Learning to drive a manual car, 7 hours in - considering automatic


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You're letting your nervousness/fears complicate the learning process. Happens to me all the time. I swear the crap I could learn if my brain didn't race all the time. Calm yourself. You'll "get it" when you stop trying so hard to learn.

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See, an automatic offers me all the control I need to travel around. Hence the reason they're sold in the first place - they do the job fine.

 

I don't see the point in bothering to learn how gears work etc. in order to drive.

 

As I said, cost isn't an issue to me (including fuel costs) so why would I need to bother the complicated system of gears and a clutch system when it seems to me Brake and Accelerate are all I need?

not wanting to get off topic, so to just nip this in the bud...

 

you have a lot more control with a manual car, plus it is good to know how to drive one for if you have to drive someone elses car.. or perhaps a rental on holiday etc.

 

older automatic gearboxes are frankly absolute toss... they don't react fast enough for anyone used to a manual gear box, and the driver needed to 'adapt' to the slow automatic transitions. modern (i.e. 5 years) auto-boxes are much much better... the 8spd in my current car has won rave reviews for example.

 

i have a manual license, but choose to drive an automatic or semi-automatic car... have a manual license gives you that choice.

 

@OP: Keep at it buddy, it's great driving a manual car it really makes you feel 'connected' with the car, and less of a passenger in a comfy rollercoaster :D

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Keep trying, practise and you'll get there. Keep taking lessons and if you have a family member or friend that is willing to help, go out and practise with them (on quiet roads) For me it was less about understanding it and doing what feels right, which you'll get the hang off. I've been driving for years now and still select the wrong gear sometimes :p

 

If your driving instructor is not being supportive and patient definitely switch, see if you can find a private tutor, I usually find them to be more patient. 

 

And just so you know, it will definitely take more that 7 hours to be comfortable with a manual. 

 

Besides, we all know that manual cars are more fun to drive ;)

 

"And just so you know, it will definitely take more that 7 hours to be comfortable with a manual"

 

More than 7 hours to be comfortable?! Are you nuts? Took me about 7 seconds! Nothing more fun than driving a stick shift vehicle. Takes a ton of the boredom out of driving! :)

 

I know everyone is different and there is some excellent advice here, but sheesh, I couldn't fathom having to take lessons to drive a stick.

 

If your instructor seems inpatient though, definitely get a different one as that will just make you feel way to uncomfortable/nervous, to catch on.

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@OP That means you have a female mind. ... Kidding

When I learnt driving, 10 hr into driving classes, I received my first car. Hopped into it and used to drive every night after 11pm on empty streets. One step at a time

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As I said on the first page, I won't need to drive any car but my own (or possibly a rental car - which isn't a problem, they have automatic cars).

 

I haven't completely given up on manual transmission but I'm going to need some genuine reasons other than money (which isn't a problem) and "being able to drive any car" (look at the sentence above).

You never know, you might get a job in the future where you need to drive around on business and a full manual driving license makes you a lot more valuable than just an automatic license driver. The employer might not want to pay for an automatic car if they have manuals in their fleet.

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It's your choice. There's nothing wrong with preferring an automatic.

 

I like manual based on my experience with video games when I was younger (and also watching my parents/other people [ie. bus driver] drive a manual); manual gave me more control (due to higher revving), and speed! It only took a few minutes for me to get used to manual transmission in real life.

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More than 7 hours to be comfortable?! Are you nuts? Took me about 7 seconds! Nothing more fun than driving a stick shift vehicle. Takes a ton of the boredom out of driving! :)

 

Hah maybe that was just me then :P

 

OP, if you don't want to learn to drive a manual don't. I don't think there's anything pushing you to drive an automatic. There are very few situations where you'd be forced to drive a manual car, it's a nice to have but not a necessity.

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No offense, but if it's taking you that long to learn and you're getting frustrated, just get an automatic. The last thing I would want is someone on the road who's inexperienced with a manual and nervous to drive it. Besides, modern automatic transmissions are much better than previous generations. 

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Stick with manual lessons, as once you've passed your test, you can also drive an automatic car. However if you pass an automatic test, you cannot drive a manual car.

 

I found that I had a poor first instructor. I changed to another company, and it was worlds apart in terms of knowledge, approach and communication. I would try that before committing to an automatic test.

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While I see the advantages of automatic transmission, I would never turn from manual. Like others said, it's that feeling that you are in control when you're driving a manual gearbox. I tried to drive a Hyundai Santa Fe once, it had automatic transmission, and I almost went trough the windshield when I hit the brake pedal :laugh: That's because I used my left foot, the one that I use on the clutch. To me, if feels weird to have a useless foot while driving, so I don't think I would ever get used to 2 pedals. But I never did try more than that, so I can say for sure.

 

Anyway, if you master the manual transmission, it's a big step, so stick to it. 

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I feel my driving instructor feels I should be getting it by now and he gets annoyed when I panic and stall because I can't remember what gear I am in or should be in or I forget to press the clutch to break (or press it when I don't need to! - so bloody confusing, sometimes you need the clutch to break, sometimes you don't, I don't understand - I'm ready to give up)

 

Listen to your engine.  Feel how the throttle responds when you let off the gas.  You will learn the gears just based on the vibrations and the feel.  Instinct will tell you what gear you need.  I suggest learning how to take off and get to 3rd gear and start over.  No need to drive around town until you understand more.  Learning 1/2/3 is the key to getting an understanding.

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Listen to your engine. Feel how the throttle responds when you let off the gas. You will learn the gears just based on the vibrations and the feel. Instinct will tell you what gear you need. I suggest learning how to take off and get to 3rd gear and start over. No need to drive around town until you understand more. Learning 1/2/3 is the key to getting an understanding.

I can change gears easily, I just have trouble remembering what gear I'm in, when to change, what to change to in different circumstances (e.g. braking, slowing down to turn) etc.
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At first when I was taking lessons, I really hated the fact that I kept stalling due to bad clutch control. But as I took more lessons my clutch control got better and I would choose not to drive an automatic car. :)

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Sounds like you've made your mine up, mate.

 

People are giving you good advice, and you just keep coming up with reasons to not take it.

 

Personally, I think you should give it more time, it'll be worth it in the end.

 

As has been said, you end up getting a feel for it, at which point it becomes natural, and you don't even need to think about it. That will take some time.

 

Listen to the sound of the engine, that tells you loads about what gear you are in, and when you should change.

 

Remember, walking is an extremely difficult thing to do, and most of us have nailed that, right? :)

 

Edit: You play video games, right? What racers have you got?

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I can change gears easily, I just have trouble remembering what gear I'm in, when to change, what to change to in different circumstances (e.g. braking, slowing down to turn) etc.

 

Knowing which gear to be using comes over time.

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i realize manual vs automatic is highly cultural. i realize that 96% of cars in the US are automatics. I have several friends that drive manual. I get it. I've driven manual a few times in my life. I understand how you feel in control of the car.

 

That being said, i dont see the reason to have a manual. theyre annoying, especially in traffic and in the city. i dont see why you need to shift gears these days when automatics do it just fine.

 

there are many cars that have paddle shifters too. why not split the difference? :)

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I can change gears easily, I just have trouble remembering what gear I'm in, when to change, what to change to in different circumstances (e.g. braking, slowing down to turn) etc.

1. 0-10km/h use first gear, 11-30km/h use second gear, etc.

2. When to change: if below 1,000 RPM (about to stall) or above 2,500-3,000 RPM.

3. Braking: press clutch down and brake. Driving instructor will state otherwise (disengage clutch when slowed down to about 20km/h).

4. Slowing down to turn: disengage clutch, brake, when just about to turn (90 degrees, not 10), put in second gear, and turn.

 

I'd have a few lessons with a family friend if possible (no having to think about time=$).

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I feel my driving instructor feels I should be getting it by now and he gets annoyed when I panic and stall because I can't remember what gear I am in or should be in or I forget to press the clutch to break (or press it when I don't need to! - so bloody confusing, sometimes you need the clutch to break, sometimes you don't, I don't understand - I'm ready to give up)

Perhaps if your finding it so difficult to grasp such a mundane process then sticking to taking the bus or train or subway would be the best thing for you I didn't even have driving lessons before taking the test and passed with flying colours I found it so easy I took the motor bike test the following week and passed that too 

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All I can say is that once, it clicks for you and you get used to it, you probably won't want to go back to auto, but maybe not. I've been driving manual since I learned to drive, my last car was an automatic, sold it after just a month. Shifting gears as become second nature to me, and the difference in control with the car is grea

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