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Old 22nd June 2011, 10:35   #1
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Default Starting off in 2nd gear - Advisable?

Hello friends

I have seen many people (especially drivers) skip the 1st gear and instead put it into the 2nd gear and take off. Their view was that since the car is in regular use and constantly running, even the 2nd gear will be able to generate enough power to put the vehicle into motion without putting any strain on the engine. But this does not sound convincing.

Tried it myself and did not like the way the engine kinda 'pulled' the vehicle to motion in 2nd gear as compared to the smooth takeoff in the 1st gear.

Though logically it does not make sense to skip the 1st gear, given my lack of technical knowledge, would request our tech gurus to share their views on this practice. Does it have any lasting effect on the engine or any other part?

Sandy
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Old 22nd June 2011, 11:03   #2
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Default Re: Take off in 2nd gear - Advicable?

It is a bad practice and should be avoided.

It will reduce the life of your clutch.

Rohan
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Old 22nd June 2011, 11:10   #3
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Default Re: Take off in 2nd gear - Advicable?

This habit is a throwback to the bad old days of Amby's and Fiat's that had synchromesh gears only in the higher gears (3rd and 4th? need to confirm this). That required one to press the clutch twice for each gear change - from 1st to 2nd, for example - with a lot of "feel" being involved in the process to get the gears synchronized. Lots of people simply ignored the 1st gear unless going uphill.

There is no need to use these techniques as all gears-boxes are synchromesh now-a-days. The worse one could do starting off in 2nd is to wear-out the clutch faster than normal.
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Old 22nd June 2011, 11:11   #4
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Default Re: Take off in 2nd gear - Advicable?

Its always best to take off in 1st gear, your clutch wear and tear will be less.

Only if its a downward slope, wherein once you leave brakes the car gain slow momemtum on its own, then you can downshift straight to 2nd and take off. In all other circumstances starting on 1st Gear is the right option.
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Old 22nd June 2011, 11:34   #5
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Default Re: Take off in 2nd gear - Advicable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandy28 View Post
Hello friends

I have seen many people (especially drivers) skip the 1st gear and instead put it into the 2nd gear and take off. Their view was that since the car is in regular use and constantly running, even the 2nd gear will be able to generate enough power to put the vehicle into motion without putting any strain on the engine. But this does not sound convincing.


Sandy
Sandy, a small correction, it should be if the second gear generates enough Torque (and not power) or not. For the same engine speed there is more torque available in a lower gear (P (power)=T (torque)* W(angular velocity)) which makes it easier to pull in a lower gear. Now there are two factors that influence this, 1) Gear ratios - if the second gear reduction generates enough torque to pull the vehicle from stand still, I believe it is safe. Also note that if there is additional load (eg luggage, passengers, upward slope etc.) on the car, the torque generated may not be enough and it is advised to use first gear. Also while attempting this make sure the clutch isn't slipping. 2) Engine capacity - This isn't really a scientific factor, but you would notice that smaller engines produce less torque at say X rpm compared to a larger capacity engine. So if you are driving a sub 1300CC car chances are that your car will struggle to pull from stand still and would be messing up your clutch.
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Old 22nd June 2011, 11:38   #6
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Default Re: Take off in 2nd gear - Advicable?

This is normally the driving style of 'taxi drivers'.
You can start a manual car in any gear if you really want to. However, you generally start a car in first gear from a stop because that's the gear in which your engine gets the most leverage against the pavement and therefore your engine is doing the least work and your clutch has to do the least buffering between the two. Starting in first will generally save you gas and make your clutch last longer.

Cheers!

Last edited by volkman10 : 22nd June 2011 at 11:40.
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Old 22nd June 2011, 11:51   #7
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Default Re: Take off in 2nd gear - Advicable?

Doing it in a Diesel Vehicle which has good amounts of Torque might not actually damage the engine provided the gradient of road is downhill. Have seen many commercial drivers (LCV,MCV& HCV) folks do it. Not quite sure on how they do it for the Volvo Heavy Duty Trailers though.
Petrol Engines always better to use the first gear and start off from there.

My 2 Cents
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Old 22nd June 2011, 11:57   #8
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Default Re: Take off in 2nd gear - Advicable?

I have noticed this more so in diesel vehicles. Also I have come to understand that a diesel with good amount of torque will pull easily without too much strain on the engine. (It's still more strain than that in 1st cog). I own a diesel and have noticed my driver do the same in stop-go traffic.

So some expert advise?
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Old 22nd June 2011, 11:58   #9
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Default Re: Take off in 2nd gear - Advicable?

Please DO NOT do this in any passenger cars. It will burn your clutch, and reduce FE.

Why load the engine unnecessarily when you have a lower gear?. Whats the point? Is it that hard to shift a gear?
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Old 22nd June 2011, 12:02   #10
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Default Re: Take off in 2nd gear - Advicable?

I can tell you from personal experience that it is sheer suicide for the clutch.

My mom was taught that way by the driving school guys. It took a clutch burning at 1000km in a new M800 to drive home the point.
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Old 22nd June 2011, 12:04   #11
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Default Re: Take off in 2nd gear - Advicable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrunkenMonk View Post
This habit is a throwback to the bad old days of Amby's and Fiat's that had synchromesh gears only in the higher gears (3rd and 4th? need to confirm this). That required one to press the clutch twice for each gear change - from 1st to 2nd, for example - with a lot of "feel" being involved in the process to get the gears synchronized. Lots of people simply ignored the 1st gear unless going uphill.

There is no need to use these techniques as all gears-boxes are synchromesh now-a-days. The worse one could do starting off in 2nd is to wear-out the clutch faster than normal.
The ambassador 4 speed gear box had synchromesh in 2nd, 3rd and 4th gear. This meant that the 1st gear does not engage while the vehicle is in motion. No double de clutching is required. It was common practice to start petrol amby's in 2nd gear. The gear ratios were different from current cars which have a short 1st gear. Hence the amby could pull in 2nd gear without much difficulty. However it is not adivisable to do so in current generation cars as the 2nd gear is quite tall compared to first.
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Old 22nd June 2011, 12:14   #12
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Default Re: Take off in 2nd gear - Advicable?

It basically depends on which vehicle it is. I always used to do it on Bolero no issues at all and even the vehicle never used to sweat. But now I drive scorpio and it doesn't take off the way Bolero used to. To conclude, it basically depends on the vehicle and its torque figures.
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Old 22nd June 2011, 12:15   #13
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Default Re: Take off in 2nd gear - Advicable?

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Old 22nd June 2011, 12:21   #14
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Default Re: Take off in 2nd gear - Advicable?

If 2nd gear could be used instead of the 1st gear for starting from a standstill, the first gear could have always be done away with. 2nd gear must be used only in situations where the load is less and you are taking off from a rolling start. Gearing is provided to reduce the load on the engine such that Engine always works near the ideal band. Although immediate effects may not be visible but with consistent usage the driver may end up with a rapidly deteriorating clutch.

Spike
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Old 22nd June 2011, 14:01   #15
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Default Re: Take off in 2nd gear - Advicable?

Its always better to use 1st gear to start.Its ratios are chosen in such a way that you can pull off the car easy , maximizing clutch usability and better fuel efficiency.

Slightly off topic, but i would like to ask another question.
My one friend used to shift directly from third to fifth or sometimes from 1st to third. Does skipping gears in that fashion cause any harm in long run? Is it a smarter way to drive than regular?
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