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crossword
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Joined: Jul 16, 2008
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:09 am Reply with quote Back to top

Hi everyone
I just joined this forum and this is my first post here.

I apologize if my question sounds too basic and newbie for this forum. I''m a beginner and have taken 10 driving lessons so far and have 10 more to go

I live in India and we all learn on manual transmission even if we graduate to automatic after that. We have right hand drive here and we keep to the left of the road.

I''ve been reading instructions on the net about how to drive a stick shift car. I''ve downloaded various articles. Some of what they say is contrary to what my instructor says but then I note that some of the articles contradict each other too. I always thought there was only one way to drive a car but have realized people have different opinions on how it should be done.

I would like to know what the best way to make a turn is. My father says he downshifts to first gear before making a turn and that is how it is to be done because traffic in India is heavy and fast and one should take turns slowly.

Now my instructor says one should never use first gear for anything except when you start the car. I have read some articles on the net corroborating that and saying first gear is basically too slow for anything except for when you start in neutral and have to shift up.

My instructor says its ok to make turns in 2nd or 3rd gear, depending on how much traffic there is and how fast you can take the turn. He says you can take left turns in 3rd gear but generally have to use 2nd for right. That is because we keep to the left here and in western countries you would have to do it the other way round Ė lower gear for left turns since they keep to the right there.

The way he has taught me is: when you approach a turn, first give the signal for whether you are turning left or right.

Then brake gently to slow down the vehicle. At the same time also press the clutch pedal to the floor and shift to a lower gear IF NECESSARY. He says itís ok to even change gears as you are actually turning if by chance you have to do it quickly and you left it too late.

Now I have read on the net one should never shift gears while in the middle of executing a turn.

And my father says you always have to push the clutch down anyway in order to let the car maintain enough speed to negotiate the turn, otherwise just braking on its own might make the car stop and then youíd have to restart it.

Anyway I would like to know which is the best way to make a turn, the way that is safest and causes the least wear and tear on the car. Can you tell me the steps you take, in order?

I have read itís more expensive to replace the clutch than the brake, so if youíre going to overuse something, it had better be the brake rather than the clutch.

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Misha
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Joined: Aug 02, 2006
Posts: 704
Location: McLean, VA, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 7:18 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Hi Crossword,

And welcome to Fun and Safe Driving!

Well, I see where you are confused, and this seems to be a pretty good question. Overall I would say there are many ways of doing anything in life, and it is not always possible to say if one way is better than other.

However, in this particular case I agree to your instructor, and I congratulate you on having a good instructor! Follow what he says, he really knows his stuff. Smile

Yes, I almost never use first gear for anything but starting. Yes, you should choose the gear according to the current speed of your car, no matter if you are turning or going straight. Yes, you can change gears in the middle of the turn - providing you have enough skill to do this.

And I don't see any reason why one can't just add a bit more gas to prevent his car from stalling. Smile Actually, it is probably not relevant to India, but on an icy road you always want to be in some gear, you don't want to be caught in neutral or with depressed clutch when you car starts skidding.

To summarize - again, listen to your instructor. There are good and bad instructors out there, and yours is the good one.

Good luck, Misha
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crossword
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Joined: Jul 16, 2008
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:33 am Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks a lot, Misha. I suppose your foot is not pressing the brake while you are actually turning?

I see one has to sometimes depress the clutch [without actually changing gears I assume] to avoid stalling the engine, but how does that work? I mean, do you press the clutch before you brake or during braking or after you brake? And when do you then release it?
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mathewhadley
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Joined: Sep 18, 2008
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 8:13 am Reply with quote Back to top

Jeremy Clarkson from the BBC's Top Gear programme recently put his hard-won Gran Turismo 4 driving skills to the test in California on "the most fearsome track in North America", Laguna Seca. Driving the same car in-game and for real -- a Honda NSX -- Jeremy tried to match his GT4 time on the real raceway, with surprising results.
---------------------
Mathew Hadley

link snipped
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FRE
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Joined: Oct 05, 2008
Posts: 79
Location: Albuquerque NM

PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:59 pm Reply with quote Back to top

There are times when it is appropriate to shift down to 1st gear when the car is moving.

If you have to slow down so much that the car will not run smoothly in 2nd gear without slipping the clutch, then it is a good idea to downshift to 1st. Or, if you have to drive up a hill and the car has insufficient power to do so easily in 2nd gear and you are going slowly enough so that you will not overspeed the engine in 1st gear, then it is appropriate to downshift to 1st. Or, if you have to go down a long hill that is unusually steep, going down in 1st gear will be easier on the brakes. However, a caveat.

On some cars, the synchromesh for 1st gear is weak and, if you are going at much more than a walking speed, it could be difficult to downshift to 1st without grinding the gears. If that is true with your car, you have 2 choices: 1) slow down to a walking speed before shifting to 1st, or 2) double clutch. To learn how to double clutch, ask a bus driver or a truck driver; they should know and be able to explain how to do it. However, learning to double clutch takes some practice.
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FRE
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Joined: Oct 05, 2008
Posts: 79
Location: Albuquerque NM

PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:01 am Reply with quote Back to top

Also, some instructors and examiners believe that shifting while actually turning the steering wheel increases the risk of losing control of the car. That is something to consider.
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Misha
Site Owner



Joined: Aug 02, 2006
Posts: 704
Location: McLean, VA, USA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 3:26 pm Reply with quote Back to top

LOL FRE, I think you are a bit too cautious here. Smile We do not talk about driving on the edge, do we?

And I agree, if you are close to losing traction, you don't want to shift the gears, no question Smile
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tamil
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Joined: Jun 06, 2009
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 1:39 am Reply with quote Back to top

The best way to turn the car is this first see right and left mirror and than watch it front mirror than turn it your car.
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SafeSpeed
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Joined: Jul 04, 2009
Posts: 6
Location: Scotland UK

PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 8:46 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Hi This is my first post here too - so Hi all Very Happy
Do you expect to pass in 20 lessons ?
crossword wrote:
I live in India and we all learn on manual transmission even if we graduate to automatic after that. We have right hand drive here and we keep to the left of the road.

How interesting to see that you see graduating to a more simple method 'automatic' after using the gear stick method ! Smile I live in the UK and we too drive on the left side of the road.

crossword wrote:
I always thought there was only one way to drive a car but have realized people have different opinions on how it should be done.

The basic principle of using the peddles, steering wheel and gear selection is the same as it inevitably has a same functional process. And as you have found, there are slightly variable methods, in the use of those basics to enable; a smoother function, a faster process & safer processes to ensure best practice.

crossword wrote:
I would like to know what the best way to make a turn is. My father says he downshifts to first gear before making a turn and that is how it is to be done because traffic in India is heavy and fast and one should take turns slowly.

To 'turn' can be broken into many processes:
1) how to approach a corner and best positioning, for the corner, ensuring good space around you (if possible) and then best method through the corner to best position as you leave the corner, ready for the next section of the road.
2) the car control and best practice with how you want to take the corner.
3) Your current ability and what you can do at the moment given your limited experience.

As we grow in skill, knowledge, ability and experience we are able to drive better and understand how to manage risk, judge and control our driving environment with more precision and control, thus making it safer every trip.
A slow and tight corner OR if you are talking about a 'right hand' 'turn' (or left), may well be best taken by using 1st gear and in very heavy traffic it may be the perfect gear it depends if the traffic is 'stop start' and likely to slow /stop or 'creep' along - then 1st is 'right' and 'best practice'. Smile

crossword wrote:
Now my instructor says one should never use first gear for anything except when you start the car.
It is not about speed, per se, it is about torque and convenience. He is 'wrong'. There is never a time to ONLY use a specific gear for only one 'specific' road instance. However he is possibly, trying to minimise the information to you & keeping things simple, while you learn. Many people do this to 'help'. The principal point is that you *may* more likely use 2nd than 1st so be aware of this.
If you increase momentum quite quickly then 'having to change up to 2nd' *can' seem 'pointless', BUT the wear and tear on the car is far greater if you pull away in 2nd all the time, so first is better for the car and for a smooth ride. You also have better car control and for good driving this is good.
As you become more experienced with your vehicle you will learn (typically below 1500 revs) that you need to 'change down' to the lower gear. Sharp corners especially on small roads and up or down hills may need 1st but with enough momentum 2nd may be suitable. Typically (depending on your vehicle) 2nd may often be sufficient, some cars *can* start from a 'stop' with 2nd but you will have to have slightly higher revs (throttle) to match the clutch operation to move away smoothly. Smooth operation will help toward wear and tear, to a significant degree.

crossword wrote:
.... to make turns in 2nd or 3rd gear, depending on how much traffic there is and how fast you can take the turn. He says you can take left turns in 3rd gear but generally have to use 2nd for right.

Well the UK drivers never necessarily take a left turn faster than a right. ALL corners or turn MUST be taken : SLOW in FAST out. This is a basic safety process, as if you go in slower it can tell you if there is anything blocking your path (someone broken down etc etc), and if not then you can increase your speed 'APPROPRIATE to CONDITIONS'. You shoudl always be able to "STOP in the distance that you can see to be CLEAR in (front of you). Clear mean NO potential hazards that make mean you have to slow or stop.

'Taking a Corner' is a whole topic in itself ... Very Happy but follow the basic advice above ... but for right and left turns ensure there is space and you are likely to use 1st but you may be able to use 2nd, but EXPECT to use 1st and be prepared to use 2nd.
crossword wrote:
The way he has taught me is: when you approach a turn, first give the signal for whether you are turning left or right.

To take a corner:
Check your mirrors, Position (your car), check mirrors (all about you, checking esp for cyclists coming down your inside), slowing down ALL the time. You need to ensure that your speed is going to be appropriate (so that you are always in control of your vehicle), check the oncoming vehicles (for any also going to - or are turning,) check your mirrors, signal, keep slowing and braking appropriately, make sure that the road that you are turning into is clear, and your path clear to you. As you are still in a straight line, and at the appropriate speed (to match gear - revs) change down (many methods of this too!)... final check of your mirrors, then you can turn your corner with both hands and in full control of your car as you turn. Mirror, signal, manoeuvre. Smile
crossword wrote:
Then brake gently to slow down the vehicle. At the same time also press the clutch pedal to the floor and shift to a lower gear IF NECESSARY. He says itís ok to even change gears as you are actually turning if by chance you have to do it quickly and you left it too late.

In a very busy traffic condition you *can* change down as you turn, but it is considered to be 'bad driving' as you have less control of your car. I 'heel and toe' as normal practice, it is fast and very efficient but take practice to learn. The basic method of brake to try to have the revs about 'right' for that gear (revs and gears 'match'), depress clutch, (here you can 'blip' the throttle (press to give more revs) then change to the lower gear and the revs are DESCENDING only and as you get this 'right' the revs should not go any lower and DEFINITELY not higher. If higher you have not 'matched' the gear/revs and so the rate at which the 'driving' wheels are actually doing on the road si higher and the engine has been forced to increase speed to match the wheels - never good.

crossword wrote:
Now I have read on the net one should never shift gears while in the middle of executing a turn.
to do with skidding. If you can handle a skid, and you have experience then you might know when it is safe, as you are learning then it is better to wait until the 'straight' and make the chance of skidding less likely.
crossword wrote:
And my father says you always have to push the clutch down anyway in order to let the car maintain enough speed to negotiate the turn, otherwise just braking on its own might make the car stop and then youíd have to restart it.
This is called 'slipping the clutch', if you only do it a little, keeping some revs up (as wheels / momentum 'drive' the car forwards) can badly wear the clutch if you have a simple car, but if you press ALL the way then no wear takes place, but not a 'good' way to drive. This is 'coasting' (no gear 'engaged'), and not considered appropriate as a gear should be selected. You should 'drive' around a corner or turn, never 'coast'. You can of course brake, to a degree, without the clutch and without 'stalling' the car. You are always better to slow before the corner selecting the right gear, and drive through.

crossword wrote:
I have read itís more expensive to replace the clutch than the brake, so if youíre going to overuse something, it had better be the brake rather than the clutch.
It is always BEST to drive using 'best practice' ALL the time. Driving in control helps to be SAFE. Drive to the conditions ensuring that you always have a good space in front (and around you) all the time. The space in front of you especially is your safety cushion giving you crucial 'Time to React' when hazards appear, and you need space - 2 seconds is best practice between you and the car in front. Smile
Sorry for long post !
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Misha
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Joined: Aug 02, 2006
Posts: 704
Location: McLean, VA, USA

PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:41 pm Reply with quote Back to top

LOL SafeSpeed, welcome to Fun and Safe Driving! Smile

Are you trying to overwhelm the guy? Come on, there are plenty of other threads here that are more appropriate for this more advanced information you are giving. I think this guy just needs the very basics for now Smile
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SafeSpeed
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Joined: Jul 04, 2009
Posts: 6
Location: Scotland UK

PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 10:08 am Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks Smile
Thought I was sticking to very basics !
He is asking how to turn .... now if his instructor has left him so unsure as to seek help over the internet then he - I thought - is asking for 'specifics' within turning ...
Sorry if it all sounds overwhelming it;s not meant to be ... Smile

I don't get enough time to revisit all the forums and w/sites that I would like to - to hold a more meaningful discussion more slowly .... so there is method to my thoroughness. Smile
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Misha
Site Owner



Joined: Aug 02, 2006
Posts: 704
Location: McLean, VA, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 5:20 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Understandable. Smile Are you Claire?
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SafeSpeed
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Joined: Jul 04, 2009
Posts: 6
Location: Scotland UK

PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 10:51 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Yep Indeed Smile Hi.
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Misha
Site Owner



Joined: Aug 02, 2006
Posts: 704
Location: McLean, VA, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 9:19 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Hi Claire. Now I feel honored Smile
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SafeSpeed
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Joined: Jul 04, 2009
Posts: 6
Location: Scotland UK

PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 1:22 pm Reply with quote Back to top

You're too kind ! Smile ty...
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