Author Topic: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement  (Read 7855 times)

runningthroughFIRE

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 335
  • Age: 26
  • Location: Northwest Indiana
  • As heavy as it needs to be to make you stronger
Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« on: September 17, 2016, 01:32:54 PM »
I was in an accident on Thursday morning on my way into work and my car is totalled (no one injured beyond a few scrapes and bruises).  An officer actually got the whole thing on camera.  I'm not at fault, and it was a commercial vehicle that hit me (Comcast van) so I'm hoping the insurance claim will get resolved relatively quickly.

This puts me in the unfortunate position of needing to get a new (to me) car on short notice.  Because this was so sudden and I was planning on running my car into the ground after another 4+ years, I haven't done any research into used cars.  I have a little rental that I should be reimbursed for eventually, but in the mean time I'm stuck paying for it out of pocket.  Kelley blue book only put my old 2002 car at $2,000 on a good day, or a $800 trade-in.  I can't drive manual right now, but I do want to learn - issue is that I live on my own and don't know anyone closer than 150 miles away who could help me learn (and actually drive the car off the lot/driveway when I buy it). I can't think of a better community to ask about efficient, not-ridiculous cars than this forum, so I was hoping the mustachians would be able to help!

I have about $5K in a checking account I can freely use, another $1K in a CD that I can withdraw early, and 3K in a savings account that will charge a fee if it dips below 1.5K (9K all-in). Any more than this and I'll be dipping into invested retirement savings.

Typical driving habits are ~20-25 miles per weekday for work related (mostly open highway) driving, and a ~200/240 mile drive back home to visit family/friends for a weekend every other month.

I did get one lead on a 2013 Ford Fiesta that one of my good friends' parents are selling back in our home town.  Other than that, I don't know where to even start.  It's got 44K miles on it, was originally bought new, and they're selling it for the current value of the loan at around $5.7K.  The pictures look like it's in decent shape, and this family generally takes good care of their things. It is manual, so I'd have to work out logistics there, but since it's in my home town I could probably get my dad or sister to help me learn for a few days. Worth looking into?

frugalcoconut

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 78
  • Age: 39
  • Location: South Florida
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2016, 05:11:44 PM »
Buying a car is (hopefully) a long-term commitment ... so it's worth it to take the time to make sure you're getting a reliable efficient car that you'll be happy with.

I just plugged in a few of the specs into KBB but results are dependent on zip code, style (sedan/hatchback), condition, etc. ... $5.7K might be in the ballpark but you should get more info and see what the private party value is.

It's obviously more convenient to buy a car from your friends' parents ... but if you're not sure how to drive a stick, is there a reason you didn't have it with the last car?  (For me, even though manual obviously gets better gas mileage, I don't want to put that much thought into driving nor do I want to have my right hand constantly on-call to shift gears.)  Plus you won't even be able to test drive it.  ;)

If you're only getting a so-so deal from the friends' parents (I'm not sure if they would be willing to lower the price simply because they know you) then it's probably worth it to shop around.

Don't limit yourself to one lead ... check out AutoTrader and similar websites (even Craigslist) ... if possible, get someone to take you around to various used car lots (offer to buy them lunch or something).  I bought my last car from a dealer, and the car before that from a private party ... each has merit as long as *you* are satisfied with the transaction.

fishnfool

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 337
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2016, 05:23:26 PM »
My DW was a claims adjuster, now sales agent. One thing she taught me is to do a little research on my wrecked cars value. Private party values on craigslist etc. Sometimes certain makes are worth more than high blue book. Toyota and Honda most always. When they call to offer you a low ridiculous payoff for your car never take their first offer. Tell them how nice your car was, values you see it being offered for etc. They always have more money to play with!

nancy33

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 132
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2016, 09:56:12 PM »
My car wasn't totalled but rear ended recently and I am driving a rental car right now. Are you sure you will be reimbursed???In my case, at first they were "running the claim through my insurance" and they were going to make me pay up front for the rental car. However I raised a stink and now they ran it through the other person's insurance (it wasn't my fault) and the rental car is being  paid UP FRONT by the guilty person's insurance. Years ago my car was hit while parked and I was told to just pay for the rental car up front and I'd be reimbursed and in the end, I got a letter saying I was on my own to take the other guy to court if I wanted to be reimbursed for the rental. It was over a thousand dollars!! Be careful!! Sorry if this post  is confusing.

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5569
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2016, 11:01:56 PM »
I realize this Fiesta is a manual, but I would caution you against buying a Fiesta or Focus with an automatic.  The newer ones have a habit of being shuddery/jerky and a lot of people are complaining.  A manual won't have that problem, but just in case that falls through and you find one that's an auto...keep that in mind!

runningthroughFIRE

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 335
  • Age: 26
  • Location: Northwest Indiana
  • As heavy as it needs to be to make you stronger
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2016, 08:05:38 AM »
[...]
It's obviously more convenient to buy a car from your friends' parents ... but if you're not sure how to drive a stick, is there a reason you didn't have it with the last car?  (For me, even though manual obviously gets better gas mileage, I don't want to put that much thought into driving nor do I want to have my right hand constantly on-call to shift gears.)  Plus you won't even be able to test drive it.  ;)
[...]
Don't limit yourself to one lead ... check out AutoTrader and similar websites (even Craigslist) ... if possible, get someone to take you around to various used car lots (offer to buy them lunch or something).  I bought my last car from a dealer, and the car before that from a private party ... each has merit as long as *you* are satisfied with the transaction.

I didn't get manual with the last car because another family friend sold it to me when I was 16 for $3,000 with 76K miles and good maintenance records.  I think I'm going to at least check out the Fiesta this weekend, so since it's in my hometown I'll ask my dad or sister to test drive it for me while I sit in the passenger seat.  I drove a stick for all of maybe an hour when I was first learning to drive (dad's car), but got frustrated with it at the time and gave up, since I already knew the car I was going to be driving wouldn't be manual transmission.

I'm still poking around other places for sure.  Since the accident happened all of 4 days ago, this was just the first thing I happened to come across and it seemed like a really solid option, so it's stuck in my mind.  My parents came to visit and took me to a Honda dealership just to sit in the cars and see what they were like, actually.  The newer Fits were going for I think 20K just sticker price, and their financing was at 0.9%.  It weirded me out how reasonable that sounded if I could knock a few thousand off the price.

My car wasn't totalled but rear ended recently and I am driving a rental car right now. Are you sure you will be reimbursed???In my case, at first they were "running the claim through my insurance" and they were going to make me pay up front for the rental car. However I raised a stink and now they ran it through the other person's insurance (it wasn't my fault) and the rental car is being  paid UP FRONT by the guilty person's insurance. Years ago my car was hit while parked and I was told to just pay for the rental car up front and I'd be reimbursed and in the end, I got a letter saying I was on my own to take the other guy to court if I wanted to be reimbursed for the rental. It was over a thousand dollars!! Be careful!! Sorry if this post  is confusing.

I'm really hoping at this point... I have liability only, so my insurance wouldn't cover it, but the car that caused the accident was the Comcast van, and my agent told me that since they're at fault it would go under their insurance and that commercial vehicles generally carry it.  I needed *something* right away, so I got the cheapest rental I could for the next 2 weeks, but all-in it's still a pretty penny.  I intend to be insistent on getting reimbursed.

I realize this Fiesta is a manual, but I would caution you against buying a Fiesta or Focus with an automatic.  The newer ones have a habit of being shuddery/jerky and a lot of people are complaining.  A manual won't have that problem, but just in case that falls through and you find one that's an auto...keep that in mind!

I was reading some reviews of the car, and that part really worried me... So the issues are only in the automatic transmissions?  If I was going to get an automatic car again I'd probably try to find something from Honda or Toyota.

runningthroughFIRE

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 335
  • Age: 26
  • Location: Northwest Indiana
  • As heavy as it needs to be to make you stronger
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2016, 08:26:11 AM »
My DW was a claims adjuster, now sales agent. One thing she taught me is to do a little research on my wrecked cars value. Private party values on craigslist etc. Sometimes certain makes are worth more than high blue book. Toyota and Honda most always. When they call to offer you a low ridiculous payoff for your car never take their first offer. Tell them how nice your car was, values you see it being offered for etc. They always have more money to play with!

The old car was a 2002 Pontiac Grand Am GT. Do you just mean selling the car for scrap parts?  I can't imagine much of anything in the engine bay is salvageable, honestly, and I think that's where most of the value would be, right?

2Birds1Stone

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5496
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Earth
  • K Thnx Bye
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2016, 08:40:16 AM »
Learning manual is not all that difficult.

My grandfather taught me when I was maybe 10-11 years old on some country roads in Poland.

I am sure you can do it in 30-60 minutes with a competent person teaching you. It will take a few weeks to get good at it, but the basics of getting up to speed from a stop, starting uphill, shifting between gears, downshifting, can be learned pretty quickly. 

ketchup

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3952
  • Age: 28
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2016, 09:12:30 AM »
I realize this Fiesta is a manual, but I would caution you against buying a Fiesta or Focus with an automatic.  The newer ones have a habit of being shuddery/jerky and a lot of people are complaining.  A manual won't have that problem, but just in case that falls through and you find one that's an auto...keep that in mind!
I'd second this.  I had a Fieta (automatic) as a rental last month and even with only ~20k miles on it there was definitely something "up" in that department.  I would avoid.

Uturn

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 658
  • Age: 49
  • Location: Holly Springs, NC
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2016, 09:32:29 AM »
The absolute hardest thing about learning to drive a manual is getting out of your own head.  It's too hard, I can't do this, it will take too long, what if i fuck up?  It's not too hard, you can do it, you probably will fuck up a time or ten.  Newer manuals (meaning post 70's) have hydraulic clutches and outstandingly synchronized gears, they damn near drive themselves.   

runningthroughFIRE

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 335
  • Age: 26
  • Location: Northwest Indiana
  • As heavy as it needs to be to make you stronger
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2016, 10:59:43 AM »
Oh, I'd love to learn to drive manual, and I know I can do it.  Getting someone to take the time to safely teach me quickly it is the rub here.  I moved 200+ miles away from home when I graduated from college, and none of my local friends drive manual.  If I hypothetically do decide that the Fiesta is what I want, I would have to drive back for a weekend, check out/mechanically inspect/buy the car, then learn in my hometown.  Do you think I could learn fast enough to be able to safely make the ~220 mile drive home by myself after the weekend, or would I have to take some days off work?

TheAnonOne

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1498
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2016, 12:36:19 PM »
Oh, I'd love to learn to drive manual, and I know I can do it.  Getting someone to take the time to safely teach me quickly it is the rub here.  I moved 200+ miles away from home when I graduated from college, and none of my local friends drive manual.  If I hypothetically do decide that the Fiesta is what I want, I would have to drive back for a weekend, check out/mechanically inspect/buy the car, then learn in my hometown.  Do you think I could learn fast enough to be able to safely make the ~220 mile drive home by myself after the weekend, or would I have to take some days off work?

In a weekend, you will basically be an expert. People act like learning manual cars is a difficult task.

Step 1. Push in clutch, and push the stick to "1"
Step 2. Give it gas, release clutch in a quick but smooth way.
Step 3. Once you get going, repeat step 1, but pushing the stick into subsequent gears up to the max.

Other use cases...
1. When you stop, push the brakes and clutch at the same time.

2.When you slow down to a large degree you will need to shift down. (IE: going 70 on the freeway, but traffic slows to 25) The car (especially a fiesta) won't have enough power in top gear (5 or 6) to push the car much going only 25.

3. When you need to reverse... Push clutch in... put stick in "R"... release clutch in a smooth fashion but probably not entirely out.

A car will begin moving once the clutch is more than 0% engaged and is considered 100% engaged upon being entirely released (IE: your foot is off the pedal) So when your going in reverse for a just a short moment, you may only want to give it some gas and let the clutch out half way. Don't do the "Half way" thing too much as it basically wears away material. Clutches are wear items, much like brakes, but will generally last the life of the car.

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5569
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2016, 12:38:40 PM »
I was reading some reviews of the car, and that part really worried me... So the issues are only in the automatic transmissions?  If I was going to get an automatic car again I'd probably try to find something from Honda or Toyota.

Yes, just the automatic. It happens because it's not a traditional automatic transmission with a torque converter - it's basically a computer-operated manual transmission, so it has a tendency to shudder.  It feels like something is broken...it's weird. My only experience was with a rental Focus, but I would definitely not want to buy one. You wouldn't experience that behavior with a proper manual because you would control the clutch engagement yourself.

Sailor Sam

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4146
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Steel Beach
  • Semper...something
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2016, 01:01:05 PM »
Oh, I'd love to learn to drive manual, and I know I can do it.  Getting someone to take the time to safely teach me quickly it is the rub here.  I moved 200+ miles away from home when I graduated from college, and none of my local friends drive manual.  If I hypothetically do decide that the Fiesta is what I want, I would have to drive back for a weekend, check out/mechanically inspect/buy the car, then learn in my hometown.  Do you think I could learn fast enough to be able to safely make the ~220 mile drive home by myself after the weekend, or would I have to take some days off work?

What kind of terrain? Starting on a big hill is one of the later manual driving skills that locked in for me. I moved to Seattle 18 months ago, and learning the heel-toe maneouver took a little while, and I burned a layer of the ablative off my clutch.

Even if there are hills, I think you'll be fine driving home on the weekend. Just try to avoid stop and go traffic.

Blonde Lawyer

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 734
    • My Student Loan Refi Story
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2016, 01:28:04 PM »
My parents helped me buy a new to me Saturn SL right out of college that was a standard.  The dealership guy taught me to drive it on my test drive.  It really wasn't that difficult.  However, if you don't have a support network in the area, I'd think twice about a stick shift - but maybe this is just my own crazy personal experience.  I broke my right shoulder and couldn't drive it for months!! My parents had to drive up their car and swap with me until I could drive it again.  I've had clients in the same situation.  You only need one hand and one leg to drive an automatic.  You need two hands and two legs to drive a stick shift.  If you have a job or hobby where you are likely to be injured, just keep that in mind.

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5569
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2016, 03:08:32 PM »
Oh, I'd love to learn to drive manual, and I know I can do it.  Getting someone to take the time to safely teach me quickly it is the rub here.  I moved 200+ miles away from home when I graduated from college, and none of my local friends drive manual.  If I hypothetically do decide that the Fiesta is what I want, I would have to drive back for a weekend, check out/mechanically inspect/buy the car, then learn in my hometown.  Do you think I could learn fast enough to be able to safely make the ~220 mile drive home by myself after the weekend, or would I have to take some days off work?

What kind of terrain? Starting on a big hill is one of the later manual driving skills that locked in for me. I moved to Seattle 18 months ago, and learning the heel-toe maneouver took a little while, and I burned a layer of the ablative off my clutch.

Even if there are hills, I think you'll be fine driving home on the weekend. Just try to avoid stop and go traffic.

I've never done that for normal street driving.  The only time I've really paid much attention to heel-toe was for downshifts when on a racetrack (braking while simultaneously rev-matching a downshift).  For hills, you can generally start moving forwards quickly enough that you don't roll back more than a few inches.

dogboyslim

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 413
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2016, 03:32:06 PM »
I drove a 2013 manual fiesta for a couple of years.  It would be a great learning car because the friction point is a pretty strong grab.

I learned on my own.

Here is how I did it and my advice for learning: Starting on level ground I put in the clutch, started it and put it in first gear.  I left my foot off the gas and just let the clutch out until I found the friction point, then let the clutch out all the way until I was idling along.  I then adjusted to add gas based upon my desired acceleration rate.  Shift gears when the engine gets loud.  I think the fiesta actually has a little arrow that comes on when the RPMs hit a decent shift point.  When slowing down shift gears when the engine gets to just above the idle rpm.  It will become automatic and no thought will be required after about a week.

For hills, use the handbrake.
1.  Stop on hill (clutch depressed with left foot, brake depressed with right foot.)
2.  Apply the hand brake.  (Gear in 1, right hand on handbrake holding it up while depressing the button so it can be put back down slowly).
3.  Remove right foot from brake and apply gas as you remove clutch.  When you feel friction point, keep the gas where it is and slowly let down the hand-brake.
4.  Resume driving as usual.

Never try to put it in 1st gear while the car is rolling.  All slow speed driving is done in 2nd, including turns.

As for fiesta/focus, the focus is a bit better because the seats folded give a flat load floor.  Still, I liked the fiesta quite a bit.  Good luck, and sorry to hear about the accident.

Edit: I forgot to add.  Manuals often have quirks that people who drive automatics never know about.  Sometimes there is a button on the steering column that you have to press to get the key out.  Sometimes you have to pull up a collar or press the stick down or something like that to get it in reverse.  If either of these happens, start looking for a button or something else you have to press.  I don't recall the fiesta having any of these.  Best of luck!
« Last Edit: September 19, 2016, 03:36:57 PM by dogboyslim »

Sailor Sam

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4146
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Steel Beach
  • Semper...something
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2016, 03:44:43 PM »
Oh, I'd love to learn to drive manual, and I know I can do it.  Getting someone to take the time to safely teach me quickly it is the rub here.  I moved 200+ miles away from home when I graduated from college, and none of my local friends drive manual.  If I hypothetically do decide that the Fiesta is what I want, I would have to drive back for a weekend, check out/mechanically inspect/buy the car, then learn in my hometown.  Do you think I could learn fast enough to be able to safely make the ~220 mile drive home by myself after the weekend, or would I have to take some days off work?

What kind of terrain? Starting on a big hill is one of the later manual driving skills that locked in for me. I moved to Seattle 18 months ago, and learning the heel-toe maneouver took a little while, and I burned a layer of the ablative off my clutch.

Even if there are hills, I think you'll be fine driving home on the weekend. Just try to avoid stop and go traffic.

I've never done that for normal street driving.  The only time I've really paid much attention to heel-toe was for downshifts when on a racetrack (braking while simultaneously rev-matching a downshift).  For hills, you can generally start moving forwards quickly enough that you don't roll back more than a few inches.
Oh yeah, I agree that most hills don't require heel-toe adventures. I drove a stick for years before I got to Seattle, and needed to figure out how to avoid rolling back on the really steep hills. I figured it was time after I embarrassed myself a couple times. Even then, most hills in this wretched city are fine with regular clutch n' gas. 
« Last Edit: September 30, 2016, 09:44:31 AM by Sailor Sam »

runningthroughFIRE

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 335
  • Age: 26
  • Location: Northwest Indiana
  • As heavy as it needs to be to make you stronger
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2016, 12:06:22 PM »
Update:  I ended up buying the Fiesta and drove it home just fine.  I did stall it once on the trip by being a bit absentminded and letting up on the clutch too quickly/not giving enough gas at a stoplight, but recovered pretty quickly.  The car seems zippier than my old car was, but that might be just due to paying a lot more attention to the car itself as a manual transmission.  I also stalled it once coming home from work yesterday when there was a bit of stop and go traffic on a moderately sized hill.

Overall I'm pretty happy with it, and I can tell I'm getting already getting better at driving it every day.  I need to work on not giving it too much gas and shifting from first to second more smoothly, but that will come with time.  Thank you all for the tips and reassurances!

NoStacheOhio

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2143
  • Location: Cleveland
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2016, 12:49:27 PM »
Update:  I ended up buying the Fiesta and drove it home just fine.  I did stall it once on the trip by being a bit absentminded and letting up on the clutch too quickly/not giving enough gas at a stoplight, but recovered pretty quickly.  The car seems zippier than my old car was, but that might be just due to paying a lot more attention to the car itself as a manual transmission.  I also stalled it once coming home from work yesterday when there was a bit of stop and go traffic on a moderately sized hill.

Overall I'm pretty happy with it, and I can tell I'm getting already getting better at driving it every day.  I need to work on not giving it too much gas and shifting from first to second more smoothly, but that will come with time.  Thank you all for the tips and reassurances!

I rush-hour commute in a 6-speed. My wife thinks I'm insane.

I usually try to let the car idle in first or second through stop-and-go traffic, letting the gap to the car in front grow and shrink substantially from moment to moment (obviously keeping a safe distance). It's easier on the transmission and your nerves. Just watch out for people jumping into your lane.

robartsd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2347
  • Location: Sacramento, CA
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2016, 01:03:51 PM »
Congrats to the OP! Learning to drive a manual transmission on your own is worthy of a "Share Your Badassity" thread!

I rush-hour commute in a 6-speed. My wife thinks I'm insane.
Of course you're insane, we all know the most appropriate vehicle for rush-hour commutes is a bike (and they usually have a lot more than 6 speeds in their transmissions).

I usually try to let the car idle in first or second through stop-and-go traffic, letting the gap to the car in front grow and shrink substantially from moment to moment (obviously keeping a safe distance). It's easier on the transmission and your nerves. Just watch out for people jumping into your lane.
I like this practice when driving an automatic too. Even if you do end up a few seconds slower on your trip, it is worth the reduction of stress (for both driver and car). My goals when driving are usually: 1) be safe, 2) be smooth, 3) be swift.

englishteacheralex

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1865
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Honolulu, HI
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2016, 01:09:14 PM »
We have a manual 2003 Toyota Matrix that we bought in July for $3300. I hadn't driven stick since my dad's car in high school. Getting back into a manual was more difficult than I remembered. I was excited about the idea of a manual because of MMM's blog, but there is so much rush hour traffic and so many hills here that it isn't really always the best option. I will say that our gas bill has become crazy low. My dad was all about the hyper-miling and all those habits came back. Getting 35-40 mpg these days even with the stop/go traffic.

Anyhow, from the day we decided it was time to get a hatchback to replace our sedan to the day we bought the car was about two weeks. Researched makes/models on MMM, got the "Lemon Aid" guide to used cars from the library, checked craigslist and used car lots compulsively (in our price range, we found that used car lots weren't advantageous), and bought the car from a total stranger who had kept it immaculate and had a perfectly organized folder of all maintenance records. Her eyes welled up as she gave us the keys. "I loved this car...please take good care of it," she said. Three months later--she was right to love the car. It's been a beaut.

As for a manual--yeah, I actually might think twice about getting one if you don't know how to drive one and are single. Breaking various bones unexpectedly can actually make it impossible to drive for a while. Happened to my dad! It's just not that hard to find a well-maintained beater for <$3k these days. Good luck!

MsPeacock

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1539
  • Location: High COL
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2016, 05:46:51 PM »
I learned to drive a manual shift by buying one and driving it home. I stalled a bunch of times, cried, swore - and figured it out. This was many years before the internet existed so all I had to go by was some very short verbal instructions that others gave me beforehand. Between YouTube videos and a friend who can help you, you can learn to drive a manual transmission in a couple hours. Really. It isn't that hard. It will make you mad and likely swear a bunch, and then you will get the hang of it. And then for the ret of your life you will know how to drive a manual transmission car. :)

rothwem

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 555
  • Location: WNC
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #23 on: September 30, 2016, 05:39:38 AM »
What kind of terrain? Starting on a big hill is one of the later manual driving skills that locked in for me. I moved to Seattle 18 months ago, and learning the heel-toe maneouver took a little while, and I burned a layer of the ablative off my clutch.

Even if there are hills, I think you'll be fine driving home on the weekend. Just try to avoid stop and go traffic.

I've never done that for normal street driving.  The only time I've really paid much attention to heel-toe was for downshifts when on a racetrack (braking while simultaneously rev-matching a downshift).  For hills, you can generally start moving forwards quickly enough that you don't roll back more than a few inches.

Heel-Toeing, once you get used to it, can be used on the street just as much as on the racetrack.  My goal, when driving on the street in a manual transmission car, is to make the car feel as smooth as an automatic would.  Rev-matching the downshifts is one way to do it so you don't have to clutch in for turns and clutch out when going straight again.  Hell, I could heel-toe in my Toyota Tacoma!

NoStacheOhio

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2143
  • Location: Cleveland
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #24 on: September 30, 2016, 06:05:57 AM »
I rush-hour commute in a 6-speed. My wife thinks I'm insane.
Of course you're insane, we all know the most appropriate vehicle for rush-hour commutes is a bike (and they usually have a lot more than 6 speeds in their transmissions).

Har.

Bikes aren't allowed on the highway, and Cleveland was designed by accident, basically.

I usually try to let the car idle in first or second through stop-and-go traffic, letting the gap to the car in front grow and shrink substantially from moment to moment (obviously keeping a safe distance). It's easier on the transmission and your nerves. Just watch out for people jumping into your lane.
I like this practice when driving an automatic too. Even if you do end up a few seconds slower on your trip, it is worth the reduction of stress (for both driver and car). My goals when driving are usually: 1) be safe, 2) be smooth, 3) be swift.

"Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast." :)

NoStacheOhio

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2143
  • Location: Cleveland
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #25 on: September 30, 2016, 06:11:03 AM »
What kind of terrain? Starting on a big hill is one of the later manual driving skills that locked in for me. I moved to Seattle 18 months ago, and learning the heel-toe maneouver took a little while, and I burned a layer of the ablative off my clutch.

Even if there are hills, I think you'll be fine driving home on the weekend. Just try to avoid stop and go traffic.

I've never done that for normal street driving.  The only time I've really paid much attention to heel-toe was for downshifts when on a racetrack (braking while simultaneously rev-matching a downshift).  For hills, you can generally start moving forwards quickly enough that you don't roll back more than a few inches.

Heel-Toeing, once you get used to it, can be used on the street just as much as on the racetrack.  My goal, when driving on the street in a manual transmission car, is to make the car feel as smooth as an automatic would.  Rev-matching the downshifts is one way to do it so you don't have to clutch in for turns and clutch out when going straight again.  Hell, I could heel-toe in my Toyota Tacoma!

I have trouble not heel/toe-ing and rev matching. It's almost painful for me to ride with someone who just clutches around corners. It gives me anxiety because it feels weird when it's not under power.

I looked at the Focus ST a while back (pre-MMM), and decided not to get one partially based on the pedal placement. The gas and brake were on different planes, basically, it was really bizarre.

englishteacheralex

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1865
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Honolulu, HI
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #26 on: September 30, 2016, 08:57:55 AM »
Update:  I ended up buying the Fiesta and drove it home just fine.  I did stall it once on the trip by being a bit absentminded and letting up on the clutch too quickly/not giving enough gas at a stoplight, but recovered pretty quickly.  The car seems zippier than my old car was, but that might be just due to paying a lot more attention to the car itself as a manual transmission.  I also stalled it once coming home from work yesterday when there was a bit of stop and go traffic on a moderately sized hill.

Overall I'm pretty happy with it, and I can tell I'm getting already getting better at driving it every day.  I need to work on not giving it too much gas and shifting from first to second more smoothly, but that will come with time.  Thank you all for the tips and reassurances!

WHAT? You bought it and drove it home? How did you learn to drive stick so fast? You, sir, are a bad ass! Good on you!

Uturn

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 658
  • Age: 49
  • Location: Holly Springs, NC
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #27 on: September 30, 2016, 09:25:00 AM »
WHAT? You bought it and drove it home? How did you learn to drive stick so fast? You, sir, are a bad ass! Good on you!

When I was 16, I was selling my first car, which was an automatic.  I was supposed to meet the buyer, but had to work late.  My dad came up to my work to take my car and leave his truck. 
Me: But Dad, I don't know how to drive a stick
Dad:  I looks like you're going to learn
Then he leaves.  That truck kicked and bucked and stalled all the way home, but I eventually figured it out.  Dad was real good at giving just enough information to keep you on track, but mostly let me figure things out.  I didn't like his methods at the time, but it taught me a ton. 

mlejw6

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 225
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Alexandria, VA
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #28 on: September 30, 2016, 10:12:36 AM »
Congrats on learning to drive manual! Your experience was similar to mine, with one very annoying difference. No one in my family knows how to drive stick, but I was itching to learn. So, when I was your age, I jumped at the chance to buy a used Saturn from my uncle. He lived 500 miles away in Maine. See, you were lucky getting your car in September. I got mine in February. In Maine. That is the annoying difference.

My uncle taught me in two days. Most of it was frustrating, but doable. Until I had to leave an icy parking lot on a steep hill into a very busy, high speed, two-lane road with limited visibility. It probably took me 20 minutes just to get out of that dang parking lot! I then had to drive 500 miles home. Yeah, I stalled a couple of times. But, on the whole, it wasn't horrible.

The great thing about manuals is they are cheaper in every way: cheaper to fuel (usually), cheaper to maintain, cheaper to buy. And, thieves don't want to steal them!

runningthroughFIRE

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 335
  • Age: 26
  • Location: Northwest Indiana
  • As heavy as it needs to be to make you stronger
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #29 on: September 30, 2016, 03:22:15 PM »
Thanks everyone!  I've stalled a total of 4 times now.  Twice in parking lots forgetting to push the clutch in when I stopped, and twice on the road.  Stalling on a hill in stop-and-go traffic was pretty embarassing and several choice expletives were yelled, but there was a silver lining: The woman in the van behind me stopped tailgating me so hard after that lol.

I haven't filled up my gas tank just yet to check, but according to the little reading on the dashboard I've been getting 40.3 average mpg on this tank (admittedly mostly highway miles) when the EPA highway estimate is only 39.  I'm feeling pretty smug about that, especially considering I'm probably wasting a good deal of gas reving the engine too much.  My old car would only get ~31.5 mpg highway typically.

robartsd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2347
  • Location: Sacramento, CA
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #30 on: September 30, 2016, 03:51:40 PM »
Thanks everyone!  I've stalled a total of 4 times now.  Twice in parking lots forgetting to push the clutch in when I stopped, and twice on the road.  Stalling on a hill in stop-and-go traffic was pretty embarassing and several choice expletives were yelled, but there was a silver lining: The woman in the van behind me stopped tailgating me so hard after that lol.
Four times is great - sometimes someone with plenty of experience driving a manual will stall a few times when getting to know a new vehicle!

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5569
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #31 on: October 04, 2016, 03:54:25 PM »
What kind of terrain? Starting on a big hill is one of the later manual driving skills that locked in for me. I moved to Seattle 18 months ago, and learning the heel-toe maneouver took a little while, and I burned a layer of the ablative off my clutch.

Even if there are hills, I think you'll be fine driving home on the weekend. Just try to avoid stop and go traffic.

I've never done that for normal street driving.  The only time I've really paid much attention to heel-toe was for downshifts when on a racetrack (braking while simultaneously rev-matching a downshift).  For hills, you can generally start moving forwards quickly enough that you don't roll back more than a few inches.

Heel-Toeing, once you get used to it, can be used on the street just as much as on the racetrack.  My goal, when driving on the street in a manual transmission car, is to make the car feel as smooth as an automatic would.  Rev-matching the downshifts is one way to do it so you don't have to clutch in for turns and clutch out when going straight again.  Hell, I could heel-toe in my Toyota Tacoma!

When I'm street driving I'm almost never simultaneously downshifting and braking.  I do rev-match downshift but don't use my heel (if you're not braking, it seems silly to move your foot over to the brake pedal just so you can heel-toe a downshift).

I'm not sure what you mean by 'clutch in for turns', though.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2016, 03:55:58 PM by JLee »

NoStacheOhio

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2143
  • Location: Cleveland
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #32 on: October 04, 2016, 07:30:16 PM »
What kind of terrain? Starting on a big hill is one of the later manual driving skills that locked in for me. I moved to Seattle 18 months ago, and learning the heel-toe maneouver took a little while, and I burned a layer of the ablative off my clutch.

Even if there are hills, I think you'll be fine driving home on the weekend. Just try to avoid stop and go traffic.

I've never done that for normal street driving.  The only time I've really paid much attention to heel-toe was for downshifts when on a racetrack (braking while simultaneously rev-matching a downshift).  For hills, you can generally start moving forwards quickly enough that you don't roll back more than a few inches.

Heel-Toeing, once you get used to it, can be used on the street just as much as on the racetrack.  My goal, when driving on the street in a manual transmission car, is to make the car feel as smooth as an automatic would.  Rev-matching the downshifts is one way to do it so you don't have to clutch in for turns and clutch out when going straight again.  Hell, I could heel-toe in my Toyota Tacoma!

When I'm street driving I'm almost never simultaneously downshifting and braking.  I do rev-match downshift but don't use my heel (if you're not braking, it seems silly to move your foot over to the brake pedal just so you can heel-toe a downshift).

I'm not sure what you mean by 'clutch in for turns', though.

Some people go around corners with the clutch depressed (i.e. in neutral). It's really unsettling for the passengers.

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5569
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #33 on: October 04, 2016, 07:34:43 PM »
What kind of terrain? Starting on a big hill is one of the later manual driving skills that locked in for me. I moved to Seattle 18 months ago, and learning the heel-toe maneouver took a little while, and I burned a layer of the ablative off my clutch.

Even if there are hills, I think you'll be fine driving home on the weekend. Just try to avoid stop and go traffic.

I've never done that for normal street driving.  The only time I've really paid much attention to heel-toe was for downshifts when on a racetrack (braking while simultaneously rev-matching a downshift).  For hills, you can generally start moving forwards quickly enough that you don't roll back more than a few inches.

Heel-Toeing, once you get used to it, can be used on the street just as much as on the racetrack.  My goal, when driving on the street in a manual transmission car, is to make the car feel as smooth as an automatic would.  Rev-matching the downshifts is one way to do it so you don't have to clutch in for turns and clutch out when going straight again.  Hell, I could heel-toe in my Toyota Tacoma!

When I'm street driving I'm almost never simultaneously downshifting and braking.  I do rev-match downshift but don't use my heel (if you're not braking, it seems silly to move your foot over to the brake pedal just so you can heel-toe a downshift).

I'm not sure what you mean by 'clutch in for turns', though.

Some people go around corners with the clutch depressed (i.e. in neutral). It's really unsettling for the passengers.

That's...odd, lol.

NoStacheOhio

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2143
  • Location: Cleveland
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #34 on: October 05, 2016, 06:00:57 AM »
Quote
Some people go around corners with the clutch depressed (i.e. in neutral). It's really unsettling for the passengers.

I don't get this... I do it all the time...it's part of downshifting when making a turn without stopping....  no one complains... guess I've gotten good after 325K on a stick...

You just put the clutch in without changing gear? Or you clutch as part of a downshift? Holding the clutch in just shortens the life on your throwout bearing.

rothwem

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 555
  • Location: WNC
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #35 on: October 05, 2016, 06:46:38 AM »
Quote
Some people go around corners with the clutch depressed (i.e. in neutral). It's really unsettling for the passengers.

I don't get this... I do it all the time...it's part of downshifting when making a turn without stopping....  no one complains... guess I've gotten good after 325K on a stick...

No one complains because they just chalk the jerkyness up to riding in a car with a stick, since you're probably the only person they've ridden with that has a manual. Most people I've ridden with clutch in for turns, and it's the lazy way to do it. The sequence I've seen usually goes like this (and it drives me nuts):

1) 5th gear cruising
2) See turn
3) Clutch and brake in at the same time
4) Shift to second, leaving clutch in
5) Coast around turn
6) Clutch out
7) Apply throttle

The "jerk" usually occurs at step 6. You can avoid that by heel toeing into the gear that you need to be in after the turn (usually 2nd) and leaving the clutch engaged during the turn.

GreenEggs

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 745
  • Location: Here & There
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #36 on: October 05, 2016, 08:11:52 AM »
I've been looking at cars on hertzcarsales.com for good deals on newer used cars.  Anybody try them?

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5569
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #37 on: October 05, 2016, 08:31:47 AM »
Quote
Some people go around corners with the clutch depressed (i.e. in neutral). It's really unsettling for the passengers.

I don't get this... I do it all the time...it's part of downshifting when making a turn without stopping....  no one complains... guess I've gotten good after 325K on a stick...

No one complains because they just chalk the jerkyness up to riding in a car with a stick, since you're probably the only person they've ridden with that has a manual. Most people I've ridden with clutch in for turns, and it's the lazy way to do it. The sequence I've seen usually goes like this (and it drives me nuts):

1) 5th gear cruising
2) See turn
3) Clutch and brake in at the same time
4) Shift to second, leaving clutch in
5) Coast around turn
6) Clutch out
7) Apply throttle

The "jerk" usually occurs at step 6. You can avoid that by heel toeing into the gear that you need to be in after the turn (usually 2nd) and leaving the clutch engaged during the turn.

If acceleration is next (step 7) after clutch out (step 6), why would one be braking in step 6?

NoStacheOhio

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2143
  • Location: Cleveland
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #38 on: October 05, 2016, 09:11:53 AM »
If acceleration is next (step 7) after clutch out (step 6), why would one be braking in step 6?

Do your braking and downshifting before the turn, go around the corner in gear and smoothly power out as you unwind the wheel.

Downshifting and braking while going around the corner is called trail braking, and requires one to heel-toe. It is harder to do, and can unsettle the car if done improperly because you may overload the outside front tire. It can be faster though.

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5569
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #39 on: October 05, 2016, 09:47:11 AM »
If acceleration is next (step 7) after clutch out (step 6), why would one be braking in step 6?

Do your braking and downshifting before the turn, go around the corner in gear and smoothly power out as you unwind the wheel.

Downshifting and braking while going around the corner is called trail braking, and requires one to heel-toe. It is harder to do, and can unsettle the car if done improperly because you may overload the outside front tire. It can be faster though.

Yep.  I'm confused why some people keep referring to heel-toe to smooth out normal street driving.  Rev matching a downshift, sure -- but it's incredibly rare to need to brake and simultaneously downshift during normal driving.

I have hours of track time with mid-engine cars - I'm quite familiar with the perils of trail braking. MR2s like to bite you if driven poorly, lol.

rothwem

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 555
  • Location: WNC
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #40 on: October 05, 2016, 11:20:47 AM »


I don't use it because I don't want to spring for the extra stuff needed to use heel toe outside a racetrack...

What do you need to buy to heel toe? I was fine heel toe-ing in a bone stock Toyota Tacoma..

rothwem

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 555
  • Location: WNC
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #41 on: October 05, 2016, 11:22:14 AM »
Quote
Some people go around corners with the clutch depressed (i.e. in neutral). It's really unsettling for the passengers.

I don't get this... I do it all the time...it's part of downshifting when making a turn without stopping....  no one complains... guess I've gotten good after 325K on a stick...

No one complains because they just chalk the jerkyness up to riding in a car with a stick, since you're probably the only person they've ridden with that has a manual. Most people I've ridden with clutch in for turns, and it's the lazy way to do it. The sequence I've seen usually goes like this (and it drives me nuts):

1) 5th gear cruising
2) See turn
3) Clutch and brake in at the same time
4) Shift to second, leaving clutch in
5) Coast around turn
6) Clutch out
7) Apply throttle

The "jerk" usually occurs at step 6. You can avoid that by heel toeing into the gear that you need to be in after the turn (usually 2nd) and leaving the clutch engaged during the turn.

If acceleration is next (step 7) after clutch out (step 6), why would one be braking in step 6?

 Because the engine speed is almost never matched to the wheel speed. The jerk can be acceleration or deceleration.

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5569
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #42 on: October 05, 2016, 12:25:55 PM »
Quote
Some people go around corners with the clutch depressed (i.e. in neutral). It's really unsettling for the passengers.

I don't get this... I do it all the time...it's part of downshifting when making a turn without stopping....  no one complains... guess I've gotten good after 325K on a stick...

No one complains because they just chalk the jerkyness up to riding in a car with a stick, since you're probably the only person they've ridden with that has a manual. Most people I've ridden with clutch in for turns, and it's the lazy way to do it. The sequence I've seen usually goes like this (and it drives me nuts):

1) 5th gear cruising
2) See turn
3) Clutch and brake in at the same time
4) Shift to second, leaving clutch in
5) Coast around turn
6) Clutch out
7) Apply throttle

The "jerk" usually occurs at step 6. You can avoid that by heel toeing into the gear that you need to be in after the turn (usually 2nd) and leaving the clutch engaged during the turn.

If acceleration is next (step 7) after clutch out (step 6), why would one be braking in step 6?

 Because the engine speed is almost never matched to the wheel speed. The jerk can be acceleration or deceleration.

That doesn't answer the question.  Why are you factoring braking into the step that's immediately prior to acceleration, i.e. letting the clutch out?

To make sure we're on the same page...what do you see as the definition of heel-toe?

NoStacheOhio

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2143
  • Location: Cleveland
Re: Car suddenly totaled - need a replacement
« Reply #43 on: October 06, 2016, 06:11:01 AM »
I don't want to have to buy--  add on sport pedals, hot air intake, wife beater, gopro, etc....   heel/toe in everyday use is an affectation...

my grandparents drove stick starting in the 40's, my folks in the 60's...all without heel/toe.

My aged mother with a knee replacement can drive my 97 tacoma smoothly with standard procedures....as can I

Don't forget the flat-brimmed sideways ballcap