Manual trans stuff...

Discussion in 'General' started by jcp123, Sep 11, 2017.

  1. jcp123

    jcp123 Caliente!

    So, I'm getting slightly used to the Civic, and was wondering what tips y'all could toss in specific to manual transmissions. A lot of what I do was crafted for automatics - it's been nigh on 10 years since I've had a stick car - so I'm wondering what I'm behind the curve on for driving stick, especially since I'm not averaging much better in the Civic with the advantages of a 5-speed and manual steering vs. the Echo which had both.

    I'm well acquainted with when and when not to use DFCO. I've seen a benefit from using large throttle inputs and short shifting - better to go through all 5 gears, or rev higher and skip shift? Pulse and glide is a better option for when I get a battery I can trust, so although I understand the basics, I'd appreciate an applied set of tips. What about DWL? Better than using throttle position? That's one I fully and nakedly don't understand.

    And of course, anything else you'd care to throw out there would be welcome. Andrew, I'm calling you out. I know you know these cars at least as well as anyone...

    Short-medium term goal is to see 50mpg, and my drive is mostly freeway.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
  2. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    In my mind, DWL is best when you have the right gearing, and you don't. For our rolling hills, the easiest approach is to power up the hill, and neutral coast down the back. Save FAS for when you have the battery.

    I never did skip shift in the Civic, but I sometimes skip 3rd in the Fit.

    Basically, I'm hard on the throttle (~75-85 load) any time it's in gear. It's like a binary throttle. In-gear and POWER (but shift for low rpm), or coasting in neutral. P&G is still useful if you idle it for the glide. Not as good as engine-off, but better than in gear.
    jcp123 likes this.
  3. jcp123

    jcp123 Caliente!

    So, I'm glad I'm mostly doing some things right.

    When you say to "power up the hill", I assume you aren't using the big-throttle approach as you do in P+G or dead stop acceleration? I've used a constant-throttle approach for a long time - predating my joining here - for good results, and maybe I've grown complacent. I've also gotten less aggressive using coasting since my commute miles grew ten-fold, it's harder to learn the nuances.

    I've had good results from aggressive throttle/short shifting, so I'll explore that some more, along with skip shift vs. going through the whole pattern. And P+G probably should be something I practice more given that I do more pre-dawn driving than most folks.
  4. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    Actually I basically P&G up the hills too. But with the slope it's more like puuuuuuulse & glide. Then the downhill is pulse & gliiiiiiiiiide.
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  5. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    I'll glide uphill , also. I try to keep enough speed to continue a good glide on the downhill side.
    When you know your commute REALLY well , you can determine the speed and location to begin the pulse , and where to start the glide.
    It's all about using gravity instead of fighting it , and conserving momentum.

    Hope that makes a little sense ! It's easier for me to do it than explain it. Anyway , Andrew is the King of P&G.
    I just try my best, and having a "cheater" car (hybrid) helps a lot.
    BillLin likes this.
  6. jcp123

    jcp123 Caliente!

    For some reason, it had never occurred to me that P+G might work UPhill...super cool. Will try!
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  7. jcp123

    jcp123 Caliente!

    Problem is, my commute is 100 miles, and I only drive each way once a month, so...getting to know it will only get me so far. I'll have to get more disciplined on technique, rather than local knowledge, doubly so since this is my first manual car where I've gotten serious on mileage. I get what you mean though, my commutes before were simply me trying to game the terrain.
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  8. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    That 100 mile part is going to be killer. You don't want to be averaging 45 mph over that distance. You'll have to pick the speed / mpg compromise that works for you.
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  9. jcp123

    jcp123 Caliente!

    Yeah. I'd always used a constant throttle position, and picked one that held me near 60 in flat and level, and also set a 50mph floor for the sake of not being a total jerk. It works OK, but I've gotta be leaving something on the table.
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  10. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    Every moment you spend in Neutral will be a bonus. That's the first bit thing. Engine on or off doesn't make a huge difference at highway speeds.
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  11. jcp123

    jcp123 Caliente!

    Now that the tires are taking and holding air properly, I'll probably actually have more opportunity to do that. Had been lazy on that count for a while though in the Echo too.

    Well, that'll give me something to work with. Thank you!
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  12. jcp123

    jcp123 Caliente!

    Ok, some feedback.

    First, skip shifting is a dud. The revs needed to skip shift more than negate anything else. 1-3 is occasionally viable just because first gear gets run out fairly quickly, so if you're distracted at all, doesn't hurt much to rev out that extra second and then run it in to third.

    Next, P+G. I'd read and absorbed quite a bit of it, and in practice I suppose I'd have to confirm that it's a low-speed game. Yields nothing or hurts on the freeway in addition to being a traffic-and-hazard-causing jerk. But I tried some 35-50 range (5th gear) P+G on virtually uninhabited roads and it's magical by my standards - mid-high 50s on demand. But one question, Andrew, my UG says that open loop happens at any throttle application above 50%. That seems low to me, should I trust the loop status monitor on the UG?

    Lastly, and more generally, this Honda is another one of those annoying systems which doesn't idle down, even when warmed, until you're at a complete stop for a second or two. Any pro tips for how to warm most quickly? Getting anywhere from my house involves a fairly steep uphill and at least two stop signs within a half mile. Granny driving when engine is cold seems to provide better longevity. P+G would possibly warm faster, at the risk of abusing the engine with load on cold oil? How about using high idle and no throttle to get going?
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  13. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    Hmm. My Scangauge told me Closed Loop until my foot is right down to the floor (90+ LOAD). That's different.

    Agreed that P&G is better at lower speeds, by far.

    My experiments in warmup showed CLEARLY that as far as mileage is concerned, it's best to P&G right away. That gives you the slowest warmup but any gains from more time spent fully warmed up are massively outweighed by the increased fuel consumption early on. "They" say that's hard on the engine, but I traded in my Civic at 200,000 miles still pulling 70 mpg tanks.
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