Driving is a part of everyday life for a majority of adult Americans, but many of them have not experienced driving a standard stick shift transmission. Driving a stick seems more complicated than driving an automatic, but it makes driving more exciting. There are also many advantages to driving a stick transmission rather than automatic transmission, such as the transmission will last longer, less gas will be wasted, and the car will go faster more easily.
A car that has a stick shift transmission has an extra pedal called a clutch, and five different speeds found on the shifter. Driving a five-speed transmission places the most emphasis on being able to control your left foot, and timing your left foot to hit the clutch at the precise time. To get started driving a stick shift the learner should be accompanied by a person who already knows how to operate a stick transmission. The best place to practice and learn how to drive a stick transmission is in a large, open vacant parking lot.The learner should next familiarize themself with the differences between a stick shift transmission and an automatic transmission.
In the parking lot with the vehicle’s engine turned off, apply the right foot to the brake pedal, and practice getting a feel of the clutch pedal by pushing it in and out with your left foot. Then the learner should view the shift pattern shown on the top of the shift knob. First gear is usually located by pushing the shift lever forward. Then, with the clutch pedal pushed all the way down, move the gearshift lever through the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and reverse gears a few times and then put the gearshift lever into neutral. Neutral is located in the middle of the shift pattern. Next you are ready to start driving.
With the transmission in neutral, start the engine and then press the accelerator lightly to get the feel of the accelerator pedal. Next, take your right foot off of the accelerator completely and let the engine just idle. Push the clutch pedal in completely, hold it in, and place the gearshift into 1st gear. Now is the moment of truth, showing that you can drive a stick shift. Continue to keep your right foot off of the accelerator, but very slowly let out the clutch until the vehicle just begins to creep forward. This is accomplished by moving the clutch pedal in and out just a little bit, about a half-inch, to get the vehicle to begin rolling forward. Work on slowly letting the clutch pedal out until you can get the vehicle to move forward at a couple miles per hour in 1st gear without touching the accelerator. If the vehicle stalls, it is no big deal. Just push the clutch pedal in and restart the engine.
The vehicle stalling usually becomes a big problem, and especially frustrating for the learner because it occurs so frequently. The next thing for the learner to do is just keeping the ride smooth. Your goal is to be able to smoothly let the clutch pedal out and have the vehicle move ever so slowly forward. The purpose of this step is to allow you to focus solely on training just your left foot for smooth controlled clutch movement. Once you are comfortable with releasing the clutch at the right time, you can practice pressing the accelerator lightly and letting out the clutch. After you are able to drive the vehicle in 1st gear, practice releasing the accelerator, pushing the clutch in all the way, moving the gearshift in to 2nd gear, and letting out the clutch, which usually occurs around fifteen miles per hour. Then the learner will soon be able to easily shift into each other gear, and be driving all around the streets.
Those are the simple steps for being able to easily operate and control driving a car with standard stick shift transmission. Cars with stick shift transmission are more affordable because less people drive them and are more cost efficient for the driver. Learning to drive a stick shift transmission is not as complicated as others may make you believe, a person just needs to have patience and good coordination. Hopefully this paper may have taught you some new things about driving a standard stick shift transmission.