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Learning to drive: Petrol vs Diesel

Discussion in 'Motors' started by Kobrakai, 20 Sep 2009.

  1. Kobrakai

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 19 Jan 2005

    Posts: 1,151

    Location: Cambridge

    Ive been learning to drive in a Ford Focus 1.8L turbo diesel for some time. I’ve had around 30-35 hours with an instructor and have my test booked for 3 weeks time.

    My instructor has told me that he will be getting a new car the week before my test of the same make and model, but it will be a 1.4L petrol instead.

    I’ve heard from friends that Petrol’s are harder in terms of clutch control than their diesel counterparts, and that I will probably have trouble getting used to it at first and stall a lot?

    I have always been taught to use the clutch/break without using the accelerator at all for manoeuvres and edging forward at junctions/traffic queues, but I have heard this will not be possible in a petrol. Is this true?
     
  2. Janesy B

    Caporegime

    Joined: 19 Apr 2008

    Posts: 25,515

    Yes this is true.

    I had to change from Diesel to Petrol ON the day of my test, it took me about 15 mins to become accustomed to it. Just use a few more revs and you'll be fine.
     
  3. Disco Boy

    Soldato

    Joined: 4 Aug 2009

    Posts: 5,311

    Location: London

    Yes you will need to use the throttle whilst reversing and travelling at low speeds, as the car isn't as torquey. It'll stall if you don't give it any beans.

    Just so long as you have a couple of hours in your instructor's new car before your test, you'll be fine.
     
  4. Spuderoony

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 15 Jan 2004

    Posts: 1,379

    Location: Doncaster

    Yeah, a few more revs are needed. You've got a bit less room for error with a petrol. After driving my 1.4 diesel Fiesta for nearly two years I switched to an RX-8 and stalled it about 3/4 times in the first week at junctions due to not concentrating properly/being too used to the diesel pull.
     
  5. Dorje

    Hitman

    Joined: 13 Feb 2009

    Posts: 730

    Location: North Yorkshire

    As above, significantly less torque from the petrol means you need to balance the throttle with the clutch when pulling away. You'll get used to it easy enough.
     
  6. ganesh

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 23 Sep 2006

    Posts: 2,347

    Location: Wiltshire

    I learnt in a diesel and the first time I drove a petrol was when I bought my first car, I stalled about a million times coming back from Bristol. It took me a while to get used to.
     
  7. Kobrakai

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 19 Jan 2005

    Posts: 1,151

    Location: Cambridge

    I’m thinking perhaps I should try and get a cancelation to move my test a bit nearer before I have to change car...
     
  8. iaind

    Capodecina

    Joined: 26 Feb 2009

    Posts: 14,814

    Location: Exeter

    I really wouldnt panic about it - its not harder, just different - if you're worthy of passing your test you'll get used to it in no time ;)
     
  9. mnet674

    Hitman

    Joined: 24 Jun 2004

    Posts: 929

    Location: Cambridgeshire

    I did my test and all my learning in a 1.6 mk1 focus and all the test manoeuvres were possible with clutch and brakes only ;)

    Different story after the test with a 1.0 swift though!
     
  10. Dreadi

    Soldato

    Joined: 16 Feb 2006

    Posts: 6,689

    As everyone has said, you just need to give it a few revs when pulling off in a petrol. i learnt in a diesel and then passed, came home and jumped straight into a petrol car and drove it fine
     
  11. Janesy B

    Caporegime

    Joined: 19 Apr 2008

    Posts: 25,515

    Why are you panicing so much? It's perfectly doable. I only had two hours with the petrol before my test and I was fine. Don't make it a mental obstacle because it's not a big deal!
     
  12. snowdog

    Capodecina

    Joined: 27 Oct 2005

    Posts: 13,553

    Location: Netherlands

    It depends on the car but with a 1.4 petrol I'd imagine you'd indeed have to use the throttle more, though it depends, if I have to go uphill in my car while reversing I have to use the throttle a bit or it will stall, on flat bits I don't have to use the throttle when reversing or going forward though, but then again, I have a 2.0 petrol not a 1.4...
     
  13. iaind

    Capodecina

    Joined: 26 Feb 2009

    Posts: 14,814

    Location: Exeter

    The amount of throttle you'll need to use could vary from none to a fair bit, depending on a lot of factors - the car in question, the incline you're at - even how fat your examiner is..
     
  14. Memphis

    Capodecina

    Joined: 13 Jan 2004

    Posts: 12,204

    Location: Inverness

    If you are genuinely prepared for your test, you should be able to adapt to any kind of car. You should get at least a couple of runs out in the new car before the test itself which should be more than enough time to adapt to the small differences.
     
  15. Snaggle

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 3,312

    Location: Northants

    Im more worried that you need 35 hours of lessons . Thats quite shocking . And i have found that people struggle comming from a petrol to a diesel rather than the other way about.. All the people that drive my derv always stall it .

    Persil
     
  16. Kobrakai

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 19 Jan 2005

    Posts: 1,151

    Location: Cambridge

    National average is 40 + 20 hours private practice.

    Anyway I have been ready for some time but had to wait 8 weeks for the test and carried on taking 2 hour weekly lessons in that time. Also im nearly 25 so I won't pick it up as easilly as a 17 year old.
     
  17. Snaggle

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 3,312

    Location: Northants

    So are you trying to beat the average ? I think alot of these instructors are just milking students and i dont think at 25 you will learn any slower . Infact you should be better given you have a more sensible head on yer shoulders .

    Persil
     
  18. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 156,656

    No wonder driving standards are so low if the average driver takes 60 hours to grasp the basics pof driving :eek:

    What? :confused:
     
  19. miniyazz

    Soldato

    Joined: 25 Dec 2008

    Posts: 5,979

    Location: Sheffield/Norwich

    With my 1.4 petrol I can go through all the gears on clutch control only, on the level. Haven't really thought about it on inclines. But then my car weighs ~900kg :)
     
  20. Justintime

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 24 Jul 2006

    Posts: 8,869

    Location: Edmonton, London, UK

    Thats just your clutch slipping :p ;)