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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I haven't had sufficient driving time in manuals so experts please chime in. I'm thinking of getting the manual just cause I might get the car sooner and for the driving experience. Anyways I have a question, when you're coming to a full-stop do you skip gears to go to neutral or should you shift sequentially from your current gear position to neutral without skipping the gears in between? I read something on rev matching, is it difficult?
 

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I haven't had sufficient driving time in manuals so experts please chime in. I'm thinking of getting the manual just cause I might get the car sooner and for the driving experience. Anyways I have a question, when you're coming to a full-stop do you skip gears to go to neutral or should you shift sequentially from your current gear position to neutral without skipping the gears in between? I read something on rev matching, is it difficult?

LOL! I am considering the same thing! I'm actually signing up for stick shift driving lessons next week to see if I can handle getting a manual S5 now instead of a auto A5 in April08
 

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Don't make driving the manuals so complicated. No, as you decelerate, you can come almost to a full stop in 6th gear, and put it in first gear as you approach full stop (or stop first with the clutch pedal depressed and put it back into first gear when you start)..... You don't have to do anything. However, if you are going 100mph, and you decide to down shift into 1st gear, it's not going to like it. Sounds obvious, and in fact, you wouldn't even try it....

WHen I drive around town, to keep mileage up, I shift from first to third, then often fifth, and go down fourth to second.... just to not have to shift as often. The wide torque band on the car allows it to pick up well and easily from 2nd, 3rd and 4th at very low speeds....

If you're not an expert with manuals, but you know what a clutch is at least , then you'll have no problems. It's just that as you get used to it, it keeps getting funner and better.
 

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As you come to the junction and are slowing down, you would drop the gears downwards to reflect the speed you are going. You wouldn't go through all the gears but miss them out. 6 to 4th to 2nd would be the most common use. If you physically stop and are not rolling you could drop it back to 1st at that point. I wouldnt put it in to 1st if you are rolling.

You shouldn't leave it in gear and just press the clutch down and roll to the junction. That will wear the clutch out. Sometimes you may take it out of gear and let it roll it up to the junction. Although this actually uses more fuel than using the gears correctly.

Rev matching isn't as hard as it sounds and you don't have to be perfect. You just ease the accelerator down as you ease the clutch up. It becomes instinct within a short period. Every car you drive feels different so we all have to learn where the bite is on the clutch and what sort of pressure you should use on the pedal and how quick you can move up the gears.
 

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A5addict: follow S5France's advice. I agree with him, it's not complicated. I have a 6 speed manual 330 which also has a fairly torquey engine and so I do exactly what S5France does: use any 2 or 3 of the 6 gears in day to day motoring when I'm changing up and go straight into neutral as I come to stop if slowing down and/or braking to a stop at normal speeds. Using the gearbox to assist in slowing down (at normal speeds) just uses up extra fuel and puts (I'm told) unnecessary wear and tear on the gearbox.

Disclosure: I love manuals and hate autos so my comments should be viewed taking into account serious bias on my part! So it won't surprise you to learn I've ordered my S5 with the 6sp manual.
 

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Thanks for your post Colin/. I mainly wanted to express that it is not complicated, so we should make sure we communicate that driving a manual is simple and fun (once you know how to use a clutch, which is a change when you most americans).

I don't think it's even worth going to a driving school for this in actual fact.....

And A5addict, unless you drive in bumper to bumper traffic on a daily basis, you WILL enjoy a manual much more than an automatic on a car like this. it is easy, you will have mastered most of it within 1 week, and the technical stuff (heel toe, double-down shift, etc.... ) will ultimately be easy enough to learn if you're interested and if you have someone explaining.

Keep in mind that 95% of cars in Europe are manuals, and that our grandmothers drive them here, and so do learners - obviously, you can learn and get the hang of it in 1/2 a day.......
 

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As said, it's perfectly acceptable if you want to coast towards a junction and keep the car in neutral.

Personally, I work down the gears when i'm slowing down or approaching a junction, and I let the engine slow the car down, rather than using the brakes.

It's more useful on the highway/motorway as well to use the gears to slow the car down (by downshifting and letting the engine rev slightly higher than normal), rather than using the brakes.

Likewise, if you ever do any advanced driver training, they'll teach you how to use gearchanges to slow the car down instead of using the brakes. And giving the amount of brake dust which comes off the A5 it's very useful!!!
 

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I love threads like this. So, Doubledoom says you use more gas by going to neutral and purely using your brakes to decelerate, and Colin says the fuel efficiency is found in using gears to decelerate. Which is it? Would be nice if you could save on brakes usage (and dust!) AND fuel with the same method.
 

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I love threads like this. So, Doubledoom says you use more gas by going to neutral and purely using your brakes to decelerate, and Colin says the fuel efficiency is found in using gears to decelerate. Which is it? Would be nice if you could save on brakes usage (and dust!) AND fuel with the same method.
Just remember that brakes are massively cheaper to replace than clutches, transmissions and internal engine parts.

I don't think any of you will have any problem to learn a manual in 1 day and be fairly proficient in 1 week. My wife who had never driven a manual purchased a MINI Cooper S with manual. She was driving by herself after about 30 seconds worth of me explaining how to do it in the demonstrator car.

Yes you will stall the car. Yes you will over rev it. Yes you will put in the wrong gear. Yes you will have sweet satisfaction the first time you nail the launch. Yes you will smile when you nail a quick upchange that keeps you planted in your seat.

The pluses way outweigh the minuses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the helpful responses, if I do get the car in manual I just hope I won't screw up the transmission. And the fact it's a brand new car for me to test it on worries me a little bit. I just have a feeling that I'm going to lean towards a 335i the more I wait so I guess manual it is for me. Time to place that order soon...
 

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As much as I think I know about how the internals of a manual transmission work (throughly), all it takes is to practice. I'd borrowed an uncle's beater truck to learn to shift properly, only to find out the A5's transmission feels entirely different, something I hadn't expected. Yet, I was shifting smoothly and rev-matching before I had to give the car back (the next day). I did stall it a couple times, twice taking off and once coming to a stop, having completely forgotten I was in a manual :p

I was extremely satisfying, though, finally landing that fast 1-2 shift under WOT. I'm seriously considering a manual now. It can be extremely rewarding when done properly.
 

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There was an episode of top gear where Jeremy Clarkson went from London to Edinburgh and back on one tank (audi A8) and he was told by the techies that cars use more fuel when coasting in neutral than being in gear.

IIRC and in totally non technical speak, it had something to do with the engine drawing more power when idling with wheels rolling than when it is slowing down in gear.
 

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Clarification: I've obviously given the impression that I coast to a halt in neutral instead of using the gearbox. What I actually do is let the car slow down in the gear I'm in at the time, particularly if I'm in a higher gear, say 5th or 6th. For example, if I'm crusing along at 60kph (40mph, the surburban speed limit in Oz) and need to stop at the lights. I remain in 6th until the car is doing 10-15kph before going to neutral at the car comes to a stop. What I DON'T do is go straight to neutral from any gear or any speed higher than this because I believe the engine (but not the gearbox) should assist in slowing the car down. Staying in the gear of choice also helps retain control of the car. As wrx_ etc said, it's also cheaper to replace brake discs then transmission bits - a tip I learned from attending a seminar given by the former 3x FI world champion Sir Jackie Stewart - one of the masters on the art of how to drive quickly but smoothly. As to fuel economy, who knows what's possible with different driving styles - friends tell me I drive far too quickly which suggests I use a lot of fuel but the average fuel consumption of my 330 over 37,000 miles has been 33.6mpg so maybe I'm doing something right.
 

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There was an episode of top gear where Jeremy Clarkson went from London to Edinburgh and back on one tank (audi A8) and he was told by the techies that cars use more fuel when coasting in neutral than being in gear.

IIRC and in totally non technical speak, it had something to do with the engine drawing more power when idling with wheels rolling than when it is slowing down in gear.
When the car is in neutral, fuel still has to be used to keep the engine turning. When decelerating with your foot off the accelerator the engine is kept turning by the forward momentum of the car. This causes the engine management system to notice that the engine is turning without the need for fuel, therefore it switches off the fuel supply. This makes decelerating in gear more fuel efficient than idling in nuetral.
 

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As much as I think I know about how the internals of a manual transmission work (throughly), all it takes is to practice. I'd borrowed an uncle's beater truck to learn to shift properly, only to find out the A5's transmission feels entirely different, something I hadn't expected. Yet, I was shifting smoothly and rev-matching before I had to give the car back (the next day). I did stall it a couple times, twice taking off and once coming to a stop, having completely forgotten I was in a manual :p

I was extremely satisfying, though, finally landing that fast 1-2 shift under WOT. I'm seriously considering a manual now. It can be extremely rewarding when done properly.
Yes, very satisfying. I am surprised you thought the truck would be similar to the A5's manual box. Manual boxes are pecululiar to the car they are in, especially for performance cars such as the A5. To compare a truck box and clutch with that in an A5 is like comparing firework rocket with a shuttle launch. (no disrespect intended).

You will be quickly be able to get a manual box to 'work' but to learn a smooth and effective clutch/accellerator/gear change technique when you have not been used to a manual box before could take a year or two.

I hope this doesnt sound condescending, it certainly isnt meant to be.

In UK, learning clutch and gear control is a big part of learning how to drive. If you learn on an autobox and pass your test in an autobox then you arent licensed to drive a manual box. You have to take a retest in a manual box before you can drive a manual car. This gives you an idea as to how different the skill set is between the two boxes.

If you then add in the spectacular torque of the A5 diesel and the huge power of the S5 petrol, this takes a newcomer to a manual box into potentially fatal ground.

Please be very careful indeed.
 

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No, I completely understand what you're saying. I knew the truck's box wasn't going to be the same as the A5's, but I thought it was going to be at least similar. They were a lot further apart than what I assumed. I don't think my uncle would be immediately comfortable in the A5 after years of driving that truck :p

My family's of the automatic transmission type, and that's why I never really bothered to learn to drive stick. Soon after learning to drive an automatic I discovered that it's actually a valuable skill to have. I might be jumping the gun in wanting my A5 with the manual, but I sure now know it's a hell of a lot of fun. So much so it might overcome those bumper-to-bumper traffic days (which I experienced, and it wasn't all that bad actually...).

We'll be getting the loaner A5 soon again for longer, and now that I'm more acclimatised to it I'll be able to find out if I really want the manual
 

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I do hope that you really will want a manual, Crespo !

I'm fairly convinced you will, now that you're less worried or frightened about having one now.

Enjoy the loaner....
 

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my oppinion (for what it's worth) is that if you want a car to transport you from A-B in the most relaxing mannor possible, and with you havign to do the least possible ammount of work then you shoudl get an auto 'box. however, if you want to enjoy the actual drive (and surly that is why everyone here has bough an A5/S5) then a manual is the only way to go.

i dont mean to sound bitchy, but nobody clearly has a thing for auto 'boxes (reading his other posts), yet to my simple way of thinking a manual is surly far more in keeping with the spirit of the car. this is supposed to be the best drivers car that Audi have built in years so why go and dilute the very thing this is why this car is so popular (stunnign looks and Audi's build quality notwithstanding)
 

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If you really want some fun from the car, you have to go with manual. Auto boxes are boring to drive, and you really wont experience the true feeling of the car IMO.
 
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