Guidance First Time Manual Driver
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This is a discussion on Guidance First Time Manual Driver within the New Member Hangout forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; I just bought my son a 2003 with 61,000 miles. It has no modifications and has been driven by a ...

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    Guidance First Time Manual Driver

    I just bought my son a 2003 with 61,000 miles. It has no modifications and has been driven by a sensible original owner.

    My son has never driven a manual transmission and I would love to turn the car over to him with some sound advice about proper shifting techniques and things not to do!

    A major concern I have is accidental redlining. Are there any safeguards built into the computer to prevent damage or is this an area he needs to be attentive to from the beginning? (Are there modification you can make to the computer logic if not already done?)

    Also regarding everyday driving is there a recommended "ideal" shift point, (3500 RPM, 4000 RPM, ????) that I could get him fixated on so he can get the basics of manual shifting down quickly? (Ideal from a fuel economy and engine well being perspective.)

    Any advice on downshifting is also appreciated. (Better to just have him push in the clutch and let the brakes do the work when coming to a stop?)

    Finally if this was your 22 year old son, what would you tell him as you handed over the keys to this car?

    Thanks!

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    Master Baiter EJ257's Avatar
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    Can you drive standard? If not, do you know someone who can? The best way to teach someone would be to have them watch someone's actions to get the hang of it, and then to learn for themselves.

    The only difficult part about driving a manual is learning how to get the car moving. Once you're driving, it's pretty basic. The "catch point" of the clutch is the thing he needs to learn, and then he'll be fine.

    Find an empty parking lot and let him practice. Mainly practice the starts, also allowing him to do a 1/2 shift, to give him the chance to practice a smooth gear change. Once he gets to the point that he no longer stalls, and you do as you did when you first started teaching him to drive. Take it out on the road, and when you feel comfortable with him driving it on his own, then hand him the keys for good.

    Best of luck.
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    Administrator Trainrex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluesramsrock View Post

    Finally if this was your 22 year old son, what would you tell him as you handed over the keys to this car?

    Thanks!
    1: Please mail payments to _____________

    2: Don't hit any curbs.

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    Flirty User That's Younger Than the Chunks of Corn in Brian's Crap

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    I have an 02 and I don't know if there is a "ideal" shift point, but I have found out that I get the best gas mileage when I shift around 3500 RPM's. I rarely get to use 5th in the city. I was told with my first car that I should shift when I hear it start roaring, which wasn't a clear cut definition, when I first started driving but I know I'm used to my car and I can tell when I need to shift, so he'll get around to that.

    Finally if this was your 22 year old son, what would you tell him as you handed over the keys to this car?

    Thanks!
    "You're paying for your speeding tickets. "

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    I can drive a stick and will be giving him the "basic" introduction. I'm just trying to get some advice on shifting that is specific to this turbo charged engine. Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by idipskoalmint View Post
    Can you drive standard? If not, do you know someone who can? The best way to teach someone would be to have them watch someone's actions to get the hang of it, and then to learn for themselves.
    Best of luck.

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    Actually the only thing my mechanic could find wrong with this car was that the previous owner had hit a curb at some point and had replaced the control arm and put a couple of dents in the wheels! So I guess that is sound advice to pass on!

    Regarding payments, he paid for it with his college scholarships. Told him I would "repay" him at graduation. (I got off cheap.)


    Quote Originally Posted by Trainrex View Post
    1: Please mail payments to _____________

    2: Don't hit any curbs.
    Last edited by bluesramsrock; 03-25-2009 at 08:21 AM.

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    Admiral Ackbar the 1st mycologist's Avatar
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    There is a rev limiter, so he will not be able to accelerate past redline. This will not help if he downshfts too far and spins the motor too high. I feel that more new drivers will end up lugging the motor. You will need to develop the concept of rev matching and gear selection. A diagram of the wrx dears vs. speed will help.

    The black lines are stock USDM WRX:


    When I was super young, my mom would let me shift from the passenger seat. This is a good technique to get the feel for gear selection vs. RPM in isolation of manipulating the clutch, but it may make your teen feel coddled.

    Like Matthew said, the main thing is to have him play around with the engagement point in an isolated spot. Then have him learn how to manage finding the engagement point without stalling on a hill.
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    "Bust a Ring at Redline"

    Subaru Impreza WRX STi may bust a piston ring at redline | Automotive.com Subaru Impreza WRX STi may bust a piston ring at redline Blog & Enthusiast Discussions

    This article puts a different spin on redlining WRX's at least the STI's. Can anyone shed light on this?

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    Admiral Ackbar the 1st mycologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluesramsrock View Post

    I think you can get a momentary lean condition if you are bouncing on the rev limiter. Hopefully no one you know will be doing that on purpose.
    "From a little spark may burst a mighty flame." - Dante
    "The stitch is lost unless the thread is knotted." - Italian proverb

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    Quote Originally Posted by mycologist View Post
    I think you can get a momentary lean condition if you are bouncing on the rev limiter. Hopefully no one you know will be doing that on purpose.
    Can you adjust the rev limiter? Someone on that blog mentioned they had set the limit 500 rpm below redline. Sounds like something I might want to do/have done before I give my kid the car! Or am I spending time worrying about a non-issue which is what I sense I'm reading here. Thanks for your help.

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    UnBanned Sinister's Avatar
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    Honestly, I would probably go rent a focus, kia, something of that nature. Just rent it for like 2-3 days and let him learn on that.

    I'm probably going overboard, but wrx's are pretty difficult to learn on compared to some of those easier economy cars with a longer clutch..
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    Admiral Ackbar the 1st mycologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluesramsrock View Post
    Can you adjust the rev limiter? Someone on that blog mentioned they had set the limit 500 rpm below redline. Sounds like something I might want to do/have done before I give my kid the car! Or am I spending time worrying about a non-issue which is what I sense I'm reading here. Thanks for your help.

    I don't understand the issue fully but if it is due to the rev. limiter mechanism (IIRC cutting fuel?) then your just going to run into the problem 500RPM earlier. Seems to me like that just makes it easier to hit the damage button whatever it is. Just tell him that if he overrevs it will blow up and he will be walking (even though it probably won't). Also, get the ECU fix performed for free.
    "From a little spark may burst a mighty flame." - Dante
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    UnBanned Sinister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluesramsrock View Post
    Can you adjust the rev limiter? Someone on that blog mentioned they had set the limit 500 rpm below redline. Sounds like something I might want to do/have done before I give my kid the car! Or am I spending time worrying about a non-issue which is what I sense I'm reading here. Thanks for your help.
    Quote Originally Posted by mycologist View Post
    I don't understand the issue fully but if it is due to the rev. limiter mechanism (IIRC cutting fuel?) then your just going to run into the problem 500RPM earlier. Seems to me like that just makes it easier to hit the damage button whatever it is. Just tell him that if he overrevs it will blow up and he will be walking (even though it probably won't). Also, get the ECU fix performed for free.
    He already bought a 2003 wrx... the ecu fix is for a 2008/09 STi.

    BlueRamsRock - He's fine, don't worry about that. It's on a different model.
    Last edited by Sinister; 03-25-2009 at 11:15 AM.
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    Admiral Ackbar the 1st mycologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sinister View Post
    He already bought a 2003 wrx... the ecu fix is for a 2008/09 STi.

    BlueRamsRock - He's fine, don't worry about that. It's on a different model.

    Sorry, I got confused. Listen to him^
    "From a little spark may burst a mighty flame." - Dante
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sinister View Post
    Honestly, I would probably go rent a focus, kia, something of that nature. Just rent it for like 2-3 days and let him learn on that.

    I'm probably going overboard, but wrx's are pretty difficult to learn on compared to some of those easier economy cars with a longer clutch..
    I agree with learning on a car that is much more forgiving. I originally learned on an old 74 ford pickup. I would definitely recommend learning on something with a much more forgiving clutch.

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