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Driving a manual car

Updated on October 23, 2010

How to drive stick?

How to drive stick? 

Its easy to drive a manual car. A person that does not know how to drive a shift car can easily learn how to drive stick if they follow the steps into driving stick. In fact, if they follow the steps they can easily learn it in one day and then they can drive a manual car. 

A manual car is totally different from an automatic car. The gears and pedals are different. In an automatic they are two pedals and an automatic gear box. In a manual car, there are three pedals and a manual gear box that you have to change gears manually. And of course the handbrake. 

My first advice to you learning how to drive a shift car is try to get use to the clutch. The clutch is the first pedal which is next to the brakes. Do not start your car and just put your left foot on the clutch, step on it and get the feel of the clutch. You will noticed as you press it down with the harder it is. Those of you who do not the clutch, the clutch is important to the manual car because it is the heart of the vehicle. You cannot change gear without stepping on the clutch and you cannot really cover a lot of distance if you do not change gear. So the clutch is important. Keep pressing on the clutch and try to make your left foot feel comfortable on stepping on the clutch as back as you can. If you do not step the clutch all the way back, your car will not allow you to change gear and you will notice it when a weird noise it makes when you miss shift a gear. 

As soon as you've got the feel of the clutch, now I want you to just step on the clutch as back as you can and hold it. Hold it. Now, with your left foot on the clutch place your hand on the gear. First make sure that the gear is on natural. The natural gear is when the gears are not in gears 1,2,3,4,or 5. The gear is at the center. If your not sure, look at the picture above, that gear is at the center so its on natural. If your still not sure, just move the stick from left to right and it if moves then the gear is at natural. With your left foot still stepping down on the clutch, try to put the gear into gear 1. If your not sure where the gears are, look at the gear and there are numbers that ranges from 1-5 and it will show you where to shift so try to follow it. Now if you did that, still stepping on the clutch, change the gear put it into 2 then 3 then 4 then 5. Now try shifting down from 5 to 1st gear. Keep doing that at a steady motion not too quick but not slow. Remember you still have your foot on the clutch. Get the feel of changing the gear. Now, try the reverse gear. Most cars have different placement where the reverse gear is. Most cars would have it underneath the 5th gear or others would have it before the 1st gear. Check it out first. However, there is not difference on how to put the gear in reverse, remember the reverse gear is labeled R on the gear so where ever the R is follow it. If the R is underneath the 5th gear, what you do is press down the clutch step all the way back, put your gear into natural first, THEN, push down the gear and slide it to reverse. You do the same thing if the R is before the 1st gear. Clutch, natural, press down then to the left, usually you will hear a click that's when you know you can shift the gear into reverse. Remember you still have not started the car yet and you still have your foot flat on the clutch. 

Lets start the car, but in order to start a manual car have the gear in natural. Remember in order to change gears you have to press down on the clutch before changing gears, if the car is at one of the gears before starting the car the car will not start. So make sure the gear is at natural in order to ignite the car. If it still does not start, then you should press down the clutch pedal still having the gear in natural then it will start. 

Once the car has started, press down the clutch all the way back until it touches the floor or the clutch has reached its max, put the gear into the 1st gear. You place the gear top left that is gear 1. Now, you are in gear 1, while still having your left foot flat down to the clutch, try to release your left foot gently and with your right foot slowly pressing the gas pedal not too much gas. At the poiny where you will hear the engine is ready to go. Ready to release the handbrake so you are able to drive your vehicle.

There is a trick to this. After following all of the above (make sure you practice manual driving where there are a lot of space) you start your car then full clutch and put your gear into 1st gear. Release your left foot from the clutch gently and release the handbrake at the same time. Once your foot as reached the top of the clutch, the car will start moving by itself and this is only possible if the road is on a straight line and not hills. Once it starts moving slowly press on the gas, you will know when to change into the upper gear is when you hear the car roaring that's when you change into a higher gear. When you hear the car's engine getting weaker you change it into a lower gear. Remember the clutch is the heart of the car. 

Overall, its easy to drive shift. And those of you who wants to learn to drive a manual car, I recommend you do not try to learn by yourself. Have someone that knows who can try a shift car so that person can teach the basics. If there is no one and your eager to do it, apply for driving school and learn how to drive shift there. 

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      Lorren 3 years ago

      Your answer shows real inleltigence.

    • profile image

      Sunny 3 years ago

      It's great to find an expert who can expialn things so well