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


 Share

Recommended Posts

A large part of me doesn't care about understanding them. I just want to drive.

+1. I use a car to get from point A to point B. I've never understood the boner that some people have for manual transmission.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

+1. I use a car to get from point A to point B. I've never understood the boner that some people have for manual transmission.

This is silly - people have a thing called hobbies. What you may enjoy is totally different than what I enjoy. I enjoy driving cars, and especially high performance cars. You view cars as a utility - getting you from point A to B. Surely you have something in life that you are passionate about, which there are millions that wouldn't give a crap about. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know the rules in UK

 

 

It took me a while to get comfortable on the road, and I passed the tests on Automatic (friends car)

Then I bought a manual, and it took me a few weeks of driving on emptier roads in my spare time to learn how to use it.

If you are just getting your license, i'd say take auto test, and then get a friend to teach you manual driving.

 

Now I know to drive auto, like I know to ride a bike (though it does take 5-10 minutes driving to get comfortable again, if I don't touch it for a year)

 

 

Or can you not drive manual, if you got your license on Auto?   (seems a bit silly to limit people like that!)


+1. I use a car to get from point A to point B. I've never understood the boner that some people have for manual transmission.

 

Unless you are stuck in traffic,  driving a manual is a very good feeling, you feel much more connected to the car, and driving is not boring like auto.

 

But the main reason for manual in europe, is the smaller engines, and costs.   manual can run on less powerful engines, and costs less... saving you money!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you want to drive, or do you want to commute?

 

If you want to/have:

- proper control

- knowledge of your vehicle, how it performs, and be safer because of it

- technique to handle most situations

- feel for your cars health

- respect for yourself

- fun

 

get a manual and drive everywhere.

 

If you want to/have:

- be lazy

- not care

- eat a hamburger while talking on your cellphone

- be ignorant of how vehicles respond to input, and fully put faith in electronic systems

- be more likely to ignore or break laws

 

get an auto and commute everywhere, but please, stay out of the fast lane and learn to pass trucks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

manual is for in yo face lemon ...

 

i think it has to do with empowerment (especially in Canada when a woman drives stick .. oh man is like the best head ever !!!!! .... (on a side note manual give you the option of being in control and not the automatic gearbox chugging along on a preset timer)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Manual is pretty easy - you just need to get the feel of the car...

 

My Corsa has a lower bite point than the Fiesta I learnt and passed my test in... but the key thing is feeling when the clutch bites and raising it appropriately.

 

Just takes a bit of practice... Hell I had to drive a Opel Adam while my car was in the garage and stalled that first time :p 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know the rules in UK

 

 

It took me a while to get comfortable on the road, and I passed the tests on Automatic (friends car)

Then I bought a manual, and it took me a few weeks of driving on emptier roads in my spare time to learn how to use it.

If you are just getting your license, i'd say take auto test, and then get a friend to teach you manual driving.

 

Now I know to drive auto, like I know to ride a bike (though it does take 5-10 minutes driving to get comfortable again, if I don't touch it for a year)

 

 

Or can you not drive manual, if you got your license on Auto?   (seems a bit silly to limit people like that!)

 

Unless you are stuck in traffic,  driving a manual is a very good feeling, you feel much more connected to the car, and driving is not boring like auto.

 

But the main reason for manual in europe, is the smaller engines, and costs.   manual can run on less powerful engines, and costs less... saving you money!

you need to take a different test to get a different license in the Uk in order to drive a manual... if you have 'only' an automatic license, you are breaking the law by driving a manual car.

 

it's not silly, it's called safety. because driving a manual car IS more involved than driving an automatic one... therefore, by definition it's really easy to pass an auto test, but trickier to pass a manual one :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

you need to take a different test to get a different license in the Uk in order to drive a manual... if you have 'only' an automatic license, you are breaking the law by driving a manual car.

 

it's not silly, it's called safety. because driving a manual car IS more involved than driving an automatic one... therefore, by definition it's really easy to pass an auto test, but trickier to pass a manual one :)

 

Well I guess the percent of manual drives is small in north america, the only people likely to get stick are the ones who actively seek it out, and because of it are very likely to learn it properly.

It is more of a hobby then necessary or usual occurrence. 

In Europe, you are far more likely to get manual cars around, so they want to make sure you know what you are doing, since you are likely to drive one, unless you actively avoid it.

 

Makes sense!

 

 

To the OP:      learn manual.    find an instructor that is patient (if he is noticeably annoyed with you, it will frustrate you too, slowing down your learning - ditch that instructor immediately)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

:rolleyes:

 

Almost every car I've owned was/is a manual. 

 

It's not about what country you're from, it's about how much you enjoy driving.  Not much can compare to driving a fun, manual transmission car in the hills or mountains.

 

 

Until your stuck in especially stop and go traffic on freeway then its no fun at all.    I gave up manual transmission long ago because of this. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It took me about two hours before I could move five metres before stalling back when I was learning. I have my license for about a year now (after almost two years of training) and still stall from time to time. You'll get used to it. It only started really clicking for me after about a year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It took me about two hours before I could move five meters before stalling back when I was learning. I have my license for about a year now (after almost two years of training) and still stall from time to time. You'll get used to it. It only started really clicking for me after about a year.

 

 

after a few weeks, i would only stall on a steep climb.

 

the clicking part though is muscle memory, it is very hard to explain in words for me what i do when i drive with gas and clutch,

but it just happens, because my body (not mind), learned it, by trial and error (like a bike)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't read all of the replies yet, but I drive a manual, and have since I got my license, so I'll give you some pointers to remember.

 

- You are basically doing manually what is normally done automatically.  The lower the gear, the slower you will go, but the more torque you will have.  You take off in 1st gear, and as you gain speed your RPMs will rise.  Once your RPMs are high enough, you move up to the next gear.  Every engine/transmission has different shift points, some cars even have a "dummy" light on the instrument panel to tell you when to shift.

 

- Since you have more torque in lower gears, then if you are climbing a hill and you notice your speed begins to drop even with the gas on the floor, down-shift one gear.  Your engine will run at higher RPMs, but you will deliver more power to the wheels and be able to maintain your speed while going up a hill or towing a heavy load.

 

- In order to shift, the clutch must be pushed and held for the entire time that you are moving the gearshift.  Don't get in a hurry and let it out mid-shift or try to shift without it.  The clutch dis-engages the engine from the transmission, which takes pressure off the gears and allows you to shift.  That is why if you try shifting without the clutch gears will rake, because the engine is forcing them to rotate while you're trying to move them around. (Although upshifting can be done without the clutch once you are really familiar with the vehicle)

 

- Make sure you are completely stopped before trying to change directions (such as going into reverse, or for coming out of reverse and going into 1st)

 

- If it still resists going into gear while you're taking off, wiggle the stick left and right in the neutral position to line up the gear synchronizers.  In every manual car I've ever driven it seems like 3rd gear is the magical gear for lining things up.  If it resists going into gear and you're stopped, and wiggling the stick left and right doesn't help, put it in 3rd, take it out of 3rd, and then try 1st/reverse.  For some reason 3rd has always been that magical gear for me.

 

- When slowing down don't forget to either down-shift (helps with slowing down and saves wear on brake pads), or at the very least take the vehicle out of gear.  Unlike an automatic, even in 1st gear, when you let off the clutch, power is being transferred from your engine to your transmission, so you cannot stop with the vehicle in gear without killing your engine in a manual.  If you are going to stop, even if you down-shift to help with the process of slowing down, you must take the vehicle out of gear before stopping the vehicle.  You can also kill it if you just slow down too much.  If you begin slowing down while in 5th gear, and you don't take it out of gear, you can only go so slow in 5th gear before you will start to feel a vibration from the engine fighting against your brakes, and if you continue slowing down without taking it out of gear, you can kill the engine while you're still moving down the highway.

 

- Practice the best speed to release your clutch at.  Take-off is really the only part of driving a manual that classroom instruction just won't help you with; you've got to get in the car and just practice.  It's OK to kill the engine or spin a few tires, just find an empty, level parking lot and do laps practicing your take-off, because that's the only way to get good at it.  You don't want to just let it flip out on its own because you'll either spin tires, kill your engine, or at the very least you'll shake yourself up pretty good and have a jerky take-off.  You also don't want to ease it out too slow because that will cause excessive wear on your clutch pad, and may also cause you to spin your tires if you are giving it too much gas.  Just give it a little bit of gas and ease it out over the course of a second or two so that it grabs and takes off smoothly.  Practice taking off and stopping on level ground first, and then once you get pretty good at that, practice taking off on a hill.  When taking off on a hill you sometimes have to give it a little bit more gas, and you have to be a tad quicker on the clutch release to stop it from rolling backwards and possibly hitting somebody behind you.  People around here are especially bad for getting right up against your bumper on a hill, not realizing that if I slip my truck will roll backwards a couple inches.  It wouldn't hurt me, but I'm pretty sure they wouldn't like having a steel bumper pushed into their grill.

 

Hopefully some of the things I've said help you out.  It's a matter of personal preference, but I think if you can stick it out you'll learn to appreciate a manual and the increased level of control it gives you over your vehicle when compared to an automatic.

 

Edit: This has given me an idea for a new YouTube video, :-)

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's another pointer.  Assuming it's a 5 speed transmission like all the ones I've driven, when you take it out of gear, it will automatically return to center if you let go of the stick.  From that position, straight up is 3rd, straight down is 4th, pull left and up/down to get to 1st/2nd, and push right from that center resting position to have access to 5/Reverse.  Regardless of how the gears in yours are laid out, just remember that when you pull it out of gear and let go of the stick, it will return to rest dead center, so if you're shifting and forget where you are, just let go of the gearshift for a second and let it go where it naturally wants to go, and from there you'll know where it's at.

 

I didn't know that there were places that offered lessons on driving a stick, :P  I learned when I was 16 because my girlfriend at the time drove stick and she taught me in her little Suzuki X90.  I've never heard of people teaching classes on the subject until reading some of the replies here.  Hopefully you get it all worked out, :-)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Manual? You guys are poor... aside from money there is no other justification for avoiding convenience.

Automatic trans, butt warming seats, power windows, satellite ratio, etc... FTW

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you're questioning why you're even taking lessons for manual cars, please, just change to automatic. I rather not get hit on the road by somebody's who has already determined that he doesn't even want to learn. Driving a car is a serious thing, and if you're not 100% sure and feel 100% capable of driving, please, get off the streets.

 

(I am actually doing my own lessons now, but the whole concept of changing gears kicked in 30 minutes after sitting behind a steering wheel for the first time in life (those 30 minutes were spent while the instructor was explaining all the parts of the car).)

 

Would recommend an automatic car since you've argued for those a bunch of times already. We certainly can't tell you otherwise, you seem to have already decided.

 

EDIT: Else if you decide to continue with manual, do this. Tell your instructor and go to an empty road / parking. Rip the car apart and learn to feel it. You do not need to pay attention to anything in the car other than the noise it makes and the feel it gives. Start, stop, start, stop, start, stop, burn the tires. Feel every bit of it, and then you'll learn how a car behaves.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Manual is currently one of those skills that is nice to have, but not absolutely necessary. 

 

If you really don't like manuals, not too much point in learning.

 

I learnt because I thought it would a)make me a better driver b)help me in those situations where I really needed a manual and/because c)manuals are cheap and plentiful here and *everyone* has one. 

 

If you want to learn - get a new instructor. If you don't want to learn - don't bother. You'll generally survive without needing a manual car. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Manual? You guys are poor... aside from money there is no other justification for avoiding convenience.

Automatic trans, butt warming seats, power windows, satellite ratio, etc... FTW

 

Wow you're not a condescending turd or anything are you?

 

There's lots of reasons for wanting a manual transmission, and money generally isn't one of them.  The county I live in was rated the 8th most difficult place in the U.S. to live a month or so ago by the NY Times, economically speaking ( Source ), and there's tons of poor people who drive both automatics and manuals.  For one thing driving a manual forces you to focus on the task at hand, which happens to be commandeering a 4,000+ pound hunk of metal down the highway.  When you take shifting out of the list of tasks you have to do to maintain control of and pay attention to your vehicle, it leaves you open to do other more dangerous things like screw around on your cell phone.  Not only are "you" more distracted, but you have less mechanical control over your vehicle with an automatic.  Based on my experience owning and working on both automatic and manual vehicles, automatics get hotter and require more maintenance (the transmission, not the engine).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me learning the manual just came naturally. Started to learn and in couple of hours I was ok. And the fact I was riding a motorbike long before that and my dad only had a manual car also helped :p

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow you're not a condescending turd or anything are you?

 

There's lots of reasons for wanting a manual transmission, and money generally isn't one of them.  The county I live in was rated the 8th most difficult place in the U.S. to live a month or so ago by the NY Times, economically speaking ( Source ), and there's tons of poor people who drive both automatics and manuals.  For one thing driving a manual forces you to focus on the task at hand, which happens to be commandeering a 4,000+ pound hunk of metal down the highway.  When you take shifting out of the list of tasks you have to do to maintain control of and pay attention to your vehicle, it leaves you open to do other more dangerous things like screw around on your cell phone.  Not only are "you" more distracted, but you have less mechanical control over your vehicle with an automatic.  Based on my experience owning and working on both automatic and manual vehicles, automatics get hotter and require more maintenance (the transmission, not the engine).

Weird that is exactly why I avoid manual - trying to pay attention to the road is hard enough without having to worry about a third pedal.

A car is a tool to get from [A] to and the easier the tool is to operate the better, I just couldn't resist the discussion. :)

To be honest, it is a miracle that I haven't died driving yet.

Closest to manual are the two 200 series cars my parents own which have this left / right thing to switch gears... which I also don't get that well.

Edited by _Alexander
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Weird that is exactly why I avoid manual - trying to pay attention to the road is hard enough without having to worry about a third pedal.

A car is a tool to get from [A] to and the easier the tool is to operate the better, I just couldn't resist the discussion. :)

To be honest, it is a miracle that I haven't died driving yet.

Closest to manual are the two 200 series cars my parents own which have this left / right thing to switch gears... which I also don't get that well.

 

 

To each their own, I may have gotten a tad exacerbated because your first comment was, "You're poor", as if poor people are somehow less human and that manual transmissions are something that only common people own.

 

I've seen automatics with the left right thing, where you can put it in drive but push the gear shift to one side and flip it up and down to manually change gears.  It's not really "manual" as much as it is just telling the computer to go up or down one gear.  I guess it would be handy for hard take-offs or pulling a heavy load when you don't want it to shift, but I've never owned a vehicle that had it.  Test drove a few, but never owned one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are hobbies and enthusiasts and then there are people who act as if you're sub-human because you dislike driving. I've only ever had automatics and somehow I've survived. The sooner we can get to the future of Google's robot cars, the better for people like me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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)

 

I don't know how it works there but here the instructors are always saying "both hands on the wheel" which I found stupid to be honest. It's always better to hold one hand on the gearstick so you can slightly try the gear, very slightly of course not to pull the gear out. Also it's faster if you need to change in fast situations in traffic.

 

It is hard at first to get used to it (my Benz had the weirdest gears I've seen) but once you get it you won't forget it! Good luck mate!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. Remember the layout

2. Pay attention to the engine sound when you are releasing clutch and accelerating. It helps in timing as well as if your speed/acceleration is too high/low for that gear

3. Remember to completely press the clutch whenever you shift

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.