Car Care Tips: Dos And Don'ts Of Driving A Manual Transmission Vehicle

Automotive Blog

Thinking about buying a car but worried about the fact that it has a manual transmission? If so, then you might be torn. On the one hand, it's your dream car. On the other hand, you've never driven a stick before and you're afraid of the damage you'll do. Believe it or not, learning how to drive a car with manual transmission is easier than you might think.

There are just some important dos and don'ts you'll want to keep in mind when you're behind the wheel:

DO Remember to Set the Parking Brake

Unlike a car with automatic transmission, vehicles with manual transmissions don't have a "park" gear; therefore, it's always necessary to set the parking brake, regardless of whether you're on a hill or not. To protect the transmission, put your car in neutral when you set the parking brake. It may take some getting used to, but it's important to make this a habit when you drive a manual transmission vehicle.

DON'T Let the Clutch Out Too Quickly

One of the biggest mistakes vehicle owners make when learning how to drive a stick shift is letting the clutch out too quickly when switching gears. If you make this mistake, you'll know right away because the car will stall out. It's especially important to let the clutch out slowly when you're switching gears at lower speeds; at higher speeds, you can safely get a little faster with it.

DO Keep an Eye on the RPM Gauge

When you drive a stick shift, you'll need to make it a habit to keep an eye on your RPM gauge while driving. This way, you'll know when it's appropriate for you to switch into the next gear. The proper RPM at which you should switch gears can vary greatly from one vehicle to the next, so be sure to check your owner's manual to find out what your car's requirements are.

DON'T Become Too Discouraged

Finally, understand that learning how to drive a car with a manual transmission is going to take some time, especially if you've been used to driving a car with automatic transmission for most of your life. What's important is that you take things slow and that you do your best not to become discouraged or give up. With enough practice and care, you'll be driving a stick shift like a pro in no time at all.

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10 July 2015