How to drive a manual transmission car aka a stick shift

Porsche 911 - a classic stick shift car
Porsche 911 - a classic stick shift car

So, you wanna drive a stick shift

Driving a manual transmission car, generally called a stick shift, is not as hard as people make it out to be. It's also one of those skills that every man should know. Woman should too, but I'm just saying if you're a guy and you don't know how to drive a stick shift, you'll feel like half a man when you meet the right girl who does drive a stick shift. Just sayin'.

The steps are simple. Start the car by pushing in the clutch and moving the gear shift into the neutral position (that means it's not in one of the gears, but in the middle where it should move left and right freely. You have to have the clutch pedal in as you turn the key, or the car probably won't start. With the car still in neutral, release the clutch and press in the brake pedal. Now release your hand brake. Now comes a key step. Push your clutch all the way in. If this is your first time doing this, push it as hard as you can with your left foot. Most new drivers don't get the clutch all the way in, which causes some problems with the next step, which is putting the car in 1st gear. With the car in first gear, slowly release the clutch while simultaneously moving your right foot off the brake pedal and over to the gas pedal and pressing in.

Now that you're moving forward, you'll eventually want to shift into second gear and beyond. This step is a lot easier. Just push in the clutch while releasing off the gas smoothly, shift into the gear (you're right hand will memorize these movements rather quickly) then release off the clutch while pressing back down on the gas.

I've included several instructional videos I've found to help you some more:

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