How to Drive a Stick Shift – Defensive Driving Lessons 101

automatic transmission

Car enthusiasts will agree that manual transmission always trump automatic transmission.

It requires skill since you need to change the gear in order to control the speed of the car. Here is a look at some of the things you might want to know about stick shifts:

The Essential Components

manual transmission

There are several ways a car with manual transmission is different from cars with automatic transmissions.

Cars with manual transmissions have a clutch, which is an additional pedal located next to the gas and brake pedal. You use your left foot to depress the clutch while you change gears.

If you have ever been in a manual car, you may have noticed numbers on the gear. These numbers represent each individual gear. Cars with automatic transmission also have a gear for parking the vehicle. However, manual cars do not have this feature.

The Gear Position

Gear Position

There are certain things you will need to learn before you start the vehicle. For starters, you need to know the location of the gears.

Every gear has a separate pattern; for example, in order to shift in the first gear, you will need to move the stick left and then up. To move in second gear, move the stick left and the down.

Make sure you learn all of these patterns before you start driving. You might struggle with the gear shifting in the initial stages however, over time, you will learn to change gears based on the sound of the engine.

If your vehicle has a tachometer, you will need to get familiar with that as well. A tachometer shows the revolutions per minute and it helps you know that it is time to shift the gears.

Steps Involved In the Learning Process

For beginners, the best place to learn how to drive is an open area like an empty parking lot. Push down the clutch pedal and shift the stick in first gear. Keep your foot on the brake while you are doing so.

Release the brake once you have moved the stick in position. The engine should be revved up between 1500 and 2000 RPM.

Slowly lift your leg and release the pressure from the clutch. Your car will start moving. In case the car stops, put your foot on the brake pedal put the gear in neutral position and repeat the process all over again.

Defensive Driving

Driving a car with manual transmission requires concentration. In addition to that, your attention needs to be completely on the road. For some drivers, it can be quite overwhelming. This is where defensive driving comes in.

Enroll in our defensive driving classes right now. We also offer driving lessons for beginners. People who do not have the time to come to class can enroll in our online courses. Contact us at (602) 297-1000.