The Water Seeker (plymouth) wrote in stick_shift,
The Water Seeker

In search of improvement

Hey, this is an intro post with a question. I'm 30 and am the proud owner of a 2004 VW Passat wagon with AWD and a manual transmission - daekla04. Yes, she has an LJ. Anyway, I bought her new in August 04 and she is my first manual transmission car. As of when I first bought her I totally sucked at driving stick but I figured the only way to ever get good at it was to own one. I don't regret that decision one bit - it has been lots of fun to learn and improve. I am 500% better than I was when I first bought her. I originally learned to drive stick from my uncle on an old toyota pickup in 1995 or so but then I only did it two or three times in the intervening years until I bought Daekla. My immediate family has never owned a manual transmission vehicle because apparently my dad tried to teach my mom back when they were dating and she found it too difficult and threw up her hands and gave up.

Anyway, that's sortof the history of me and stick-shift, now on to the question. I've conquered the hills of San Francisco and Berkeley, I haven't stalled in months, I even kindof know the handbrake trick, I have a lurchy shift only occasionally when I'm tired or distracted... but my takeoffs in first still seem slower than they should be. Is there any trick to getting my takeoffs to speed up other than "give it gas and let off the clutch faster"? And how do I do this and still maintain a smooth transition? I seem to have an inherent tendency to try to be "gentle" with my cars because they are my friends and I want them to last forever, but I think that my instinct is actually steering me wrong here (pun intended) because a longer time shifting means a longer time with the clutch slipping which means faster clutch wear. Or am I wrong about that too?
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