Introduction: How to Drive a Manual Transmission

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Many people do not know how to drive a manual transmission. But it is a skill that can be very useful in some situations. A lot of people think it is really complicated, but if you follow these easy steps you will see, driving a manual transmission is easy and fun.

Step 1: Fasten Your Seatbelt

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Caution: Not wearing your seatbelt is Illegal and may cause serious injury or death.

Step 2: Start the Engine

Push the clutch in all the way and turn the key in the ignition. Make sure the car is in neutral by moving the stick to the middle position before releasing the clutch.

Step 3: Drive in First Gear

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With your foot on the clutch, move the stick to the first position. Slowly release the clutch. As you feel the car start to move, give it a little bit of gas. Once you start moving, you can release the clutch.

Step 4: Shift Up

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Once you have started moving in first gear, you will soon need to shift up to 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. You should shift gears when you have reached about 3,500 rpm. To do this, push the clutch in and give it some gas. As you give the car gas to maintain the rpm, move the stick to 2nd gear, then release the clutch. Do this to shift to 3rd, 4th, 5th, and if you have 6th gear.

Step 5: Down Shift

Down Shifting is a lot like upshifting. First, push the clutch in and give it some gas to maintain rpm. Then move the stick to the lower gear and release the clutch. You can skip gears for example, you can go from 5th to 3rd, or even 5th to 2nd. Just make sure your rpm is high enough. If you're going 30 mph in 3rd gear at 2,500 rpm, you should raise the rpm to about 3,500 to shift down to 2nd gear at the same speed. You should get used to downshifting because it is a great way to slow the car down without using your brakes, which makes them last longer.

Comments

jlepack (author)2016-02-27

It takes practice. Best to learn on an old beater as clutches are difficult and costly to replace. Once you learn how to drive standard, you can drive anything!

ThomasK19 (author)2016-02-27

As an intermediate approach try a Smart. It has a gear like stick in manual transmission. But you only need to press up/down at the right moment. Gives you a better feeling as to when you need to shift to another gear.

johnip4 (author)2016-02-27

A good practice is to have the park break on and release it as you let the clutch up. Takes a bit of practice but it makes it easy when starting on an uphill grade.

ThomasK19 (author)johnip42016-02-27

Doesn't work with a Mercedes since it has the handbrake at the left foot :-)

david-priestley (author)2016-02-27

Here in the UK, if you don't pass your test in a manual, you are not legally allowed to drive a manual car. Makes sense as smooth and efficient shifting takes some getting used to. Every learner here will stall, kangaroo, chose the wrong gear and struggle with clutch control on hills. Manual takes a lot of time before your confident on the roads.

vinz3nt (author)2016-02-27

I suggest that people who were learned to drive an automatic do not attempt to drive stick without a lot of practice. there is a reason that countries that have driving schools who are teaching manual shifting have cars with footpedals on both sides of the car

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2016-02-27

Great tutorial. Far too many people don't know how to drive stick.

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