Switching Gears

Discussion in 'Fiesta ST Chat and Discussion' started by mcummings182, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. mcummings182

    mcummings182 Member

    I am still somewhat new to driving stick. At what RPM/speed do you guys shift from first and second? I think I am shifting too quickly because I'm not getting much speed out of my car when I take off.
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  3. focusedintntions

    focusedintntions New Member

    What speed i shift gears depends on how I am driving. If i'm putting around town not really trying to accelerate i shift around 2-2500rpms....if i'm trying to go fast, I've found about 6k to be where begin my shift.
  4. Cligedy

    Cligedy Active Member

    For best fuel economy, shift as soon as you can without lugging the engine in the next gear. Get a feel for the engine sounds and volume and soon you will use that for your shift points, not the tach.

    For best grin output, shift at 6300 rpm
  5. mcummings182

    mcummings182 Member

    Shift out of first gear at 6300?
  6. BRGT350

    BRGT350 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Typically around 3k-4k for normal driving, 2500 if I am in traffic and can't get on it, 6300 when I want to smile. It really all depends on conditions, the amount of acceleration desired, and fun.

    When the shift light comes on will be the best for MPG, but usually that is inverse of fun.
    Firesail and Smokin like this.
  7. brian

    brian Member

    In addition to shifting to the next gear at low RPM's, also accelerate gently, and slow down early enough that you won't have to come to a complete stop. In trucking, they say to drive like there's an egg between your foot and the accelerator. Any time spent accelerating "in boost" is going to hurt fuel economy.

    Also, you will get worse economy with the winter blend gas, and again with snow tires.
  8. Cligedy

    Cligedy Active Member

    Every gear at 6300;)

    Again, that's to maximize grins, not mpg. If you want economy, shift early.
  9. CarefreeAZ

    CarefreeAZ Active Member

    I have to drive in city traffic that requires frequent shifting. My current philosophy is to shift to 2nd at 10mph, 3rd at 20mph, 4th at 30mph, and 5th/6th at 40mph+, reversing it (with braking) for downshifting. No grins but smoother in stop-n-go traffic.
    Cligedy likes this.
  10. Bluto

    Bluto Member

    Shifting up and down through the gears well is hard to explain on paper, it has a lot to do with the sound and feel of the engine as was said...the best bet might be to have someone who is good at it (which does NOT include everyone who drives a stick ;-) drive your car while you watch and listen from the passenger seat, then switch seats and maybe get some advice while you drive...that is how my father taught me and I got it down eventually. Lots of time on motorcycles helped too...
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013
    Smokin likes this.
  11. mcummings182

    mcummings182 Member

    I just wasn't sure cause it seems to get really loud only after 2000 rpm. I need to learn more about cars lol
  12. kvetcha

    kvetcha Active Member

    Took me about a month to get the hang of it. Eventually I think you just develop a Feel.
  13. Paul

    Paul Member

    It's all preference. That's the joy of manual transmissions - you get to choose the type of performance you want out of your car. Shifting sooner saves gas, shifting later (higher revs) delivers more performance. When I commute to work in the morning, there are a lot of stop signs so in order to save gas from all the stop and go, I usually shift at 2k (which is when the upshift light engages).

    At night, when I feel looking hooning (safely of course) around, I'll shift around 4.5k. Get to know the car and listening to the type of feedback/sound it gives you at each rev. Once you get used to that, you can start doing the 1st to 3rd or 2nd to 4th gear shifts. I was driving with my GF this past weekend and just for fun I had her do all the shifting for me. Haha.

    Anyhoo, drive it according to your preference. If you feel you're not getting enough power out of the gear your shifting into, you need to shift at a higher rpm. If you think you're shifting at a high enough rpm, but your rpms in the next gear are too low, you may be taking a little too long when you shift (the rpms drop when you're not in gear) and you just need to practice shifting more swiftly.
  14. mcummings182

    mcummings182 Member

    It feels like the car isn't as fast as it's supposed to be, unless I just suck at driving it lol. I've tried shifting at low and high rpms, but maybe I'm just expecting too much out of it.
  15. JSdumont

    JSdumont New Member

    Shifting at high rpms doesn't mean you'll get power! You got to floor the gas pedal (or at least giving it more juice) and keep it running until high rpms. You can give it 25% of the gas and shift it at 6k rpms and you won't feel that it'll be faster. It's a combination of things:)
    Smokin likes this.
  16. mrtn

    mrtn Active Member

    I feel this way sometimes too. First gear seems to have no power but then you get into second and step on it you feel it but into 3rd and up I don't feel it as much anymore. Of course I'm not really hitting the gas all the time either. And it really depends on the timing and when you shift and when you hit the gas.
  17. kvetcha

    kvetcha Active Member

    You've gotta give it some wood in first gear, but it hops.
  18. Bluto

    Bluto Member

    There is probably nothing wrong with your car or you, sounds like you just need to get the hang of driving a manual, it takes awhile ;-) I've owned several fast cars and bikes over the years and the ST is definitely spritely and feels very quick...above all it has the overall feel of a performance vehicle. If possible maybe have a gearhead friend drive your car to get an opinion on the performance AND give some tips on driving a stick...if somehow yours is not running right it should be immediately evident to someone with experience with sporty manual transmission cars.
  19. Sil3nt611

    Sil3nt611 Active Member

    If you've mastered starting from a stop, then shifting is the easy part, and the Fiesta has the hill start assist so you don't even need to worry about rolling back on hills. The nice thing about a manual transmission is just that, you can manually shift whenever you choose. The lower RPM shifts is better gas mileage, higher RPM shifts with the pedal to the floor gives you some nice power. But you can't really go too wrong with shifting. As long as you don't shift so soon that you bog it down or if you keep it in gear too long with the pedal to the floor you'll just hit the rev limiter. I'm sure there's a point where you no longer feel like you're making any power in the RPM range, and you need to shift before you hit that point if you're accelerating fast. You just have to feel it out. I rarely look at my tach when driving.

    I've been driving manual for a couple years so I know when I want to or need to shift just by sound and feel. When I started driving manual my biggest thing was starting from a stop. Shifting really never was a concern to me. Two weeks into driving a manual I took a road trip almost 2800 miles round trip. I wasn't perfect, but I didn't have any major problems. I still screw up from time to time, but it just starts coming natural to you, especially if you drive the car daily. When I test drove the Fiesta ST I really didn't feel like I had any issues other than not being used to a turbo car so I down shifted to accelerate when I could have pulled just fine in the gear I was in. :p Just take the car around town for a drive in an area where you might have to do a lot of shifting. No destination is needed. Just feel it out. You'll get the hang of it.
  20. Mayhem

    Mayhem Active Member

    Do some people actually look at RPM that often for just driving around? I gotta be honest. I never look. My shifting varies depending on the type of driving... I just shift based on feel.. Learned/taught myself that way and have never felt the need to go based on actual RPM. Not judging ! Just curious.
  21. Sil3nt611

    Sil3nt611 Active Member

    The RPM just gives you a basic idea. And if you're trying to keep it gas mileage friendly then it'd be helpful. But I really don't look at it. I just go by feel and watch my speed. There's no magic RPM you must shift at

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