Subaru WRX Forum banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Intro: Hello everyone, so last Saturday I went from a 2002 Ford escape (Being my first car since high school) and jumped in my first self-purchased new 2017 WRX. I have to say, I freaking adore this car and I feel I have a slight fetish towards it *face palm*. Making that jump was crazy because I never thought I'd have it so soon, but here I am.

New to driving standard...I literally taught myself in a parking lot after banging gears and high engine revs trying to not die while in 5 o-clock Houston traffic, yet against all odds I some how drove to the perfect parking lot with no cars. Stalled terribly, over and over (not realizing the parking break was on like an idiot) so I was freaking out, and thought I smelt burnt clutch on my first day having this car, however it may have been the coating they put on new motors...IDK. After about 3 hours of breaking all the "don't do this or you'll f**k up your clutch" moments, I got it down enough so I could drive myself home.

Advice that I need: (with driving standard) I've gotten first gear down perfectly, however it seems to be 2nd and 3rd gear that I tend to jult just slightly rather than smoothly progressing into the next gear. I feel that I keep clapping the clutch plates together and when I try and ease off the clutch, it claps and or may be rubbing together. But when I shift and just let off if it (not instantly) it still doesn't seem to be smooth. I don't want to be "riding the clutch" When changing gears but I'm just constantly trying to find that perfect catch point, but still haven't yet. Is this learning experience hurting my car any? I'm cautious with the break in period and I tend to shift around 2.5k - 3.5k RPMs so that way I don't shift too early.. atleast I don't think I do. I'm pretty good about knowing what gears to stay in while driving, its just this jult/jutter that worries me when driving my car. It's not an excessive crazy jult, but peoples heads go forward and back a little XD... Being that this is a new car and all, I really don't want to hurt my baby. She's my baby and I love her... D': any advice on this?

Thanks!

Roo-Lover
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,757 Posts
It takes time to get a feel for it. Everyone complains how hard these clutches are to drive. I found it to be one of the easiest.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,101 Posts
Just give it time and you will master it soon man, after 3 months you'll wonder how you ever tolerated an automatic transmission, manual is so much more satisfying to drive. The "Judding" you refer to is also being amplified by the fact that you are probably slowly shifting(being careful as a new driver) so the rpms are dropping between shifts. Plus you're shifting at low rpms due to break in restrictions. Once the car is broken in and you are winding out gears and shifting faster, it will be easier to line up the RPMs if that makes any sense.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
667 Posts
Nice ride and welcome!

I'd been driving standard for 23 years when I got my '15 WRX, and the 1st to 2nd change was still a problem. Go easy on it, and maybe practice some starts as well as 1st to 2nd changes without using the gas pedal. It will teach you how to get the feel of the clutch without burning it out. Once you get it everything else will just come together. That being said, I've had mine for close to 3 years and still jerk that 1st to 2nd sometimes!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Hey! I'm new here too- Just got my own 2017 WRX from Subaru Clearlake in Houston on Wednesday. 6 speed is the way to go for sure, don't worry, you'll get a feel for it it just takes time. I shift around 3k for the break-in period and just take it slow and smooth. First gear is the gear that requires the most finesse, so if you have that one down without too much time on the clutch and gas, you should be ob track to smooth out your other gears! Clutch all the way in and then roll on the gas as you let it out and you'll get 2nd and 3rd down. I went from driving a 2000 BMW E46 323i to this turbocharged WRX, even for me I had to get used to the power and clutch! Maybe I'll see you around Houston!
 

·
Master Baiter
Joined
·
12,653 Posts
As others have said, practice. A couple pointers...

Get a good feel of the engagement point of the clutch. Easiest way to do this is find an empty parking lot, and get the car moving without touching the gas a few times. Simply slowly lift your left leg until it starts moving. The repetition should help create some muscle memory to get you pretty close, and then as you continue driving, you'll fine-tune it.

Take note of the RPM difference between gears at the same speed (e.g., 40MPH in 4th = 2800RPMs in 4th | 2000RPMs in 5th); not every gear change is the same. Also, take note of the speed in which the RPMs drop. The "jolt" that you're experiencing means that you're not at the proper RPM when you release the clutch pedal and are back on the gas, or you're not on the gas enough and you're getting a bit of an engine brake (without actually being in the vehicle, I can't tell you which it is). For a smooth shift, you should be off the clutch and at the proper throttle angle for the speed you're going to be traveling right as the RPMs drop to the correct engine speed for the next gear. It will never be as smooth as an automatic, but it will get better.

I never shift below 3K RPMs while accelerating; only when switching to a cruise gear. My general rule of thumb for shift points is 3K RPMs until coolant is up to operating temperature, 3.5K until oil is up to operating temperature (if you don't have a gauge, a general rule of thumb is double the time it takes coolant), 4K from there on out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
374 Posts
As others have said just go in an empty parking lot for an hour or so and get used to the clutch and car. It will feel weird at first but in no time you will have it down. I typically shift at 3,000-3,500 unless I'm trying to get somewhere faster. Best of luck and welcome.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Sounds like you're doing just fine. My first stick (08 civic) I was horrible, dumped the clutch in front of a church at a stop light on a hill my first day bringing it home. By the 3rd or 4th day, it just started to feel more natural. Surprisingly, it takes a LOT for a manual transmission to cannibalize itself, unless you're intentionally beating on it, you won't hurt it on your learning curve.

Question for the rest of the group: does the 2015+ have an electronically assisted clutch? My buddy had a 2015 Jeep Wrangler that had one, felt like the pedal went to the floor with almost no "feel" when the clutch engaged.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
sounds kinda close to what happen with me haha. never owned a stick shift, before but sorta knew how to drive it. took it out the lot and the first light I stalled it haha how embarrassing, and happen again on the second light. but yeah definitely takes time to get use to it. but hey just happens and you learn from it and love it even more
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Ive been there. When I bought my first manual, I had a FRIEND drive it home lol. Practice makes perfect.... I will say this, its far easier for me to shift when driving FAST, its when I am trying to drive slower and still have perfect shifts, thats when I get irritated it wasnt as smooth as i wanted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
586 Posts
I am just happy every day I can drive a stick. It's like cutting dovetails by hand vs using a router--there's a sense of accomplishment to doing something that engages your hands and your mind.

(Disclaimer--I do work with wood and cut dovetails with a router, though I wield a mean handplane.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Hello! This is my first post and I'm very excited! Congrats on the purchase and wow, so much similarities with my situation.

-I just replaced my Ford Escape(2007) that I used in school
-Was going for a 2017 WRX, but I instead went with 2013 silver wrx(If I can't buy cash, I can't afford it mentality). LOVE IT.
-My first manual car

I have my 13 WRX for 2 months now and I've been where you've been. I consider myself as a slow learner and I probably have stalled my car 100 times by now. I drove without realizing the handbrake was on. 1st gear to second gear is still a challenge to be smooth.

I remember when I bought first the car, I slightly regretted it since I had a car that I could barely drive. And wish I bought an auto. No longer. After learning you'll love it and won't go back.

All I can say is practice practice practice, and it's actually a good thing you're being trained during rush hour drive often. To me, that's the best way to learn clutch control. As well as overcoming the pressure of "Oh no there's a car behind me, I hope I don't stall omg omg omg". Soon, you'll be looking back and say how easy it is right not :). I'm still a noob so I won't be giving a lot of advice beyond the basics. Goodluck and happy driving!

Land vehicle Vehicle Car Full-size car Bumper
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yea, its been a few weeks now and I'm getting much better with it. I've nearly perfected it but its not something that is automatic for me with shifting gears yet, but I've learned a lot in the last 3 weeks. But yea like some of you have said, in the beginning I instantly regretted getting stick not knowing how to drive one properly, but now its amazing and fun. Even stop and go traffic haha. I love belt way loops and taking turns hella fast going into the next gear 8D. Pretty fun. Again, thanks for all the feedback. Certainly has been a fun growing experience. Couldn't be happier tbh. I get off work being hella excited to drive my baby home. And when I get out of the car I can't help but continuously look back at my car haha. So I know it was the right decision.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hey! I'm new here too- Just got my own 2017 WRX from Subaru Clearlake in Houston on Wednesday. 6 speed is the way to go for sure, don't worry, you'll get a feel for it it just takes time. I shift around 3k for the break-in period and just take it slow and smooth. First gear is the gear that requires the most finesse, so if you have that one down without too much time on the clutch and gas, you should be ob track to smooth out your other gears! Clutch all the way in and then roll on the gas as you let it out and you'll get 2nd and 3rd down. I went from driving a 2000 BMW E46 323i to this turbocharged WRX, even for me I had to get used to the power and clutch! Maybe I'll see you around Houston!
That would be cool hehe, I'm sure I have at some point ran into you if you stay around Houston. I see a lot of WRX/STI's out on the road. I got mine at Gilman Subaru.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
I'm in a similar situation, looking to get into an '18, but depending on how much the price goes up I might try to grab a left over '17.

I never drove stick before, not even once. I am a car person and I work with cars so I know how it works and what you need to do, I just have no physical practice. At first I was torn between the cvt option and the M6, but the cvt seems like a waste of this car to me... if it was a regular auto being offered I'd probably have gone with that... it even then I've always wanted to learn stick. Being a car person I'm kind of surrounded by people who learned manual before they even had a license. I've never even attempted it. So it's time to get behind the wheel.

So I've settled on the M6 and that I'll have to learn, but now I'm trying to decide how to learn. I have no relatives, and renting a manual is impossible in the US.

I looked at buying some piece of garbage old civic or something just to learn with and junk it, but that seems like more trouble and money than it's worth. I have a friend who has a relative who might have something for me to learn on but I'm waiting to hear back on that. The last option is what you guys did, and just buy the car and then learn... but I don't know if I have the guts to get in that deep before I learn to drive it, lol.

I emailed a few of the driver schoools around to ask if they offer manual lessons, one guy said no and the other laughed at me... so there's that anyway.

I'm so excited to get into this and it probably won't happen til summer, but man am I looking forward to it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
As others have said, practice. A couple pointers...

Get a good feel of the engagement point of the clutch. Easiest way to do this is find an empty parking lot, and get the car moving without touching the gas a few times. Simply slowly lift your left leg until it starts moving. The repetition should help create some muscle memory to get you pretty close, and then as you continue driving, you'll fine-tune it.

Take note of the RPM difference between gears at the same speed (e.g., 40MPH in 4th = 2800RPMs in 4th | 2000RPMs in 5th); not every gear change is the same. Also, take note of the speed in which the RPMs drop. The "jolt" that you're experiencing means that you're not at the proper RPM when you release the clutch pedal and are back on the gas, or you're not on the gas enough and you're getting a bit of an engine brake (without actually being in the vehicle, I can't tell you which it is). For a smooth shift, you should be off the clutch and at the proper throttle angle for the speed you're going to be traveling right as the RPMs drop to the correct engine speed for the next gear. It will never be as smooth as an automatic, but it will get better.

I never shift below 3K RPMs while accelerating; only when switching to a cruise gear. My general rule of thumb for shift points is 3K RPMs until coolant is up to operating temperature, 3.5K until oil is up to operating temperature (if you don't have a gauge, a general rule of thumb is double the time it takes coolant), 4K from there on out.
Extremely helpful. Thanks!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Lol, best of luck and I highly advise that you learn manual (if you can) with other manual cars aside your own before you tackle a wrx. I took one or two lessons when I purchased my own and the biggest mistake I made was not taking more lessons. I managed to eat the clutch up in a matter of months and it cost me a whopping 1200 to fix it all. An hour lesson cost me roughly 75$ and I could have at least gripped the basics and get a general understanding of foot work had I did maybe 5 lessons, or less. Instead I made some costly mistakes and voila.. Paid for it dearly. Hopefully you don't do the same. Maybe take it to a buddy who knows his stuff to help you out or any relatives that have great experience with it. Anyhow, best of luck. Just don't want you to have to pay for it like I did.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top