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Lately I've been fooling around with my Fiat's auto stick and I'm really starting to enjoy it. The problem is I don't know how to use it properly.

Okay, this is obviously coming from someone who's never driven a standard transmission car. Why? Well because I never had to drive before. Why? Because I've lived in Manhattan my whole life where many people don't even have a driver's license. Why now? For the past 3 years I've been living in a city where you need to drive.

Anyway, to get back on track.... I've gotten an idea when to up-shift or whatever you call it (~ 3000 rpm) but I haven't a clue when to downshift (like what rpm?). When I've tried to downshift my Fiat it stalls a little (kinda jerky) and I've been having trouble finding any [autostick] information online. I know that when my car is in semi-automatic transmission it will automatically change gears if you're in the wrong gear. Nevertheless, I want to know how to use it properly.

On a side note - I think I'd like my next car to have manual transmission, but I don't know anyone here who owns a car with a stick. Does anyone know if there are places out there where you can learn to drive a manual transmission car? I've looked at car rental agencies but all their cars seem to be automatics.

Thanks!
 

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No business will rent a car with a stick. Even if any do, they'll make **** sure you know how to drive stick first!

However, I would poll friends and family members to see if they have a car with a stick and if they'd let you learn on it maybe in exchange for some favor you can do for them. If they have something like a 911, don't even ask!

If that fails, post an ad on craigslist that you're looking for someone to teach you how to drive stick and they need to provide the car, and then put a price up.
This may work, someone that needs a little extra cash might do it.

On the other hand, someone on the forum that lives near you may let you learn on their 500! I'd teach you on mine, but I'm in philly, its a bit far from texas!

About downshifting, this may be an issue with the autostick itself. When you downshift on a manual, you need to hit the throttle to match the engine speed to the tranny speed. Some autosticks do this, some don't. In general you should downshift when the engine's rpms are so low that the car is struggling in that gear.
 

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Lately I've been fooling around with my Fiat's auto stick and I'm really starting to enjoy it. The problem is I don't know how to use it properly.

Okay, this is obviously coming from someone who's never driven a standard transmission car. Why? Well because I never had to drive before. Why? Because I've lived in Manhattan my whole life where many people don't even have a driver's license. Why now? For the past 3 years I've been living in a city where you need to drive.

Anyway, to get back on track.... I've gotten an idea when to up-shift or whatever you call it (~ 3000 rpm) but I haven't a clue when to downshift (like what rpm?). When I've tried to downshift my Fiat it stalls a little (kinda jerky) and I've been having trouble finding any [autostick] information online. I know that when my car is in semi-automatic transmission it will automatically change gears if you're in the wrong gear. Nevertheless, I want to know how to use it properly.

On a side note - I think I'd like my next car to have manual transmission, but I don't know anyone here who owns a car with a stick. Does anyone know if there are places out there where you can learn to drive a manual transmission car? I've looked at car rental agencies but all their cars seem to be automatics.

Thanks!
The Dealership could teach you how to drive stick, they do it all the time. Anything to close the deal!
 

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My dealer did teach me hen I picked the car up and in less then a month I have gotten the hang of it, I even got my boyfriend driving stick on my 500. Stick is really not hard, it just takes little extra attention to get used to it and it eventually is second nature.
 

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My dad had a Mustang with a stick in the mid 70s, but he cried when he tried to each my mom how to drive (she moved from Ireland where she'd never driven a car before) and realized he'd have to sell it. Since then the only manual in the family has been my Dad's 1st generation RX-7, but I can barely fit in it, much less have enough leg room to operate the clutch.

The 500's transmission will downshift automatically if the RPM drops too low, and will downshift down to 2nd or 1st when you come to a complete stop.

The only issue I've had is downshifting into 1st or 2nd; even at parking lot speeds the car will lurch forward while the engine tries to match the road speed, so I just let the transmission make up it's own mind about downshifting below 3rd. The ratios in the upper gears are fairly close, so going between those gears at speed won't generally bog down or over-rev the engine.
 

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The fiat doesn't come with shifting light? All my cars have had shifting indicators. I have only owned cars with standard transmissions. when the revolutions reach a certain limit, a light come on in the tach indicating you to shift up or down. Many times it is in the shape of an arrow pointing North. I will try and look for some examples.
 

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Below are some examples of the up-shift indicator that i was talking about in my previous comment.



Here the up-shift indicator is circled.



Here you can see the up-shift indicator in the top middle of the gauge cluster.
 

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The fiat doesn't come with shifting light?
Thankfully, it doesn't.
Those things are annoying, and doesn't belong in a driver's car.

Granted, it looks like you have VW there, but I believe you have an option in your gauge cluster computer to turn it off.

To the OP, since your car is an auto, the best way to go about shifting it manually is to shift to a lower gear when you realize that you want more power, or want to prevent the engine from lugging.

To make it easy on yourself for now, while you get used to the car, choose to shift when the rpms drop below 2k, or 2500. That will bring you back up closer to the torque peak in the lower gear ratio, which will give you more useable power.

After a while, you will understand this process naturally, and it will transfer over to your next manual transmission equipped vehicle.

BC.
 

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I drive an auto but have and like both manual and auto, I prefer manual but the 500 is intended to be a daily driver of complete ease in the event my health worsens, once you drive it awhile you will adjust so don't worry over it, I can down-shift without any lunging or stalling or whatever word you wish to describe it as, smooth as can be, just keep enjoying it and eventually you'll not think twice about it!
 

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Well, I just found out that the Abarth package actually comes with an upshift indicator, and it is HUGE! Check out that nugget on the left side of the tach.

 

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Since its the Abarth, I wonder if it tells you to shift up not for economy's sake, but maybe at the ideal shift point for speed?
That would be useful for you for the first 10 times you drove the car, and then you'd know when to do it.
 
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