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2021 Soul LX Manual Transmission
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, new to the forum, but not new to the soul. I used to have a 1st gen manual transmission in 2010, I just bought a Soul 2021 manual transmission this week.

I notice mine is "jerky" and not smooth on first and second gear, I have to find the precise gas/clutch combination to get a smooth "take off". I don't remember this being the same on my 1st gen Soul. I have driven manual transmission all my life so I'm not new to manual... anyone else having this issue?

Thanks
 

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2021 Soul LX manual
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I think the engine tune is a bit off - I had the exact same thing on mine. You DO get used to it, but it takes time.

It feels as though the amount of gas required to get her moving is intercepted by the tune, which drops the amount of gas just when you need it most.

I have discovered two things ( ;) )

1. If you floor it and pop the clutch, it spins the tires nicely just like any other car.
2.If you take off carefully enough that it doesn't "jerk", your wife doesn't whack you on the vaccination site hard enough to draw tears....

Don't ask me why I know that.
 

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Didn't you test drive it?
I drove manuals in my young years and later only automatics because they are better for the engine.
When I travel to Europe for work (it was pretty often), the rentals are most of the time manuals (it's an added daily fee for automatic) so I am used to drive new manual cars. I have to say that they are much, much easier to drive than my older manual cars.
The gas pedal is not mechanically connected to the throttle body anymore.
The electronic throttle is controlled by ECU, not by my foot, so no matter how bad I would be at matching revs, the ECU does that for me. It didn't matter how deep I pressed press the gas pedal, the ECU gave me only what was appropriate.
Engines are puny, the "please upshift" light comes up a bit too early (fuel economy), but there was no jerkiness during take off or shifting.

PS: The 6 speed transmission for a 1.3L Fiat 500XL engine (that I drove last fall), was a joke. In 5th or 6th gear, at highway speeds, you can floor it and nothing happens. You need to drop to the 4th to get some acceleration.
 

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Hi all, new to the forum, but not new to the soul. I used to have a 1st gen manual transmission in 2010, I just bought a Soul 2021 manual transmission this week.

I notice mine is "jerky" and not smooth on first and second gear, I have to find the precise gas/clutch combination to get a smooth "take off". I don't remember this being the same on my 1st gen Soul. I have driven manual transmission all my life so I'm not new to manual... anyone else having this issue?

Thanks
Yes and it's normal. Kia put a clutch release valve in the slave cylinder hydraulics which slows down the fluid return from the t/o bearing. It is supposed to make it easier for new drivers to drive a manual because it slips the clutch for you, but if you are like me and drove manuals all your life you find that the engagement point is now screwed up to where you would expect it to be. You will eventually get used to it. Aside from that there's too much space between 1&2, so you need to pick the RPMs up before you make the shift or always rev-match when you shift.

After 9 years and 165k miles, I'm used to it, but every time I get in my Miata I am reminded how lame the Soul manual setup really is. My 95 is light years better than my 2013 Soul.

PS: you can take the release valve out and by all reports it will improve your shifting. I always meant to do it but since this is my commuter, I never got around to it.
 

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2020 Soul LX with 3 pedals!
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I am not sure there is a release valve. Based on my observations, there is natural variation in how mine shifts. Most of the time i am able to start off smoothly and when needeed i can slip the clutch to keep the rpm up and dump power to the wheels. But every now and then the clutch chatters and I feel like i am 10 years old trying to learn to drive a manual all over again. I am still happy with my choice of a manual, and would not buy the automatic. Gone are the days of cable driven throttle bodies and heavy flywheels.
 

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2021 Soul LX Manual Transmission
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Discussion Starter #7
Yes and it's normal. Kia put a clutch release valve in the slave cylinder hydraulics which slows down the fluid return from the t/o bearing. It is supposed to make it easier for new drivers to drive a manual because it slips the clutch for you, but if you are like me and drove manuals all your life you find that the engagement point is now screwed up to where you would expect it to be. You will eventually get used to it. Aside from that there's too much space between 1&2, so you need to pick the RPMs up before you make the shift or always rev-match when you shift.

After 9 years and 165k miles, I'm used to it, but every time I get in my Miata I am reminded how lame the Soul manual setup really is. My 95 is light years better than my 2013 Soul.

PS: you can take the release valve out and by all reports it will improve your shifting. I always meant to do it but since this is my commuter, I never got around to it.
I have been driving and observing this afternoon, and I notice, when I step on the gas,. say 2k RPM, then I slowly release the clutch, the RPM goes down to about 1,600RPM on its own though I am not easing the gas pedal. This happens on both 1st and 2nd gear.. is this normal? Is there a way to correct that ?
 

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2020 Soul LX with 3 pedals!
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I have been driving and observing this afternoon, and I notice, when I step on the gas,. say 2k RPM, then I slowly release the clutch, the RPM goes down to about 1,600RPM on its own though I am not easing the gas pedal. This happens on both 1st and 2nd gear.. is this normal? Is there a way to correct that ?
Not unexpected. In old days when we had throttle cables connected to the accelerator, you were setting the amount of air being fed into the engine and the carburetor injected the right amount of gas for the given airflow. For an unloaded engine it would rev higher until loaded. Now days with drive by wire, the input from the accelerator is converted into a throttle body position demand, and the injectors opening time and duration is also controled to match the throttle body demand signal and the engine load. So expect and experience an rpm drop as I pass through the clutch engagement point. To answer your question directly yes it is expected.
While writtibgnthis it occured toe that the computer is constantly trying to adjust/ optimize the fuel to air ratio, reduce emissions and predict my intent when I go to shift. However it does not have control of the clutch nor the shifter. Given this is the first drive by wire vehicle with a manual transmission that I have driven, I wonder if some of the less than graceful shifts are the result of me confusing the computer. (Most of them are me being a dumb human)
 

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I have been driving and observing this afternoon, and I notice, when I step on the gas,. say 2k RPM, then I slowly release the clutch, the RPM goes down to about 1,600RPM on its own though I am not easing the gas pedal. This happens on both 1st and 2nd gear.. is this normal? Is there a way to correct that ?
Are you asking if it's normal if you goose the RPMs to 2k while you've got the pedal to the floor and it drops to 1600 when you release the pedal in gear? Yes, that's normal because you're reattaching the load when you release the pedal. The 1-2 and, to a lesser extent, 2-3 on these cars (at least my 2013) is terrible.

I've been driving this car now for 9 years and creeping up on 200k miles, and I decided about 125k miles ago my preference is to just run the car higher up into the power band before making my shift so that it's picking up the next gear at a better RPM. 1600 at 1-2 or 2-3 is going to be really close to lugging, and the engine is way out of the power band as I'm guessing you've discovered. The trade-off is a little worse gas mileage but a car that's more enjoyable to drive. If you want to have some fun sometime, turn on the "Eco" mode, which on a manual (at least in 2013) is just a dashboard notice on when to upshift, and shift at the points Kia gives you for gas mileage. The car is a total dog if you follow Kia's shift point recommendation. If you run the RPMs up to the 3-3500 range in 1-2 and 2-3 before you shift you'll end up at about 2-2.25k RPMs in your next gear, which is in the acceptable power band range.

As I mentioned earlier driving the Soul manual requires a recalibration of your foot and your sense of shifting.
 

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2021 Soul LX Manual Transmission
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Discussion Starter #10
RaymanSean and jdmartin - thanks for the confirmation that what I discovered is normal. This vehicle was secondarily intended to teach my kids how to drive manual trans (it seems it will be more difficult). I opened the bonnet to look for the cable the other day to rev with my finger.... silly me this car is a "fake" manual. Anyway, I am enjoying driving it. Now I will have to "recalibrate" my feet...
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I don't like eco mode on any vehicle. And I also don't follow the "shift now" advice on the dashboard because I feel I almost always haven't picked up the speed especially driving on the highway!
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Thanks to everyone's input !
 

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RaymanSean and jdmartin - thanks for the confirmation that what I discovered is normal. This vehicle was secondarily intended to teach my kids how to drive manual trans (it seems it will be more difficult). I opened the bonnet to look for the cable the other day to rev with my finger.... silly me this car is a "fake" manual. Anyway, I am enjoying driving it. Now I will have to "recalibrate" my feet...
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I don't like eco mode on any vehicle. And I also don't follow the "shift now" advice on the dashboard because I feel I almost always haven't picked up the speed especially driving on the highway!
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Thanks to everyone's input !
Actually, it will be easier to teach your kids to drive this manual because Kia built-in clutch slippage with the clutch release valve. We don't like it because we have to recalibrate our feet - and I don't specifically like it because it wears the clutch out faster, though to be fair my clutch still has no problems 9 years and 165k miles down the road.

The hard part will be remembering that this car has some slip already built into the clutch hydraulics, so that you're not having your kids rev the hell out of it or stall it :) Oh, and remembering that in the states yanks call it a "hood" instead of a "bonnet" - though I admit I like bonnet better :p
 

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If you really want to annoy the on board computer, slip shift except on take off and reverse. My first soul, a 2016 hated it, so did the 2021 loaner I got repeat customer at the dealer, they'd loan me a stinger as a loaner if I asked
 

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2021 Soul LX 6 speed
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I’m at 2600 miles and I’m totally tuned into my standard transmission. It took a while but between me acclimating and it breaking in driving the car is a no brainer. With gas heading towards $3.00 ( and predictions of higher) I’m soooo happy I bought this car - it burns regular and not much of it.
 

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2021 Soul LX Manual Transmission
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Discussion Starter #19
Yeah! My Soul has reached a 1,000 mile milestone.. LOL.. I was supposed to take it at 1,000 but I was driving on the i10, so I waited until I was parked at the gas station...

My foot has now re-adjusted to the "jerky" take-off. I just step on the gas a little more when I detect the RPM is going to dip!


136546



And here's my Kia Soul SHITBOX Edition! :D
Of course the Soul is not a Shitbox, I just thought the emblem is funny..

136547


An of course, a warning to millenials:

136548
 

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136550


How do you get you mpg down that low? I'm on about 34 typically on the dash (I know it's lower in reality...) and even when kicking it I'm above 30...
 
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