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This is a discussion on Learning Manual on a new WRX ! within the New Member Hangout forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; The WRX was my first manual. I drove it smoothly in a couple days. Lonestar gives some good advice. Don't ...

  1. #16
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    The WRX was my first manual. I drove it smoothly in a couple days. Lonestar gives some good advice. Don't be tempted to drop the clutch so fast once you get going to be smooth. Once you get it you just get it. After that the more you drive the more muscle memory and intuition kicks in where your clutch and gas work just becomes one with the car

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  3. #17
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    Drive her nicely, not the best car 2 learn manual on as ya don't wanna give her gearbox a thrashing. In mine I usually put her up to 2 revs then take off around 1.5 (unless u wanna burn rubber lol). I change around 2.5 but its ok to ring her out the odd time as hey thats whats shes built for right! mine seems to like sitting in 3rd around corners etc. Hope it helps a lil

  4. #18
    Registered User teflon_jones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WillieRX View Post
    I kind of disagree with that beginning approach. But, everyone is different.

    My approach would be that you get the manual and drive the car to and from work/school/errand/etc... as you normally would on previous cars, that way, you understand the car and the manual transmission very quickly. I originally learned the fundamentals of a manual transmission on an old 90s RAV4, then a 72 Jeep CJ, and finally bought my first manual car (1997 Audi A4 quattro). Lets just say that i was very lousy at manual driving still before i got the Audi, but I drove the Audi regardless in a combination of both Highway and Stop-light traffic and alot of mountain roads. Suffice it to say I learned how to work the manual quickly. Took me around 1-2 weeks to learn to drive a manual relatively Stall Free.

    But everyone's approach is different. My thoughts are learn the basic fundamentals, then execute those fundamentals through trial and error.

    I get asked often who to drive a manual by friends. And I give them the usual reply: "Learn the fundamentals, buy yourself an old beater with a manual, and just drive it in the roads."
    The problem with this approach is safety. If you don't know how to drive it, then getting out on public roads with other vehicles, pedestrians, animals, and who knows what else is dangerous. Learn to drive your vehicle in a safe location before taking it on public roads.
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  5. #19
    Registered User poly_poly-man's Avatar
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    heh - I told the dealer that I had never driven stick before - he insisted that I take the car out for a test drive. That was rough, but I didn't stall! Anyway, I drove the thing home too - which was easy. 2.5 hours in fifth is no problemo - except for the sporadic a/c .

    It took me a couple months to stop stalling - then a couple more to stop killing my clutch so badly. By now, I know my way around the transmission (although the thing is damn imprecise sometimes :P ), and I would never voluntarily go back to an automatic.

    One thing that you have to look forward to - once you've got the whole starting thing down, parking - parallel, straight-on, etc. is all 1000x easier in MT cars because of the precise foot control.
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  6. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by poly_poly-man View Post
    heh - I told the dealer that I had never driven stick before - he insisted that I take the car out for a test drive. That was rough, but I didn't stall! Anyway, I drove the thing home too - which was easy. 2.5 hours in fifth is no problemo - except for the sporadic a/c .

    It took me a couple months to stop stalling - then a couple more to stop killing my clutch so badly. By now, I know my way around the transmission (although the thing is damn imprecise sometimes :P ), and I would never voluntarily go back to an automatic.

    One thing that you have to look forward to - once you've got the whole starting thing down, parking - parallel, straight-on, etc. is all 1000x easier in MT cars because of the precise foot control.
    Lol i'm pretty paranoid about stalling out during my test drive. I haven't driven stick in like 7+ years...whenever I learned how to drive

  7. #21
    Registered User ElVerde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by passivecrimes View Post
    Lol i'm pretty paranoid about stalling out during my test drive. I haven't driven stick in like 7+ years...whenever I learned how to drive
    HAH. So was I. When I was 16 my parents had a V6 F-150 with a manual that I was able to drive a little bit. Sadly, we sold it about a month after I got my license so I didn't get much experience. Then at about age 17 I got a handful of short drives in the little manual truck at my shop. My next experience driving manual was my test drive of a used 2009 WRX when I was 21. I was so nervous for the test drive because it had been a while. The guy at the dealership encouraged me even though I told him i was relatively inexperienced and it ended up not being so bad. I stalled twice (at the same stop sign ) and otherwise just had some nice jerky shifts. He didn't mind and said that I was FAR from the worst he'd had (and told me a story about a girl who test drove one that he had to physically remove from the drivers seat because she refused to quick despite either stalling or dumping the clutch from 5k+ at every start) which made me feel better, haha.

    Still, this encouraged me to order my WRX. I wouldn't have wanted to buy a car that sat on the lot with 50+ miles on it (because god knows how rough those 50 miles could be). I was very pleased when my new rex only had 5 miles on the ODO at pickup
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  8. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElVerde View Post
    HAH. So was I. When I was 16 my parents had a V6 F-150 with a manual that I was able to drive a little bit. Sadly, we sold it about a month after I got my license so I didn't get much experience. Then at about age 17 I got a handful of short drives in the little manual truck at my shop. My next experience driving manual was my test drive of a used 2009 WRX when I was 21. I was so nervous for the test drive because it had been a while. The guy at the dealership encouraged me even though I told him i was relatively inexperienced and it ended up not being so bad. I stalled twice (at the same stop sign ) and otherwise just had some nice jerky shifts. He didn't mind and said that I was FAR from the worst he'd had (and told me a story about a girl who test drove one that he had to physically remove from the drivers seat because she refused to quick despite either stalling or dumping the clutch from 5k+ at every start) which made me feel better, haha.

    Still, this encouraged me to order my WRX. I wouldn't have wanted to buy a car that sat on the lot with 50+ miles on it (because god knows how rough those 50 miles could be). I was very pleased when my new rex only had 5 miles on the ODO at pickup
    Lol. That story is pretty encouraging actually. I might go this weekend to test drive the car thanks to you

  9. #23
    Twin Scroll = Expensive dynomight's Avatar
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    All I can say is "good luck with that". I, however was fortunate enough to have a cousin who was cool enough to let me practice on his integra before I jumped into my wrx. It took me a few tries but once I've gotten used to finding the "sweet spot' on the clutch, learning the rest was a piece of cake.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynomight View Post
    All I can say is "good luck with that". I, however was fortunate enough to have a cousin who was cool enough to let me practice on his integra before I jumped into my wrx. It took me a few tries but once I've gotten used to finding the "sweet spot' on the clutch, learning the rest was a piece of cake.
    Well I learned how to drive on a manual. It's just been years since I've actually driven one. My friend has an '05 STi but he said his clutch isn't n00b friendly

  11. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by passivecrimes View Post
    Well I learned how to drive on a manual. It's just been years since I've actually driven one. My friend has an '05 STi but he said his clutch isn't n00b friendly
    Don't worry -it's not something you forget. I took my mom out (learned on MT, hasn't driven one in 30+ years) the other day. It was a rough ride, but she didn't do embarassingly.
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  12. #26
    Registered User MagnumXL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joebreeves View Post
    Don't bounce your clutch on a hill, use the anti roll hill assist as it is meant.
    How does this anti-rollback work on the WRX? I've never had it on a manual before (pretty sure my '04 WRX wagon didn't have it and I know my '93 ProbeGT and '88 Z24 didn't have it since I took them on Clifton Hill in Niagara Falls and they definitely wanted to roll back). Heck, I didn't even realize anyone even made hill holders anymore until I saw a mention in my new '11 manual (although I'm not sure why they aren't used more often). I'm pretty used to being fast with my feet and never roll back more than an inch or so even on a fairly steep hill. Does it just hold on the hill until the clutch is let out for the first time? Does it have limitations with how much gravity pull it can hold back?

    I suppose that would take a bit of stress out of hills. I may have to look for one to try it out on.
    Last edited by MagnumXL; 05-13-2011 at 09:03 AM.
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  13. #27
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    From what I can tell, the hill assist works on the same principle as the hand brake hill trick. It probably uses a combination of tilt sensors and the abs wheel sensors to first sense a hill, sense the car is stopped, and hold (presumably) the rear brakes until forward movement is detected, then release them. I know my friend tried rolling forward just barely, then pushing the clutch, and the car did roll back, so it only works until the first indication of forward movement, which probably helps with brake and drivetrain wear.

    This isn't an official explanation, but the best one I can give based on seeing it work.
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  14. #28
    Registered User MagnumXL's Avatar
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    From what I've been reading elsewhere it sounds like the computer delays the brake release about a second after you remove your foot or until you apply the accelerator pedal. I don't know how effective it would be on a steep hill, but probably better than nothing. I gather the WRX has only had it since '08 from what I've read so it's all new to me.

    A friend of mine always used the handbrake trick on hills. I tried it once and it felt awkward (probably takes a few attempts to get used to it?) But by then I was already used to just moving my foot quickly and never rolled back more than an inch even on steep hills (usually not at all) so I never bothered to try it again. I've never worn out a stock clutch yet (2 of my last 3 cars had 130k on them when I got a newer car and my '04 WRX had 80k) so I don't tend to worry about clutch wear much.
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  15. #29
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    The 2011 isn't the best car to teach yourself to drive a manual.The moment you get the car going uphill in reverse smoothly is when you will trully have mastered driving this car.For me this moment has yet to come even after a couple of thousand miles.I still stall reversing into my Dad's garage where the driveway is at about a 20 degree incline.
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  16. #30
    Registered User MagnumXL's Avatar
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    I tried the car on an incline today to see how this hill holder worked. It was very strange for me. I'm so used to the backwards roll pressure of my previous three cars that having it just sit there with the brake off just felt weird. It was like I was sitting on a perfectly flat surface despite clearly being on an incline. I dunno... It kind of reminds me of SLR cameras with all those computer controlled auto settings where anyone who can point the thing can take a reasonably good picture under average conditions. I mean imagine a normal 5-speed without a clutch. It would give me the shivers. Driving a MT is supposed to take a bit of skill is what I'm getting at. Being able to start up a steep incline (forward or reverse) without using a brake and without rolling back is a good sign of a skilled driver with a MT (not stalling is a good early sign for new MT drivers ). Having the car take the danger away ruins the experience. I want my money back dammit.

    Now I have to go back to merely showing off with smooth up and down shifts (had it down pat with the '04 so you couldn't even tell there was a gear change if you were a passenger with your eyes closed and the stereo blasting to cover the engine noise and without even having to look at the tach or listen to the engine; i.e. just purely used to the timing of the rev drop with the AC off). I'm still adjusting to the '11 timing. I always seem just slightly off target in gears 1-2 and 2-3. I think the gear ratios must have changed or something. I'll have to pay more attention to the tach once again, I suppose.

    On a related thought, how do you tell a friend politely that they are making you motion sick with their gear changes? Every time I go for a ride in a co-worker's Cobalt, I think I might get whiplash. He neither waits for the gears to sync or slips the clutch and so it's THWONK every time (not just when he's in a hurry). I'm not sure if he even realizes he's doing something wrong. I don't really want to hurt his feelings, but man, I keep thinking he's had that car for a couple of years now. He's clearly not going to miraculously improve on his own. Honestly, I've had this experience a LOT back in college riding in other people's cars with MT. I'm starting to think it's a disease.
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