How To Drive Stick
Many people with years of driving experience are still wondering how to drive stick. In fact, it is not uncommon for drivers to never experience a stick shift or manual transmission throughout their lifetimes. However, all you have to do is follow these simple steps to learn to drive stick.
Things you'll need:
- Car that operates on stick shift
- Learn how to operate the clutch. The clutch is controlled using the furthermost left pedal in a car with a manual transmission. The pedal is depressed and then slowly released in order to shift gears.
- Practice shifting gears. Shifting gears is the most important aspect of learning how to drive stick because damage is often sustained by the transmission if this is done incorrectly. Practice shifting gears with the car engine off and emergency brake engaged. Simply depress the clutch, place the shifter into the correct gear and then slowly release the clutch as you gently depress the gas pedal simultaneously.
- Once you master shifting gears with the engine off, practice pulling out in first gear. This should be done in an empty parking lot or driveway. The process is simple: Start the engine, release the parking brake and then depress the clutch, place shifter in first gear and release the clutch as you gently press the accelerator. It is not uncommon to have a few bumpy starts at first, just stay calm and keep practicing.
- Now that you can pull out in a parking lot, try the same method on inclines and in reverse. Starting motion on an incline and in reverse can be difficult at first, but practice makes perfect. These steps are the most difficult in learning how to drive stick. so take your time.
- Accelerating and decelerating are based on the same concept as starting and stopping the vehicle. Instead of starting from a stop, you are simply accelerating to a desired speed before shifting to a higher gear. This process is different from vehicle to vehicle, but is a very natural process that is easy to learn. Decelerating by shifting downwards is a less common practice than accelerating but is the same concept, just in reverse.
- The open road is where you bring all of the concepts from the previous steps together. The greatest obstacle to learning how to drive a stick on open road is learning to stay calm and avoid panic. You must learn to execute the fundamentals of operating a manual transmission while obeying traffic laws and practicing defensive driving. For these reasons it is important to continue practicing in parking lots or low-traffic areas until you are confident in your abilities.