Try these tricks to become a smoooth driver
Don’t you hate it when you change the gear suddenly from 4th to 3rd, the car gives a big jerk? Not to mention the stares you will get from your passengers. This is not good for comfort nor the car’s clutch. So we have some techniques which you can practice to become a smooth driver, maintain the resale value of your car in the used car market and save yourself some money. Before you try any of these techniques, make sure you practice in empty roads first.
Riding the clutch
You’ll want to avoid “riding the clutch.” What that means is avoiding resting your left foot on the clutch pedal when you’re in gear. While the light pressure of your foot resting on the clutch pedal is not enough to disengage the gear completely, it is enough to partially disengage it which causes premature wear and tear on your clutch.
When approaching a red light, the first thing you should do is, step on the brakes. When the engine speed drops to near idle (before it starts to buck), step on the clutch. Then put the car in Neutral and let the clutch out.
If you keep your foot on the clutch pedal while coasting or waiting for a red light to change or in a traffic jam, you’re wearing out an important part of the clutch called the clutch release bearing.This part of the clutch could cost from Rs.7000 — Rs.25000 depending on the car model.
Bottom line: when you’ve successfully shifted into a gear (or neutral), remove your left foot completely from the clutch pedal.
Once you have stopped riding the clutch, you can make the ride smoother by Rev Matching. This is a technique used to increase the smoothness of the car and reduce clutch wear.
You’re in 3rd gear, approaching a corner or need power to overtake the vehicle in front that you feel should be taken in second gear. Clutch in, gear selector into second, and blip the accelerator before letting the clutch out.
This helps you achieve smoother downshifts, and they tend to be faster as well as sound cooler, when done right.
You’ll most likely mess up the first few times you get it, either with too little throttle or too much throttle. Both will be a bit jerky depending on how quickly you let out the clutch.
Once you get good at it though, it’s wonderful, especially for passengers.
The wrong way to brake is to continue accelerating until the very last second, then to jump on the brakes with both feet and frantically downshift, using engine braking to slow the car. Smoothness is the key to efficient braking. Ease off the accelerator gently, then squeeze the brakes in a progressive manner.Once it’s time to start accelerating again, you should also ease off the brakes gently.
The next important aspect is shifting. First thing’s first: I don’t care how cool you think it looks, your hand should not rest casually on the shifter. Your hand should only touch the shifter when changing gears; otherwise it should be on the wheel in the position mentioned in this article about 10 ways to become a better driver.
There is no need to force the lever into gear with all your might. Shift gently and slowly. Grasp the shifter with an open, cupped hand. Don’t hold it with your fingers wrapped around it like an ice cream cone.
Form a cup with your palm and fingers by placing the palm of the hand over the top of the knob. Use your fingers and palm to flick it into gear. This is mostly wrist action, so your shoulder should not be moving very much at all.
Look, at least two seconds in front
In busy traffic, many drivers simply stare at the car immediately ahead of us; when their brake lights go on, we brake. You want to get into a habit of looking approximately two seconds in front of the leading car or more. The vehicle you are trailing will be in your peripheral vision, but your focus remains squarely on analyzing the road ahead, looking for any potential dangers that may occur. Like anything in life, the wise always plan ahead.
Make your hands as smooth as silk
Many drivers on the road probably think they are smooth with the steering wheel; in most cases, that assessment would be wrong. Truly being smooth is something that must be practiced — especially when in an evasive maneuver. The smoother we are, the less we upset the car’s balance. Most vehicles’ suspension maintains a soft set up to absorb the bumps, but when it comes to aggressive cornering, excessive body roll can make you lose control. The trick to avoiding an accident is to have fast reactions, all the while ensuring your hand movements are smooth and precise. This prevents the car from bucking like a wild horse, increasing the odds of maintaining control. The same theory applies to racing, only that for racers, keeping the car’s platform stable allows for a better handling machine throughout the turn. Therefore, they can drive faster.
Sit slightly closer to the wheel
If you ever watch onboard videos in Formula One racing, you’ll notice the drivers sit exceptionally close to the steering wheel. This is not with an effort to impersonate their grandmother, rather it allows the ability to get “up on the wheel.” While Formula One drivers take it to the extreme — I am only talking about an inch or two — having your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle enables you to catch a slide more easily. It ensures the muscles in your arms fire rapidly, providing reaction speeds akin to Bruce Lee. While you might think it looks cool to recline the seat back, put on some Honey Singh (hope you don’t) and just chill, if the going gets hairy, you’ll be digging yourself out of the ditch. Being too close to the airbag is a valid safety concern (don’t sit closer than 10.5 inches from the wheel) but being prepared as a driver may avoid the bag ever needing to be deployed.
Before you try any of these techniques, make sure you practice in empty roads first. Once you have practiced a bit, implement them whenever you drive. No matter where you live, or where you drive, these tips are worth implementing in the name of safety. After all, only the most proficient drivers can truly master the road.
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Originally published at blog.gozoomo.com.