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Old 07-01-2009, 08:24 PM   #1
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Question for seasoned stick shift drivers

Hey guys,

As of 6/11/09, I became the proud owner of a 2SS/RS IBM Camaro w/ Sunroof and Manual Transmission.

It is my first stick shift car, and I've come a long way in terms of driving it between the 11th and now. I had to have a friend drive it home for me

But I have a few questions that I would appreciate if anyone can answer. It's basically do's and don'ts, more or less...I want to avoid "hurting" my baby as much as I can.

1. As you could probably guess, steep hills are a toughy for a new stick driver (me, anyways). And idiots where I live get right on my ass when I'm on a hill at a stop light or something. So what I have to do so I won't roll and hit the idiot behind me is keep the break depressed and let off the clutch until it hits that "sweet spot" and starts to roll forward without giving it any gas. Is this considered "riding it", and how bad is it for the car? Also, backing up I have been inclined to do this to, since if I give it gas a let off the clutch I will probably go launching into a tree or something ... is this normal?

2. When at a light, do you recommend keeping the clutch depressed or putting it in neutral and letting off the clutch?

Thanks in advance
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Old 07-01-2009, 08:29 PM   #2
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1. Don't be afraid to use the emergency brake to help hold you in place on a hill until you get the hang of it. Go somewhere where you are by yourself and practice. It will payoff.

2. Don't think it matters. Depends on the length of the light, how long you've be driving, etc, etc. Either way isn't going to hurt the car.

Good luck!
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Old 07-01-2009, 08:30 PM   #3
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Answer #1: No. That's just the clutch grabbing onto the engine power to start moving the car: think of it as the equivalent to the idle speed 5 mph on an automatic car. RIDING the clutch is when you give the car gas while you have the clutch depressed which will wear it out. It's common for folks to ride the clutch if they're trying to do a speedy reverse. It's okay to cheat once in awhile but don't make a habit of it. As for steep hills, if it's working for you right now and your car hasn't blown up yet, then keep doing it.

Answer #2: When you're at a light, just put it in first and keep your foot on the clutch. It's not worth putting in neutral since it's bound to not last too long.
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Old 07-01-2009, 08:31 PM   #4
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If you are on a hill you can hold in on the emergency button with it pulled up and when you take off just let the emergency brake go, hope this helps. The more you drive it the better you will get. At a light, depending on how long the light is, I usually just leave the clutch in till I am ready to go.
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Old 07-01-2009, 08:31 PM   #5
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DO NOT drive with your left foot on the clutch petal! It will mess it up.
Learn the balance of gas and clutch... You do not have to over rev to make it go! If you let the clutch out slow enough, you can start off without touching the gas!!

PRACTICE!!!! Parking lot, driveway... YOU can do it! I have my 14 year old son driving a stick already! You can do it!
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Old 07-01-2009, 08:35 PM   #6
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Good advice while on a hill. When I am at a stop light I almost always put it in neutral and then just relax. Some of the lights can be rather long.
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Old 07-01-2009, 08:39 PM   #7
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At a red light, put it in nuetral with the clutch out and your foot off the clutch pedal. Take it easy on the throw out bearing.
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Old 07-01-2009, 08:43 PM   #8
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I must say, this is helping me, and I don't even have a car yet! But I plan on getting my V6 Camaro with a manual transmission, and this is making me less nervous.
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Old 07-01-2009, 08:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onechuck View Post
If you are on a hill you can hold in on the emergency button with it pulled up and when you take off just let the emergency brake go, hope this helps. The more you drive it the better you will get. At a light, depending on how long the light is, I usually just leave the clutch in till I am ready to go.
Good advice. That is how I learned taking off from a hill.
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Old 07-01-2009, 08:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nUcLeArEnVoY View Post
Answer #1: No. That's just the clutch grabbing onto the engine power to start moving the car: think of it as the equivalent to the idle speed 5 mph on an automatic car. RIDING the clutch is when you give the car gas while you have the clutch depressed which will wear it out. It's common for folks to ride the clutch if they're trying to do a speedy reverse. It's okay to cheat once in awhile but don't make a habit of it. As for steep hills, if it's working for you right now and your car hasn't blown up yet, then keep doing it.

Answer #2: When you're at a light, just put it in first and keep your foot on the clutch. It's not worth putting in neutral since it's bound to not last too long.

So, with your definition of riding the clutch, is it normal to ride it for split seconds at a time when your taking off (balancing it with the gas) or shifting? Maybe I just need to be quicker or more fluid.
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Old 07-01-2009, 09:10 PM   #11
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From what my dad told me you should put it in neutral at a light its never good to keep the clutch depressed any longer then it needs to be.
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Old 07-01-2009, 09:10 PM   #12
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Put the car in neutral when your not moving, depress the clutch as few times as you can, try never to hold the pedal down too long. This will prevent wear on the clutch and the T.O. bearing , very costly to replace.
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Old 07-01-2009, 09:39 PM   #13
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Do all the above, just avoid using the clutch eased out to hold the car on a hill or any incline.Use the brake and the emergency brake if some one pulls in close behind you. You will get to where lightning fast your off the brake and out just right on the clutch and on the gas for a smooth start like a pro. It helps to not allow the guy behind you to get too close, on a hill you will usually roll a tad so just ease up a little if you see him come in too much.
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Old 07-01-2009, 09:41 PM   #14
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if there is someone on my bumper i put it in reverse so they see the lights
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