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Discussion Starter #1
My salesman taught me to:
- rev to ~3000 rpm
- slowly release clutch
- remove left foot at 5 mph



Is that the proper way to do it?

troy
 

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um...if you like buying new clutches it is. The Insight's engine doesn't have that much torque without the assist but I'm able to get an assist-less launch below 2k rpm. The ideal is to launch at or just above idle rpm but that means using the assist more than I want to.
 

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Do you mean downshifting into 1st gear when still going 5-10mph, such as when slowing for a red light that just turned green before you came to a stop? You'll probably notice that it's pretty hard to go into 1st gear at speeds above 5mph, but if you're determined enough you can just force it as long as you have the clutch pushed in.

If you're looking for a more graceful way to slide back into 1st gear, you'll need to make use of the age-old method of double clutching. This consists of shifting to neutral, releasing the clutch, revving up to a little higher than the target RPM, then pushing the clutch back in and quickly going for 1st gear. If you do it right, it will slide right into 1st with nearly zero effort and when you get your foot back on the throttle and release the clutch you'll already be at target RPM.
 

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ElectricTroy said:
My salesman taught me to:
- rev to ~3000 rpm
- slowly release clutch
- remove left foot at 5 mph
troy
That guy doesn't know how to shift into 1st properly or he's just a clutch saleman :wink:

When starting from a stand still in 1st gear the clutch should only slip for less then 1 second.
And the engine RPM should be at or slightly above idle (1000 RPM) like kapps said.
But kapps, assist is your friend at low RPMs 8)

And in all the other gears the cluch should be released quickly to avoid slipping. To have smooth shifts proper rev-matching is crutial. Slipping the clutch to smooth out the shifting is a terrible technique! :roll:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Guillermo said:
When starting from a stand still in 1st gear the clutch should only slip for less then 1 second. And the engine RPM should be at or slightly above idle (1000 RPM) like kapps said.

I don't have a problem while moving. EASY. The problem is from a stop. Sometimes I stall the engine.

So based upon what you just said:
- let the engine idle at ~1000 rpm
- slowly release clutch
- remove left foot at 5 mph

Correct?

troy
 

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ElectricTroy said:
remove left foot at 5 mph

troy
The speed is not relevant,
Quickly finish releasing the clutch as soon as the car starts to move (when the clutch engages).
Try to slip the clutch in 1st gear for less then 1 second.
Don't look at the speedometer, look at the tach while learning.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Speed is not relevant?

I've stalled my Insight if I release the clutch <4 mph. How is that not relevant? (Not meant to be rude...I just don't understand.)

I also stalled a Civic Hybrid the same way, because the car was moving too slow.

troy
 

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I've noticed for beginners it's easier to rev the engine a little bit higher before contacting the clutch pad. That's probably ok while you're practicing, but it's not ok to continue after you've mastered the motion. 3000 rpms is a little high though. Maybe 2000 or 2500 for a beginner. You shouldn't need much higher than that to prevent a stall.
 

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Guillermo doesn't mean that speed is completely irrelevent, he meant that you shouldn't be looking at your speed to decide when to fully release the clutch. Instead, as he said, use your tach not your speedometer. And every situation is a little different, so you can't always use by-the-book numbers to decide these things. The most important thing is to make sure you don't partially hold the clutch down for too long, or it will wear away your clutch pad very quickly. On the flip side, you don't want to release it too quickly or (as you apparently noticed) you'll stall or buck the engine horribly.
 

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Essentially, you have to learn the "feel" of the clutch takeup/engagement point. It does take time. My first manual transmission was in a '91 Nissan pickup. After a week or so of bucking and stalling, I finally began to feel through my foot and butt when the driveline was grabbing and would go at that point from slowly letting out the clutch pedal to fully releasing it. I got so good with the "feel" that on the steepest hill in town I could balance the truck using the gas and clutch so that I wouldn't roll back even a millimeter when the time came to go. And that truck didn't have a tach, so I had to do it by feel and what I could hear coming from the engine bay to determine revs. First gear is definitely the toughest to get right, after that its easy. And just in case anyone would criticize my technique, I traded that truck in at 160K miles (bought it at 40K miles, so 120K of it was all me) and it still had the original clutch and wasn't showing any signs of needing replacement anytime soon.

The Insight has always been to me an easy car to drive in terms of shifting. Like I think others have said, I usually give the car about 1,500 - 1,750 rpm, begin easing off the clutch pedal, and then as I feel the car getting underway I'm getting off the clutch completely. I don't know if its the clutch or throttle that seems to me to be touchier, but I've never managed to be able to do the same "balancing act" quite as nicely as I was in my old Nissan. Plus, since when I stop I usually want the car to go into Auto Stop, I'm into neutral and just quick to the gas on a hill when its time to go again. Actually that's probably the reason I can't balance my Insight as well as that old Nissan, I don't have to do it enough.

The only time I launch at anything over 1,750rpm would be when I autocross, usually I rev to about 2,500 - 3,000 rpm and dump the clutch as I hit the throttle full open to try and get the best start I can off the line. Don't know if it helps, but again, by feel, it seems to be the best to me as a compromise between lugging off the line and not wanting to completely burn out my clutch in one sitting.

And for point of comparison, my Insight now has over 78,000 miles and the clutch feels like it did when the car was young.
 
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