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I am at 1800 miles in my first manual car. I can get around pretty smoothly now, but still have a few things I am uncertain about/feel I can improve on.

1. Starting in first, do you guys first get to the catch point first, then start hitting the gas? Or do you give it a little bit of gas, get to the catch point, then give it more gas as you let go of clutch? I've been doing the latter, but I find that it's too easy to give it too much gas and get to around 2k RPM. Any tips on this?

2. When slowing down and down shifting, what is the proper sequence of action? I generally hit the clutch and break, then when I get slow enough, shift into the gear I want to get into, then engage again. Would it be better to brake without hitting the clutch, then when I'm slow enough, hit the clutch and shift?

For example, when I'm making a turn, I hit the clutch and brakes, shift into 2nd, then when I'm about half way through the turn I let out the clutch and accelerate. I'm starting to feel like I'm stepping on the clutch longer than I have to. Advice?

3. Is it ok to downshift while braking? I'm not used to letting out the clutch while engaging the brakes.

Thanks for the help!
 

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i downshift while breaking all the time. that way going into the turn, i can have both hands on the wheel, and not worry about having to shift during the turn or after... i can concentrate on seeing if any one is going to rear end me, and gun it
 

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I can't say what's "right," just what I think. I never understood people downshifting to slow down. Brakes are intended to slow a car, not the transmission.

My boss once told me that she downshifted to save wear on the brakes. I asked if she's ever changed a transmission out.
 

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Originally posted by Wolo@Jun 22 2005, 03:47 PM
I can't say what's "right," just what I think. I never understood people downshifting to slow down. Brakes are intended to slow a car, not the transmission.

My boss once told me that she downshifted to save wear on the brakes. I asked if she's ever changed a transmission out.
i agree! can change the brake pads in no time, clutch or tranny gears...ouch! itd be a different story if i were driving a race car with parts handed to me and a crew to do the wrench work for me, then itd be a downshift buffet.
 

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i slow down first till i get to a low rpm, then i hit the clutch and switch gears

say that im turning into my neighborhood making a right turn and im going about 35-40 mph (this is in my brothers 2000 ford focus hatch 5spd). i am most likely in 5th gear and when the rpm gets to 1000, i hit the clutch down shift into 3rd and let the clutch out. this way the clutch lets out very easy as if you cant even feel it and the car continues on its way

i had a jetta that i drove real agressive. i always kept the car in like 3rd gear with the rpms usually at 3 grand when i was going like 40mph. i always slowed the car by downshifting a lot. i burned the clutch up real fast it was my first manual car got it at 50,000 miles got a new clutch at 70,000.

lo bux or eric or anyone that can help:

is it good for a car to shift at low rpms? i mean like when im driving i wont shift higher then 2-3 grand 1-2nd gear and then in 3-5th gear i shift around 2 grand or lower. this way you dont even feel the clutch engage but it gets in gear very smooth? would you say this is correct? and "clutch saving"?
 

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Read this thread. If you still have questions, bring them up after reading.
 
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