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Discussion Starter #1
some pretty dumb questions to you guys that's a skilled driver, but I wna ask:

If I'm on a roundabout, what gear should/could I be in?
What gears are for what miles/hr?
Would it damage my gearbox if I change from 5th gear to 3rd then to 1st??
(coz when I was learning my instructor said that it wouldn't, however some says that it would) :confused:

Thanks for your help!~~~ ^o^

PS: I havent driven since I pasted my test in mid-feb.... arrghhh.... I hope I dont forget how to drive :rolleyes:
 

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It depends on the engine revs of the current gear miss_tcy, if you are red lining it in fifth and drop it into 3rd you will most likely damage your engine and you will find yourself in an accident.

Given that you received this advice whilst you were learning you were probably ploding around at 30mph, nothing wrong with that but you are not taxing the engine and missing a gear out is not a problem, I do it myself whilst driving casually, so yes 5th to 3rd and 3rd to 1st is fine as long as you are not reving the engine too much.

As for your question re roundabouts, it depends on how you want to approach and go around that roundabout :wow: :eek:

2nd or 3rd with whatever revs you feel are necessary to give you the effect you want ;)

J.
 
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Why not consider a bit of extra driver training so you can pick the brains of someone in person?

I think the Institute of Advanced Motorist's Skill For Life course takes some beating for new drivers, especially as it is the bargain price of £139 and you should get at least 6 runs out of that. They'll work on your driving and help you improve your driving, technique and hopefully as a result confidence too.

Website - Institute of Advanced Motorists | Welcome to the IAM!
PDF about the "Skill for life" course - http://www.iam.org.uk/Resources/Institute Of Advanced Motorists/Documents/Advanced Driving/SfL Car 26.02.09 condensed.pdf

As a new driver you'll probably be looked on more favourably when it comes to insurance too as you've shown willing and taken the initiative yourself to carry out some further voluntary training, and as such, the course will probably pay for itself in potential insurance discount. For instance, I did the Skill for Life Bike course a few years back, which was great fun, and my insurer simply knocked off the price of the course from my premium so the course effectively paid for itself in the first year.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thx 4 advice~~~~

bridder: yer coz when i was still learning, driving seems to be different from how ppl wud usually drive once they've gt license and on their own haha.

wt I meant by roundabt was that I hear sum ppl on here say they're in 4th gear on roundabts?? But I just cant visualise how... like, 20m/h on 4th gear?? is that actually possible?? Wont ppl stall like that??

Bootsock: thx 4 ure IMA link haha,, I was considering to do Passplus, wt do u think of that??
I've always wanted to do it but I ddint wna learn from my instructor coz i wna try another car... and i cant seem to find a car that I wna learn in lol
yer, I heard passplus also reduces insurance :)
 
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Passplus seems worth doing (can't comment on actually doing it myself though as it came in too late for me) - Seems sensible too trying someone else to do the Passplus with, if you are considering it though, I'd do that first off especially as it's run by the DSA.

Also, it's probably worth pointing out that if you did do the IAM course too, that would be in your own car, so it's quite good to get to know your own car a bit more too.

In general though any additional training you can do is a good thing in my opinion, especially as in most cases it is fairly inexpensive, can potentially save you money and (should) improve your driving!
 

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wt I meant by roundabt was that I hear sum ppl on here say they're in 4th gear on roundabts?? But I just cant visualise how... like, 20m/h on 4th gear?? is that actually possible?? Wont ppl stall like that??
You can do that in a diesel no problem!:)
 

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Most cars will pull OK from 20 mph in 4th. BUT it's bad practice as you will be allowing the engine to labour (i.e. too high a gear at low revs). When you're learning to drive with a decent instructor, you're always taught good practice in gear-changing: the appropriate gear for the revs you're doing. Unfortunately many people throw good practice out of the window once they've got a bit of experience. The reason is they want to change gear as little as possible - and it's true they can get away with it. If, however, you want to care for your car and prolong its life - and want to take pride in your driving - you will change down (i.e. 4th to 3rd or 2nd) whenever you're approaching a junction or roundabout. It's also safer because in low gear you have more reserves of power if you have to avoid anything in a hurry (can pull away quicker). I believe the Alfa you're getting has six forward speeds; you will never need 5th or 6th in towns - they're meant for the open road.

The golden rule in engine preservation is that over-revving, as in being in too low a gear for your revs, is infinitely preferable to letting the engine labour in high gear. Sorry for long rambly reply.
 

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Hey Miss Tcy :) If you pick a good instructor you can do Passplus in your own car. You just need to demonstrate that it is insured for the purpose and maybe fit a 2nd rear view mirror? My instructor offered this to me before I even passed my driving test but when he was happy that he didn't need dual controls anymore.

Totally depends on the instructor. Independents seem to be more flexible (as opposed to BSM, The AA, Red Driving school etc etc)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Also, it's probably worth pointing out that if you did do the IAM course too, that would be in your own car, so it's quite good to get to know your own car a bit more too.
Cheers Bootsock for the advice :) I never actually know that IAM is done in my own car haha


You can do that in a diesel no problem!:)
But I'm not diesel lol

Most cars will pull OK from 20 mph in 4th. BUT it's bad practice as you will be allowing the engine to labour (i.e. too high a gear at low revs). When you're learning to drive with a decent instructor, you're always taught good practice in gear-changing: the appropriate gear for the revs you're doing. Unfortunately many people throw good practice out of the window once they've got a bit of experience. The reason is they want to change gear as little as possible - and it's true they can get away with it. If, however, you want to care for your car and prolong its life - and want to take pride in your driving - you will change down (i.e. 4th to 3rd or 2nd) whenever you're approaching a junction or roundabout. It's also safer because in low gear you have more reserves of power if you have to avoid anything in a hurry (can pull away quicker). I believe the Alfa you're getting has six forward speeds; you will never need 5th or 6th in towns - they're meant for the open road.

The golden rule in engine preservation is that over-revving, as in being in too low a gear for your revs, is infinitely preferable to letting the engine labour in high gear. Sorry for long rambly reply.
hey thanks for that!! That made a lot more sense to me now! ^^
I've always been arguing with my dad abt changing form 5-3-1gears, coz he says that 'back in those days' when he was learning to drive, he was ALWAYS taught to go down 5-4-3-2-1 gears step by step. Whereas when i learn now, its always been 'just go from 5th-3rd-1st' and my instructor says it doesn't damage the car or anything. I guess my dad is right afterall... haha

and also, wow, I never knew that over-revving in lower gears were more preferable than under-revving in high gears! :eek:

Thx 4 ure help!

There might me the misconception at the back of some people's minds that underrevving saves fuel.
I've always been told that if u rev less, it saves more fuel. Why isnt that correct??
:S
 

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hey thanks for that!! That made a lot more sense to me now! ^^
I've always been arguing with my dad abt changing form 5-3-1gears, coz he says that 'back in those days' when he was learning to drive, he was ALWAYS taught to go down 5-4-3-2-1 gears step by step. Whereas when i learn now, its always been 'just go from 5th-3rd-1st' and my instructor says it doesn't damage the car or anything. I guess my dad is right afterall... haha
You can "block change" without damaging the engine so long as you are at the correct speed/revs. For example if you are on a fast road and then traffic slows down suddenly you wouldn't worry yourself about going through all the gears as you slowed you would just dip the clutch and choose the correct gear for your new speed. I.e. 6th to 4th.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
hey, sorry I totally missed your comment somehow:S

Hey Miss Tcy :) If you pick a good instructor you can do Passplus in your own car. You just need to demonstrate that it is insured for the purpose and maybe fit a 2nd rear view mirror? My instructor offered this to me before I even passed my driving test but when he was happy that he didn't need dual controls anymore.

Totally depends on the instructor. Independents seem to be more flexible (as opposed to BSM, The AA, Red Driving school etc etc)
Passplus in my own car? but dont they need a clutch & brake n stuff on their side aswell tho.......?


You can "block change" without damaging the engine so long as you are at the correct speed/revs. For example if you are on a fast road and then traffic slows down suddenly you wouldn't worry yourself about going through all the gears as you slowed you would just dip the clutch and choose the correct gear for your new speed. I.e. 6th to 4th.
yer yer yer yer! Thats wt i initally thought, like, if I was driving at 6th gear or summing at 70m/h and I wna change gear, i'd automatically slow down aswell to summin like...40m/hr before I change to 4th gear. So i suppose..... it wont do that much damage if I skip a gear wud it.....?

But then, tbh, knowning my dad, when he drives the car he'll still go from 6-5-4-3-2-1 hahaha He hasn't drove a manual car for like...20+ years coz his car is an auto, so I think its gna be reli hard 4 him to drive and get used to my car lolz
 

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A quick tip for you.
Try and change down one gear at a time so that when you approach a roundabout etc you are in the correct gear.
My other half tends to drop a couple of gears when approaching a roundabout and when she releases the clutch she tends to disappear off in to the distance like a stabbed rat.
Very scary for me and not too good for my neck either. (Whip lash)
Also you can use the gears to slow the car down and take some of the pressure off the brakes.
 

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Hi, which gear you use on the roundabout depends on the radius of the roundabout. In general, if you are on the dual carriageway going at 70 and approaching an big empty roundabout with no traffic lights, you would technically be able to go around at about 50mph in 4th gear, but it would be quite crazy..

I doubt this is what the question was asking, but I'm going to explain which gear you should be in to get the fastest time possible, although you wouldn't do this on a roundabout in real life.
In racing terms, during a turn you want to be going at a speed where the tires are being used at their maximum potential, i.e. at the limit of their grip. If you go too fast, the tires simply slide (you experience this as understeer or oversteer, on a front wheel drive mito it will almost certainly be understeer on a roundabout).
Generally, the bigger the roundabout is the less you have to turn the wheel, so you can go faster and be in a higher gear.
To understand this, imagine going round a mini roundabout again and again; you couldn't be going more than about 15mph and would have to use first gear.
The point is, there is no set gear to use for roundabouts, as it depends on how big the roundabout is.

To get round a roundabout in the shortest time possible, you want to break as you approach the roundabout so that the tires are at the limit of their grip during the turn, then stay at constant speed as you are turning the roundabout, and then accelarate out of the roundabout as you straighten the wheel. The quickest time will normally be on the inside lane (closest to roundabout) (although this depends on the aerodynamic downforce and the grip of your car... but this doesnt' matter on a road car)
You don't want to be in a gear where your revs are as high as possible during the turn(near the red line) because this means you won't be able to accelarate out of the turn without changing up a gear. You want the rev counter to be around 3/4 of the way to the red line to give you the chance to accelarate.

After reading this racing theory, i would recommend that you DON'T try this on public roundabouts as you will almost certainly make a mistake if you haven't practised it before. Go into an empty car park and practice. or even better, get some tuition from a racing driver. The pass plus course or any advanced training course won't give you any idea on how to control your car properly (i've done it), so you need a racing driver.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
A quick tip for you.
Try and change down one gear at a time so that when you approach a roundabout etc you are in the correct gear.
My other half tends to drop a couple of gears when approaching a roundabout and when she releases the clutch she tends to disappear off in to the distance like a stabbed rat.
Very scary for me and not too good for my neck either. (Whip lash)
Also you can use the gears to slow the car down and take some of the pressure off the brakes.
:lol::lol:

seriously, there's so many conflicting ideas on here that i dnt even know whether to change it gear by gear, or to skip one or two :cry::cry:

but but but,
i wna ask, does any1 know whether skipping gears will save fuel??
also, wts the best gear to be in at wt speed that'll give me the most mpg on average??
Like, eg_ wud 5th gear at 40m/h be using less fuel that 3rd gear 40m/h??
 

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I only change down 5,4,3,2,1 if I'm in a hurry otherwise I'd change 5,3,1 or just leave it in 5th until I get towards the roundabout then drop it to 2 when I'm nearly stopped. You cant damage the car at all except when you rev the engine too high, if the revs are too low you'll just stall.

Best mpg is with the highest gear, so if the car will run happily in 5th at 40mph then thats the most fuel efficient gear.......might not be the most fun though :p

5th gear will use less fuel than 3rd at 40mph because the engine revs are less and the lower the revs the less fuel you use, also I would think that if you use the accelerator gently it will be more fuel efficient than pushing down hard and quickly.
 

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it honestly doesn't matter if you change gear one by one or in jumps. if you go down one by one, the brakes will be worn less because the engine will also slow down the car, because the higher the revs, the more the engine wants to relax and slow down (if you are not pressing the gas pedal). If you jump straight from 5th to 1st gear, the brakes are doing all the braking. but on the road, there is basically no difference.

The thing you want to avoid is changing gear too fast while turning, because if you are turning at high speed, the gear change may disturb the rotation of the wheels and loose stability
 

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All manufactuars get there highest mpg figures by driving in the highest gear at a steady 55mph.
So that is where your car is most economical. Its a fine art to keep good mpg while changing gears.
Too many revs and you burn too oval fuel and too little revs and the engine struggles as you have to keep your dont down to get the car to move.
If you change up at about 3000 rpm or just over you should see very good mpg figures. While still being able to attain a reasonable speed.
This technique is correct for a petrol car.
The power band is different for diesels as they have more low down torque.
 
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