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  1. #1
    6146-B Billy T's Avatar
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    Question Use of 5th gear???

    I've been teaching my son to drive (he's coming along very well thanks) and when we returned from his last lesson, which are being held off the public roads, I commented to my wife that he had now got up to 4th gear as we had found a better site that with much more space and allowed normal road speeds. We'd been using the very large car park at a local venue but they've put speed bumps in all over it to stop hoons and it restricts the space for realistic driving exercises.

    Anyway, when I said he was gaining confidence so he'd be up to 5th gear soon and we could do more advanced driving including road work, my daughter made the extraordinary comment that he should not be using 5th gear at all. She insisted that her Driving Instructor told her that she must not use 5th around town and must go no higher than 4th. She then said that when he went for his licence he would be failed by the Examiner if he used 5th gear around town and that it was only for motorway use.

    Has anybody ever heard this suggested? I'd be particularly interested in the opinions of younger members who may have obtained their restricted or full licence in the last couple of years.

    Cheers

    Billy 8-{)
    Some days it's not even worth chewing through my restraints!

  2. #2
    Awaiting Enlightenment R2x1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Use of 5th gear???

    Depends entirely on the car.
    Entropy is not what
    it used to be.



  3. #3
    Soaring like a chicken prefect's Avatar
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    Default Re: Use of 5th gear???

    Depends on diff ratio and gearing in gearbox.
    Normally but not always 4 th is 1 to 1 and 5th is an overdrive. But some 5th gear is 1 to 1.
    I guess on most cars you wouldnt use 5th gear in a 30 mph area
    Its amazing how Potatoes give us chips,fries and Vodka.

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  4. #4
    88 Valley Nelson Arnie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Use of 5th gear???

    Keeping in 4th makes the car a lot more responsive either speeding up or slowing down. Depending on the car I would not use 5th gear unless the revs were above about 2000-2200 rpm.

    In fact that rpm limit would apply to most gears other than 1st.

  5. #5
    Retired old codger kenj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Use of 5th gear???

    What if it was a Corolla diesel with a 6 speed box?

    I drive a van that revs it head off at 50k in 4th. As "Darth Vader" said, it depends on the car.

    Ken
    Corgi Ben Kenobi.......Related by Corgi to the Queen

  6. #6
    Lifetime Member lakewoodlady's Avatar
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    Default Re: Use of 5th gear???

    As an ex MOT approved driving instructor, I always taught pupils to not go past 4th in town areas, mainly because it is easier if you have less gear changes to go down to when slowing or stopping. A learner driver does not have the same savvy and reflexes that an experienced driver has in any given situation.
    However it is quite a number of years since I taught and have never heard that someone could be failed by using 5th in a 50 kPH area. Why don't you give a driving school a ring and get an opinion from them.
    I drive in 5th in Taupo sometimes, it can save on fuel and keeps the revs lower.

    LL
    _____Nothing is hidden that cannot be revealed______

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Default Re: Use of 5th gear???

    My 1.5L Nissan Sunny hovers around 2k rpm doing 55-60kph, on 4th gear. I find the minimum speed for fifth gear for the car at 85kph, where the fifth gear will make it hover at 2.75k rpm, and at 100kph at 3k rpm.
    Meh....

  8. #8
    Senior Member --Wolf--'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Use of 5th gear???

    When I did my defensive driving course in my old Pulsar, the instructor asked why I used 5th gear around town but did not fail me.

    When I sat my full (and my restricted in the same car) I used 5th and never got commented on.

    And if you're driving in 5th, and you have to stop in a hurry, are you really going to go 5th > 4th > 3rd etc? You'd just put it in 2nd or 3rd depending on the stop/car.

  9. #9
    IT Consultant johcar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Use of 5th gear???

    Quote Originally Posted by lakewoodlady View Post
    As an ex MOT approved driving instructor, I always taught pupils to not go past 4th in town areas, mainly because it is easier if you have less gear changes to go down to when slowing or stopping. A learner driver does not have the same savvy and reflexes that an experienced driver has in any given situation.
    However it is quite a number of years since I taught and have never heard that someone could be failed by using 5th in a 50 kPH area. Why don't you give a driving school a ring and get an opinion from them.
    I drive in 5th in Taupo sometimes, it can save on fuel and keeps the revs lower.

    LL
    Which is the reason I get into the highest gear as soon as possible (when I'm driving a manual - not a lot of choice in an auto, which will drop into 5th - or equivalent - when the revs allow).

    I have no difficulty in changing directly from 5th to 3rd when the situation requires it, but I could understand how a new driver may not be that confident.

    But making it a pass/fail criterion is just plain stupid (if true).

    It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument. -William G. McAdoo, lawyer and politician (1863-1941)

  10. #10
    Retired old codger kenj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Use of 5th gear???

    A lot of those numbers are not neccessary anyway.

    Sometimes when I have a full school van, and the last pickups are a couple of fat girls, we have to have 3 in the front. One time there was a real fat one and I could only use 1st, 3rd and 5th gears! 2nd and 4th were no go for obvious reasons!

    Ken
    Corgi Ben Kenobi.......Related by Corgi to the Queen

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