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When to change down gears at a roundabout?

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    So you are approaching a round about in 4th.
    When do you go down to second?

    I get in a bit of a mess, I leave it right till the end, then the car judders because i'm too fast, then i'm trying to steer, get in the right gear, indicate and use the right pedals.

    Maybe I approach to fast, im not sure, but do you change down well before the roundabout, or just before you enter the roundabout?
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    Change down before you turn and try to slow down gradually. There isn't a great deal of theory to this, it is just something you will get a feel for with practice.
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    My instructor tells me to change down to 2nd gear roughly eight car lengths before you reach the round about, this then gives you the chance to take a look and decide if your going to need 1st gear, or if you can keep to 2nd and go!
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    Okay thanks. I have changed down early before but my instructor tells me to do it a bit later. The problem is i'm still getting used to the gears (ive had 8 hours so far) so I have to think about what I am doing, so I guess it will come with practice like Jake22 said :P
    I went up the curb and stalled the car today when I tried to change gear too late :O :P
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    I was told to stark breaking a while back, when you get down to 20mph put the clutch out and keep breaking, push into 2nd gear, as you reach the roundabout calculate whether it is clear, if not push into first gear (should be 5mph by now if roundabout is not clear), and stop if need be.
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    Yes, that's another thing you must bare in mind (elaborating on what Lumos said) you must make sure your not going fast (30-40) before changing down to 2nd, as that can cause problems! You should be going around 20 - 29mph before changing down..
    Remember though, you can brake while changing gears!
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    Yeah thats a problem I also have! I sometimes change down too fast and the car jolts a bit.
    I've thought that gear 1 was for 0-19, gear 2 for 20-29 etc, is that right or is it just 'gear up when the car is revving too loudly'?

    So i'll slow to in the 20's before changing down. There is so much to think about at roundabouts when you are new to driving!
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    If I'm cruising at 40mph, I'll generally be in 5th gear, and I change from 5th straight to 3rd. Ease your foot off the accelerator and then brake lightly until you're at a decent speed. I'll generally change to 3rd at about 20mph. Depending on the roundabout, I'll either stay in 3rd or change down to 2nd.

    It's just practice really. When learning I had plenty of roundabout experience as there are about 20 near my house :lol:
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    Seriously, the gear you select whilst driving depends on the steepness of the road, the friction of the driving surface, the engine speed and the speed of the car.

    All of this *******s about 'change down eight car lengths before' and all that stuff is rubbish. You learn to feel the speed you are going, the traction you have, the incline and the engine speed and when you drive the car you automatically select the appropriate gear for the conditions without thinking about it. Nobody who has driven for more than a month thinks about any of that stuff and it is unnecessary.

    To give an analogy: If you are playing football; when the ball is approaching you - you don't think and theorise about how much power to put behind it to one-touch it in the right area at the right speed - you just feel it. Of course, the power you use depends on all of those factors like the speed of the ball, the angle of approach and where you want to put it but you just learn to feel it.

    EDIT: 2 people are obviously not drivers...
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    (Original post by Jake22)
    Seriously, the gear you select whilst driving depends on the steepness of the road, the friction of the driving surface, the engine speed and the speed of the car.

    All of this *******s about 'change down eight car lengths before' and all that stuff is rubbish. You learn to feel the speed you are going, the traction you have, the incline and the engine speed and when you drive the car you automatically select the appropriate gear for the conditions without thinking about it. Nobody who has driven for more than a month thinks about any of that stuff and it is unnecessary.

    To give an analogy: If you are playing football; when the ball is approaching you - you don't think and theorise about how much power to put behind it to one-touch it in the right area at the right speed - you just feel it. Of course, the power you use depends on all of those factors like the speed of the ball, the angle of approach and where you want to put it but you just learn to feel it.
    this...

    i tend to do this...

    say for example I'm in 4th gear, with a train of cars behind me heading towards a major round about were there are cars coming from my right.

    1) Hand on gear stick
    2) start my progressive braking
    3) clutch straight down
    4) change to second gear
    5) clutch up if there no cars heading from my right. (5.5 if there are cars coming clutch down again quickly, then change to first)
    6)release clutch, then apply hand brake. OR keep car on biting point/ steadying using accelerator or brake.
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    When I push the clutch down to change gear, I am also braking to slow right down for the roundabout. So I push the clutch down (and I have the brake down a little) and the car gets faster because the engine braking is taken out when the clutch is down. Should I push the brake more when I push the clutch down?

    If I stop at the roundabout, then I put the handbrake on and put it in 1st. If I don't then my instructor says I should go round in 2nd (unless i'm going in roughly a straight line to the exit straight ahead, then I can go in 3rd). So I was watching my mum and she changes down to 2nd just before she enters the roundabout.

    So unless I am going to fast when I change down, should I push the brake down more when the clutch goes down? I haven't tried yet because I don't want to push the brake harder and I stop too fast.

    I hope you understand what I am saying :P
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    If you've got your foot on the brake pedal, the car is not going to go faster by pushing the clutch in. It may feel faster as the car may feel 'lighter' and slightly less stable, but in reality you are not gaining any speed. The only occasion where coasting is going to make you gain speed significantly is going downhill.

    You're perhaps over thinking this a bit. You don't need to increase braking power when the clutch is down.. just do what feels right and stops you in good time in the circumstances.
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    You're probably right. I'm only thinking this because I stalled when going round a little quiet roundabout because I was trying to change from 3rd to 2nd (My instructor insisted I change down!) whilst going round, and I ended up with the front left wheel on the curb with a stalled car :lolwut:
    Luckily it was just a small quiet roundabout somewhere in the countryside :P
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    Try braking and then changing gear, not doing both at the same time. I think that's how I was taught. No idea how I do it now as I don't need to think about it any more.

    You'll get the hang of it (:
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    Re second or third gear.

    I tend to go into second for most roundabouts, unless it is a large roundabout [say on a NS limit road] when I will go into third and change down into first if I have to stop/wait.

    I think it does become natural over time. I haven't driven for a little while now, so I am expecting to have to get used to things again. Looking forward to it though. Driving is so good!
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    (Original post by 2_plus_X_equal_me)
    this...

    i tend to do this...

    say for example I'm in 4th gear, with a train of cars behind me heading towards a major round about were there are cars coming from my right.

    1) Hand on gear stick
    2) start my progressive braking
    3) clutch straight down
    4) change to second gear
    5) clutch up if there no cars heading from my right. (5.5 if there are cars coming clutch down again quickly, then change to first)
    6)release clutch, then apply hand brake. OR keep car on biting point/ steadying using accelerator or brake.
    You should be keeping both hands on wheel until you finish braking then put hand to gearstick to change to a covering gear if that is the way you wish to drive

    You can then re-apply the brakes if necessary

    Once you get experienced you can choose to do only one gear change for the hazard

    See hazard - brake - opportunity to GO so - off brake - change gear and GO
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    Apart from going into 1st gear - there should generally be no reason to brake and change gear at the same time
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    I am pretty mych near the end of my lessons I hope. My instructor tells me to change down when I get there. I prefer to change to 3 before hand and then choose 2 or 1 when I get there. Makes life easier for me.

    Also I sometimes go round in third gear but sssshhhh ^_^
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    (Original post by steadmusic)
    I am pretty mych near the end of my lessons I hope. My instructor tells me to change down when I get there. I prefer to change to 3 before hand and then choose 2 or 1 when I get there. Makes life easier for me.

    Also I sometimes go round in third gear but sssshhhh ^_^
    That is called using 3rd as a covering gear which is ok as long as you are not braking and changing gear at the same time
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    (Original post by ROG.)
    You should be keeping both hands on wheel until you finish braking then put hand to gearstick to change to a covering gear if that is the way you wish to drive

    You can then re-apply the brakes if necessary

    Once you get experienced you can choose to do only one gear change for the hazard

    See hazard - brake - opportunity to GO so - off brake - change gear and GO
    shut up

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