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Old 09-08-2012, 03:25 PM   #1
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New '12 Focus SE 5spd - RPM/Shifting Questions

I bought my first manual vehicle (4 wheels) this past June. I've got about 2500 miles on it right now and I've been starting to pick up on a few things. On all the other cars that I've test driven, and my friend's '06 Acura RSX, when you push the clutch in, assuming you're not in neutral, the RPMs drop back to idle. I never really noticed it during my test drive with the Focus, but (and I'm assuming it's not just mine) soon after I bought it I started noticing that the RPMs will drop a certain amount and hang for a few moments, and then drop to idle. Is this a feature to make the car easier to drive? I'm still trying to figure out the friction zone, how far to let the clutch out before I apply gas, etc., especially from a stop in first. Another thing is when coming up to a hill with traffic and downshifting, hitting the gas doesn't seem to have the same direct effect as with other manual vehicles, and it takes a moment or two for the RPMs to raise, making it difficult (for me at least) to get a good downshift.

Anyone else notice these things or is it just me?


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Old 09-08-2012, 04:07 PM   #2
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Just you.

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Old 09-08-2012, 05:42 PM   #3
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Reads like you have driven motorcyles.. (The four wheel comment)
Car engines in general are a lot less responsive than a motorcycle.
The Acura may just be looser.. Your throttle is also electronic, and not a mechanical linkage.
So in general, the Focus is pretty typical for a manual tranny car.
And I would be downshifting sooner than being stuck ON the hill and needing to downshift anyway.
Thinking a little ahead would be better. I know on a bike it is no problem... Cars are slower, heavier..
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Old 09-08-2012, 07:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elizabeth View Post
Reads like you have driven motorcyles.. (The four wheel comment)
Car engines in general are a lot less responsive than a motorcycle.
The Acura may just be looser.. Your throttle is also electronic, and not a mechanical linkage.
So in general, the Focus is pretty typical for a manual tranny car.
And I would be downshifting sooner than being stuck ON the hill and needing to downshift anyway.
Thinking a little ahead would be better. I know on a bike it is no problem... Cars are slower, heavier..
As a long time motorcycle rider she is 100% right!
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:52 PM   #5
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EFI vehicles will "hold" a higher rpm when you put the clutch in to smooth out the next gear change. Old carb vehicles will drop to idle when the throttle valve is closed making you give it some gas to match engine speed with ground speed. My 08 SE if you are in neutral and going down a hill the rpm will increase as the vehicle speed increases as it tries to match the engine speed to the ground speed. All "drive by wire" cars will have a minute delay, but they are better now then when they first came out.
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Old 09-08-2012, 11:20 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies, except for the first one.
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Old 09-09-2012, 01:45 AM   #7
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I want to help but when I test drove the 5 speed it drove perfect, exactly how I would have expected it to handle.

The dodge dart 6 speed I test drove on the other hand, I accidentally killed it getting off the freeway on a hill from a stop in first :(. It was much harder to judge what RPM the little motor needed to be at (since I couldn't hear it or feel any pull), not that I would not have been able to pick it up after a day of driving.

Letting off the gas will bring the RPM's down, pushing the clutch in itself should not. I have only driven a few other manuals as daily drivers though, 86 nissan hardbody, and a 97 geo metro for the most part. Neither of those would automagically lower the rpms by pushing in the clutch.

I'm not sure about the lag time on the focus, I probably wan't paying enough attention, but I didn't notice it during the test drive, they do have a lot of "technology" in them... It felt good, like the fiesta compared my metro... Talk about taking a minute to get in the power.... :P

Does the focus have the anti rollback technology? Maybe that's what you are feeling kicking in? Check if you notice it the most on hills.
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Old 09-09-2012, 02:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justintoxicated View Post
I want to help but when I test drove the 5 speed it drove perfect, exactly how I would have expected it to handle.

The dodge dart 6 speed I test drove on the other hand, I accidentally killed it getting off the freeway on a hill from a stop in first :(. It was much harder to judge what RPM the little motor needed to be at (since I couldn't hear it or feel any pull), not that I would not have been able to pick it up after a day of driving.

Letting off the gas will bring the RPM's down, pushing the clutch in itself should not. I have only driven a few other manuals as daily drivers though, 86 nissan hardbody, and a 97 geo metro for the most part. Neither of those would automagically lower the rpms by pushing in the clutch.

I'm not sure about the lag time on the focus, I probably wan't paying enough attention, but I didn't notice it during the test drive, they do have a lot of "technology" in them... It felt good, like the fiesta compared my metro... Talk about taking a minute to get in the power.... :P

Does the focus have the anti rollback technology? Maybe that's what you are feeling kicking in? Check if you notice it the most on hills.
Well pushing in the clutch releases the load off the engine, so your RPMs will drop, and they do on all manuals, its just a matter of how quick after the clutch is pressed in, which was what my post was inquiring about.

I'm not sure what you are getting at with the rollback thing (hill assist)?
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Old 09-09-2012, 03:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ripto View Post
Well pushing in the clutch releases the load off the engine, so your RPMs will drop, and they do on all manuals, its just a matter of how quick after the clutch is pressed in, which was what my post was inquiring about.

I'm not sure what you are getting at with the rollback thing (hill assist)?
Well unless your foot is still on the gas, then the RPM's would go up. But I get what your saying, what I mean is that it's not a direct correlation, pushing int he clutch reduces RPMs.

I might be confusing my cars, but I know some new cars have a system in place to prevent rollback on hills which clutching from a stop. This can cause a lag when accelerating from a stop on an incline. I don't remember if the focus was one of them, but it will take some extra time to get going from a stop if it does in fact have this system. But hey it's better than trying to press both the gas and brake at the same, then slide your foot over to the gas like I used to have to do on the metro (it didn't have the power to just quick foot it on a steep hill).
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Old 09-09-2012, 06:29 AM   #10
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Thanks for the replies, except for the first one.
Would you rather I lie? I've been driving manual cars/motorcycles for 15 years... the Focus is totally normal.

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