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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As stated in the title this is my first manual transmission car (I did have a motorcycle for a couple of years which was also manual for whatever that's worth;)) and I've been practicing for the past couple of days. However, after doing research on various sites I was wondering what my fellow Cayman drivers thought about the issue...

As you probably expected, the toughest part of starting to get used to this manual transmission is the "launch", or getting the car into first gear without stalling. When you guys are at a full stop whether it be at a stop sign or red light, and you prepare to start going forward, do you:

(a) fully step on the clutch pedal to disengage it, put it into 1st, then rev the engine to give it some RPMs and finally slowly back off of the clutch to let it engage

(b) fully step on the clutch, put it in 1st, slowly back off of the clutch until you feel that engagement point where the car starts creeping forward AND start giving it gas as it engages (I guess this is known as the "see saw" mehtod since both feet are doing the opposite of each other)

Honestly I've been doing really well once I've gotten past first; my shifting is smooth and rev-matching isn't bad at all for a novice. However, I definitely don't want to burn that clutch and I'm trying to find the best way to start from a complete stop without stalling and/or burning the clutch. Any advice or flashbacks to when you first started and how long it took YOU to actually get the hang of it before you were doing it subconsciously? Please tell... :cheers:

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Congrats on your new car.As for pulling off from a stop, it also depends as to whether or not i'm on a slope/hill,flat ground etc etc.the trick to me is to just not "ride" the clutch. You stated that you fear burning the clutch out,so long as you do not hold it at that sweet spot.Give the car enough revs so as not to stall and let the clutch out.As a side note my dad was a driving instructor in England, a story he told me one time was a lady pupil who actually opened the car door upon being instructed to "let the clutch out slowly"........P.S It is sometimes nescesary to "Feather the clutch".Too hold it at the biting point in order to avoid stalling the car.While giving her gas.Its ok so long not done on every launch.Hope some of this helps....Mike..
 

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it takes some getting used to even if u have driven stick-shifts all your life (like I have). But I build the revs a bit and then gradually release the clutch .. in between holding it in position where the car starts to bite (and sometimes tires are about to loose traction).

Never stall (imagine the embarrassment of driving a porsche and stalling). Maybe its 10% harsher on the clutch .. and maybe i'll end up changing a year earlier. But i'll be smiling and smoking off of all red lights :banana:

approach (b) is really painfully slow and annoying! You can settle for different rev ranges within approach (a) to suit your liking (and clutch replacement rate)

:cheers:
 

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I learned stick on my prior car - an '06 Boxster. The dealer literally taught me, and I drove out of the lot with it and stalled at the first light. For the first week or two, my biggest fear was stopping on an uphill incline because I was petrified of rolling back when I had to move again.

There's not much in words that can explain what to do that will make sense, you just have to practice and learn the car's catch-point between the clutch and gas. The fear will all come to pass... and driving stick will become like second nature after some practice. I suggest you take a weekend trip to somewhere secluded and just practice driving and enjoying your new Cayman. Regardless, learning stick has been a very satisfying experience - something I was always embarrassed to admit not knowing how to do, prior to learning.
 

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While teaching my sister - rule of thumb. Gas kept at 2,000 revs, let clutch out smoothly (not too quickly or you'll kangaroo, not too slow either) and try to keep revs at 2,000 during the launch until fully rolling then do what you wish.

I'd suggest you do this until your fully used to manual, then you'll start to learn your own best way.

There is no way you'll burn your clutch out with this method, especially before you learn how to control launches properly.
 

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Here's a hint when you're on a hill:
Apply the emergency brake when you come to a stop with the clutch engaged... with your hand on the emergency brake, release it just as you start to move. By using this method you won't have to "balance" the clutch while you wait for the light to change.
 

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Engage clutch and touch the throttle enough to proceed smoothly. No need to rev motor excessively before engaging the clutch. 4,5,6 speed is all I've ever driven over 40+ years. Enjoy!:)
 

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...and just to make you feel better, this car is one of the easiest to stall that I have ever driven, until you get used to it. Then it's OK.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
...and just to make you feel better, this car is one of the easiest to stall that I have ever driven, until you get used to it. Then it's OK.
Amen to that! Granted, this is my first manual car but I can't imagine too many others being this easy to stall. My uncle is a retired truck driver and he took me out for a few lessons the other day and HE stalled about 3 times (once going up a hill), so once I saw that I realized it must not be the easiest to get going.

I appreciate all of you guys' advice, but some are saying to rev and then let out the clutch while others are saying to let out the clutch and then give it some gas. Is there a clear, identified BEST way to get the car going from a stop that's the easiest on the car and the clutch? If so, that's what I want to learn from the beginning so that I won't have to relearn a new method months down the road when I'm told I've been doing it wrong all this time.

P.S. - On flat roads, how long would you estimate that you are on the clutch while shifting into first before fully releasing the clutch? I've heard some say less than a second and right now that just seems downright impossible to me...

:thanks:
 

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Don't over think it or make it more complicated than it is. I've been driving manuals, off and on, for more years than I care to admit. Most folks I know manage to engage the clutch and press the gas pedal in unison/simultaneously. No reving the motor first or second for that matter. I just start engaging the clutch at the same time I press the gas and do so enough to get started without bogging down or stalling. To say I rev to 1000 rpm, 1500 rpms or more just isn't in my thought process. Rev just enough so you don't stall or spin the tires and do it at the same time you allow the clutch pedal to rise until it engages. Once you're comfortable, hills are no different. Hills can always use some practice before you'll be comfortable....and don't panic if someone stops on a hill too close behind you. Just don't over think it.

Clutch release in first gear, start to moving, isn't ever more than a second or so. Once you are rolling it should be all the way out without bucking or bogging down. Then fairly quickly back in for your shift to second.
 

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Wow, 2000 rpms is madness!!! These cars launch gently without any gas at all if you let the clutch out slowly enough (not ideal for real world driving, but is how I always teach novices to launch the first couple of times) and launch perfectly at about 1000 rpms.

This is how I would recommend you start to drive yours, while you learn. To each their own and others might advise something different:

(Practice this on a parking lot, or somewhere with no cars around you)
1) Fully depress the clutch (clutch in).
2) Place car in 1st gear
3) Gently hit gas pedal until rpms hover around 1000 rpms (yes, that low, this is all you need)
4) Lift clutch out at a rate approx between .5 and 1 second (*this will vary* and will take time for you to get used to it) from fully depressed (in) to fully out. The longer the time the more you’ll “ride” your clutch. You will, of course, try to minimize riding the clutch as you learn.
5) Balance gas at 1000 rpms or so for the same duration of time that it takes you to step off (lift and release) clutch in step 4 above.
6) You are off and running
7) If you are on a hill, no need to use handbrake. Our cars come with a hill start assist function that basically automatically applies the brakes for you when you are on a hill. Check that….maybe it wasn’t a feature on 2008’s…I know my 2010 has it. Look it up in your owner’s manual.

Once you get the “hang of it” steps 3-5 will be done in unison, smoothly, and without you really thinking about it. Also, with practice, “step 4” (but like I said, it will all eventually become one step) will also be much quicker than 1 second (1 second is a loooong time, use a stop watch and you’ll see), more like under .5 seconds. I’ll try to time mine today to see if I’m accurate about this.

This is how I taught my girl how to drive my previous car and how I will teach her to drive my box s (once it’s broken in). Opinions may differ, so use what works for you. Good luck!
 

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This is how my wife learned and is likely the easiest way when first beginning:

While teaching my sister - rule of thumb. Gas kept at 2,000 revs, let clutch out smoothly (not too quickly or you'll kangaroo, not too slow either) and try to keep revs at 2,000 during the launch until fully rolling then do what you wish.

I'd suggest you do this until your fully used to manual, then you'll start to learn your own best way.

There is no way you'll burn your clutch out with this method, especially before you learn how to control launches properly.
Also VERY Important:
Don't over think it or make it more complicated than it is.
and don't stress about hills too much in the beginning, they will not seem so daunting once you've gotten to know the engagement point on your car. Really its more about feel than technique, each car (even other caymans I've driven) are all a little different.
 

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Engage clutch and apply appropriate throttle simultaneously. Find an empty parking lot and practice. It's more of a feel thing and not something to think much about. If the bike was no problem for you the Cayman will be just as easy. Don't let people psych you out, it's really quite simple.
 

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I've been driving manual transmission cars since I got my drivers licence, over 40 years ago and in my view you must come to a point where you know where the clutch engages by instinct, that is, without thinking much about it. Initially, I learned the hard way by wearing out a few clutches; however, a friend of mine suggested the following technique which I used to teach my son, at age 10, to drive a manual transmission. Go to a large vacant parking lot and get the car moving from a standstill without touching the throttle; that is, with the engine idling. But don't let it slip too much before you take your foot completely off the clutch pedal. Practice like this allows engaging the clutch to become second nature.

Moving off from a stop requires you to co-ordinate two opposite actions, letting out the clutch and depressing the accelerator pedal. It is difficult to learn the two actions together, so separate them. By the way, I had a 5 speed Toyota Camry from the 1980's on which I put over 300,000 km on the original clutch and never once had unintended acceleration.

And, yes....... I've stalled my '09 Cayman a number of times at the local intersections which are on an incline, despite having the "hill holder" feature.
 

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Lots of good advice, the biggest one is not to over think it. The more you worry, the worse it will be. The funny thing is both times I test drove the Cayman I never stalled it as I was too busy enjoying the experience. Ever after I bought it I hadn't stalled it for weeks and I thought, "this car is the easiest manual to drive ever." After that I stalled multiple times because I was thinking about it too much. That said--stalling WILL happen. It kind of sucks, but that's the learning curve and everyone goes through it.

I also second the flat, open parking lot and learning the catch point by only using the clutch. That's when driving stick finally clicked in my head. I had a buddy teaching me on his truck and couldn't get the hang of it until he had me try that. Then you'll know exactly where it starts to catch so you can apply gas and you're good to go.
 

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All good advice, but to really appreciate your Cayman S I suggest the following:

1. Come to a complete stop with clutch pedal fully depressed
2. Engage 1st gear
3. Rev engine to around 6,500 rpm
4. Slide left foot off of clutch pedal as you're pressing accelerator to floor
5. Lather, Rinse and Repeat :hilarious:

Congratulations on the new car, you'll be comfortable with the manual in no time with the good advice given here.
BW
 

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All good advice, but to really appreciate your Cayman S I suggest the following:

1. Come to a complete stop with clutch pedal fully depressed
2. Engage 1st gear
3. Rev engine to around 6,500 rpm
4. Slide left foot off of clutch pedal as you're pressing accelerator to floor
5. Lather, Rinse and Repeat :hilarious:

Congratulations on the new car, you'll be comfortable with the manual in no time with the good advice given here.
BW
Make sure the wheels are pointing forward if you try this. ;);)After first try you may actually need a full shower and change of underwear.:hilarious: Try parking lot stuff first.:cheers:
 

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Gas kept at 2,000 revs, let clutch out smoothly (not too quickly or you'll kangaroo, not too slow either) and try to keep revs at 2,000 during the launch until fully rolling then do what you wish.
QUOTE]

I pretty much do this but at around 1500 rpm for a normal launch, but it eventually becomes subconcious in that you know exactly where the clutch will bite and how much gas to apply to keep everything in balance. The goal is to launch smoothly and at the same time minimize clutch slippage.

If you are learning and have sport chrono, I would leave it off. The increased throttle sensitivity when SC is on makes it hard to get it correct at the beginning.

Here is a video clip of a very good driver launching a Cayman S with about as much mechanical sympathy as possible. Maybe he could use about 200 more rpm during the launch, but I can tell you that his clutch loves him!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuoHehAfcOs
 

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Lionheatzero,

Don't worry I have nothing to add to this mix. Just wanted to say that perhaps it's just me but I couldn't get your picture thingys to work. What to do?

Also please be sure and post when you notice you are now a "subconscious" stick driver, so we can all celebrate your success.
:cheers::banana::dance:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Lionheatzero,

Don't worry I have nothing to add to this mix. Just wanted to say that perhaps it's just me but I couldn't get your picture thingys to work. What to do?

Also please be sure and post when you notice you are now a "subconscious" stick driver, so we can all celebrate your success.
:cheers::banana::dance:
I uploaded them on photobucket, but i'm not sure how to get the pics to show up in the forum posts as everyone else does. I tried, but the link to the picture was posted (as you can see from the first post). All I have to do is copy and paste the link and the pics come up fine though...
 
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