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Discussion Starter #1
I'm a new Solstice GXP driver. It is black with silver rims. I don't have a picture but it looks pretty much the same as the other black Solstices I've seen on these forums. I've been driving it for 6 days and I'm pretty decent with it now. It was my first manual car so I may not have been doing things the best way just to avoid stalling.

So if you could answer some of my questions, I'd appreciate it. It's much better to get feedback from others who drive the same car.

1. When I start off first gear, how should I move the clutch and accelerator? When I am on level ground I put the gas pedal down a bit first and then ease off the clutch until it starts to move. Should I perhaps just ease off the clutch enough to move and then press the gas?

2. Same question as 1, but on a hill. Is it different? I don't want to roll back too much as people in the city like to stick close behind.

3. How long should I stay in first gear before switching to second? How can I move fast enough from a stop and make a left turn quickly at an intersection before traffic has me waiting another 5 minutes? I've been able to get going but usually I stay in first gear and the revs are getting high as I approach 15 mph.

I'll be looking to improve by experience and the answers I read here. :thumbs:
 

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You're going to have to develop your own driving style. Some people like to run the gears up, but thanks to the huge torque in the GXP I generally shift by 2200 RPM
 

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Back when we were all new to the Sol and Sky the clutch action was the subject of a lot of discussion. Even people with a lot of experience were having problems with manipulating the clutch from a stop. More so with the turbo cars. If you review those threads you will see you are not alone.

Most people learn how to feather the clutch after a few days.

On level ground, I start giving the car throttle at the same time as I begin engaging the clutch. As the car starts to move, I let the clutch out as quickly as I can while maintaining engine RPMs. Once the clutch is fully engaged, I give it throttle and we are off.

Starting on a hill is done the same way. On a steep hill, I use the hand brake to hold the car while engaging the clutch. I hold the release button down with my thumb and apply enough brake to hold the car until the clutch engages.

Just practice and you will hone your skills
 

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Welcome FireZ42,
I have a NA 5 speed manual, for your first question might trying keeping your left heel on the floor and slowing letting it up without giving it any gas. ( I did this in a empty school parking lot, was able to shift into second without giving it any gas and not stalling out).
As far as on hills, I practice in my driveway(small incline) and just try holding the car from not going backwards.
I usual shift into second before I make the turn.
Good luck and have fun.
 

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I use the 4000 RPM on the gears, but that is just me.
 

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I'm a new Solstice GXP driver. It is black with silver rims. I don't have a picture but it looks pretty much the same as the other black Solstices I've seen on these forums. I've been driving it for 6 days and I'm pretty decent with it now. It was my first manual car so I may not have been doing things the best way just to avoid stalling.

So if you could answer some of my questions, I'd appreciate it. It's much better to get feedback from others who drive the same car.

1. When I start off first gear, how should I move the clutch and accelerator? When I am on level ground I put the gas pedal down a bit first and then ease off the clutch until it starts to move. Should I perhaps just ease off the clutch enough to move and then press the gas?

2. Same question as 1, but on a hill. Is it different? I don't want to roll back too much as people in the city like to stick close behind.

3. How long should I stay in first gear before switching to second? How can I move fast enough from a stop and make a left turn quickly at an intersection before traffic has me waiting another 5 minutes? I've been able to get going but usually I stay in first gear and the revs are getting high as I approach 15 mph.

I'll be looking to improve by experience and the answers I read here. :thumbs:
Ya I agree with Allan L, I suggest you just go out and practice if you are concerned, pick a time where traffic is light and quiet(not rush hour)before you know it, you'll be shifting without even thinking about it. We actually decided against a manual even though we both(wife and I ) know how to drive a stick, when we test drove a solstice I even thought it was tricky and the car being a daily driver in summer to the BIG CITY OF WINNIPEG my wife opted for the Auto which I quickly forgave her for.:lol:

Bert

Oh and Hello to you too
 

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An alternative method is:

1. Tighten your hat strap.
2. With the clutch pedal fully depressed, select 1st gear, and rev the engine up to about 4000 RPM.
3. Slide your foot sideways off the clutch pedal. Hang on. Continue until about 6000 RPM. :driving:
4. When you catch your breath, but before 6200 RPM, shift into second gear.
5. Return home and change your underwear.:lol:

Just kidding. I agree with Rob and LV.

Enjoy your ride. My GXP is Mysterious as well. Love it.
 

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Starting on a hill is done the same way. On a steep hill, I use the hand brake to hold the car while engaging the clutch. I hold the release button down with my thumb and apply enough brake to hold the car until the clutch engages.
Yes, and wouldn't it be nice if they had given us a proper British fly-off handbrake. The sort where you can pull the lever and let go and it releases; you only push the button in if you want to set it and have the pawl engage.

Shifting - whatever you are comfortable with as the engines have a pretty flat torque curve. If you are just moseying around town, a 2500 shift suits. If I am on a winding road and want to be at the sweet spot for instant hard acceleration, more like 3,000 cruising rpm.

Funny, I never found the Solstice to be particularly demanding as far as clutch engagement is concerned. It's when I jump into my Fiero, especially after getting it out for the first time in the Spring, that I often forget that it's clutch has a friction point much lower than the Solstice!
 

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I understand the 1-2 gear dilemma - I also shift before the turn. I find first and second are pretty "short" whereas third is pretty tall.
 

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Starting on a hill is done the same way. On a steep hill, I use the hand brake to hold the car while engaging the clutch. I hold the release button down with my thumb and apply enough brake to hold the car until the clutch engages.
You would actually be tested on this in the British driving test. You have to do a hill start exactly this way and if you roll back at all, you fail the test. If you try to sidestep this by taking the test in an automatic, you will only be allowed to drive automatics on your license (if you take the test in a stick though, you CAN drive automatics).

Sorry, I sometimes miss a country where you have to prove you can drive before they let you out on the roads alone. :cuss:
 

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Here's how I do a very steep hill start. I keep my foot on the brake and slowly release the clutch. I do this until I feel the engine start to labor (the clutch engaging) and simultaniously let me foot off the brake and onto the gas. Now you should be able to start incresing the pressure on the gas while letting the clutch out even further until it becomes engaged. Viola....

If you are waiting to pull into traffic, I usually "rock it" until I'm clear so my clutch is ready to go right away. I know this is bad and I'm going to get yelled at by other members, but my Mustang had over 150k on it on the original clutch....
 

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I've now had the pleasure of owning both the 2.4 and 2.0 and the turbo gear box is completely different especially 1st gear. Just take your time and learn at your own pace. I found the 1st gear in the GXP a little hard to get used to getting down just right but now I shift without even thinking about it. It took me about 2 months until I got down perfectly.
 

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You will get the hang of it. I will never forget taking my 77 year old father for his first ride in ours, flooring it thru the gears on an abandoned road and throwing in a nice 180 to a complete stop. I asked - "Wadya think?" and all he could say was "Nimble." And then we got out until I promised never to do that again!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Its been a month driving and yes I've gotten better. But lately when I move to get in the car I've always thought that the driver side rear wheel was off. I kept looking at it from behind but it wasn't very noticeable.

Today, I got in the seats and turned around to look at the wheel. This made it obvious that it was indeed off. It's been about a week or two since I first suspected this.

What should I do and how much will it cost?



 

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That's some pretty serious misalignment.

Impossible to say what it will cost - it has to be done on a professional alignment rack and if the misalignment is due to the PO having kerbed the wheel and bent something, you'll have to find out what is damaged and the cost of replacing it.

That is so obvious is is hard to believe it could have been done by an incompetent alignment mechanic, so accident damage is the only other thing that offers an explanation. Might be bent A arm, might be collapsed spring....have to wait until they get it on the hoist to know.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well, the car was bought used. The description said the previous owner had been in an accident worth about $1000 dollars. Description says it had repair to the frame which I could believe because the only damage I could see was that the rims on the driver side rear wheel was chipped in several places. At the time, the wheel was not angled out like you see now.

How serious is this issue? I don't even know what symptoms I should have been looking out for. My commute varies from 30 minutes to an hour depending on the time. Speed can be as low as 2mph crawling in traffic to 80mph when there are less people driving.
 
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