#StudiousSeptember: Learning How to Drive a Manual Car

6 Oct

The skill I acquired this month was learning to drive stick-shift cars. Although it may seem scary and not all that necessary, it’s quite the contrary.  It’s empowering and fun!

Driving stick in 5 easy steps:

1. Learn the gears; shifting each 15 MPH

  • 1st gear 1-15, 2nd 15-30, 3rd 30-45, etc.

2. Start the car

  • Start the car in gear with the clutch pedal pushed to the floor
  • Shift into neutral
  • Release the clutch pedal

3. Up-shifting

  • Once the car is around 3000 RPM or at those 15mph intervals, push the clutch in and let off the gas
  • Move the shifter smoothly from first to second (or second to third, etc.)
  • Slowly release the clutch while pushing on the gas
  • Completely let your foot off the clutch and gas it up

4. Stops

  • Always downshift to 1st gear

5. Practice

  • Simple enough – just keep at it!


Learning something new was challenging and irritating. Sometimes, the car would stall and I would get frustrated. However, it’s rewarding once you make it past the corner of the street without stalling! I applied this to learning new material in class. Maybe at the time, it may seem tedious, but it will pay off in the long run!

-Rebecca M.

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