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      08-27-2012, 05:16 AM   #1
john_thor
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Is the M3 an intimidating car to start driving in?

I have been driving for years, but my wife has not. She recently passed her test and has no problems driving the instructors car.

However, whenever she drives the M3 its a disaster. If I speak she screams at me to stop distracting her. Her arms are super tense and so the steering is really jerky, she's not patient with the DCT clutch so its a real lurch experience.

Yesterday I asked her to take a road different to the sat nav because it was leading us through a real traffic black spot. That threw her off so badly that she drove the front right wheel against the curb and scuffed it pretty bad. She then spent 20min telling me it was my fault for confusing her.

What's worse is that when I ask her to pull over or whatever, she refuses and it degenerates into a battle of wills.

What can I do to resolve this? We generally have a very good relationship, but I can't put up with the abuse I get off her when she's driving. She's clearly mega stressed when she gets behind the wheel. What can I do to set her mind at ease? Should we give up on her ever driving the M3?
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      08-27-2012, 05:38 AM   #2
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I wouldn't say its an easy car to learn to drive in. A bit, umm, powerful.

This interpersonal conflict seems best resolved by you letting her either drive the car her way (good luck with that) or by not letting her drive the car at all. My gf knows not to ask to drive my car. She knows how important the car is to me. Best of luck with the situation.
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      08-27-2012, 05:58 AM   #3
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What about letting her drive the car alone? Maybe it's your presence that intimidates her.

Yesterday it was raining a lot and I was cruising around with my GF driving to a castle we wanted to visit. Then she made the proposal that I should let her drive. I just was like "no fucking way you'll drive this car in the rain".
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      08-27-2012, 05:58 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loflier View Post


I wouldn't say its an easy car to learn to drive in. A bit, umm, powerful.

This interpersonal conflict seems best resolved by you letting her either drive the car her way (good luck with that) or by not letting her drive the car at all. My gf knows not to ask to drive my car. She knows how important the car is to me. Best of luck with the situation.
Amen to that! Either take a taxi or alternatively use an alternate car.

On a serious note, reassuring her is better than contesting her competence. Start with the basics, ask her why she is so concerned (or stressed) when she drives your car... I recommend having the conversation when you're not about to get in the car (or soon after you have!)

Anyway, best of luck!
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      08-27-2012, 06:59 AM   #5
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Since sees a new driver, I'm sure she's already nervous as it is about driving. Combine that with a not-so-user friendly car, it can make things more, tense.

As mentioned above, ask her why she is so worried. Try to ease her in, turn of the power button, put drive logic to like 2 bars, etc.

It's possible it's not the M, but her. New drivers take time to adjust. With instructor, she probably feels safe. With you, maybe she feels judged and worried about doing something wrong. She did blame you when she hit a curb.

IMO, I think she just needs to get more comfortable driving and let her go at her own pace with a little help here and there. An easier car to drive might be better too.

Btw, what happened to the wheel?
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      08-27-2012, 07:08 AM   #6
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She will be better off driving a 328

Less power and easier to control. The F30 is a breeze. My gf was drove it for 300 miles back from Vegas without an issue, and she won't even dare turn on my m3, let alone drive it..

DCT needs getting used to even for someone who's been driving for years... I can't imagine how a new driver would feel

Best to see why she feels the way she does..



In my experience, it's best to not say anything when a woman is driving. Let them concentrate on where they're going and what is happening around them.
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      08-27-2012, 07:30 AM   #7
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Maybe it's you and not the car. My wife is a great driver and probably the only person that I'll ever let drive the M3, but she will never get in the driver's seat when I'm in the car, because she thinks I expect her to drive like I do.

I can't help myself, and I'll give constant lane change directions, pot hole calls and acceleration and braking instructions. So she decided years ago that it was just easier if I do all the driving when we go somewhere together.
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      08-27-2012, 07:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by persian54 View Post
In my experience, it's best to not say anything when a woman is driving. Let them concentrate on where they're going and what is happening around them.
Best advice in the thread.
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      08-27-2012, 07:34 AM   #9
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It's a shame because part of getting an M3 was that it would be easier. I had an old boxster before with heavy steering and clutch etc and that was impossible.

I have all the easy settings on of course. We've spent time getting the seat position great, and doing familiarisation. She's pretty comfortable on the motorway.

The wheel has some nasty curbing all the way around, thankfully no plastics appear to be scratched.

We don't really have the money or parking space to get another car though :-(

I've tried to be very welcoming and helpful. We already went through the 'you are NOT a driving instructor' conversation. This time I just asked here to take a different turning to the sat nav and it completely freaked her out. The abuse that followed was just ridiculous...
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      08-27-2012, 07:52 AM   #10
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If a pimple faced teenager can drive an M3 at 16, I'm sure your wife will be fine.
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      08-27-2012, 07:55 AM   #11
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She seems to be stressed in part because she is a new driver, in part because she is naturally a bit stressed, and in part because she thinks the car is your baby and that you are overcritical of how she is driving. She can probably handle only one or maybe two of these stresses at present.

If you could let her get used to driving another car, that might reduce one of the stresses. Just let her drive. Don't tell her how to drive unless she asks. Let her mindlessly follow the GPS even if you know it is leading you to a traffic jam or there is an alternate route that is much faster.

Then later, you may be able to reintroduce her to the M3. In the meantime, you should go to meditation class so you will better be able to handle her driving your car. It is, after all, just a car.
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      08-27-2012, 07:58 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john_thor View Post
What can I do to resolve this? We generally have a very good relationship, but I can't put up with the abuse I get off her when she's driving. She's clearly mega stressed when she gets behind the wheel. What can I do to set her mind at ease? Should we give up on her ever driving the M3?
2-day M school





Ok, that may be overkill. But on a serious note, why not take her to that entry level course they have at the performance center? She is probably just scare because she is a new driver, because she knows how valuable this car is to you.

Ever since I got my M3, no one in my family wants to drive my car.. I think they are scared of what would happen if they did something to it :P
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      08-27-2012, 08:11 AM   #13
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Ahh another reason to own a 6MT. My wife can't drive stick and doesn't want to learn!
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      08-27-2012, 08:42 AM   #14
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My wife has been driving manual transmission sports cars for years and the M3 still scares her...
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      08-27-2012, 09:43 AM   #15
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your wife is going to ball up your car. get her a camry or something before your next thead is about your m3 in a ditch. seriously- for the safety of others on the road.
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      08-27-2012, 10:12 AM   #16
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Honestly having the M3 as "car to learn on" is a terrible idea.

The M3 is rough, lunges, sits low and can be difficult to maneuver in tight spaces like parking spots. I would absolutely hate this car unless I was a very confident driver.
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      08-27-2012, 10:20 AM   #17
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Instead of you riding shotgun maybe you can try having a friend ride with your wife while she learns to drive it. I suspect this would be less stressful for her.
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      08-27-2012, 10:27 AM   #18
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      08-27-2012, 10:31 AM   #19
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One small suggestion is to try to put the car in D1 drivelogic setting. This will make the DCT start off in 2nd gear, essentially reducing power and also reducing the bucking affect the car can have when accelerating.

All things considered, an M3 is a pretty bad car to start off driving on, it's powerful, relatively stiff, low to the ground, and somewhat expensive, all leading to a tense and stressful driving environment.

Good luck.
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      08-27-2012, 10:35 AM   #20
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My wife ask me jokingly if I would let her drive the car. I told her sure why not *evil grin* I purposely set the car on M mode and boy the look on her face is priceless. She never ask to drive it again...
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      08-27-2012, 11:00 AM   #21
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Sign her up for a HPDE course.
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      08-27-2012, 11:01 AM   #22
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Take the wife to test drive a Lambo Aventador. Do a couple of drag races, spirited driving, etc.
The M3 will feel like a tame lion after that.
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