Driving Watch

TheEnchantress
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So I’ve been taught to put the clutch fully down, select first gear and then get biting point.
But when reading and watching videos a lot of people mention setting the gas when moving off which I don’t do. Could someone please clarify.
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DE87
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In a diesel you can get away with this as the torque is usually enough to get the car going. In a petrol you will likely stall using this method as the car will require a certain amount of gas to get going. I'd advise getting used to setting the gas when moving off, or you'll find yourself learning all over again if and when you use a petrol car.
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sophia5892
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(Original post by TheEnchantress)
So I’ve been taught to put the clutch fully down, select first gear and then get biting point.
But when reading and watching videos a lot of people mention setting the gas when moving off which I don’t do. Could someone please clarify.
Is setting the gas not the same as finding the biting point? Guessing you’re watching US vids if they’re talking about gas.

Never watched any videos that mentioned that - I was taught the exact same as you (in the UK). Only ever driven a petrol car... and based on DE87’s explanation I’m inclined to believe it’s two different expressions for the same thing.
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RogerOxon
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(Original post by TheEnchantress)
So I’ve been taught to put the clutch fully down, select first gear and then get biting point.
But when reading and watching videos a lot of people mention setting the gas when moving off which I don’t do. Could someone please clarify.
You use as much accelerator as is required for the car not to stall. In some cars, typically diesels and larger capacity engines, you need none or very little.
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TheEnchantress
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(Original post by sophia5892)
Is setting the gas not the same as finding the biting point? Guessing you’re watching US vids if they’re talking about gas.

Never watched any videos that mentioned that - I was taught the exact same as you (in the UK). Only ever driven a petrol car... and based on DE87’s explanation I’m inclined to believe it’s two different expressions for the same thing.
So you could use this method with a petrol and a diesel car... it won’t make any difference??
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DE87
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If a petrol car has a powerful engine (for example a 2L) you may get away with it. A 1L petrol will stall every time if you're only using the clutch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ede9_RGbWgU

A good video here which explains the basic principle.
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sophia5892
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I've never driven diesel... but with a petrol car that's fine (and my car is less than 2L). Without seeing the videos to know what "setting the gas" is it's hard to say...

DE87 - you seem to know wayyy more about cars than me. Finding the biting point isn't just using the clutch - you come partially off the clutch while pressing the accelerator to find the "biting point" (the point where the car won't move if you come off the brake). Is that what they mean by setting the gas?
(Original post by TheEnchantress)
So you could use this method with a petrol and a diesel car... it won’t make any difference??
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DE87
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(Original post by sophia5892)
I've never driven diesel... but with a petrol car that's fine (and my car is less than 2L). Without seeing the videos to know what "setting the gas" is it's hard to say...

DE87 - you seem to know wayyy more about cars than me. Finding the biting point isn't just using the clutch - you come partially off the clutch while pressing the accelerator to find the "biting point" (the point where the car won't move if you come off the brake). Is that what they mean by setting the gas?
Find the biting point is literally where you lift the clutch to the point where the plates meet, nothing to do with the accelerator pedal.

I'm pretty sure what you're describing is known as "setting the gas" - using the accelerator before you get to the biting point and moving away. You can get to the biting point in a petrol car without using the accelerator, but doing so without any gas will usually result in a stall, or at the very least moving away extremely slowly.

The difference with most diesel cars is that they are built in a way that makes them difficult to stall. Even if you lift the clutch to biting point with absolutely no gas the car will usually still go, albeit still quite slowly. It's very forgiving compared to a petrol, which in the same situation would likely stall. You get a ton of people who learn in diesels who suddenly find they buy a petrol and can't stop stalling. Unfortunately the reason is because, like OP, they are being taught to use the pedals for diesel cars only. I learned in a diesel but my instructor constantly told me to set the gas, and not to just rely on the clutch. It makes getting away from junctions and roundabouts much swifter.

TheEnchantress I would have a word with your instructor about this. If they insist that setting the gas isn't important then I'd be a bit concerned.
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sophia5892
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(Original post by DE87)
Find the biting point is literally where you lift the clutch to the point where the plates meet, nothing to do with the accelerator pedal.
Okay - i was taught to "find the bite" by lifting the clutch and pressing the accelerator...
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sophia5892
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(Original post by DE87)
You get a ton of people who learn in diesels who suddenly find they buy a petrol and can't stop stalling. Unfortunately the reason is because, like OP, they are being taught to use the pedals for diesel cars only. I learned in a diesel but my instructor constantly told me to set the gas, and not to just rely on the clutch. It makes getting away from junctions and roundabouts much swifter.
I know nothing about diesels - I've never known anyone to learn in a diesel car either so had no clue it was different!
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DE87
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(Original post by sophia5892)
Okay - i was taught to "find the bite" by lifting the clutch and pressing the accelerator...
It sounds like you were being taught that setting the gas is just a part of the moving off process, which is absolutely correct. Your instructor obviously didn't make a distinction between finding the bite and setting the gas, which is fine because you should do both anyway.

You could find the bite in your car by not setting any gas at all, you'll notice it "jump" once you're at biting point in the same way it would if you had the accelerator pedal down. The difference is as soon as the plates disengage it will stall, even if your foot goes straight to the accelerator to push down.
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sophia5892
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Yeh that's what I was assuming OP was being taught too... so they technically are setting the gas and just not realising!

He had me find the bite with just the clutch a couple of times when I was very very first learning and just sat stationary as it's easier to feel it without being distracted by the accelerator.... but was still taught it should be a movement involving both pedals!

I have an old car now and she stalls super-easy. Have to really ram the accelerator/rev way more than I ever had to in the car I learnt in. A relative drove it once (was insured in her name originally) and then refused to drive it again because of it and she's been driving for decades!
(Original post by DE87)
It sounds like you were being taught that setting the gas is just a part of the moving off process, which is absolutely correct. Your instructor obviously didn't make a distinction between finding the bite and setting the gas, which is fine because you should do both anyway.

You could find the bite in your car by not setting any gas at all, you'll notice it "jump" once you're at biting point in the same way it would if you had the accelerator pedal down. The difference is as soon as the plates disengage it will stall, even if your foot goes straight to the accelerator to push down.
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DE87
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(Original post by sophia5892)
Yeh that's what I was assuming OP was being taught too... so they technically are setting the gas and just not realising!

He had me find the bite with just the clutch a couple of times when I was very very first learning and just sat stationary as it's easier to feel it without being distracted by the accelerator.... but was still taught it should be a movement involving both pedals!

I have an old car now and she stalls super-easy. Have to really ram the accelerator/rev way more than I ever had to in the car I learnt in. A relative drove it once (was insured in her name originally) and then refused to drive it again because of it and she's been driving for decades!
My current car is a little bit like that. It's quite new (2015) but only has a 1L engine, so if I'm stingy on the gas it will stutter forward at best and stall at worst. I have to be really careful to get a decent amount of revs, especially on hills! I guess the nice part is that if and when we switch to cars with more powerful engines it'll feel really easy in comparison :')

But yeah, if OP is setting gas whilst getting to the bite then she's fine. If not then there's a problem - but easily fixable. Either way hopefully these replies have helped a bit!
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