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Old 14th September 2007, 16:25   #1
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Default My Driving technique- right or wrong?

Hi guys,

i just have these couple of doubts abt the way i drive my Alto Lxi 2002; wanna know the inputs of other members on my "technique"

1) i usually press the clutch while slowing down from a high gear.
for ex: if i see a Stop sign from a distance then i press the clutch and remove my foot from the accelerator (tho i never press clutch & Accelrtr at the SAME time)

Is that a acceptable thing? i hope im not causing any wear & tear to the clutch?

2)its been some yrs since i have been driving now- but i have never managed to learn how to smoothly change gears (especially the 1st & the 2nd) !!any pointers?!

(P.S: My Mileage tho is impeccable: 17.75kmpl with Speed !!)

3) i have to do abt 2600Kms of driving a month- half in highway, half in city.
Shud i go for CNG ?
How much wud b the cost/km ?
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Old 14th September 2007, 16:57   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BUXX View Post

i1) i usually press the clutch while slowing down from a high gear.
for ex: if i see a Stop sign from a distance then i press the clutch and remove my foot from the accelerator (tho i never press clutch & Accelrtr at the SAME time)


while slowing down from high speeds on narrow roads and heavy traffic conditions, it is always advisable to press the brake paddle gently and then the clutch to counter the momentary increase in speed.


Please check the compatibility of your car with MUL for CNG fitment.

One thing is for sure that CNG/LPG fitting would eat up most of your rear trunk space.

whats the reading on your odo?
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Old 14th September 2007, 17:06   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BUXX View Post
1) i usually press the clutch while slowing down from a high gear.
for ex: if i see a Stop sign from a distance then i press the clutch and remove my foot from the accelerator (tho i never press clutch & Accelrtr at the SAME time)
Is that a acceptable thing? i hope im not causing any wear & tear to the clutch?
IMO - you are wearing off the clutch - apply the brakes without pressing the clutch - use engine brake to slow down the car. clutch should be pressed only to avoid stalling the engine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BUXX View Post
2)its been some yrs since i have been driving now- but i have never managed to learn how to smoothly change gears (especially the 1st & the 2nd) !!any pointers?!
(P.S: My Mileage tho is impeccable: 17.75kmpl with Speed !!)
IMO you can press the gas pedal a bit to bring up the rev and that will alow smooth acceleration in all gears.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BUXX View Post
3) i have to do abt 2600Kms of driving a month- half in highway, half in city.
Shud i go for CNG ?
How much wud b the cost/km ?
i have no clue - sorry yaar! but then if you drive light footed - your FE will be better.
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Old 14th September 2007, 19:21   #4
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You are on your way to clutch plate replacement sir.

Regarding CNG, it would be a wise decision to switch over. Trust me, it would save a lot of money! Be sure of the availabilty part though.
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Old 15th September 2007, 01:32   #5
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Just a small off-shoot -

I tend to put the car on neutral and coast at times, usually when I know I cannot maintain speed but there is enough free stretch to coast along (the engine's running though). Then when due I engage an appropriate lower gear for re-acceleration. I do this because I worry that I'll wear out the clutch riding on it if I kept a gear engaged while coasting. On the other hand experts say that coasting at neutral is bad for the car. Should I discontinue this practice?
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Old 15th September 2007, 09:46   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chirantanaranya View Post
I do this because I worry that I'll wear out the clutch riding on it if I kept a gear engaged while coasting.
Train your left foot to not ride the clutch. That is the best long term solution.


Quote:
Originally Posted by chirantanaranya View Post
On the other hand experts say that coasting at neutral is bad for the car. Should I discontinue this practice?
I can see no harm coming to your car or to you by coasting in neutral.
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Old 15th September 2007, 10:54   #7
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You are never in complete control of your car while cruising in neutral. Always best to down shift while slowing down.
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Old 15th September 2007, 18:05   #8
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Quote:
You are never in complete control of your car while cruising in neutral.
The most important fact. Never coast, either by holding down the clutch or by keeping in neutral. Only in those last few yards before stopping when the engine would otherwise stall, or when you are 'nudging' the car along in really, really slow traffic.

You can just use engine breaking when changing 5th->4th->3rd, if the intention is to slow the car gently. 3rd->2nd is too big a difference in engine speed/car speed, and you must brake as you release the clutch.

Alternatively, if your intention is to maintain speed (as when changing down to give power for acceleration, or for a potential hazard), you must apply accelerator as you release the clutch. release the clutch gently.

If the speed of both clutch plates is equal when they touch, the car's progress will be smooth.

Decades back, my father demonstrated to me how to drive without touching the clutch. Apart from stopping and starting he didn't touch it once over several miles of hills and bends.

I probably still can't do that...
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Old 15th September 2007, 18:30   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
Decades back, my father demonstrated to me how to drive without touching the clutch. Apart from stopping and starting he didn't touch it once over several miles of hills and bends.

I probably still can't do that...
How is this done? Surely you'd use the clutch while shifting gears?
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Old 15th September 2007, 19:11   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anupmathur View Post
How is this done? Surely you'd use the clutch while shifting gears?
I was just about to say the same thing. Clutch can't be eliminated completely.

Buxx,

1. This is how I do it in my Baleno. Let us say I am in my 5th gear at 70km/hr, my left foot would be on the foot rest and I'd brake gently/hard depending on the situation. If the speed drops to say, 50 km/hr (gentle), I need to worry about nothing since the engine won't crib as the RPM drop would be minimal. However, if I continue to brake (or brake a little harder) and reduce the speed to 35, I know it would be a little harsh on the engine because of the RPM drop. I'll press the clutch only when the speed drops to this level, not otherwise. I'll clutch and shift to say, the third and release the clutch immediately - continue to control the movement with minimal throttle or gasing it as per my requirement. So, the use of clutch should be minimal when you're in the top gear.
It has the following advantages:
a. The clutch wear and tear is minimal
b. The car handles much better even when I have to brake a little harder

2. If you're used to the older type of non-syncromesh clutch, you would have a problem that you'd find the clutch very smoothly engaged/disengaged.

If I have to chip in my 2 cents, I'd ask you to shift from 1st to 2nd (rarely vice-versa) only when you know your engine is between the comfortable and too-much-to-handle zone. You should be able to tell by listening to the engine.

Other than this, if you find that when you shift from 1st to 2nd, you experience a weird jerk, it is because you've been doing what you mentioned in part 1 extensively. You'll need your mechanic to have a look at the clutch.

P.S: Fellas, please correct me if I've gone wrong somewhere.
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Old 15th September 2007, 20:00   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anupmathur View Post
How is this done? Surely you'd use the clutch while shifting gears?
My father (now late these past 15 years, I regret) was born in 1913 and learnt to drive even before there were licences tests and regulations in UK. I believe he even did a bit of racing on both cars and bikes before a broken leg put him off.

Of course there was no synchromesh in his early driving days, so even using the clutch required double declutching --- a technique that both my parents had no problem with, but I never mastered due to complete lack of need. The one time I tried driving a non-synchro gear box I made a real mess of it.

The secret is in getting those cogs rotating at the right speed while in neutral before slipping the car into gear. This equalisation is something that the clutch helps with every time we change.

This was back in the 1960s: and this is all I remember about how he did it. I think he bet him a weeks pocket money that he could and he showed that, for him, it was easy!

It was 40 years ago: I can't tell you how it was done, but I promise you I did see it with my own eyes.

I went through all the usual thinking I knew best as a youngster, but I don't remember ever arguing with my father over cars or driving: my dad was a wizard with cars
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Old 16th September 2007, 09:09   #12
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Yes, upshift was possible without depressing the clutch - I used to do it sometimes in our old Hindustan Landmaster. But for downshifts, clutch was always required. BTW, that car had ynchromesh in gears 2,3 & 4 only, I think.
First gear had no synchromesh. Hazy memories....
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Old 18th September 2007, 21:50   #13
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I have seen some bus drivers never use the clutch to shift gears & some others who double clutch. Wonder how ?
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Old 19th September 2007, 00:37   #14
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i have done the gearshifts in two wheelers without clutch. downshift is hard and causes over-revving of the engine. upshifts are silky smooth.

but in a car, never tried, and now i drive an auto transmission, so may never try either.

@buxx and chitran*, it's a necessary evil. even i know riding clutch cleverly will give you beter mileage, and it may not be even that prone to damage as is being portrayed, but for the sake of safety and your own comfort, try not to ride on clutch or in neutral.

it's a small price to pay for our safety.
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Old 19th September 2007, 12:24   #15
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well i think that coasting is bad for the clutch so its always a better idea to use engine breaking.

p.s hey guys pls tell does engine breaking incruse your fuel consumption coz of the rise in rpm?
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