Introduction: How to Drive Stick Shift
I will explain how to drive a manual car.
-Dont get frustrated, keep practicing and youll get it.
-Get a feel for the pedals, mainly the clutch before you start driving.
-Begin practicing in a big empty parking lot where you can get comfortable and used to driving a
manual car before going on the road.
-Always engage your emergency brake before you let off the brakes when parking your car, it is not an automatic and it will begin to roll on almost about any road regardless of the incline.
-Whenever shifting gears make sure to fully engage the clutch by pushing it all the way in, or you will grind and destroy your cars gears.
Turn on the car by completely engaging the clutch (the leftmost pedal) and turning the ignition. Keep the clutch engaged while applying your brakes in order to safely release the emergency brake (avoid the car from rolling).
Make sure you are in 1st gear, by moving the shifter all the way to the left and up, while keeping the clutch engaged. Make sure not to go into reverse which is all the way on left and up as well, in European cars, but you must push down while moving over to the reverse spot in order to lock in that gear. The pattern layout is differs only for where reverse lies. I am showing/explaining it for a European car. American cars have the reverse all the way to the right and down. Just make sure you know where your gears are according to your car and be familiar with the feeling of the "throw" into each one.
Take your right foot off the brake pedal and as you slowly give the car gas ease off of the clutch with the same amount. You want to give the same amount of gas as the amount of clutch your releasing. If you feel like your going to stall, push the clutch all the way back in and let off the gas, brake, and you can avoid it. As the clutch is engaged, right foot on the gas, give the engine just a little gas and slowly let out some of the clutch. As you feel that catch point, the RPMs will start to drop and the car will start to move forward a bit. Slowly give it more gas to keep the RPM's constant as you let the clutch out. The key is to give it enough gas to keep the RPM's constant until the clutch pedal is all the way out. If the RPMs are dropping apply more gas.
Once you are completely off of the clutch and up to around 3,000 RPMs shift into 2nd gear by letting off of the gas, completely engaging the clutch, and then pulling the shifter down from 1st into 2nd gear. After it is in gear put your foot back onto the gas quickly before you loose any speed. This process will be slow in the start, but you will learn to do it quickly.
Once you have up-shifted, let off the clutch and slowly start applying the gas as doing so for a smooth transmission between gears. Repeat this to get up to speed.
To slow down/reduce your speed you may need to downshift. First brake a little and then engage the clutch, shift to the lower gear and before you left off the clutch start easing onto the gas to match the RPM of the lower gear. You do not need to downshift if your only slowing down a little bit which is relatively depending on what gear you are in, but you will loose your ability to accelerate as quickly if you are going slow in a gear that is too high for the speed.
In order to stop the car completely, shift into neutral and apply the brakes until you come to a stop. You can tell when you are in neutral when you can move the shifter side to side. Make sure to engage the clutch and put the car back into first gear if you are not parking in the car. This is what you want to do if you are going to be at a decently long stoplight or for any reason of being stopped for along time. If it's a brief stop just go ahead and engage the clutch and apply the brakes. Make sure not to let the clutch out while in gear or you will stall.