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Stick Shift Tips

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Alright so last week I bought my first stick shift car, a 96 Miata (Miata master race) and within the first day of owning it I pretty much got driving stick down. I'm able to drive pretty much anywhere (hills, highway, in traffic) without stalling so I would say I'm pretty okay, but my problem is I can't seem to drive smoothly. Every time I shift from 1st to 2nd and sometimes 2nd to 3rd the car would jolt a little. I'm shifting at around 3-3.5k rpm each gear if that matters. Any tips on how to shift smoother basil? And just any tips in general for a new stick driver
Posted: October 2014 Permalink

Replies

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iEatCheeseLol Level 210 Scania Hero
Haven't driven stick before but as an up and coming car enthusiast, I'm going to have a shot at this
I would guess you're letting out the clutch a little too fast
Oct 25 2014
Luapxal344 Level 200 Broa Marksman
A.) Well, you did say you bought the car last week. You and the car are not one yet.
B.) It's an 18 year old car. Maybe the previous owner ripped you off and didn't take care of it.
Oct 25 2014
ClementZ Level 50 Windia Spearman Justaway Guild
If smoothness is a concern, (and it will be if your car lacks much torque, which the Miata does), it helps to get back on the throttle before you let off the clutch completely.
That, or let off the clutch more slowly.
Oct 25 2014
Haven't driven stick before but as an up and coming car enthusiast, I'm going to have a shot at this
I would guess you're letting out the clutch a little too fast[/quote]
Hmm maybe. Should I be letting it out the same speed as if I was getting out of first?

A.) Well, you did say you bought the car last week. You and the car are not one yet.
B.) It's an 18 year old car. Maybe the previous owner ripped you off and didn't take care of it.[/quote]
Well, I know it's been taken care of. Bought it at 89,000 miles, had regular maintenance, was garage kept for it's whole life, and had a family mechanic check it out so I don't think it's a mechanical problem. But maybe point A is right lol it hasn't really sunk in that it's my car now.
Oct 25 2014
iEatCheeseLol Level 210 Scania Hero
Hmm maybe. Should I be letting it out the same speed as if I was getting out of first?[/quote]

Nah, let it out faster than if you were shifting from first. I think it depends on your rpm and speed
Oct 25 2014
Colour Level 69 Bera Dark Knight
keep that gear in balance when you start up
Oct 25 2014
If smoothness is a concern, (and it will be if your car lacks much torque, which the Miata does), it helps to get back on the throttle before you let off the clutch completely.
That, or let off the clutch more slowly.[/quote]

Nah, let it out faster than if you were shifting from first. I think it depends on your rpm and speed[/quote]

keep that gear in balance when you start up[/quote]

Okay, so what I'm gathering here is that when I shift, I should let out the clutch slowly while getting on the gas? Kind of like a getting out of 1st motion? Would that burn the clutch? lol
Oct 25 2014
xVolcomStone Level 166 Windia Dark Knight
You wanna find the right speed to let the clutch out while giving it the right amount of gas... It's just something you get the feel for in your own car. My clutch is really temperamental... it works so smoothly some days, and other times I'll jolt like mad from first to second. Just have fun with it though... you'll never wanna drive anything automatic again.
Oct 25 2014
BobR Level 163 Windia F/P Arch Mage
@CutsCutsCuts It'll come with practice, but it sounds like you may be getting off the gas too much while you've got the clutch in.
Don't let the RPMs drop too much because when you let out the clutch the engine braking will make the car jerk as if you'd tapped the brakes quick, especially in the lower gears. Also, if the RPMs drop too much the engine has to work hard to get back on the torque curve and accelerate smoothly in the higher gear. Shifting quicker is better than slow because of this.
You don't want to have the engine racing with the clutch in, but don't completely come off the gas. Like I said, it'll become second nature with time.
Oct 25 2014
123abt Level 210 Windia Bishop Boundless Guild See what games, anime & art 123abt is into123abt
Its really just practice with that particular car. Maybe your transmission isnt the greatest, but the rule of thumb is to change gears when u think it sounds right. Add a bit more gas before you move gears. I drove an older model stick as well. Its just knowing your car
Oct 25 2014
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