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Learning to drive a stick

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Rusty Shackleford, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. Rusty Shackleford

    Rusty Shackleford Active Member

    Never had a manual transmission car, but may be getting one soon. How difficult is it to learn coming from a lifetime of automatics? What's the best way to learn? I don't want to f-up a new car while trying to get the hang of driving it.
  2. Find a BIG empty parking lot.
    And ride with someone who can drive a stick... so you learn not to burn up the clutch.
  3. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Hardest thing to get used to is starting up on a hill. Better practice that before you have cars behind you at a traffic light on a hill.

    You need to find that right touch of letting out clutch and giving it gas but no too much.
  4. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    What has been said.

    Find a big paved area ... parking lot is fine, but one without parking curbs and all the other stuff. Have someone with you possessing ample driving experience with a manual transmission. Learn how to skillfully depress the clutch while pressing the accelerator and vice versa, how to shift gears smoother - ideally, the others in the vehicle can't feel the shifts - and all the fine points. THEN worry about starting up a hill, what gear to downshift to given certain situations and such.

    (Hint: When starting up a hill, using the emergency brake similar to your foot brake can keep you from sliding back and into the vehicle behind you who didn't leave you six inches to fall back to in the first place ... learn how to engage the clutch as you release the e-brake in those scenarios ... )
  5. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Parking brake is helpful but if you can learn without you are better off. One less thing to worry about. Work on getting a feel of letting out clutch - taking your foot off break and slowly giving it gas.

    In motion shift by sound of engine.
  6. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    Do keep in mind that if you roll back into someone on a hill, the collision is technically their fault for being too close.

    Of course, a crash is a crash, and is to be avoided whenever possible.

    I think you're better off learning to drive stick having already learned to drive. You can just focus on the actual shifting.

    If it's a new new car, then you shouldn't have to worry too much about wrecking the clutch. You can afford a few stalls without doing any serious damage. And once you're moving, it's pretty difficult to stall the thing. And go ahead and practice in your car; different clutches react differently, so there's not much sense in learning on something else.

    It'll be really tricky for a little while, but it'll just click at some point, and you'll get it -- and you'll never want to go back. And always remember: even the most experienced stick shift driver stalls every now and then. It's just part of the fun.
  7. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    I say just get an automatic. About 12 less things to worry about.
  8. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    If you plan on having relations in clutch vehicle suggest the back seat unless shifter is on column.
  9. apeman33

    apeman33 Well-Known Member


    I had a bad driving instructor in high school and was taught that you had to stay on the clutch whenever you weren't in gear, even if you were in neutral while waiting at a stop sign. It took two burned-out clutches before the old man decided to ride with me to see what the hell I was doing.

    He tried to straighten me out, but after three years of doing it wrong, I had a hell of a time breaking the habit and burned out another clutch in the meantime. After the third one, he got me a car with an automatic. I haven't driven a stick since I was 17.
  10. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    This is true.

    The only other thing to watch is to make sure when you park to put it in gear AND put on the emergency brake.

    Once you get going it's pretty simple. If you forget to switch gears, your engine will let you know.
  11. cougargirl

    cougargirl Active Member

    If your car has a tachometer that measures RPMs by the 1000s - shift up a gear each time the tachometer hits 2,500-3,000 RPMs.

    God, I miss driving a stick shift.
  12. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    most important, learn how to burn out in 2nd and 3rd gear to look really cool.
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