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Stick Shift Questions

1550 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  BS' Bimmer
I just got my car on Friday and its my first stickshift car. I learned how to drive stick on other people's cars and I can manage, but I'm not very good. In fact it seems like I'm alot worse in my 330 than I am in any other stickshift car. I cringe whenever I have a bad start and the car surges forward a couple of times.

Couple of questions:

1) When starting out I manage to get the best results by moving the clutch up quickly to a certain point while giving it gas and then pausing and continuing slowly after the car starts to move. Does this sound right? It seems that there's often a pause and then the car goes back to accelerating.

2) The smoothest shift from 1st to second for me is right around 2500rpms or so. Not too much gas, fairly slow clutch movement.

3) How slowly do I need to move the clutch on other shifts? Is it bad for the car if its not 100% smooth?

4) Downshifts. If I slow on the highway for a toll (EZPass) can I deccelerate to 20mph and then downshift to 3rd (from 5th) and accelerate again?

5) Downshifts. If I don't rev match how slow should I let out the clutch? Is that hard decceleration normal?

Am I doing serious damage to my anything in my car other than the clutch? I'm willing to bite the bullet and replace that after I've gotten good if need be, but if there's other stuff that I'm really hurting then...

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Wow! Your first stick shift is a 330? Now THAT'S the way to do it with style!:D Congrats! Is this your first bimmer too?

Some answers (note, I don't drive a 330 so it may be different for you) :

1) Nope, I give it gas with one fluid movement (no pause). It sounds like you just need a little more practice. Most people suggest the flat parking lot as a practice grounds, but I prefer a hill (or just a slight incline) when I learned stick at 15, that's how my dad taught me. I think it teaches fluid movements better, and more importantly it teaches you how to handle a hill so that you don't freak out when you come to your first one on the road!

2) Sounds about right . . . again don't know the exact RPM for the 330, but you should have a fair amount of revs going. If the shift is smooth, you're doing it right!:thumb:

3) I wouldn't worry about some rough shifts . . . you shouldn't cause any problems (unless you continue to do them for 30,000 miles -- which you won't have to worry about since it sounds like you've got the idea with the 1-2 shift) Don't worry about the "slowness" of the clutch movement. The key is not the speed of the clutch/gas travel, but instead the timing of the clutch engagement with the gas. As you practice and get better you'll get the timing down and then be wondering just how fast you can get it!

4) Yep. Although, at 20mph you could probably even go to 2nd if you wanted -- it'll give you better acceleration out of the toll. If you want to get really into it, work on the heal-toe braking and work your way down the gears as you approach the toll!

5) If by hard decceleration you're talking the violent jerk forward as the clutch engages, you should avoid that! There's an intersting thread over in the 3 series area about engine braking. Take a look. Although since it sounds like you're willing to learn and are looking to drive more enthusiastically, I'd suggest working on the rev matching too!
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ff said:

Great advice, and right on. Another good place to learn fluid engagement is in stop and go traffic. :eek:
Maybe not fluid, but I'll take my manual transmission over an auto in stop and go traffic any day! It gives me SOMETHING to do!;)
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