In Reply to: Will this damage engine? posted by Lance on September 24, 1999 at 21:50:21:
Who knows. As another newbie manual driver, some rambling observations:
1. THE USER MANUAL SUCKS. I can't believe an engineering-driven car doesn't have an engineering-level discussion of optimal shift points, etc. Amazing. My old Topaz had more (manual covered autos and manual transmissions). But ooooh, they have three pages on that darned difficult automatic transmission! Yeah, that's a stumper. I had a Volvo S70 rental a few months ago. The manual was FAR more technical. Not hard to read, but very thorough. The BMW manual almost reads like a computer manual.
OK, flame off. But the manual does have a useful pointer that the gear lever is spring-loaded to neutral between third and fourth. I think this is to help drivers avoid stuff like, say, downshifting out of fifth into second.
2. Be gentle. Don't force it. If you're gentle, you can feel the spring action mentioned in #1.
3. If you have a problem, check out:
(I don't do this, but it's cool and may help)
4. If you jump, your RPM was too low for the gear; if you whirr, your RPM is too fast.
5. I have discovered that the car BEGS to be driven aggressively. I never miss RPMS when shifting fast, and never stall from stops when assertive on the throttle.
6. Optimum shift points for jolt-free acceleration, level surface:
1->2: 4500 RPM.
2->3: 5500 RPM
3->4: 5500 RPM
This will be so smooth you'll swear you missed the gear detent.
: I am a newbie standard driver. I am afraid I am hurting the car in the first few weeks.
: 1. From 2nd I went to 1st by mistake. Car screeched to a halt. This happedn twice in last two weeks.
: 2. In 2nd, clutch and break down, I released cutch. Car screeched again but briefely. Happned once.
: In both cases RPM was about 4500. The car is just awsome and will hate to lose it.