manual transmission newbie - questions

  1. FifStreet

    FifStreet Senior Member

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    So the CTR is my first manual transmission car. I have some questions. (I know these questions aren't really specific to the CTR, but bear with me please)

    - I read the "break hold" section in the owners manual, but I still don't understand what the real world application of it is? Do I just leave it on all the time?

    - I'm really having trouble making the shift from 1st gear to 2nd gear smooth, what speed/RPM combo should i be making the shift at?

    - When I park it, should i be leaving it in neutral or putting it in gear?

    - I was told the vehicle has a hill start assist, but I don't see it in the car settings. how do I know its working? I still roll back sometimes on hills.
     
  2. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Senior Member

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    Break hold is a bit mysterious to me, though I have used it. It's handy for waiting in line somewhere so you can take your foot off the brake and clutch, car in neutral, but not engage the parking brake. I use it when waiting to fill up at Costco, if that helps :)

    Shifting smoothly on that transition just takes practice. There is no perfect RPM, just getting your coordination between both feet and your arm. When you're having trouble is it at WOT or really pushing the car, or just putting around?

    I leave mine in neutral more often than not but am working on breaking that habit. You should leave it in gear (reverse if on a hill, I believe) with the e-brake on.

    Hill start is there, but it doesn't always engage. I've found I need to be stopped on a hill for a few seconds with the brake engaged (foot brake, not brake hold or e-brake) for it to "catch." Some do not like it as it makes parallel parking on a hill difficult.

    Good luck and happy practicing, this is an excellent car to learn a manual on, and the bar for manual transmissions for you in the future will be extremely high.
     
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  3. OP
    OP
    FifStreet

    FifStreet Senior Member

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    Thanks for your help. I'm having trouble getting the shift consistently smooth when I'm just doing normal driving, maybe its just a practice thing, but I've got all the others down really well. (even the downshifts!). Maybe I'm shifting into 2nd too soon? I'm usually shifting at about 15-20 mph and 3k rpm. I thought it was because I was off the clutch too fast, but that can't be it, because I don't have that problem with the other gear changes.
     
  4. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Senior Member

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    In that scenario, you may be trying to do it too quickly (which would make the car lurch a little). If the car is bogging, then you're not quite being fast enough. First and Second are both quite short so IMO, the shift does need to happen pretty quickly but I can see where someone new to it might be overdoing it a little. I will admit that when I'm pushing it, a smooth 1st to 2nd is tough, and I don't have it down myself and I've been in manuals for 20 years now.

    I've heard there is a Clutch Delay Valve on this car, but it's far less "delay" than other Hondas. What that does is attempts to hold the revs for a split second after you disengage the clutch (push the pedal down) so you have time to coordinate all the movements for a smooth shift. Do it too quickly, and that CDV actually creates issues. Frankly, I don't think the CDV in this car gets in the way all that much but the above is a way it could.
     
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  5. repeet

    repeet Senior Member

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    Some people never really get a smooth shift. If this is your first manual transmission, then plan on it taking 30,000 to 40,000 miles for you to really get comfortable with it.
     
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  6. coopermidnight

    coopermidnight Senior Member

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    The timing will be second nature soon enough, but here's some help til then ;)

    1st gear ratio: 3.625
    2nd gear ratio: 2.115
    At any instant in 1st, shifting to 2nd and being absolutely smooth about it would require you to clutch out at 58% of the current revs. Luckily for you, I hear the Type R's rev hang/rev drop is nowhere near as atrocious as the lower models.
     
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  7. idragmazda

    idragmazda Senior Member

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    Brake hold is one of THE MOST underrated features of new Hondas.

    This feature alone makes me want to buy Hondas for the remainder of my life, unless of course another manufacturer is able to come up with this device (without infringing on Honda's patents presumably)

    This is how I use it. I commute about 40+ miles a day in mostly city traffic (about 50 mins each way). Lots of stop and go traffic. The feature shines in stop and go traffic. Basically, you're in 1st gear puttering along and have brake hold turned on. Then you come to a stop (which may last a long time or no time at all). Once you are rolling to a stop, put the car in neutral and apply the brakes until you stop. Then once you are at a full stand still stop, let off the brake and rest both of your legs. The car holds the brake in position. Then once traffic begins moving again, clutch in and put in 1st and roll away.

    If you do this 50+ a day, the stress relief on your feet / legs / ankles really adds up. It's a godsend for commuters.

    It's also great for hill starts on very steep inclines where the factory hill-start assist does NOT kick in. Same thing, roll up to a stop. Take right foot of brake. Use clutch with left foot and throttle with right foot. Car will begin to move forward and will not roll backwards because brake hold stays activated.
     
  8. Bighead2000

    Bighead2000 Member

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    1. Brake hold is most useful on hills, to prevent the car from rolling back while you operate clutch and gas.
    2. Getting smoother comes with practice. Every type of car is different. Eventually, with trying different things, you'll find the sweet spot. Usually, the slower you shift, the better.
    3. Put it neutral and activate parking brake. That way the transmission gears won't have any stress placed on them.
    4. Not sure about this on the Honda. Once I pick mine up Saturday, I should be able to give you a better answer.
     
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  9. BogdanM

    BogdanM Senior Member

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    #9 BogdanM, Aug 9, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
    The Brake Hold function retains pressure into the brake system and keeps the car immobilised after you have come to a complete stop without keeping your foot on the break pedal or engaging the e-brake. There are 2 steps that need to happen to use it:
    - activate it by pushing the button near the shifter - at this moment the system is in stand-by (you will also have a green light coming on in your instrument cluster, right side)
    - when you come to a stop keep the foot on the brake pedal 1 more second - at this moment the system is active (another green light shows up, just below the one mentioned at the point above);
    At this moment the car stays put regardless of the road incline until you want to set off. I think there is a time limit of 10 minutes, after that it engages the parking brake and the Brake Hold disengages.
    I use it on a daily basis, it's part of my startup routine (de-activate Start / Stop, activate Brake Hold).
    Also, if you have it activated (so the Brake Hold is keeping you car put) and you unbuckle your seat belt before turning off the engine this will trigger your e-brake to auto-activate and hold the parked car. This way you don't ever need to touch the e-brake button as the e-brake will disengage automatically when you start your car and want to set off).
    It's has more to do with how you let go the clutch and sync between clutch release and gas application than RPM. Practice is the key here and getting to know the car. Try to be smooth at normal RPMs first and then in higher RPMs.
    All the cars I had were parked only having the handbrake (and more recently the e-brake) engaged except the rare cases when I would park on a steep incline, which case I also engage 1st gear, just to be on the safe side.
    It auto-activates for a couple of seconds on heavier inclines and hold the car for a couple of seconds (2-3). If you are using the Auto Hold function you don't need to worry about hill start assist anymore, the Auto Hold will keep the car planted until you apply enough torque that the car starts moving uphill.
     
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  10. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Senior Member

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    Surprised so many do not leave in gear and just use e-brake. That makes me happy, since that's how I've always done it, and feel even more confident with the CTR e-brake setup. Also great info on the brake hold feature, I really haven't played with it much, thanks OP for posting these questions :D
     
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  11. ez12a

    ez12a Senior Member

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    when you park put the car in 1st gear.

    Over time i've noticed my automatic hill start doesnt kick in sometimes and I roll back a bit. Not a big deal though.

    There are some situations where I can see manually activating it would be helpful, but i've havent needed to use the button yet. Maybe in a drive through?
     
  12. Zeffy94

    Zeffy94 Senior Member

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    Approaching my 5 month anniversary as a new manual driver, and for the 1-2 shift, I’ve gotten better at it. What I found is holding the clutch at the bite point for a half second or so and then adding some gas before clutching fully out generally allows me to smoothly shift.

    Where I have issues still is at high RPM when I want to accelerate, I always seem to have a jerk (and I swear I just feel like I am the slowest up to 60). Only when I get to 4th or 5th gear do I get smooth shifts then. It really is just a learning thing.

    Also, my brake hold still doesn’t work (button doesn’t do anything) and whenever my car needs an oil change I plan to advise them that it hasn’t worked for pretty much the entire time I had the car. But when it did work it was great. I loved it in my old Civic coupe.
     
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  13. BogdanM

    BogdanM Senior Member

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    Just a mention, in order for the Brake Hold system to enter stand-by mode by pressing on the button near the shift lever you have to have the seatbelt buckled in.
     
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  14. Chee_hu

    Chee_hu Senior Member

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    Try shifting between 2,000-2,5000 rpm from 1st to 2nd. I know it varies from person to person, but that seems to be the smoothest for me.
     
  15. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Senior Member

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    Just got back from a quick trip and I tried to pay attention to what I was doing for the 1-2 shift. For me, I have to go slower on that shift than on others. Slowing it down just a touch, whether at 2000 or 4000 RPM yields a nice, smooth shift. Other gears I can just remember to "not think" and it's fine. That said, I also start in 2nd a lot. The gearing in 2nd is perfectly fine for taking off from either a very slow roll or even a complete stop. I'd say I start in 2nd as much as I start in 1st...
     
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