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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Figured I'd ask around. I'm thinking about getting a manual transmission in my next e46. I've very excited to do so, but get mixed reviews. I haven't driven a manual for more then a couple of hours of my life, so it'd be a definite change. I've watched some videos, and just looks like it need practice. I do live in the SF by area, quite hilly at times, but again, I feel that it would just be more enjoyable. Can anyone relate, going from auto to stick?

Thanks!
 

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Figured I'd ask around. I'm thinking about getting a manual transmission in my next e46. I've very excited to do so, but get mixed reviews. I haven't driven a manual for more then a couple of hours of my life, so it'd be a definite change. I've watched some videos, and just looks like it need practice. I do live in the SF by area, quite hilly at times, but again, I feel that it would just be more enjoyable. Can anyone relate, going from auto to stick?

Thanks!
DO IT! my first car was stick and it took me a week to completely be comfortable driving everywhere (i.e. Hills).

I would pay someone to swap out my AT to a 6 Speed. its got to the point that i use the manual mode on AT all the time. E46 AT sucks ass.... :(
 

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Figured I'd ask around. I'm thinking about getting a manual transmission in my next e46. I've very excited to do so, but get mixed reviews. I haven't driven a manual for more then a couple of hours of my life, so it'd be a definite change. I've watched some videos, and just looks like it need practice. I do live in the SF by area, quite hilly at times, but again, I feel that it would just be more enjoyable. Can anyone relate, going from auto to stick?

Thanks!
I live in the Bay Area, too. I live in the city and commute to East Bay.
Mixed reviews on a manual?!!! Sure, if you don't know what you're doing. You know what the Bay Bridge looks like at 5-6PM and I still drive a manual. You also have seen the hills in the city. None of it is a problem if you learn to use it well.
I have driven manuals since I learned to drive.
 

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Getting up steep hills will be a challenge as you learn to drive, so you might have to alter some of your routes. It might look easy, but there's a lot to driving a manual. I don't think about it much, but now that my son is learning to drive a stick, I'm realizing it's not all just automatic, driving a manual!

If you're thinking seriously about it...first get someone with a manual to teach you to drive on theirs so you don't mess yours up too bad! :lmao: Maybe rent a manual zipcar?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sounds good, my commute isn't too bad, just a little bumper to bumper from time to time, nothing like the bay bridge. I go down the peninsula, so much of it is reverse commute.
 

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I commute from Daly City to USF every day during the school year and some people have called me crazy for driving a manual transmission vehicle in San Francisco, especially considering how hilly many particular places can be. To be honest, it's not difficult at all once you get used to it in a week or so, and then perfect it one or two months later.

I'd say it's easier to learn how to drive a manual car having no prior knowledge to driving as opposted to coming from automatic to manual, because when coming from automatic you really have to learn to get rid of all of those previous bad habits you have had from driving an automatic. In turn, though, it makes you a better and much more aware driver, and allows you to pay attention to many other things that you'd normally not give a damn about when driving automatic. The hills and stalling and all that will soon be a non-factor as time flies, and it'll all be worth it in the long run.

That said.. Go for it!
 

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It is going to be your first manual car, so it will be a different experience. You will either hate it, or love it.

Is it only you that is going to be driving the car? And how much traffic are you going to be driving in? Moreover how many stops are you going to make on the hills? Also I presume you don't get a snowed in a lot, but if manual transmissions can be a real life saver or a hazard in snow if you don't know how to work the clutch accordingly.

Might look easy on the videos and fun to drive in the flats, but once you have to stop on the hills and get going again, thats when you are going to have a crisis in your pants. I am not trying to scare you but telling this because you have almost zero experience with manuals, and the hills are the most challenging part for a beginner driver. After a week or two it will become a second nature, but those 2 weeks will scare the **** out of you.

Tip: use your handbrake to stop and get going in the hills(not a good practice), but do this till you get comfortable with the clutch. Else you will roll into the car behind you. When you are rolling backwards, even an inch feels like you rolled back a foot. Gets pretty scary initially. But I use that roll to scare off the tail haters who love to stop right on your ass.


If it is your second car, definitely get a manual. Take your time and learn it properly. But if it is your DD and you have drive it in traffic and hills I'd seriously consider getting a rental or a beater manual to try on first, and also get someone who is experienced to be with you for a first couple of days. If you like it then go for a manual.

PS: I drive an auto now because my girl sometimes drives my car and also I hit a lot of traffic in my commute. If my commute was highway, I would take manual any day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
My commute is rarely bumper to bumper. Just slow going at times. The commute to work is minimal in terms of hills but I have a few spots close to home but nothing like the hills of SF.
 

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Some people feel like it's 2nd nature and they never even give it a thought. I've been driving manual transmissions and/or using a clutch since I was 10 years old. Started on moto-x bikes, so by the time I got into a car using a clutch and knowing when to shift was just 2nd nature. Some people just don't understand and can't "feel" it. I know several people that have tried time and time again. Some of them CAN drive a stick shift...but they just don't feel natural doing it.
 

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Do it. Well, well worth it. I've never bought/owned an automatic and will try my hardest to continue that as long as I can. (first car was automatic, but was my parent's car)
 

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Does that work??? I need to figure out a way to teach my wife...

To the op: just do it. Hardest part will be finding an unabused e46 manual...
lets just say you need to find a proper game such as Live For Speed for the best experience and thats how I popped in my RX8 and drove it all the way back from Colorado to Nebraska after 4 years of automatic.
 
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