Not many people nowadays do not know how to drive a manual transmission vehicle. Some may think that it is too difficult to learn, but all you need to learn to drive a stick shift is a little bit of patience and a little bit of time. Although it can be frustrating at first, driving a stick shift can help prepare people for future jobs (like driving truck or being a valet), and it can come in handy in emergency situations when a manual transmission vehicle is the only vehicle available. Even if learning to drive a stick shift isn’t necessary, it is an exhilarating experience that will help drivers become one with their car.
Step 1: What You Need!
1) A car with a manual transmission!
Step 2: Learning the New Parts of a Manual Transmission
Since you have already learned to drive an automatic, there are only a couple of things in the car that should look new. First there is the gear shifter. This is what is used to, well, shift between gears. This can be moved, up, down, left and right to change the gears of the car. The clutch is to the left of the brake pedal. This is pushed down when putting the car in and out of gear.
Step 3: Starting From a Stop
First, start by pushing the clutch in and moving the gear shifter to first gear. (It is important to remember to push the clutch in all the way before shifting into any gear because failing to do so will make the gears grind which, of course, is not a good thing.) Once the car is in first gear, give it a little gas and slowly let off the clutch. The car will stall if not enough gas is given, or if the clutch is let off too fast. Conversely, if too much gas is given the tires will spin. The same applies to going in reverse. Starting from a stop is by far the hardest part of driving a manual as it takes a lot of time and effort to do consistently, but once it is mastered everything else will be a breeze. (Instructions on starting from a stop begin at 2:16 in the video)
Step 4: Shifting
Once starting from a stop is mastered, it is time to learn to change gears. To change gears properly, accelerate in first gear until the RPM gauge hits the 3 (3000 RPMs). Then, remove the right foot from the gas, push the clutch all the way in, and move the shifter to second gear. Once this is done, the clutch can be let off again and the gas should be applied, just like in the last step. This process is to be repeated each time the RPM gauge hits 3. When slowing down, downshifting is a great option, but putting the car in neutral applying the brake will work as well.
Step 5: Stopping
Stopping in a car with a manual transmission is a pretty basic thing to do. It can be done by downshifting through the gears (besides first gear) to use the engine's braking capabilities while using the brakes. Right as you are about to come to a stop, put the car into neutral to avoid stalling. It is recommended that you learn to downshift, but some people just put the in neutral in order to brake.
Step 6: Don't Be Discouraged!
Driving a manual can be tough at first, and it can get frustrating, but the only way to get better at is to practice. You will get it eventually, and once you get it, your driving will become a lot more fun!