How to drive a stick shift vehicle
Driving a vehicle with manual transmission, also known as “driving stick”, can be confusing and or very difficult for people of all ages. Many drivers go through life without even owning a vehicle with a manual transmission. Learning to drive stick is a skill that can come in handy as this style of vehicle is very popular. Written instructions are no substitute for hands on activity. Driving standard is a skill acquired by time and cannot be achieved by just reading up on it. One of the most useful ways to start learning the art of driving a manual transmission or stick shift is to familiarize yourself with the car's clutch. You should already know what the gas and brake pedals do. Get in the car and make sure the emergency brake is engaged. Get a feel for the clutch by putting pressure on it and releasing it for several minutes. This is also a good time to look at the gear shifter, which is usually located on the center console to the right of the driver. There is usually a map of the gear patterns on the head of the stick shifter, studying this before you are ready to go is a must. If the guide is worn away and unreadable, you should use the car’s manual to find out the mapping of the gears. Another strategy to use would be to pull in the clutch and get a feel for where the gears engage. Once you understand where the gears are, without actually pressing the gas pedal, pretend you are driving and practice speeding up. (Making the sounds is optional and can be humorous.) Put the clutch to the floor and put the car in first gear. Pretend you are driving and while speeding up push in the clutch to shift into another gear. Do this for the rest of the gears until you feel comfortable shifting. When coming to a stop, you can do two things. You can push the clutch in and keep the car in gear, or you can put the shifter in the neutral position and let the clutch back up. It is sometimes good to put a stick shift in neutral while...
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