Tips to Drive a Manual Car


Learning how to drive a manual (stick) is like getting a 2nd degree black belt in driving. You learn the foundation from automatic but now you can drive any kind of vehicle. It’s a skill that takes some time and patience because there are a few key steps you have to worry about. Unlike an automatic, it’s very easy to stall out your car. You want to get comfortable to the point it becomes second nature. Here are some tips to help you learn how to drive a manual car.

Why Should You Even Bother Learning a Manual Car?

Satisfaction is one of the key elements to wanting to learn how to drive stick. Automatic is a bit more regulated and “safer.” For those that like to be hands-on, driving a manual helps you to be more integral to the way the mechanics work. It’s your input and the car’s output that make you essentially drive. It’s almost as if you are the pilot guiding a robot into the right path. Also, there’s a sense of excitement. For anyone that races, it’s like you’re embodying that car. It’s a part of your personality and style. It makes driving a lot more interactive. Also, it helps keep you alert during those long drives. It won’t be so easy to doze off or get lazy when you have to do a few extra movements for your vehicle to drive properly.

How to Turn on the Engine

Unlike an automatic, it’s not a simple push and turn method. It takes a lot more to keep your car on. Let’s say you just got to your car and you’re about to take an evening out on the town. You first put the right foot on the brake pedal; left foot goes on the clutch and you turn on the engine. Let’s say you’re already in gear. When you turn on the engine, please make sure the gear is neutral before lifting your foot off the clutch. When all is said is done, you have to remember the 3 times when you must use clutch. Remember to use it when you turn on the engine, while you’re in gear, and in the process of shifting gears.  Keep your brake pedal in mind so that you don’t roll.

Learn How to Shift Gears in Manual

Think of the yin and yang principle with the accelerator and  clutch. It’s an interesting dynamic because one works with the others. For example, if you hit more of the gas, you don’t need to use much clutch. The same thing goes for the opposite position. The key is you need the right balance. This will ensure you use the right amount of gas and clutch. You don’t want to waste energy or burn out your vehicle. Additionally, it depends on the car because some clutch tighter or looser than others. You just have to get the right timing down as you learn your vehicle. These are just a few ways you can learn to drive in a manual car.