Stick Shift 101

Learning how to drive can be done in two ways, and it’s either through manual transmission or automatic transmission. Though it’s more convenient to go with automatic transmissions, it takes real guts to choose the more complicated mechanisms of stick shift cars. As a matter of fact, automobiles, during their early existence, were all manual. During that time, the stick shift was treated as the best companion for driving, whether it’s for short distances or faraway road trips. It is not that easy to learn driving using a stick shift when compared to the luxury offered by automatic cars. The good thing about knowing how to use a stick shift is that you’d be granted full control of the vehicle. You’d appreciate how powerful it could be as you explore its varying gears, which is something you cannot do with an automatic transmission.

“Real Driving” is learned when you drive a car that is on manual transmission. So if you successfully master the method of stick shift cars, you’ll surely be able to learn the simpler automatic transmission should you choose to study it later on.

Stick ShiftBefore anything else, you must familiarize yourself with the five gears that you’d normally see in a stick shift—first gear, second gear, third gear, fourth gear, fifth gear. Include the “Reverse” option, and you’ll end up with a formation that basically resembles the letter “H”.

Unlike automatic transmissions, stick shift cars have a clutch pedal located at the left of the brake pedal. One thing that is essential here is that the clutch pedal always needs to be stepped on whenever you are switching gears. To get your car in motion, step and hold your left foot on the clutch. Navigate the stick shift towards the left then push it to the front—this will get you to the first gear. But this action alone will not make the car move. For it to accelerate, you’d have to slowly step on the gas pedal, which is located at the right of the brake pedal. As you step on the gas pedal, balance the flow of the gas as you slowly release the clutch.

Do this correctly and consistently, and you should be able to drive smoothly. However, an unpleasant sound will result if the balancing is not right, which means that’d you need to blend in the clutch and gas pedals more properly. In the event that you’re about to shift to the next gear, just step on the clutch, navigate the clutch to the next gear, and blend in the gas while slowly releasing the clutch. Follow the same pattern if you’d like to slow down, and step on the brakes when needed. Remember that if you want to speed up your car, you still have to shift it from the low gear until you reach the gear that’s appropriate to the speed you desire.

If you’re a car enthusiast, manual transmissions is the type of car you should be studying. In doing this, you’d be able to better understand the functions and parts of your car. Also, you’d earn a kind of confidence when driving a stick shift because it requires more skill to operate than an automatic transmission. But whatever you’re driving, be sure to drive safely and wisely, because after all, that’s the most important thing when you’re in the road.

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