Learning Manual on a new WRX !
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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; Hey all i just put a deposit down on a 2011 WRX base in WRB!!! I am still learning how ...

  1. #1
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    Learning Manual on a new WRX !

    Hey all i just put a deposit down on a 2011 WRX base in WRB!!! I am still learning how to drive a manual transmission. If you guys could give me any pointer my car would thank you very much so ... I'm quite excited i pick it up next week!!!

    Best,
    Ray

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    Registered User joebreeves's Avatar
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    I was kind of in the same boat when I got my STi. I've driven stick a lot in my life but it's been about 9 years since I've done it and it's always been trucks. On my STi 1st gear is fine, just slowly release it a few times and you will find the release point. I still tend to over rev into first after a couple weeks of driving.

    2nd gear is still tough for me. I tend to bounce it upon clutch release a LOT. 3rd and up is easy.

    Don't bounce your clutch on a hill, use the anti roll hill assist as it is meant.

  4. #3
    Registered User SRAM's Avatar
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    I've taught a few people how to drive stick and to start off with, I would find a driveway with a fairly steep incline. Steep enough that if you were to put the shifter in neutral you would roll back. First gear is the trickiest especially when you're on a hill. But with the new Suby's that won't be a problem anymore. I also found that Civics were the easiest cars to learn on since those transmissions can take a beating.

    Good luck, you picked a hell of a car to start learning on.

  5. #4
    Registered User Eric05mx's Avatar
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    Find someone you know that has an older car like a caviler and learn on that. A brand new wrx is not the best car for learning how to drive a manual.
    2012 WRX ice silver metallic
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    Registered User Heide264's Avatar
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    I personally would turn that hill assist off instantly. It would cause me to stall when it released as opposed to the natural and expected roll back when you take your foot off the brake. Just my opinion.

    I stalled my STi in a parking lot for a good hour or two after managing to limp it up to a small parking lot. Took a long time for me to get used to having to give it so much more of a throttle response than my friend's mustang. Also, the engagement point was much higher than I thought it would be.

    Second is still tough for me to get smoothly. I've found you either have to just get moving in first and then treat it like a second gear start, or be romping on it pretty hard. Otherwise the shift is just awkward. Takes some practice.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trainrex
    He was throwing balloons filled with sulfuric acid and shrapnel at the swat team. They finally had to take him down with rubber bullets.
    2011 STi Build Log
    -Part 1 - Reading, Data Logging, and Analyzing Data
    -Part 2 - Turbocharger 101 & Basic Boost Control
    -Part 3 - EcuFlash, Experimental Defintions, and a Drive By Wire Intro

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    Registered User skudda33's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heide264 View Post
    I personally would turn that hill assist off instantly. It would cause me to stall when it released as opposed to the natural and expected roll back when you take your foot off the brake. Just my opinion.

    I stalled my STi in a parking lot for a good hour or two after managing to limp it up to a small parking lot. Took a long time for me to get used to having to give it so much more of a throttle response than my friend's mustang. Also, the engagement point was much higher than I thought it would be.

    Second is still tough for me to get smoothly. I've found you either have to just get moving in first and then treat it like a second gear start, or be romping on it pretty hard. Otherwise the shift is just awkward. Takes some practice.
    I don't think you can turn the hill assist off can you? Personally I hate the hill assist and these cars should at least have an option to turn it off. My first stick was an audi a4 and i picked it up in a matter of minutes. I had previous experience with dirt bikes and knew how a clutch would work just not in the car, but i managed to get it very quick. After my audi i purchased an impreza and the hill assist immediately screwed me up because your brain tells you you should be rolling when for the first 3 seconds your foot leaves the brake, it is still engaged due to the hill assist. My g/f on the other hand was not as easy to teach but with practice and patience she eventually got it.

    One big piece of advice for you is to not get frustrated when you stall the car. It is going to happen a lot at first and you just have to get through it and not let it bother you. The second you let that bother you is when you run into problems. If you see yourself in this situation, step aside for a few minutes and regain your composure. The last thing you want to do is get pissed while trying to learn. I wish you luck with learning man, just take your time and you will eventually get it!

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    Registered User katzuu's Avatar
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    Not sure if I'm allowed to link another forum but this site really helped me learn to drive standard (stick shift):
    Standardshift | Standardshift / FAQ

    Also check out their regular forum aside from the FAQ as they have tons of very knowledgable folks there.
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    Registered User Heide264's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skudda33 View Post
    I don't think you can turn the hill assist off can you? Personally I hate the hill assist and these cars should at least have an option to turn it off. My first stick was an audi a4 and i picked it up in a matter of minutes. I had previous experience with dirt bikes and knew how a clutch would work just not in the car, but i managed to get it very quick. After my audi i purchased an impreza and the hill assist immediately screwed me up because your brain tells you you should be rolling when for the first 3 seconds your foot leaves the brake, it is still engaged due to the hill assist. My g/f on the other hand was not as easy to teach but with practice and patience she eventually got it.

    One big piece of advice for you is to not get frustrated when you stall the car. It is going to happen a lot at first and you just have to get through it and not let it bother you. The second you let that bother you is when you run into problems. If you see yourself in this situation, step aside for a few minutes and regain your composure. The last thing you want to do is get pissed while trying to learn. I wish you luck with learning man, just take your time and you will eventually get it!
    I agree with the above.

    I dunno about a WRX, but in my STi I just held down the traction control light for a while when the car was started. It would go green, then eventually yellow, then off. Took about 20 seconds I think. After the light goes off, just press the button (not hold). The hill assist light will come up on the dash. Simply turn your car off and back on - good to go.

    Sucker messed with me and I had only driven my friends mustang around for a while. Stalled a LOT around here. I live in fairly hilly suburbs, so learned pretty quick.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trainrex
    He was throwing balloons filled with sulfuric acid and shrapnel at the swat team. They finally had to take him down with rubber bullets.
    2011 STi Build Log
    -Part 1 - Reading, Data Logging, and Analyzing Data
    -Part 2 - Turbocharger 101 & Basic Boost Control
    -Part 3 - EcuFlash, Experimental Defintions, and a Drive By Wire Intro

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    Registered User jgardiner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skudda33 View Post
    I don't think you can turn the hill assist off can you?
    Yes, you can, at least on my 2011. Check your owner's manual.

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    Registered User Stlgrndskeeper's Avatar
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    Welcome and congrats on your new ride! Put some pics up after you pick it up. As far as driving a manual goes, it looks like it's all been covered. Good luck and enjoy!
    2011 WRX DGM hatch Cobb DP, Inv. Q300 CB, AEM intake, DW 1000cc's, DW 300 lph pump, AP w/ custom E85 tune, STS w/bushing, 3M clear bra, and tint for now...

  12. #11
    Registered User teflon_jones's Avatar
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    I have probably close to 500k miles driving all sorts of manuals from tractors to trucks to many types of cars so take my advice with a grain of salt... <cough cough>

    The best way to learn is to find a big empty level parking lot. Start off by getting the car going without using the gas at all. This will really teach you about the clutch feel and stall characteristics of your car. Do this a couple hundred times (no joke). Then move on to trying to get the car to start more quickly by using a little gas, which is more normal for daily driving. Do this a couple hundred times too. You could do the first one a bit and then try and give it some gas and mix up these techniques. It'll teach you tons about your car, and there's no worry about really wearing the clutch doing this.

    Once you've done this, find a business park or parking lot or dead end street with a hill. Preferable it'll be an increasing slope hill so you can practice at different angles. On a very slight slope, you should be able to start the car without hitting the gas. Again this teaches great pedal feel. You should be able to hold the brake slightly while letting off the clutch on a slight hill and get the car going.

    The advice saying to find a steep hill to practice on is IMHO not good. You need to do the simple practice a lot of times before moving to the advanced stages. I know lots of people that have been driving stick for years that can't start well on a steep hill.
    Scott
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    Registered User WillieRX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teflon_jones View Post
    The best way to learn is to find a big empty level parking lot.
    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."
    Last edited by WillieRX; 05-06-2011 at 12:06 PM.
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  14. #13
    Registered User LoneStar's Avatar
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    The key to any manual car is this:

    Be slow and steady... Very fluid like motion. Hold the rpms at about 2000 and let the clutch out very slowly. Once you feel it grab, hold it at that point for another second or two and let it out slowly a little more. After about ~2-3 seconds you should be fully off the clutch and in the gear. You pretty much do the same thing changing gears while moving, but you don't have to slip the clutch anywhere near as much.

    Once you learn the speeds gears start at and what rpm to be at you can rev match downshifts and then the car will really come to life. Don't give up, it might take a couple months to master the car but you will get there.

    Good luck!
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    Hope you learn quick! Be patient and like Lonestar said take it slow and dont over rev past 2000...

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    Registered User oguitar's Avatar
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    Be precise and never force anything.
    Life is like riding a bicycle in order to keep your balance you must keep moving.

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