Post # 47
I drive stick. Just move slow until you hit the sweet spot on the clutch… then it’s good to go! I’ve lived in SF and Seattle with it. The key on hills is to not panic and move promptly from stopped to first. You can use your parking break on hills at first if you need to!
Post # 48
I love driving stick! Reminds me of my VW Cabriolet convertible… aw, I loved that car
My advice would just be to learn with someone who has patience and will laugh with you. My Fiance tried to teach me and it ended in tears, the next day my friend drove her automatic out to meet me, I drove her car to her house (45 mins away) and she drove mine. I learned to drive my car all day and drove myself home. We had so much fun, I’ll always remember that fun time we had and appreciate that she did that for me.
Post # 49
I used to drive stick and learned on a stick but now have switched over to automatic. I think the hardest part is just taking your time in traffic because you do take a little longer to move away from a stoplight or whatever. Hills are HARD when you start….but you can use your hand break like Ms.DG says and it makes it much easier. Newer cars have a technology that dont allow you to “roll back” at lights or on hills when you dont gas it enough and release the clutch fast enough.
ps-fiance has driven his stick all his life and he still occasionally stalls out. so dont worry about that either!
Post # 50
Did anyone else have stick shift elbow and clutch knee when they first started? I was in so much pain!
In order to not have your foot on the clutch constantly, you can put the car in neutral at stop lights. I also switch into neutral when I’m going downhill and just coast along.
Post # 51
@MrsSaltWaterTaffy: It gives you so much more control, doesn’t it? Oh and on snow, you never have to break… you just downshift 🙂
Post # 52
Like the PP from NZ, here in the UK you have to drive a manual for a full licence. My parents both drive automatics because my father is lame in both legs (more so in his left). This meant that when I started driving lessons, I had no idea how a manual car worked. It took me FOREVER to learn – over 70 lessons (very expensive!).
I don’t know about driving barefoot – it’s easier to find the pedals with a flat sole than toes.
Definitely use the handbrake on hills. In fact, when I was learning, we were taught to do this at all junctions (where you were stationary). The idea being that you gently pull up on the clutch until you find the “bite point” (where the engine starts to sound different and almost pull forward and then put a small amount of accelerator (gas) on. Then you release the handbrake. Once you get used to driving stick, you won’t need to do this except on steep hills.
It just takes practise! I would definitely recommend “practising” in your head when other people are driving.
And when you’ve got it figured, try a motorbike! They’re impossible!
Post # 53
@Mrs. DG: I have to try the snow stuff, I know it will be good if we go back to CO but I’m just nervous!
Post # 54
I need to take all these tips and have my husband read them- I’ve been trying to teach him to drive stick- just in case he ever needs to drive my car!
Post # 55
I drive stick; Fiance does not. Sometimes, if we’re out running errands, I’ll just pull over and make him drive. He still gets pedal confusion. In fact, when we were driving to church one morning (literally a 2 minute drive up the road, no turns), he was pulling into the parking space, and instead of hitting the brake, he was pushing the clutch, so we just kept rolling forward… over a hill and into a ditch. I pulled the e-brake at the last minute, but he definitely panicked. No bueno.
Then, the following weekend, he wanted to drive my car 4 hours across the state… um, do you not remember what happened last time?? I’ll let him drive residential, but he’s not ready for prime-time yet.
Best advice I can give you is to develop habits – GOOD habits, to be more specific. I’ll admit, I have some bad habits like shifting early, braking too much (not downshifting to slow down) and popping it in neutral at stoplights so I dont’ have to hold down the clutch. The more frequently you drive, the faster you develop habits, the faster it will become second nature to you.
Dang that was long! Sorry!
Post # 56
my SO informed me that il have to buy an automatic so he can drive my car too, ive only ever driven stick shift:P
Post # 57
I have a standard car and have been driving it since my freshman year of college.
Post # 58
J has a nice Acura that is stick shift. He told me that he’ll teach me to drive it, but I’m kind of procrastinating. I’ll eventually do it because I wouldn’t mind driving stick shift. Just the matter of getting the balls to do so. I just get frustrated too easily.
Post # 59
Start in a parking lot. When Darling Husband was teaching me for some insane reason we were driving around side streets of the city. Bad idea, way too much pressure. I cried my eyes out, yelled a lot, threatened to sell the car (naturally, it was its fault not mine) As soon as we hit the parking lot and there was no pressure, it went so much better. Start and stop, start and stop, and start and stop some more. Practice down shifting, or at least slowing down for turns etc.
As for hills… the gas pedal is your friend. When first tackling hills it sounded like I drove a race car because I was so terrified of going backwards I’d hammer the gas. Probably not the best for the car but it worked until I got a better handle on it. Also, you can find a sweet spot where you let off the clutch to a certain point, and like a pp said, you can hear/feel a difference in the idling. Now, I have no idea if this is incredibly bad for the transmission/clutch or not, but you can get to this point where you’re stopped on a steep hill and let off the clutch to the sweet spott, and sit there motionless. So at that point, when the green light comes, you know you just have to add gas and voila! You’re moving forwards not backwards! (If this is bad for your car… someone should probably let me know… cause I do this a lot 😉 )
Post # 60
I drive stick. I can’t even drive automatic anymore. Seriously. I got a rental a little while ago and it took me forever to get it going smoothly. I just don’t trust a car that drives itself.
“In Soviet Russia, CAR drives YOU!”
Post # 61
I do! I love manual transmissions. I’ve only had one automatic ever and the next car I went back to a manual. I missed it.