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Do's And Don'ts With Your Car (Mechanically)

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I have been watching a few YouTube videos on common mistakes people make with autos and manuals, and realised there are a lot of varying opinions out there.

 

I was hoping this could be a thread of sage advice for taking good care of your car.

 

Some things I think I know for sure:

 

General-

Don't flog your car until it's warm

Allow some time after starting your car before moving off (don't start and move off immediately, to ensure oil's circulating etc)

 

Manual-

Don't ride the clutch

Don't keep the clutch in and have it in gear (eg sit there in 1st at traffic lights)

Don't hold it on the bite point for long up a hill

Rev match when changing down

Don't rest your hand on the gear lever when it's in great

 

Auto-

Don't coast in neutral

 

Questions I still have:

Is it important to always try and fully release the clutch? It makes traffic a pain to leave a gap so that there's enough room for this, but what about reverse parking etc?

Should you always use the handbrake when starting off up an incline?

Most importantly, my neighbour revs the crap out of his car when it's sitting in the garage (presumably it's warm), please tell me it will blow up soon.

Can't remember the other questions but I've got more I'll post when I remember...

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Auto-

Don't coast in neutral

I'm not convinced about that. On Drive days and track days people need to be kind to the other people behind and let them catch up.

 

Dropping the revs also lets you lose some heat from the engine to give you a bit more power for later on.

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I'm not so sure about that. I was caught on video doing that down the main straight at Wakefield Park. How else do you let other cars catch up? Dropping the revs also lets you lose some heat from the engine to give you a bit more power for later on.

I heard it was bad for the transmission - you work on your car though

 

"I was caught on video..." So many ways that sentence could have ended

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Well you shouldn't let your car warm up in the old sense of letting it idle in the driveway. Even the Renault manual says start and drive off. 

 

You don't have to use the handbrake to start on a hill in my opinion. Heel and toe it if necessary. 

 

Someone will correct me here ... but as I understand it the reason it's good to not engage the clutch when unnecessary is excessive wear on the thrust bearing. I imagine not completely releasing the clutch has the same affect (to varying degrees), so probably no biggie for the odd-reverse park (at least you can) but possibly not a great idea every night in traffic. 

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Coasting on neutral in an auto is a no no because of the way the torque converter engages. You go from no load to quite possibly full load with no Mechanical sympathy. Whereas if it's allowed to work properly it will have progressively loaded up.

 

I take it you've been watching engineering explained videos from the list you've put up.

 

Coasting in neutral in any car is a no no. Not in full control of the vehicle. I remember that also from my learner days. Hopefully it's in the various states traffic rules too and you'll fail a license test if you do that.

 

Cheers,

- Sent via TapaTalk

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General-

Allow some time after starting your car before moving off (don't start and move off immediately, to ensure oil's circulating etc)

Contrary to what the manual says, I agree with this - maybe just 30-60s to make sure some oil has been drawn up from the sump before I put load on the engine. Would be happy to be proven wrong.

 

Manual-

Don't rest your hand on the gear lever when it's in great

Agree with this one, if you do rest your hand there you can feel it sort of pulsating with the engine, so suggestion would be that there's potential for additional wear.

 

Questions I still have:

Is it important to always try and fully release the clutch? It makes traffic a pain to leave a gap so that there's enough room for this, but what about reverse parking etc?

Most importantly, my neighbour revs the crap out of his car when it's sitting in the garage (presumably it's warm), please tell me it will blow up soon.

In traffic, perhaps try and release the clutch without using any throttle - torque at neutral on the Meganes is good enough for this. Means you can travel pretty slowly clutch out for that 20m move.

 

As for your neighbour... if it's warm and unloaded, I wouldn't think there is much stress on the components, unfortunately...

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Questions I still have:
Is it important to always try and fully release the clutch? It makes traffic a pain to leave a gap so that there's enough room for this, but what about reverse parking etc? If the clutch is not either fully in or fully out the clutch plates are rubbing together. It just means the plates will wear out quicker.
Should you always use the handbrake when starting off up an incline? Either way is good to be able to do but I reckon there is less wear on the clutch if you use the handbrake. You are not jumping off the brake and revving like mad while releasing the clutch to stop rolling backwards. Especially on steep hills.
 

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You are not jumping off the brake and revving like mad while releasing the clutch to stop rolling backwards. Especially on steep hills.

 

Debateable in a Megane 2... That weird shaped handbrake is not very user friendly.

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What do Toyota drivers do with the foot hand brake? Do they do a double foot heel and toe ... left foot hand brake / clutch - right foot brake / accelerator.  :shock:

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What do Toyota drivers do with the foot hand brake? Do they do a double foot heel and toe ... left foot hand brake / clutch - right foot brake / accelerator.  :shock:

 

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I put a hydraulic handbrake in my rally car ... great fun. It also ended up with skyline disc son the rear, which were in fact larger that the front discs ... that was fun until I sensibly added a biasing valve. Sigh ... the things you used to be able to get away with. 

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Always immediately drive the car after starting. Oil reaches the upper parts of the engine pretty bloody quickly. The last thing you want is neat, rich fuel washing the oil off the cylinder bores.

 

Never rest your foot on the clutch, or your hand on the gearstick.

 

Always drive gently until warmed up.

 

Dont let a hand car wash place anywhere near your car ????

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Always immediately drive the car after starting. Oil reaches the upper parts of the engine pretty bloody quickly. The last thing you want is neat, rich fuel washing the oil off the cylinder bores.

 

Never rest your foot on the clutch, or your hand on the gearstick.

 

Always drive gently until warmed up.

 

Dont let a hand car wash place anywhere near your car

 

You're right, but I still wait around 20-30 seconds or so before moving off to ensure good oil pressure. The best way to minimise wear is to get the heat into the oil as quick as possible.

 

In a cold climate it's not so easy, when its below zero I wait some time to move off, but I have a diesel and it's usually recommended to let a diesel warm up a little first compared to the advice above for a petrol.

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Always immediately drive the car after starting. Oil reaches the upper parts of the engine pretty bloody quickly. The last thing you want is neat, rich fuel washing the oil off the cylinder bores.

 

Never rest your foot on the clutch, or your hand on the gearstick.

 

Always drive gently until warmed up.

 

Dont let a hand car wash place anywhere near your car

Why not rest your hand on the gear stick pray tell??

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Why not rest your hand on the gear stick pray tell??

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Why not rest your hand on the gear stick pray tell??

Because the selector fork will move around under the weight of your hand and arm resting on the gear stick. You introduce unnecessary wear into parts of the gearbox that would usually last the life of the car

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Because the selector fork will move around under the weight of your hand and arm resting on the gear stick. You introduce unnecessary wear into parts of the gearbox that would usually last the life of the car

I thought the answer to my question would be fantasy - and you have proved that beyond all reasonable doubt!!

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??? Not fantasy. Fact.

 

Cheers,

- Sent via TapaTalk

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Not an issue if you steer an auto.   :wink:

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I thought the answer to my question would be fantasy - and you have proved that beyond all reasonable doubt!!

Just to be clear, this applies to manuals only.

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Questions I still have:

Is it important to always try and fully release the clutch? It makes traffic a pain to leave a gap so that there's enough room for this, but what about reverse parking etc? If the clutch is not either fully in or fully out the clutch plates are rubbing together. It just means the plates will wear out quicker.

Should you always use the handbrake when starting off up an incline? Either way is good to be able to do but I reckon there is less wear on the clutch if you use the handbrake. You are not jumping off the brake and revving like mad while releasing the clutch to stop rolling backwards. Especially on steep hills.

 

This.

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??? Not fantasy. Fact.

 

Cheers,

- Sent via TapaTalk

I doubt that.

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Suit yourself. Obviously you're an expert on the subject. Please educate us on why this is fantasy and the various information presented below is fantasy?

From page 247 of Owner's Manual, Manual Transmission section on the Mk7 Golf R:

"Do not rest your hand on the gearshift lever while driving. Over time, the pressure will cause premature wear in the transmission."

Here's a screen grab of another manual from the video below which explains the same thing. Given your responses I suspect you might not be bothered to watch the video but hey manufacturers just write stuff for the hell of it don't they.

fbd832b6ca9b3268eeed4b698e6e5997.jpg



Cheers,
- Sent via TapaTalk Edited by Treza360
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Left hand should always be on the handbrake when not changing gears ... 

Stirrer :P

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No that's perfectly fine. Ripping skids is awesome. Double points if it's in a shopping centre car park. Tripple if it's a maccas carpark.

 

Cheers,

- Sent via TapaTalk

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Tripple if it's a maccas carpark.

 

Cheers,

- Sent via TapaTalk

 

With maccas trays underneath the rear wheels you don't need the handbrake.

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With maccas trays underneath the rear wheels you don't need the handbrake.

Don't you put the handbrake on to keep the trays there (... I've never done the R&D)?

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Here's R182 in rally training mode demonstrating this technique: Pure gold :wink:

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So back to OP

 

If you're going on a short trip is it worth trying to rev it a bit higher or hold higher revs to make sure you reach optimum temperature by the time you reach your destination? I've heard a long time ago that it increases service intervals in BMW and mb, but wouldn't know why, and if it's worth it.

Jason you have your car warm before it leaves the garage, so I'm guessing your response, but the way I've heard you drive I think that's for a different reason

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Isn't the whole idea of reaching the working temperature to ensure all the parts have expanded to their working size? I'm not sure trying to head it up more quickly by working it harder is what was intended. 

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Someone will correct me here ... but as I understand it the reason it's good to not engage the clutch when unnecessary is excessive wear on the thrust bearing.

Anecdotally confirmed. Hearing a noise which is diagnosed as worn thrust bearing, most likely due to the fact that myself and previous owner of my car are inner-suburb dwellers (and therefore any driving to get anywhere is very stop-start / back-street based).

 

No indication yet how long it will still be good for, not urgent but definitely a "monitor" situation. If the whole gearbox assembly needs to come off, it might be time for a quaife diff...

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Better go out the front, start the car and put a (couple) of brick(s) on the clutch pedal.

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Well since Buddy doesn't drive a Clio anymore someone has to say it.

The rev limiter is there to be bashed. Do it and do it often.

Obey the ratio of tyre to tarmac wear. If your local council isn't out there patching your favourite corners you're not driving hard enough.

 

As a personal habit I check my tyres most days for debris like a rogue screw or anything out of the ordinary around the skirt area of the car. 

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Well since Buddy doesn't drive a Clio anymore someone has to say it.

The rev limiter is there to be bashed. Do it and do it often.

Obey the ratio of tyre to tarmac wear. If your local council isn't out there patching your favourite corners you're not driving hard enough.

 

As a personal habit I check my tyres most days for debris like a rogue screw or anything out of the ordinary around the skirt area of the car.

No reference to girls?

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No reference to girls?

 

Ah yes. Reshape your splitter slightly so it comes to a point in the middle.

It's now a panty plough and it adds aero.

 

Am I doin' it right?

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You don't need to reshape anything on a clio 2 because girls immediately assume you aren't interested...

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I have been watching a few YouTube videos on common mistakes people make with autos and manuals, and realised there are a lot of varying opinions out there.

 

I was hoping this could be a thread of sage advice for taking good care of your car.

 

Some things I think I know for sure:

 

General-

Don't flog your car until it's warm

Allow some time after starting your car before moving off (don't start and move off immediately, to ensure oil's circulating etc)

 

Manual-

Don't ride the clutch

Don't keep the clutch in and have it in gear (eg sit there in 1st at traffic lights)

Don't hold it on the bite point for long up a hill

Rev match when changing down

Don't rest your hand on the gear lever when it's in great

 

Auto-

Don't coast in neutral

 

Questions I still have:

Is it important to always try and fully release the clutch? It makes traffic a pain to leave a gap so that there's enough room for this, but what about reverse parking etc?

Should you always use the handbrake when starting off up an incline?

Most importantly, my neighbour revs the crap out of his car when it's sitting in the garage (presumably it's warm), please tell me it will blow up soon.

Can't remember the other questions but I've got more I'll post when I remember...

Hi guys,

 

1st manual car and it's a phase 2 172, great fun so far!

 

Just opinion on coming to a traffic light, roundabout , junction

 

What do people do?

 

Downshift or coast in neutral?

 

Sorry for the rookie questions

 

Thank you in advance !

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Hi guys,

 

1st manual car and it's a phase 2 172, great fun so far!

 

Just opinion on coming to a traffic light, roundabout , junction

 

What do people do?

 

Downshift or coast in neutral?

 

 

Always try and be in gear.

Sooner or later you are going to need to be in gear, so might as well make it sooner than later.

 

 

These days most cars are fairly decent and you can probably get away with coasting in neutral,  but some of the carby cars i learned to drive on would stall, or have no synchro (or a flat battery or no starter motor or dying alternator or craped out brakes or all of the above) so you soon learned to always keep these cars in gear with revs during deceleration.

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Hi guys,

 

1st manual car and it's a phase 2 172, great fun so far!

 

Just opinion on coming to a traffic light, roundabout , junction

 

What do people do?

 

Downshift or coast in neutral  I just lift off accelerator and use the brakes. If you can see the road is clear, select the right gear and accelerate away.

 

Edited by apple3337

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Hi guys,

 

1st manual car and it's a phase 2 172, great fun so far!

 

Just opinion on coming to a traffic light, roundabout , junction

 

What do people do?

 

Downshift or coast in neutral I just lift off accelerator and use the brakes. If you can see the road is clear, select the right gear and accelerate away.

 

Great opinions, thanks guys

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Hi guys,

 

1st manual car and it's a phase 2 172, great fun so far!

 

Just opinion on coming to a traffic light, roundabout , junction

 

What do people do?

 

Downshift or coast in neutral  I just lift off accelerator and use the brakes. If you can see the road is clear, select the right gear and accelerate away.

 

 

 

Traffic lights and road junctions I tend to down shift thru the gears (depending on need may 'short shift') and allow the motor to slow me down unless I have to use the brakes to allow for people stopping quicker in front of me. I try to judge that I will be almost stopped by the time I reach the lights or the junction. If you down shift you will always be able to accelerate if you have the need. NOW with regard to roundabouts, as long as it's safe, i.e., no traffic, I try to maintain legal road speed through them. I have some favourites that take away the boredom of having to meet legal requirements. Don't advocate breaking the law in any way.    :wink:

Edited by cairnsy
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Traffic lights and road junctions I tend to down shift thru the gears (depending on need may 'short shift') and allow the motor to slow me down unless I have to use the brakes to allow for people stopping quicker in front of me. I try to judge that I will be almost stopped by the time I reach the lights or the junction. If you down shift you will always be able to accelerate if you have the need. NOW with regard to roundabouts, as long as it's safe, i.e., no traffic, I try to maintain legal road speed through them. I have some favourites that take away the boredom of having to meet legal requirements. Don't advocate breaking the law in any way.    :wink:

 

Understeering into the inside kurb of a roundabout exit does a lot more than just a bit of gutter rash ... so don't just assume you can do what has been practised above over many years. :)  

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^ Agree cairnsy, I think you'll find that most bike riders will do this - always be in the right gear to take off again if you need to. I don't ascribe to the view that braking must always be performed by the brakes. Engine braking ensures that you're always in gear and ready to go and clutch wear is insignificant, especially if you rev match. Although, having said that, I must also say that I use the brakes more in the Megane than I've ever done before due to the hopeless engine braking of a low compression engine.

 

There is one difference between the ways I use the clutch in the car and on the bike. In the car if I'm stopped at lights I'm in neutral with the clutch out, no use wearing out the thrust bearing unnecessarily, while on the bike I'm in first with the clutch in ready to go if I have to get out if someone's way.

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^ Agree cairnsy, I think you'll find that most bike riders will do this - always be in the right gear to take off again if you need to. I don't ascribe to the view that braking must always be performed by the brakes. Engine braking ensures that you're always in gear and ready to go and clutch wear is insignificant, especially if you rev match. Although, having said that, I must also say that I use the brakes more in the Megane than I've ever done before due to the hopeless engine braking of a low compression engine.

 

There is one difference between the ways I use the clutch in the car and on the bike. In the car if I'm stopped at lights I'm in neutral with the clutch out, no use wearing out the thrust bearing unnecessarily, while on the bike I'm in first with the clutch in ready to go if I have to get out if someone's way.

Hi guys,

 

Does anyone use the handbrake at a stop sign rather than the brakes?

 

I tend to over rev to start off in gear 1..

 

Cheers

^ Agree cairnsy, I think you'll find that most bike riders will do this - always be in the right gear to take off again if you need to. I don't ascribe to the view that braking must always be performed by the brakes. Engine braking ensures that you're always in gear and ready to go and clutch wear is insignificant, especially if you rev match. Although, having said that, I must also say that I use the brakes more in the Megane than I've ever done before due to the hopeless engine braking of a low compression engine.

 

There is one difference between the ways I use the clutch in the car and on the bike. In the car if I'm stopped at lights I'm in neutral with the clutch out, no use wearing out the thrust bearing unnecessarily, while on the bike I'm in first with the clutch in ready to go if I have to get out if someone's way.

I mean once stationary , using handbrake

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Do you mean starting on a hill?

 

You should only user it on a hill (if you need to), when parked or in a rally. IMHO

Edited by R182

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