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      09-30-2013, 09:26 PM   #1
jjcannon2
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Should my first manual car be a BMW?

Hi all,

I've been looking pretty closely at 2008-2009 BMWs for the past few months, and wasn't able to find exactly what I wanted for quite some time. I was initially only looking at AT cars because I don't know how to drive stick.

I came across a craigslist posting for a 2010 335i for $25k with 54,000 miles and instantly contacted the seller, since I felt it was a solid price. The ad didn't mention whether the car is an AT or MT -- turns out it is an MT.

If i was to purchase this car, it would be my first manual car. In fact, I've never even driven sick before.

To all of you MT owners out there, would it be a crazy idea to buy a 335i as my first manual car? I don't want to damage anything and will probably have to be pretty gentle. How long will it take me to learn? (None of my friends drive stick, either.) The owner of the car would be willing to give me lessons.

Thanks
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      09-30-2013, 09:56 PM   #2
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It is really not that hard to drive a stick shift and I believe that you can learn very quickly. The manual transmissions of today are much easier to learn than the transmissions I grew up with. (GTO's, 442's, Z28's). Learn and enjoy.
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      09-30-2013, 10:03 PM   #3
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It takes 10 minutes to learn. Just make sure to follow the "book" way, so that you don't burn the clutch or freeroll all around the place like some do.
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      09-30-2013, 10:05 PM   #4
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In reality learning to drive 5 speed takes the average individual a few days upto a month to get it down pat.

10 minutes in theory but not reality.

I would learn on a Honda Civic or S2000. Very forgiving and not expensive at all to replace.
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      09-30-2013, 10:05 PM   #5
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If you're mechanically inclined it should come easy to you... Any warranty? If there is and you mess it up no big deal I suppose. Would really be best if you could learn on a beater. Maybe you can pick up a 300 dollar beater that's manual and practice on that. Manual is a lot more fun to drive. Also I suggest any BMW you buy have a warranty. My warranty has paid for its self 3 times over already and I'm not done having things fixed... In a few months I will actually be sending it in for the transmission. Former owner beat the hell out of the car, have already had a fuel sensor, engine mount, strut and a bunch of other minor things fixed.
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      10-01-2013, 11:21 AM   #6
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Thanks for the responses everyone. I've decided to take a few lessons before driving the car regularly - i think that should make the transition from an auto to a manual a little easier.

I'm curious to know, is there anything in particular I should look out for when purchasing a 2010 6MT? (Particularly a 335i xDrive coupe.)
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      10-01-2013, 04:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjcannon2 View Post
Hi all,

I've been looking pretty closely at 2008-2009 BMWs for the past few months, and wasn't able to find exactly what I wanted for quite some time. I was initially only looking at AT cars because I don't know how to drive stick.

I came across a craigslist posting for a 2010 335i for $25k with 54,000 miles and instantly contacted the seller, since I felt it was a solid price. The ad didn't mention whether the car is an AT or MT -- turns out it is an MT.

If i was to purchase this car, it would be my first manual car. In fact, I've never even driven sick before.

To all of you MT owners out there, would it be a crazy idea to buy a 335i as my first manual car? I don't want to damage anything and will probably have to be pretty gentle. How long will it take me to learn? (None of my friends drive stick, either.) The owner of the car would be willing to give me lessons.

Thanks
Stick is EASY to learn......however you need some open space like a parking lot or or an empty street(s) where you can just go in circles and mess with it. You do, however, likely need someone to show you the ropes.

I learned to drive a stick in 15 minutes and practiced for 1 hour in a parking lot before hitting the streets with it.....after BUYING a car with a stick without knowing how to drive it! LOL. The difference was i bought a used car from a car dealership, where they let me practice in the parking lot for about an hour before i went out into the street.

Where do you live in NYC? Some parts of NYC are easy to drive with a stick...some take a bit more effort. Overall, it is still VERY rewarding to drive a manual. BOTH of my cars are manual. I drive 120 miles a day through NYC and LI.

I think a 335i would be fine as a first car with a manual! easy clutch and nice shifter.
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      10-01-2013, 04:22 PM   #8
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First car I ever learned on was an E36 M3. Very easy to learn. Just keep practicing!
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      10-02-2013, 04:24 AM   #9
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It is really not that difficult to generate and keeping move and I believe that you can understand that very easily. The guide signals of these days are much simpler to understand than the signals I increased up with.
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      10-03-2013, 10:36 PM   #10
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First car I learned was on my e90 doing PDC. Got onto the freeway a hour later and got stuck in rush traffic later that afternoon. I was concentrating hard not to stall and didn't till I got off my exit. Fun times.
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      10-04-2013, 02:14 AM   #11
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Its easy to learn as long as you have a penis. It actually harder for a vagina owner to learn stick but I did manage to teach my mom to drive MT in less than a day on an open parking lot.

But seriously, are they really friends if they can't even drive stick? I cannot think of one friend that doesn't, and if they don't they are probably females. This new generation is really getting soft.
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      10-04-2013, 03:13 AM   #12
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Your first manual car should be a Mitsubishi Evo 9.

That gearbox can take a beating but if you think it isn't, chuck a Full chrome-moly rollcage to strengthen the gearbox.

To accelerate your learning curve in heel toe technique, remove your stereo, sound deafening, air conditioning, airbags, door trims and change your LSD subframe mount to titanium.

To help you rev match better, buy an internal and external battery kill switch, 6 point harness, Hans device and FIA approved First Aid Kit and 2KG Fire Extinguisher.

If you like manuals but don't feel like driving them daily, buy a trailer and a 2010 335 so that you can tow your Evo 9 to the local track on weekends. Be sure to have some wooden planks as there is a high likelihood your Evo has been lowered to reduce CG for better gear selection.

Like that









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      10-04-2013, 03:27 AM   #13
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My first manual was my e46 that we did a AT -> Manual swap on. Completed the swap Friday. Practiced driving Sat and Sunday and drove it to work on Monday. It was my only car, so it was sink or swim.

As long as you understand how the car functions, it doesn't take that long to get the "feel" down. Be sure you understand how a clutch gets worn out and how not to lug your engine, and you should be just fine.
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      10-04-2013, 02:51 PM   #14
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I'm sure any car would be fine to learn how to drive MT. Though after driving a BMW MT you'll be spoiled if you then go drive a Honda or a truck or something. Every car is a bit different, but they all (at least passenger cars) work pretty much the same.

I pretty much just up and bought a 6MT Tiburon back in the day having very little (but not zero) experience with an MT. I was fine. I drove it off the lot, killed it twice that night, probably 2-3 more times in the next week or two, but just drove around until I "got it." It really just takes a bit of hand-eye coordination, and if you can figure out how to run an Xbox controller you'll figure out a manual transmission.

Now, about 11-12 years later I drag race, autocross, and heel/toe all around town. MT is so much more fun! Unless you know you're stuck in traffic an hour every day, DO IT!
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      10-04-2013, 06:47 PM   #15
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I taught my friends in my old ranger by driving out to the country and have them follow me in their automatic car. Once out far enough, I would jump out of my truck and throw them the keys. Then if run into their car and peel away fast. I'd call then a minute later to wish them good luck. Works every time
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      10-04-2013, 07:34 PM   #16
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My first manual car that I own is actually the 135 that I bought brand new! I have driven manual before but not owned one.

Yes, you will stall it. Yes, it is nerve wrecking when pulling up to a 4-way stop.

In reality, it is not hard to learn to drive it. But it is hard to drive a manual well. I just treat every shift as a self-evaluation and try to do it better next time.

With all the torque in the 335, it is actually easy to drive it since it will go in almost any gear.
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      10-04-2013, 10:25 PM   #17
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Why not, I would consider myself very fortunate if my first car is a BMW.
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      10-05-2013, 01:39 AM   #18
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Get a rental car that's equipped as a manual. Then abuse that car.
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      10-05-2013, 06:04 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Pilot View Post
Your first manual car should be a Mitsubishi Evo 9.

I think your left-front brake caliper is stuck...
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      10-05-2013, 06:05 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by -Wingman- View Post
Get a rental car that's equipped as a manual. Then abuse that car.
That's why they don't rent manual transmission cars...
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      10-05-2013, 06:12 AM   #21
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I think your left-front brake caliper is stuck...
It isn't stuck. That is the braking zone after the main straight on the track.
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      10-05-2013, 07:05 AM   #22
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It isn't stuck. That is the braking zone after the main straight on the track.
It was a joke...
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