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Old 23rd June 2004, 12:00   #1
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Default The best way to use the clutch, gear and brakes

I've always been curious to know the best way to use the three main controls in a car - clutch, gears, brakes.
Well my feeling is that these are the most important of em all from the drivers seat..

I'm a guy who has seldom taken the co-driver's seat or the rear seat, and always wanted to know how the other's do behind the wheel.

I'm used to holding down the clutch while taking turns, applying brakes but not sure if this is the best thing to do.

I'm also aware that you can apply brakes without using the clutch and use gears for in breaking faster, which could do some damage to the gearbox as well.

It is clear that the usage is different when we are city driving/ racing.

Will be great to hear how the rest of the team drives.

-Neel
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Old 23rd June 2004, 14:02   #2
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Hey Neel,

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]I'm used to holding down the clutch while taking turns, applying brakes but not sure if this is the best thing to do.
Thats a BIG no-no!! Never press the clutch pedal down while cornering and/or going downhill. And NEVER EVER do this suddenly in the middle of a corner, as it will unbalance your car, at best making for a jerky ride, and at worst, cause you to spin.

What you need to do is engage the correct gear and the correct speed at which you can take a corner BEFORE you enter the corner. once you are turning in, the only action should be with the steering wheel and a constant throttle. This same principle holds true while climbing steep hills/inclines as well.

Remember this rule: Always finish you gear changes and braking before the corner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]I'm also aware that you can apply brakes without using the clutch and use gears for in breaking faster, which could do some damage to the gearbox as well.
Yes, you most definately can apply the brakes without pressing the clutch. This is the best way, causing the least disturbance to your car while its in motion.

As far as shifting down while decelerating, this is esstential once you start driving faster. However, to do this without causing excesive driveline lash, its best to blip the throttle to match the revvs when shifting down. I guggest you start with the basics first, as described above, and then move onto this.

Once you become good at this, you will instantly feel the different in taking corners...suddenly, you can take 'em much faster! Plus, its just a great feeling to downshift into a corner, braking late and matching the revs perfectly...gives me goosebumps just talking about it!

Rtech
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Old 23rd June 2004, 14:30   #3
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for slowing down quickly it's imp to use engine braking as well as ur normal brakes.
rest of it i thin Rtech has covered it well.
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Old 23rd June 2004, 15:23   #4
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Hey Neel,

Rtech has pretty much covered it, let me just add>

If you brake while in gear, without leaving the clutch, you will get much better braking and put a lot less strain on your brakes, keeping them cooler and making them last longer. However, better than staying in gear while braking is downshifting before braking. Say you are at 50km/h in 5th gear and u need to break, you can brake and downshift to 3rd gear at that speed with ease. Just make sure that you dont downshift to too low a gear that will cause the engine to revv too high which can be bad. Instead you can keep downshifting while braking, (as our friend SG says, he goes from 6th to 5th to 4th to 3th to 2nd to 1st then nuttral (inside joke ..sorry) )

Also, as rtech says Always finish you gear changes and braking before the corner, and keep a constant throttle through the corner., that is one way of doing it, but personally i finish the braking before the corner in normal driving, but then i still keep my foot on the brakes through the corner without actually applying any pressure, because in traffic it is quite common to come to a sudden stop in the middle of a corner, or to stop for pedestrians who could not see you approaching from around the corner..etc etc... so this reduces reaction time.

Engine braking (using the gearbox and engine for breaking) is not considered bad at all... sure maybe it reduces the life of your gearbox by a couple of k-kms, and maybe you have to replace your clutch at 67k-km instead of 70k-km, but it extends the life of your brakepads by 6k-kms and decreases your stopping distance which is priceless as an extra 2meters of braking distance can make the difference between life or death. (all the above "km & m" figures being very rough estimates)

cya
Rehaan



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Old 23rd June 2004, 18:35   #5
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cornering.. brake as u approach to a controlable speed, brake / gear down shift together. hold speed first half of the corner and accelerate on the second half
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Old 23rd June 2004, 23:32   #6
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hmmm....learnt a lot....got to try all of these in my first driving class..
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Old 24th June 2004, 00:22   #7
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Well... I agree.. with everything... and have not much to say.

1 point though..... say I am going at 100km/h in the 5th... and have to brake to almost stop (not talking about emergency braking), I'd brake till almost the 5th gear's bottom i.e. 30-40km/h then press the clutch and stop. I won't ever go below the 1000rpm mark in the gear ... as that'll do more damage to engine than any good to the brake pads.

Well in Emergency braking... I have never got time to press the clutch... its a reflex braking and..... I don't remember the clutch then.

And say if u brake too hard... u lock your wheels (or maybe slow them down to 2km/h), and if u r in a gear then the engine stalls. (then u can do a lot more damage)

Best Approach : when speed goes below the limit of the gear either shift to lower gear (if u'll still be rolling) or press the clutch (if u have to completely stop)

lower limit is normally 30-35km/h (of the highest gear), so I guess u can always stop from that speed without engine braking.
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Old 24th June 2004, 01:00   #8
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Oh and about gears... for me.. I'd normally drive like
1st gear .. 0 to 10
2nd gear .. 10 to 35
3rd gear .. 25 to 50
4th gear .. 45 to 80
5th gear .. 60 to hell

firstly this is not ... like fixed things.. but I use these for a mix of adequate power in traffic and my dear fuel cost. ... well at times I get 15km/l with ac from my WagonR.

Different cars.. different shifts... and also depends on load and ac.... 90% I am alone.

Well don't take me for a defensive driver... i am always ready to use 2nd gear in place of 5th...lol
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Old 24th June 2004, 12:50   #9
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ur referring to differential loading up by min in gear speed.. normal breaking its always better to down shift dont keep it in top gear.. use acc to blip the rpm high so that u get a smooth decelaration while down shifting, engine braking is a great boon when it comes to braking control..

plan ur braking, keep a respectable gap from the vehicle in front, have seen loads of banged up cars due to tail gating.. watch the brake lights (praying that it works) dab the brake in advance (not necessarily slow down but just to warn with brake lights) so that the driver behind is alert

controrary to gun ho city racers who think they make up time with race accleration and last minute braking, its a pure waste of time and wearing out the car and yourselves..

have patience while driving and maintain smooth acceleartion and retardation, donot cut lane.. and u will be amazed to see yourself right behind the racer who was zig zaging in the traffic..
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Old 24th June 2004, 19:53   #10
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...say im heavily braking into a corner...how do i get the gear to shift into first while im still braking??
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Old 24th June 2004, 21:04   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (Tom @ June 25 2004,04:23)]...say im heavily braking into a corner...how do i get the gear to shift into first while im still braking??
Are you talking about A/T or M/T. Coz in M/T you can manually shift down to 1st provided you don't over revv it.

When i'm doing 100kmph and i need to brake hard. I shift into 3rd, slow down then 2nd slow down and then finally 1st and keep the clutch pressed when the car stops.

Remember, higher the revs, more the engine braking. But never ever over rev your engine. It always helps to know upto what speed each gear goes.

Engine braking is used when you need to brake from high speeds within a small distance. For normal sedate driving, i wouldn't really need to engine brake.

Regards..
Shan2nu
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Old 25th June 2004, 00:30   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (Neel @ June 23 2004,10:30)]I'm used to holding down the clutch while taking turns, applying brakes but not sure if this is the best thing to do.
dear neel
dont ever do it.
use the clutch only when changing gears or when in almost zero speed in first gear when u r about to stall.
make it a habit to never use clutch other than when changing gears.
if u do what u have written about using clutch while turning then u need no brakes .either the vehicle in front or the wall will stop u .
drive safe,
satya
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Old 25th June 2004, 04:47   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (Tom @ June 24 2004,18:23)]...say im heavily braking into a corner...how do i get the gear to shift into first while im still braking??
Hey Tom,

Thats a pretty simple one.
Will take a bit of practise to perfect, but im sure you will get it quick.

Its basically a mix of two things. Heel&toe braking and double clutching.

Heel and toe braking, incase you do not know, is where you press the brakes with your toe of your right foot while you blip the throttle with your right heel.

(Im assuming you had a problem slotting into 1st gear smoothly after agressively comming into a corner ...right?)

Thats where double clutching comes in.
You will be using heel and toe to blip the throttle, and that itself will help you slot into 1st more easily (even if you just clutch a single time).
But if you want slightly more difficult footwork, but a much cleaner shift, you gotta double clutch.

Read up about double clutching and what it does and how it works in this thread on double clutching.

Give it a shott and see if you notice a difference and let me know!

cya
Rehaan



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Old 25th June 2004, 09:21   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (Rehaan @ June 25 2004,13:17)]Give it a shott and see if you notice a difference and let me know!
Just one more thing. I'f you're gonna try toe heeling then make sure you do it on a flat ground and not on the roads.

It will take some time to get used to........

Regards...
Shan2nu
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Old 25th June 2004, 13:31   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (Shan2nu @ June 24 2004,19:34)]Are you talking about A/T or M/T. Coz in M/T you can manually shift down to 1st provided you don't over revv it.

When i'm doing 100kmph and i need to brake hard. I shift into 3rd, slow down then 2nd slow down and then finally 1st and keep the clutch pressed when the car stops.

Remember, higher the revs, more the engine braking. But never ever over rev your engine. It always helps to know upto what speed each gear goes.
what do u mean by over revv?
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