no handbrake driving technique?

Hi - just started driving a 5-speed manual c-class... with the foot "parking brake" (ie no handbrake) I have to drive a long (>1 mile) uphill section which in rush hour is
stop start every few yards on the uphill section... My other cars have had a handbrake ... so I can hold the car on the handbrake... while I get the clutch to biting point, increase the gas, and move off ... without rolling backwards, or stalling...
Now with the merc .... I'm really struggling ... putting on the parking brake ... every few yards to hold the car is a really slow/ clumsy operation.... but without it I risk stalling / rolling back ?
I've tried keeping it in first with clutch down / right foot on the brake pedal then, when ready to move... get to biting poiint... then quickly move right foot onto acceleartor before it stalls ... sometime I stall ... sometime I roll back...
Surely mecedes wouldn't supply a manual transmission, with only a foot parking brake unless there was a safe way to drive uphill in heavy traffic ...
What's the correct technique? thanks AJ
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Perhaps they want you to change to a modern MB, with autobox and roll-back auto braking :-)
Don't know what would be the correct way to drive your car but when I had a similar one, I think I did what you did, or then applied a bit gas and released the clutch pedal till it engages sufficiently to keep the car in place, or even enough to make it move forward, and then just release the "hand" brake. I'm sure you will learn each option, and apply each one according to the steepness of the road.
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If you hare been driving long enough, you would never need handbrake to keep car in position. I understand your situation where hill may be steep and you are worried. I am too.
To overcome this from stand still, you have to learn to slightly partially engage the clutch. What I meant by this is... do this on flat surface road to experiment... Let out the clutch slightly until car can engage and hold it in position... now with accelerator, you can revs alot while car is barely moving.
That position is what you need to learn how to use. It may seem like it is a bad thing to do... it can be but as long you are not going like 3000 rpm to crawl, you won't have problem.
This above technique is to learn how to crawl and release....when you are ready to drive, then you engage fully.
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I consider this the normal case with a manual tranny on a light uphil. On a steep uphil road the engine would not hold the car on idle, I thought this was the problem OP had.
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Anonymous wrote:

What is life expectancy of clutch for using it this way? Heel and toe is only sensible technique. Stupid design!
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I don't think you followed the thread from start, it was not about holding the car with the clutch for a long time but starting from the handbrake enganged first. If you do it properly and quickly enough, the clutch won't heat up. What else could you do with a manual tranny?
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    easy, use your heel and toe.... toe on brake and heel on gas. Easy as pie with a bit of practice.
cheers, guenter
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On Sun, 29 Apr 2007 01:22:34 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@sciborg.uwaterloo.ca (Guenter Scholz) wrote:

It's not as easy as you suggest guenter.... :)
I consider that this foot/handbrake is a design disaster by MB - and I drive a CLK auto. What possible advantage does is have over the traditional design, unless someone is partially disabled?
I nearly had a misfortune when my car was new, and I tried to shove the car (in neutral) a few feet on a slope when outside the car with the engine off. I went to grab the brake to hold it - and it wasn't there!
Creeping the car uphill as you are currently doing is going to burn out your clutch in no time. You will just have to allow a gap to occur and then move into it. Sad, but true.
David
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I agree about the potential clutch burn (although these hill starts are/were part of the UK driving test).
I have been driving Mercs for 25 years and I really like the floor-operated parking brake, though I don't recall when how it was when I had a manual (200E).
My current (auto) 1993 190E has a 'hand' brake because the footwell is too small for one on the floor. It's ok but I prefer the floor job on my other car (also a CLK, albeit the Cab version).
Yer pays yer money and takes yer choice.
DAS
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...... of course it is. Albeit, you will need to practice a bit. It didn't take me too long until I could start on a 'steep' hill without rolling back more than a couple inches.... OK, 10 cm but no more. You will, as others have pointed out, need to be fairly quick about it so as not to burn the clutch excessively.... but, yes, it is definitely not that hard once you get the hang of it. Remember the first time you tried a clutch? seemed hard didn't it.
cheers, guenter

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The auto-box was had to me when I first tried it, a bit uncomfortable ride when slowing and attempting to use clucth... Times have changed, manual box might now give more jerky ride :-)
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snipped-for-privacy@sciborg.uwaterloo.ca (Guenter Scholz) wrote:

It sounds like they did provide it and I can assure it's a dumb design. Probably because most get an auto transmission, where the step on parking brake is passable, although I always prefer the hand brake in the middle. My Chrysler Concord has the step on hand brake, perhaps Mercedes get that component from Chrysler. >:)
I've driven a manual more years than an auto, a step on hand brake I wouldn't buy with a manual transmission.
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Mrec has had a foot-operated parking brake for donkeys' years (decades).
First exception was 190, too narrow.
DAS
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I can't believe everyone is attacking merecedes for a 'stupid design' or acting like it is impossible to drive a manual without a handbrake. It's as thoguh they left off the steering wheel. If you actually know how to manipulate a clutch, then you should be able to start with two feet and no hands on the steepest of hills. It takes a little practice, but the person who taught you how to drive stick should have taught you. It is part of learning to drive stick in my opinion. My father taught me how to do it. I have included it in my teaching everyone I have taught. If you only learned how to start on level terrain and shift gears, then you should feel cheated. I wonder if they bothered to teach you how to shift smoothly with matched revs. I too was initially taught the handbrake method as a back up to just being able to work three pedals with two feet method. But it was made clear that it is like training wheels, only to be used if you are just too nervous to do it the right way. It was to be used until I had mastered the right way.
I know that not every one here is a skilled driver, or even aspires to be. And I'm not trying to attack people for it. But why attack a car company for creating a car without training wheels? Simply learn how to drive it the right way and you won't need the hand brake. Alternatively, if you like the manual, but can't handle hills, go buy a subaru with the hill holder feature-and a handbrake.
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    couldn't agree with you more and said so myself on the first go around of this thread.... but then I realized that most of the people here are not 'really' into 'driving'.... let's face it, MB is a bit of a taxi cab and unabashedly caters to those who probably never used a clutch period.
cheers, guenter
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Clutch? Do they still make clutches for cars? Hmmmm .... strange. Wonder what they do - dont the clutches get in the way of the trannies that shift the gears and stuff and make the car burn less gas as it goes faster. At least Ole Heavy Karl explained to me that the little letters other than D and R mean that you burn more gas, so just stay in D for going forward, and R for reverse. Never have been able to figure out those dumb Germans - why didn't they make if F for foreward????
mcbrue under the bridge in the trailer down by the river
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LOL... McBrue WITHOUT A MERCEDES under the bridge in the trailer down by the river
So ya miss tha' Mercedes and Heavy Carl? It must be so lonely with that Lexus now... I can almost imgine..."Break damn it... break! I want to go see Hakumoto san..."
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

That sounds like what I used to do and I learned not to stall. I'm sure you would be a lot happier with an auto trans.
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    ... hang in there. It get's better with practice. Again, try to control both brake and gas with your right foot's toes and heel respectively. Kind of pivot betweent the two. After you've mastered being able to 'rock' the car back and forth on a hill you can practice driving your standard transmission car without using your clutch. that does take a bit more skill still. I'm not kidding either. As a young lad (and poor) I drove my father in law's type 3 Karman Ghia well over a couple hundred km including city driving and a ferry by doing just that. Admittedly I was a bit sweaty after that.... but I had to have that Ghia.
cheers, guenter
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