The term ‘stick shift’ refers to vehicles with manual transmission. Unlike automatic transmission automobiles, this type has a third pedal called clutch. It also has a stick that is used by drivers to shift from one gear to another. It is important to drive a manual transmission car because it is used more than automatic vehicles. Furthermore, only this type of vehicles is available in certain parts of the world. Check out these cool tips on driving stick shift, which can help you become a good driver in no time.
Basic Differences Between Manual and Automatic Transmission Vehicles
To understand how manual transmission vehicles work, you need to differentiate it from automatic transmission. In manual driving, you only need the right foot to operate unlike in automatic driving, where you need to use both feet to control the car. In terms of the stick, manual vehicles have individualized gears ranging from first gear to fifth gear. In automatic vehicles, you can only shift from drive, park and reverse.
Know When to Use the Different Gears
People use the first gear just to set the car in motion. It is right to use this gear when the vehicle is running within the range of 10 to 15 mph. Meanwhile, use the second gear if you wish to make the vehicle move faster. It is good to use this gear up to 25 mph. This gear is also helpful during stop-and-go situations. Instead of stepping on the brake, you can shift to second gear. The third, fourth and fifth gears are used to speed up your vehicle further. These are perfect especially on freeways, where almost all the vehicles are accelerating full speed.
Tips for Starting a Stick Shift Vehicle
For starters, one of the most challenging skills in driving manual transmission vehicles is learning how to start the car. Check the stick if it is in neutral. If not, step on the clutch and then shift it to neutral position. To start the car, step on the clutch once again using your left foot and then switch the engine on using your car key. One the engine starts, do a full step on the clutch before moving the stick from neutral position into first gear.
While the car is on first gear, step on the gas pedal slowly while at the same time slowly letting go off the clutch. Balance is important here. You may not be able to do it right away, but constant practice can help you master this simple step. Do not be nervous because it can cause your feet to become stiff. Instead, relax and try to balance the two pedals until the vehicle starts moving. Do not put your feet heavily on the gas pedal. Do it slowly and feel the car accelerate.
Tips for Shifting Gears
After setting the vehicle in motion, try shifting gears. If you reach somewhere around 10 to 15 mph, you can now shift to second gear. While the car is running, make a full step on the clutch and then move the stick from the first gear to the second gear. Step on the gas while releasing the clutch slowly. When you reach the speed of around 25 mph, you can try to change from second to third gear. Simply do the same step. While the vehicle is running, step on the clutch fully and then move the stick from the second to the third gear. Do the same steps for the fourth and fifth gear.