and no CDV would help immensely.
 
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