If you’re a new owner of a shift stick car, or soon to be one, you are probably already aware that driving an automatic car is much different than driving a manual transmission one. Unfortunately, driving a stick shift car can get tricky at first, which is why it will take you some time to get used to this change. There are also some skills you need to develop to ensure a safe and efficient drive. Some mistakes can damage the engine and result in costly repairs. This is why we collected some important tips that you need to know if you’re going to be driving a stick shift car.

Things to Know

Driving a shift stick car means that you’ll have to shift the gears of the car manually,  using a shifter and a pedal. Driving an automatic car is easier because the car does this part on its own. You’re only responsible for pushing the brake and gas pedals. While it sounds like a complicated task, driving a stick car comes with various advantages. For one, they are a lot cheaper than automatic cars. They are more fuel-efficient, and they give you full control over the RPMs and the accelerator, which makes the driving experience a lot more exciting. Besides, if this is your first time learning to drive, you’d be able to drive an automatic car easily. They say that stick shift drivers can drive any car easily. 

Parking Brake

When parking your stick shift car, you need to keep in mind that your car can roll, even on a flat surface, if you don’t pull your parking brake. Before turning it off, you need to shift the car into neutral. Pulling your parking brake is necessary if you don’t want your car to start rolling out of its spot. You don’t want to risk having to pay for your car’s and another vehicle’s or public property’s repair costs. 

Shift to Neutral

Many stick shift drivers have the habit of keeping their car in first gear when stopping at a stoplight. This readies them to get going immediately after the lights turn green. Other people like to use the clutch pedal to keep moving their car in a back and forth motion as they wait at stoplights. However, you should make sure to shift and neutral, as keeping the car in first gear or rocking back and forth can eventually damage your engine and gears. 

Put your Clutch Pedal to Use

Before shitting your manual car’s gears, you always need to remember to push your clutch pedal in first. This move will ensure that your gears shift smoothly. Otherwise, your car’s engine and gear will be damaged. Shift after using your clutch to avoid unnecessary issues. Similarly, your clutch pedal needs to be moved when hitting the brakes to prevent your vehicle from stalling out as it slows down and comes to lower RPMs. 

Take Driving Lessons

If you still haven’t learned how to drive a manual transmission car, no amount of information on the internet will help. Driving, whether it’s an automatic or a stick shift, is all about practice. UK-based driving instructors at www.l-team-driving.co.uk/ strongly advise that you take driving lessons to ensure that you’re properly trained and ready to hit the road. Once you’re able to drive a stick shift, reading online tips can help you refine your knowledge and experience. 

Go Easy on Your RPMs

You need to keep in mind that when we’re driving a stick shift, we are not fighting against our RPMs. We are rather working with them. This is necessary to prevent them from overheating, stalling out, or damaging the car’s components. If your RPMs are high, don’t be too quick to shift the car into low gear. Work your way down the gears gradually. You shouldn’t hit the gas pedals if you want to speed up quickly if you’re in high gear. This will overheat your car, causing damage. You should rather switch to a low gear gradually, while simultaneously using your gas to speed up.

Stalling? No Worries

Anyone who is new to driving a stick shift is bound to stall at some point, especially if you’re taking your foot off the clutch too quickly. Stalling isn’t usually much of a problem unless it happens when the roads are trafficked. Your best bet is to practice taking your foot off the clutch in a quiet road or an empty parking lot. 

Driving stick shift can sound like a tedious and stressful task, especially if you’re used to driving automatic cars. However, once you get the hang of it, you’ll realize just how enjoyable it is; it’s almost like a puzzle of sorts. Driving a manual transmission car will also ensure that you never doze off during a long drive. If you’re new to driving altogether, learning to drive a stick shift will ensure that you’re able to drive both types of cars in case of emergencies.

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