#1
I could have stuck this in the car thread but i think it's more to do with driving than cars.

I have been driving legally for almost 5 years now (in NZ we can get our learners license at 15) and consider myself to be quite a good safe driver (I've never crashed). I mainly taught myself how to drive and never really thought about it until recently but I have a question regarding driving a manual.

When stopped at traffic lights (not on a steep hill) do you leave your car in gear (1st) and hold your feet on both the brake and clutch?

Or when stopped do you take it out gear (into neutral) and take your foot off the clutch leaving just one foot on the brake?

Is one better than the other? Is one of these wrong? Is one more fuel/engine efficient? Do you do it another way? Or does it not matter which of these methods you use?

Cheers in advance
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Last edited by walkingminstral at Apr 2, 2011,
#2
I drive automatic.

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#3
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I drive automatic.

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#4
My car is automatic but the few times I've driven a manual I kept it at 1st gear whenever I was stopped. I don't know what the pros and cons are or anything.
#5
It's all a matter of preference.

Personally, if I'm coming up to a stop light, most of the time I'll throw my car down into neutral as I cruise up and press my brake until I stop; my foot is off the clutch as well.

I'll also find myself being of 'those' stick drivers who will ride my clutch at the catch point in first gear giving it enough clutch and acceleration to stay stationary, but my foot will not be on the brake. This is useful if you're on a steep incline and don't want to start from a dead stop where you might roll back some.

Honestly, within a month of driving a stick, it will become supremely easy, and within a few months you won't even think about anything at all; it'll be second nature.
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#6
On a straight i tend to just stay in gear, foot on the clutch and brake. If i'm on a hill, the handbrake goes on. If my foot gets tired at a long red, I knock it into neutral and come off the clutch.
#7
Quote by Weeping_Demon7
It's all a matter of preference.

Personally, if I'm coming up to a stop light, most of the time I'll throw my car down into neutral as I cruise up and press my brake until I stop; my foot is off the clutch as well.

I'll also find myself being of 'those' stick drivers who will ride my clutch at the catch point in first gear giving it enough clutch and acceleration to stay stationary, but my foot will not be on the brake. This is useful if you're on a steep incline and don't want to start from a dead stop where you might roll back some.

Honestly, within a month of driving a stick, it will become supremely easy, and within a few months you won't even think about anything at all; it'll be second nature.


I've been driving manual for the whole five years and can 'clutch ride' as you've mentioned. It's just when stopped I use the first method and was wondering whether thats wrong or not.
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#8
Save your clutch, shift to neutral and stay on the brake. It doesn't take that much work to shift into first and then just go again.

As for the hill start, just learn to hill start. When I was learning to drive stick, my stepdad put me at the bottom of a hill steep hill with a tree behind me. I had to learn quick. Do that, and you'll learn to clutch quickly very easily.
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#9
I personally clutch brake if I'm on a hill, if not, I just shift into neutral and apply the brake.
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#12
Quote by Vince Sixx
Save your clutch, shift to neutral and stay on the brake. It doesn't take that much work to shift into first and then just go again.

As for the hill start, just learn to hill start. When I was learning to drive stick, my stepdad put me at the bottom of a hill steep hill with a tree behind me. I had to learn quick. Do that, and you'll learn to clutch quickly very easily.


Hill starts are easy once you get used to them.

So the second method is more beneficial for the preservation of the clutch?
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#13
I used to drive my girlfriend's manual car and she always just left it in first when she stopped. As far as I know, it's purely preferential.
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#14
What's a clutch?

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#15
Quote by walkingminstral

When stopped at traffic lights (not on a steep hill) do you leave your car in gear (1st) and hold your feet on both the brake and clutch?

Or when stopped to you take it out gear (into neutral) and take your foot off the clutch leaving just one foot on the brake?

I leave it in neutral. Laziness and good reflexes FTW
Is one better than the other? Is one of these wrong? Is one more fuel/engine efficient? Do you do it another way? Or does it not matter which of these methods you use?

Cheers in advance

Keeping your clutch depressed the whole time can put strain on the cables and possibly the hydraulics, but that happens normally anyways. Doing it excessively can cause the cables to snap eventually. As long as you aren't revving the engine, it has no effect on fuel economy.

Quote by Weeping_Demon7
I'll also find myself being of 'those' stick drivers who will ride my clutch at the catch point in first gear giving it enough clutch and acceleration to stay stationary, but my foot will not be on the brake. This is useful if you're on a steep incline and don't want to start from a dead stop where you might roll back some.

That burns the shit out of your clutch plate. And a replacement isn't exactly cheap on the vast majority of cars because of the fact that the clutch sits between the engine and transmission and generally either one or the other has to come out just to get to it.

On a steep incline, I just use the handbrake to keep myself stopped and put it into first, start to release the clutch, and as it catches let down the handbrake.
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#16
Quote by doomded
I leave it in neutral. Laziness and good reflexes FTW

Keeping your clutch depressed the whole time can put strain on the cables and possibly the hydraulics, but that happens normally anyways. Doing it excessively can cause the cables to snap eventually. As long as you aren't revving the engine, it has no effect on fuel economy.


That burns the shit out of your clutch plate. And a replacement isn't exactly cheap on the vast majority of cars because of the fact that the clutch sits between the engine and transmission and generally either one or the other has to come out just to get to it.

On a steep incline, I just use the handbrake to keep myself stopped and put it into first, start to release the clutch, and as it catches let down the handbrake.


Thank you. A very comprehensive answer.
Strange, It seems like a character mutation, Though I have all the means, of bringing you fuckers down, I can't make myself, To destroy upon command, Somehow forgiveness, lets the evil make a loss - Danger Mouse/Sparklehorse/Wayne Coyne
#17
Quote by doomded
I leave it in neutral. Laziness and good reflexes FTW

Keeping your clutch depressed the whole time can put strain on the cables and possibly the hydraulics, but that happens normally anyways. Doing it excessively can cause the cables to snap eventually. As long as you aren't revving the engine, it has no effect on fuel economy.


That burns the shit out of your clutch plate. And a replacement isn't exactly cheap on the vast majority of cars because of the fact that the clutch sits between the engine and transmission and generally either one or the other has to come out just to get to it.

On a steep incline, I just use the handbrake to keep myself stopped and put it into first, start to release the clutch, and as it catches let down the handbrake.


I don't know what year and model of a car you're driving that has a cable involved in the clutching system, but I can tell you that when I did have my clutch replaced, no talk was ever had about replacing a cable. Clutches are hydraulically driven unless you're using performance clutches for drag racing such as stage 2, 3, etc. clutches, then they are SPRING driven, but never cable.
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#18
Quote by Weeping_Demon7
I don't know what year and model of a car you're driving that has a cable involved in the clutching system, but I can tell you that when I did have my clutch replaced, no talk was ever had about replacing a cable. Clutches are hydraulically driven unless you're using performance clutches for drag racing such as stage 2, 3, etc. clutches, then they are SPRING driven, but never cable.

Its a 92 Honda, so its nearing 20 now, it wouldn't surprise me if they have started using springs since then. The cable I spoke of runs from the pedal to the hydraulics. (I believe it was the slave cylinder)

And yes, 99% of the time, when replacing the clutch, the cables aren't necessary. Its usually just the pressure plate, the clutch disk, and the bearings unless theres a hydraulic issue as well.
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#19
Quote by doomded
Its a 92 Honda, so its nearing 20 now, it wouldn't surprise me if they have started using springs since then. The cable I spoke of runs from the pedal to the hydraulics. (I believe it was the slave cylinder)

And yes, 99% of the time, when replacing the clutch, the cables aren't necessary. Its usually just the pressure plate, the clutch disk, and the bearings unless theres a hydraulic issue as well.

that's true for sure.
#20
Normally I'd just keep it in first with my foot on the clutch. But if I'm waiting for ages and my leg gets tired I'll whack it into neutral.
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#21
Handbrake on. clutch down and in gear 1. When you start moving find biting point and release handbrake. That is how I do it and therefore it is how everyone should do it
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#22
Quote by ScottB.
Normally I'd just keep it in first with my foot on the clutch. But if I'm waiting for ages and my leg gets tired I'll whack it into neutral.


This.

90% of the time I'll keep it in first with clutch in, if it's a major intersection and the light's been red for ages, I'll go neutral. My clutch is heavy as shit.
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#23
I throw it in neutral almost all the time when not on a hill.

Also learn to double clutch when downshifting. It improves the longevity of your transmission.

Here's a video of Double Clutching.
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#24
Quote by darklite41
I throw it in neutral almost all the time when not on a hill.

Also learn to double clutch when downshifting. It improves the longevity of your transmission.

Here's a video of Double Clutching.

That's not necessary in cars with synchros in the gear box. The synchros jobs are to align the gears on the transmission to the engine speed.

Every car built within the last 20 or more years probably have synchros.
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#25
It depends. If it's at a stoplight and I'm first up or some other similar very short pause, I just leave it in 1st gear. If it looks like it's going to take a while, throw that shit into neutral.
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#26
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It worries me that the only criteria you judge your driving skills on is if you've crashed or not.

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#27
Neutral and handbrake or reg. brake depending on lenght of stop. (like if it just switched to a red light i use the neutral/handbreak) I've been told that holding the clutch in a hill start just wears it off faster so you gotta learn how to do it... just a bit of patience and practice, it isn't that hard honestly
#28
People need to realize that the act of holding a clutch in at a stand still, no engine revving, isn't going to be bad for the clutch.

When a clutch is held in, all that's being done is removing the clutch from the transmission so the transmission has no link to the engine. Moving the clutch repeatedly could be bad because it uses clutch fluid, but just keeping it in isn't bad because once it's in, there's no mechanical action occurring.
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