i'll finish reading the above after posting but i think that he is right in the sense that he is teaching you to pass a test not how to drive. i dont drive, but ppl have always said that you learn to drive after you pass.
It works with bikes as well, I was taught that you should always be in an appropriate gear to the speed you are travelling, the moment you drop below the speed where your gears would be laboured to allow you to accelerate then you should have changed down.
I personally would never go into 1st to slow down, you are going to damage the gear mesh and the wear the clutch, always use the gears to slow down but not into 1st but I suppose if thats how he wants you to do it then it's only his car your going to damage I just wouldnt do it in your own car lol and yes brakes are cheaper than engines but if your instructor teaches you how to do it right you wont be wearing the engine or brakes
No to changing into 1st while moving, unless crawling in traffic. There is a gate to prevent you doing this for a reason...
I was taught that you can stop in any gear, then to go into neutral, put the hand brake on and then put it in 1st gear to set off..
I passed my test doing it this way (december 2008) though got an advisory for always stopping at junctions instead of "creeping" up to them in 1st gear so I could be ready to keep moving if it was clear again.
I find I am only ever in 1st if "crawling along" (ie setting off or stuck in a stop/start queue of traffic)
Keeping it in neutral will save wear & tear on your clutch, putting on the handbrake also means your not sat with your foot on the brake and annoying the person behind you if you have high brakelights..
"Brakes to slow, Gears to Go" was the maxim I was taught.
When I was taking lessons, I was taught that if you're stopping at the junction, to put the clutch down just before you come to a standstill and push it into first as you physically stop. You're ready to move away quickly this way, but don't actually engage first while you're still slowing.
In terms of open junctions, where you can see what is coming, I was told staying in second was appropriate unless you were going really slow (almost stopped) by the time you were safe to move off again.
I'm waiting for that age where a don a flat cap and glasses, keep my mouth open at all times. Sit at the lights until I'm absolutely sure they are green. Pull out of a junction only when something is coming and swing waaaay out to the right when turning into a side road on my left.
just drive an auto :-)
I had my first lessons in my brother's 100E Anglia, which had 3 forward gears and no synchromesh on 1st. Getting into 2nd noise free involved double declutching and changing into 1st whilst moving required real hand/foot coordination. I've got my 3 yearly minibus assessment next week. I'll ask the examiner what he thinks.
I was taught to go down the gears but not to bother going down to 1st until I'd stopped.
However I then had lessons in my Mum's ancient Polo which sometimes needed to be change down to 1st on some occasions.
At the end of the day you need to learn to get a feel for how a particular likes to be driven. If you work on the basis I always change up from this gear to that gear at this speed you're doing it wrong.
I was quite lucky in this respect since by the time I'd been driving for 3 years I'd probably driven 8 different vehicles. This ranged from the aformentioned Polo, to a 2.8 litre turbo diesel Renault Trafic (with a towing gear box) where first was only used on steep inclines or when heavily laden. You would normaly pull away in second.
As has already been said, and applying just as much to my car, most vehicles HATE being forced into 1st when moving, modern gearboxes are not designed to do that. It's pretty much for pulling away from a standstill and that's about it. My stepdad agrees having been an instructor for more years than I've been alive, but just puts it down to driving instruction being very unstandardised and poorly regulated; take a look at those Red adverts as to a reason why.
My car is a nightmare. It wont let you change down until you are all but stopped but because of the gear ratios it doesnt like being in 2nd at anything less than 15mph - not fun in traffic.
As said you are getting taught to pass a test, NOT how to drive (stupid, but thats how the UK works atm). Just do as you are told and hope for the best. Its a PITA i know as lets face it generally driving instructors/examinors arnt too bright... Some of the stupid things ive heard or experianced are;
Dont slow down for train crossings.
Dont use 3rd or 4th gear other than as a means to get to 5th
Got a major for doing 35mph in a 40.
I was made to all but stop on a busy main road on my 1st lesson so the instructor could "prove the point" that we are at the front and people cant pass us, and proceeded to shout rather aggressively until i slowed down to less than 10mph - brilliant idea for my confidence. You can guess how many more lessons he took me on
When i was doing my lessons you didnt leave it in first when at the lights as accidents may happen. Apparently now you leave it in "coz its easier init".
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