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Hi guys, so ive been driving my sexy blue 2011 wrx for about a week. And I know this is going to make a lot of the guys cringe, but this was the first stick ive ever driven/learned and after about 50 stalls and unintentional abuse i actually can drive somewhat normal within about 3 days! Not too bad for a girl i guess..

Anyways, i find that my shifting is still not super smooth. To begin with from stop to 1st. I still get a jerk forward...might be because im reving too high? And sometimes theres a little jerk shifting from 2-3, 3-4, etc. My friend told me that i was probably letting the clutch out too quickly and that I'll get better in time. Am i doing any excessive damage to my car? And any tips specific to the wrx?

thanks,
Candice
 

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And any tips specific to the wrx?
Not just for the WRX, but all MT cars. You'll learn that the footwork requires quite a bit of finesse. No other way to learn it other than driving your car.

As for taking off from a stop. You should be able to get the car moving at low rpms (1000-1500). Over 2000 would be a little excessive for daily driving and could cause excessive wear to your clutch.
 

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The best way to really learn is to take the car to a big empty parking lot to practice. Start by getting the car to move without touching the gas at all. This will teach you the feel of the clutch and where it really engages. You should be able to get the car into 1st gear every time without touching the gas after a little practice.

Next find a dead-end street, parking lot, or street that gets very very little traffic with a slight hill and practice starting the car uphill. You'll need to give it a little gas since you're on a hill, but it's a better way to learn than if you're in traffic with the pressure of other cars behind you.

If you're jerking when you start out, then your friend is correct, you're letting out the clutch too fast. As KHP posted, you should be able to start the car every time at 1500 rpm, even on a hill. Only on the steepest hills should you need to go to 2000 rpm or more.

Congrats on the new car, and it's cool that you have the guts to buy a manual with no previous experience. You won't regret it! Manuals are much more fun to drive than autos, plus you have better control over your car when you're doing the shifting and not a computer.
 

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The Fruit
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Hi guys, so ive been driving my sexy blue 2011 wrx for about a week. And I know this is going to make a lot of the guys cringe, but this was the first stick ive ever driven/learned and after about 50 stalls and unintentional abuse i actually can drive somewhat normal within about 3 days! Not too bad for a girl i guess..
? best way to learn is to jump right in. Less slip is better even if you stall more.. excessive slipping will kill a clutch early, stalling just hurts the ego ;) I cant speak for others but I've been driving stick for 17+ years (33yrs old) and I still stall my car every once in a while when I dense off and let clutch out quick without enough throttle. For getting sufficient enough to drive around confidently in a few days.. I'd say you're doing quite well. ;) Nice work.
Anyways, i find that my shifting is still not super smooth. To begin with from stop to 1st. I still get a jerk forward...might be because im reving too high? And sometimes theres a little jerk shifting from 2-3, 3-4, etc. My friend told me that i was probably letting the clutch out too quickly and that I'll get better in time. Am i doing any excessive damage to my car? And any tips specific to the wrx?
practice.. and pay specific attention to being smooth while slipping the clutch as little as possible. The wrx is not an easy manual for a first time or inexperienced stick driver. You're doing well so far ;)

thanks,
Candice[/QUOTE]
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Is the WRX what people call "a forgiving car"? if not what do i have to watch out for....in terms of replacments in the future? Ive already been told I will probably wear my clutch out early from riding the clutch.
 

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Don't rest your left foot on the clutch while you're driving. You have a foot rest just to the left of the clutch pedal. That should keep your clutch happy.

Like everyone said above you have to practice taking off and shifting with minimal slip as possible. This can be done by taking off at lower rpms (1000-1500) while lifting of the clutch as fast as possible while also keeping engagement smooth(this may sound impossible, but with enough practice can be done).

Also watch out try not to dump your clutch too often. The WRX transmission doesn't handle those very well.

Later on once you get comfortable with the basics you can start rev matching. That should save your clutch and transmission even more.
 

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Sounds like you're doing pretty well if you've never had a MT before. Like someone else said, WRX isn't the easiest car to learn on. The clutch engages pretty quickly, which is good for performance shifting, but maybe not the best for learning. If it feels jerky, you probably need to let it out a little more slowly. When you're learning, you need to focus on listening to how fast the engine is reving. But mostly it's just practice. Every clutch is a little different, and it takes a little time to get used to how each one feels.
 

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Thanks EvilTwinfof1! letting the clutch out slowly has helped me alot with smoother shifts. I have been practicing with starting from a stop and am getting a little more confident but i cant say much about hill starts. Even with hill asist, i need more practice. I usually seem to over-rev on hills to make sure i dont stall and fly back into the guy honking behind me.
 

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You may want to try to avoid hills until you get the hang of it ;-)

You can also practice on a slight incline. If you're sitting at a light, you can practice letting out the clutch a bit, with little or no gas. You should be able to feel the point at which the clutch starts to engage. You should be able to stay stationary just by keeping the clutch at that point. Then when the light turns green, you give it a little gas, and release the clutch the rest of the way.

You might want to try to find an empty parking lot to practice in. It's easier to learn when there's no one behind you honking :p
 

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Are you hot? If so we demand pics...:p

Also, my gf had driven a MT car before but when she got in her LGT she struggled a bit. It just takes practice and you'll get the feel for it. You'll learn where your shifting points are in no time.
 

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EvilTwinf0f1 said:
You can also practice on a slight incline. If you're sitting at a light, you can practice letting out the clutch a bit, with little or no gas. You should be able to feel the point at which the clutch starts to engage. You should be able to stay stationary just by keeping the clutch at that point. Then when the light turns green, you give it a little gas, and release the clutch the rest of the way.
That will cause unnecessary wear on the clutch. If you're worried about rolling backwards, pull your e-brake; when you feel the car wanting to go forward, drop the brake.
 

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If you're just starting out, then just slip the clutch for a little longer and you'll get smoother. You're not going to kill the clutch from a one second duration slip. Especially at low rpm's (2,000 is nice).
I've been driving MT's for 20 years and when I'm driving with passengers in the car, I still slip the clutch a little longer. For one, the extra weight makes a difference on a light car like this with low torque. And passengers generally don't appreciate being tossed around with rapid launches.
 

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I dont know about the youngies here but pratcie down shifting as well!! this will save on the brakes and get you used to the low gears and rpms for your car. There's time for driving and time for racing if you know how to drive a WRX
 

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I wouldn't go crazy with the down shifting. Brake pads are way cheaper than clutch repair, as I found the hard way with a previous car. It's good to down shift to the gear you want to be in when you exit the turn, but you should mostly be using the brakes to slow the car. Brake fade isn't an issue for most situations, even if you drive aggressively.
 
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