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How to Drive Manual


Edited by Ben Rubenstein, Krystle, Sondra C, Nick and 94 others

Have you ever wanted to learn at least the basics of how to drive a manual
transmission? Luckily, the basic concepts of starting to move a manual
transmission car and shifting through the gears is a process anyone can learn.
This guide will help you out so that when you do get in a manual car, you won't
look too bad....

Edit

Steps
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1
Try to get on level ground. Put your seatbelt on once you get in. While learning, it's
better to roll down the windows. This helps to better hear the engine sound and adjust the
gear changes accordingly.

2.

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2
Identify the pedals. In a manual car, there are three.
o The one on the far left is the clutch , the middle one is the brake, and then the
gas/accelerator is on the far right (CBA). This layout is the same for both left
hand drive and right hand drive vehicles.

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3
Learn what the clutch does:
o The clutch disengages the spinning engine from the spinning wheels and allows
you to switch gears without grinding the teeth of each separate gear.
o Before you switch gears (moving up or down), the clutch must be depressed.

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4
Adjust the seat position forward enough to allow you to press the clutch pedal (the
left pedal, next to the brake pedal) fully to the floor with your left foot.

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5
Press the clutch pedal and hold it to the floor. This would also be a good time to take
note of how the travel of the clutch pedal differs from that of the brake and gas, and it is a
good idea to get used to slowly and steadily releasing the clutch pedal.

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6
Move the gear shift knob to neutral. This is the middle position that feels free when
moved from side to side. The vehicle is considered out of gear when:
o the gear shift is in the neutral position, or
o the clutch pedal is fully depressed.

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7
Start the engine with the key, making sure to keep the clutch pedal held to the floor.

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8
Once the engine is started, you can remove your foot from the clutch pedal (as long
as it is in neutral).

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9
Press the clutch to the floor again and move the gear shift knob to first gear. It
should be the upper left position, and there should be some kind of visual layout of the
gear pattern on top of the gear shift knob.

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10
Slowly lift your foot up from the clutch pedal until you hear the engine speed begin
to drop, then push it back in. Repeat this several times until you can instantly recognize
the sound. This is the friction point.

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11
In order to get moving, lift your foot up from the clutch pedal until the RPMs (revs)
drop slightly and apply light pressure to the accelerator (GAS). Balance the light
downward pressure on the accelerator with slowly releasing pressure on the clutch pedal.
You will probably have to do this several times to find the right combination of pressure
up and down. Another way of doing it is to release the clutch until the moment during
which the engine revs down a little and then applying pressure on the accelerator (TO
FIND THE BITING POINT). At this point the car will start to move. It is best to have the
engine rev just enough to prevent stalling as the clutch pedal is let up. This process may
be a little difficult at first because you are new to the 3 pedals in manual. Always be ready
to pull the hand brake to stop in emergency till you have learned.
o If you release the clutch too quickly the car will stall. If the engine sounds like it
is going to stall, then hold the clutch where it is or even push it further in slightly.
Excessive engine speed while the clutch is between fully up and fully depressed
will wear out the clutch parts prematurely resulting in slippage or smoking of the
clutch parts at the transmission.

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12
When driving, when your RPM reaches about 2500 to 3000, it is time to shift into
second gear. Remember though that it depends fully on the car you are driving what
RPM the tachometer will reach before you must change gear. Your engine will begin to
race and speed up, and you must learn to recognize this noise. Apply pressure downward
on the clutch pedal and guide the gear shift knob straight down from 1st gear into the
bottom left position.
o Some cars have a "Shift Light" or indications on the speedometer that will tell you
when you need to shift so you don't rev the engine too fast.

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13
Push down on the gas very slightly and slowly release the clutch pedal.

http://pad3.whstatic.com/images/thumb/4/48/Drive-Manual-Step-14preview.jpg/550px-Drive-Manual-Step-14-preview.jpg

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14
Once in gear and on the gas you should completely remove your foot from the clutch
pedal. Resting your foot on the clutch pedal is a bad habit, and applies pressure to the
clutch mechanism the increased pressure could allow the clutch to wear prematurely.

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http://d5kh2btv85w9n.cloudfront.net/c/c4/Drive Manual Step 15.360p.mp4

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15
When you have to stop, release right foot off accelerator to the brake pedal and
press down as much as required and as you slow to about 10 mph you will feel the
car about to start shaking and vibrating. Press the clutch pedal fully down and move
the gear shift to neutral to prevent stalling.

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16
Once you have mastered it, driving a manual is fun. You now can rev the engine in
any gear for a sportier feel or for a greener pace choose to shift gears at lower rpms.
Edit

Video

Edit

Tips
Learn to recognize the sounds of your engine; you should eventually be
able to tell when to change gears without relying on the tachometer.
Make sure you push the clutch all the way in before shifting to the next
gear.
If your car seems like it is going to stall, or the engine is sputtering, then
push in the clutch again, wait for the engine to return to idle, and repeat
the steps to starting off.
You may want to apply first gear when the car is parked, in addition to the
parking brake.
If you are having difficulty starting the car from a stop, make sure that
you are slowly letting off the clutch. Pause at the friction point (the part
where the engine starts to move the car) and continue slowly pulling the
clutch out.
During sub freezing temperatures, it is not advisable to leave a car for a
long time with a handbrake (parking brake) pulled on. Moisture will
freeze, making the release of the parking brake iffy.

If you know ahead of time that you will be parking on a sharp incline,
carry a brick or rock in your car to be placed behind your wheel
(carefully). It is not a bad idea to do this all the time; parking brakes, like
all parts of the car, become worn with age and may not be able to keep
your vehicle in place if a hill is too steep.
Two other descriptions mean the same thing as "manual
transmission"--"stick shift" and "standard."
If there is no gear position posted on the shifter, make sure to ask
someone who is familiar with the vehicle how the gears are arranged. The
last thing you want is to back into something (or someone) when you
think you've shifted into first gear.
Edit

Warnings
Keep an eye on the tachometer until you are comfortable with a manual. A
manual transmission requires much more responsibility than an automatic.
Over rev the engine, and severe damage to the engine may result.
It is strongly recommended to stop completely before going from reverse
to another gear. However it is possible on most manual transmissions to
shift into first or possibly second when the car is moving backwards at a
slow speed, but this is not recommended as this can cause excessive wear
on the clutch.
When you stalled the engine many times and try to start it back again,
give the starter and the battery a break of 5 to 10 minutes to avoid
overheating and damage to the starter and discharging the battery
completely.

Try to watch if you are on a hill or a steep area. You can roll back and hit
the person or object behind you if you are not holding in the brake and
clutch.
Stop completely before shifting into reverse no matter which direction the
car is rolling. Shifting into reverse while the car is in motion will damage
most manual transmissions.

Article Info
Categories: Driving Basics
Recent edits by: Chris, Dr Johnson, Rock20000
In other languages:
Espaol: Cmo manejar manual, Portugus: Como Dirigir um Carro
Manual, Franais: Comment conduire une voiture manuelle, Deutsch: Mit Handschaltung
fahren, : , Italiano: Come Guidare un'Auto
con Cambio Manuale

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