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Car tips & advice | 25.06.2014 - 00:22

Quick Tips for Anyone Trying to Learn How to Drive Stick Shift

If you’re getting ready to embark on the journey of mastering the stick shift, there are a few things you’ll want to know first. Read on to get a good idea of what you can expect in the process.

Whether you have to learn how to drive a stick shift out of necessity, or you merely want to possess the skill, it will take time and dedication to master the craft. Manual transmission vehicles can actually be more fun to drive once you get the hang of how they work, plus once you learn, you’ll possess a helpful and perhaps essential skill that you never know when you’ll need. If you’re getting ready to embark on the journey of mastering the stick shift, there are a few things you’ll want to know first. Read on to get a good idea of what you can expect in the process.

 

Familiarize Yourself

 

The best way to learn how to drive a stick shift is by practicing in a car with someone that is already familiar with driving these vehicles. Be sure beforehand that you know how the gas and brake pedals function. Manual transmission vehicles differ from automatic vehicles in terms of how the gears shift. It's only necessary to change gears when you reach particular speeds. Engage the emergency brake and get a feel for how the clutch functions. Driving a stick shift is more about getting a feel for when to change gears than anything else. Consult your car's manual for information on when you should change gears because the actual speeds can vary. Memorize the transition between the different speeds as well before you go out on the road. These vehicles typically have five or six speed settings and a reverse setting.

 

Practice Away From Traffic

 

You can practice on a real road after you're fully familiar with depressing and releasing the clutch. Make sure that the road you're practicing on doesn't have any steep inclines or winding paths. A large, empty parking lot might be the best way for you to familiarize yourself with changing between the first and second speeds. Take your time and orient yourself with how to glide between the first few gears with ease. Don't worry about the car stalling if you are practicing in an empty area. The worst thing that can happen is that the engine will require restarting.

 

Additional Tips While Driving

 

  • Always make sure that the gear stick is in good condition before driving.
  • Ensure that the transmission's gear oil is at adequate levels.
  • Avoid practicing at night or in bad weather conditions.
  • Make sure you take your time while shifting to avoid damaging the gears.
  • Avoid using a gear stick cover while you are learning to drive the vehicle.

 

Take your vehicle to a mechanic if you notice any signs of wearing on the gears because it may not be disengaging correctly. Those who practice will eventually find that driving a stick shift is like second nature to them—it just takes practice and concentration. Once you’ve mastered the skill of driving a stick shift, you’ll be a confident driver, no matter what vehicle you’re driving. The information for this article was provided by professionals of the Valley Driving School who offer driving lessons in Vancouver. 

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