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Old 05-16-2012, 03:00 AM   #1
Seifer8
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Question Tips on Driving a Saturn 95 SW2 Manual DOHC?

Hi, I'm having problems transitioning from automatic transmission vehicles to my 95 SW2 DOHC Manual and was wondering if there any tips I could get to learn to drive it better? I am currently trying to practice so that I can get my license. It does have a shift indicator.

Thanks for your time and effort.
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Old 05-16-2012, 03:40 AM   #2
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Default Re: Tips on Driving a Saturn 95 SW2 Manual DOHC?

I assume you understand the basics of how to drive it, and you're just needing to learn to smooth it out & speed things up? Practice is going to be the #1 thing.
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Old 05-16-2012, 04:08 AM   #3
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Default Re: Tips on Driving a Saturn 95 SW2 Manual DOHC?

I think so. An example would be sometimes after I shift to a different gear it jerks forwards but if I reapply the clutch a little it smooths back out. I've also stalled it a few times because I messed up with the clutch.

It doesn't seem to take much speed to up shift. The shift indicator seems to turn on at 2500 rpm. I think you can shift it to 4th or 5th gear at 40 mph. I'm concerned I might damage the car in a way that it would cost a lot to fix.

I was also curious does higher rpms make the engine run hotter? I would imagine it does but was just curious.

Thanks for your time and effort.
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Old 05-16-2012, 04:17 AM   #4
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Default Re: Tips on Driving a Saturn 95 SW2 Manual DOHC?

The faster the engine spins the faster the water pump spins and the more flow it has.
My opinion on the shift light is some idiot flat lander decided when it'd be good to shift, not someone who ever had to drive the car. I broke mine by changing transmissions so I don't have to deal with it anymore, other then when I'm in 1st at 10mph and it thinks I should be in 2nd.

Most time's any jerking while shifting means your letting the clutch out to fast, or not allowing the engine to reduce RPM's enough. It's been a while since I've had to think about using the clutch (years really...) and lately, at least for upshifting, I haven't bothered with the clutch for 3rd-5th gear.
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:47 AM   #5
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Default Re: Tips on Driving a Saturn 95 SW2 Manual DOHC?

The way that I taught myself to drive a stick (which was a 1983 Chevy Cavalier, that was my wife's car back in the day that we bought for $700 with only 33,000 original miles on it...)...was like this:

Think of the clutch pedal and the gas pedal like one of those old weight scales:

Your clutch pedal on the left, your gas pedal on the right. When you start out, you have your clutch pedal pushed in, while you press down on the gas. Gradually as the car starts to move, you watch the tach, and then when the shift light goes on, depress the clutch pedal, while shifting.... it's hard to explain, but if maybe if you try to think of it from this approach- it may help you get the hang of shifting better and being able to handle actually being able to control the movement of the car rather then the car controlling it for you (as is the case with an automatic).

See if this helps you out a bit. Good luck!
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:57 AM   #6
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Default Re: Tips on Driving a Saturn 95 SW2 Manual DOHC?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fetchitfido View Post
My opinion on the shift light is some idiot flat lander decided when it'd be good to shift, not someone who ever had to drive the car.
It is actually there for fuel economy. When the government tests the cars for fuel economy ratings they are required to shift when the car tells them to (if equipped). The shift light comes on at the optimal shift point for fuel economy. I'm planning to swap a manual into my SL2 over the winter. I'm also planning on making sure that there is no shift light. The first time I drove a car with a shift light I thought I broke something (my other car doesn't have a shift light).

As for driving a manual. Whenever I get in to a different car I try to find the catch point on the clutch first. Any modern manual transmission can get into gear without touching the gas pedal so I engage the clutch as slowly as I can until the car starts rolling. As soon as I find that point then I move on to giving it a bit of gas while trying to find that point again. This works best in a flat parking lot. That's about all I need to make sure I can get going. The rest comes with practice and experience. In general you want to make sure you are engaging the clutch smoothly. Also, take your foot off the clutch pedal between shifts. You don't want to accidentally ride the clutch.
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:07 AM   #7
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Default Re: Tips on Driving a Saturn 95 SW2 Manual DOHC?

Have shift indicators been standard since 95? My 1999 has the indicator but it's never come on (maybe the bulb?).
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:10 AM   #8
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Default Re: Tips on Driving a Saturn 95 SW2 Manual DOHC?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbsanfte View Post
Uh, I see an upshift indicator in the console of my 1999 SW2 but it's never come on in as long as I've owned the car. Has this been a feature on my car all these years and I've never known it existed, because the bulb's burnt out or whatever?
I mentioned this in another post recently but I suspect that the Canadian S Series does not have an upshift indicator. Nobody confirmed either way. My SL1 does not have one.
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:04 AM   #9
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Default Re: Tips on Driving a Saturn 95 SW2 Manual DOHC?

Aha that would make sense...
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:57 AM   #10
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Default Re: Tips on Driving a Saturn 95 SW2 Manual DOHC?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seifer8 View Post
I think so. An example would be sometimes after I shift to a different gear it jerks forwards but if I reapply the clutch a little it smooths back out. I've also stalled it a few times because I messed up with the clutch.
Do a search on "rev matching" - not necessarily on this site, as the principle applies to pretty much every manual trans car. Probably some good instructions out there.

Quote:
It doesn't seem to take much speed to up shift. The shift indicator seems to turn on at 2500 rpm. I think you can shift it to 4th or 5th gear at 40 mph. I'm concerned I might damage the car in a way that it would cost a lot to fix.
as mentioned, that is for fuel economy and it is probably best to ignore it mostly for a while. You can safely shift into 5th at 40 mph on a flat road.

One place Where the damage occurs is from lugging the engine (not enough power due to low rpms - for example, trying to go up a steep hill in 5th gear at 40 mph; you'd be better off dropping to 4th gear and higher rpms).

The other place is accelerated clutch wear from not matching the engine speed (rpm) to the speed and gear. (see abover for searching on rev matching)

Quote:
I was also curious does higher rpms make the engine run hotter? I would imagine it does but was just curious.
Sort of. A properly functioning cooling system can handle the extra heat, carries any excess heat away to the radiator where it is removed from the system. So regardess if I am driving at 2k rpm or 5k rpm, the internal engine temp is pretty consistent; it's just that at 5k rpm, more heat in a given time is generated and bled off into the air.
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