Changing Gears

can damage your engine

I now need to learn how to drive – again

I found out pretty early, that setting the gear change assist to manual, will shave off a whole lot of time on my lap times. After a month or so, using manual gears, getting used to it, and eventually loving it, because i had so much controll, i got convinced to go all the way, and use manual w/ clutch. This was even better, and made my gear changes faster. It was also surprisingly easy to get used to! One of the best reasons i had, for changing to manual, was that i could keep the power for longer, especially on large turns, but also i could shift down a gear, to assist my braking.

What i have found out today, after participating in an endurance Spec league of S-Class cars, was that i was getting slower during the race. A lot slower, and it was particularly obvious on the long straights. I had no longer any excuse for this. All assists were off. I was using manual w/clutch, no traction control, no ABS or anything that should be sowing me down. The only reason i could come up with was that i was not carrying enough speed through the corners. But that meant i was really really bad at it, as all 23 drivers on track were better than me, all the time, on all corners. So i got suspicious.. Maybe my controller was broken. Maybe they were all cheating. Maybe it was a conspiracy!

The most reasonable excuse was that there was something wrong with my controller, so while i was driving, i brought up the telemetry (took me almost a whole lap to get this right, while driving) and see if i was on 100% throttle. To those of you who don’t know how to look at telemetry, its easy. While on track, press down on the cross-button and then left or right to scroll through different aspects of your car. It is actually very interesting, and you can do this while driving.

It turns out that the controller was ok. It was registering the inputs so i could not blame it on a technical issue. I went through the rest of the tabs, to see if something looked strange. It turns out, that i had 39% engine damage, and i decided that this was a more likely reason why i was slow, than the game cheating.

So – 39% engine damage sounded like a lot, so i pitted. This solved the problem, but i kept an eye on it to see when and where this happened. I took the first lap after pitting, with telemetry on, to keep an eye on my engine damage. Did this happen gradually? Or did it happen in one go? Nothing happened, until i reached a hairpin turn. 13% engine damage!

I figured i was doing something wrong and it dawned on me that using the engine to assist my braking, needed some focus. Maybe there is a limit to how much i should rely on gear shifts, to assist my braking. Currently i have to adjust my driving, to not use gear shifting, when braking hard. Only shift 1 or two gears down at a time, and keep an eye on engine damage. It does not seem to affect the engine though, if damage is turned off, on the race settings of the race you are participating in.

Do you know more about this, then please get in tough, or add a comment bellow

About The Author

I've been hooked on racing games, ever since the Burnout series back in the late 90s and after going through some painful years trying to learn the F1 series games, i am now hooked on Forza. I am not the fastest on the track, and not a fanatic, but i enjoy sim racing a lot, and try to get better and faster.

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  1. I’ve been experimenting – Rookie Raceline

    […] I joined a test session for the Touring cars, running a BWM i125 and it was good fun! I am apparently a lot slower than the other guys, but not hopeless i think. I did had to focus on my gear changes though, because i was getting engine damage by shifting down too early […]


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