Many car models nowadays come in automatic transmissions. However, there are people who still prefer the manual transmissions to automatic transmissions because they are less prone to accident, give the driver more control, and save a nominal amount of gas.
Learning how to drive a car with manual transmission can be fun; here is how to do it:
- Be comfortable. You can do this by choosing the right comfortable clothes to wear and breathing deeply to make yourself less nervous and paranoid. It would be better if an expert driver can guide you in your lesson.
- Choose a good car. As a beginner, you must use an older car for practicing because newer cars have stickier clutches that make it harder for you to practice. Also, you wouldn’t want to ruin a new car in case you make a little mistake in practicing.
- Learn the pedals. The gas or accelerator and the brake work more or less similar to those of automatic transmission cars. You can find the clutch on the far left, the brake in the middle and the accelerator on the right.
- Familiarize yourself with the gears. This is not similar to those of automatic transmission cars. The gears of manual transmission cars are usually numbered 1 – 5 with a reverse and a neutral gear. The first, third and fifth gear are located on the upper part; the second, fourth and reverse gears are located on the lower part; and the neutral gear is located in the middle part of your gear knob.(Some cars may differ.)
- Practice shifting the gears. You must learn and familiarize yourself first with shifting the gears without starting the car so you can be ready for the real thing. Push the clutch fully in until it reaches the floor and then move your gear. To move from gears one to five, you should do this gradually (i.e., one, then two, then three, then four, then five) and not jumping among numbers (i.e., one to three, or something like that).
- Put your car into neutral gear. Push the clutch and then move the gear shifter to the middle. To make sure that the car is in neutral gear, you must see to it that you can move the gear shifter from side to side freely.
- Start your car. Make sure when starting your car; you turn off anything that makes noise such as your CD player or radio or MP3 player. Depress the clutch all the way to the floor to start the car.
- Put your care into first gear to move forward. Always remember that whenever you shift gears, you have to push the clutch with your left foot and after shifting release the clutch gradually while increasing pressure on the gas pedal.
- Speed up. In speeding up, you must gradually increase your gears up to the fifth gear. When you are not using the clutch, keep your feet off it so it will not wear out faster.
- Steer. Steering and maneuvering is pretty much the same as in automatic transmission cars.
- Stop. To stop the car, push the clutch and the brake simultaneously. Do not "ride" your clutch for long periods of time, as you can damage the gear mechanism.
Remember that if you reach 15 miles per hour, you should shift from
first gear to the second gear; if you reach 30 miles per hour, shift to
third gear; shift to fourth gear if you reach 45 miles per hour and to
fifth gear if you reach 50 miles per hour or more. You must have
patience in learning to drive a manual transmission car. Once you get
used to this, driving will be fun and easy.