Driving a manual transmission car is a bit more complicated than an automatic one. But once you get used to it, it's fun to have more control of the vehicle when it comes to gear changes and acceleration. Of course, before you start, you should know how to start the car. Read from step 1 to learn.
Part 1 of 3: Starting the car
Step 1. Insert the key into the ignition
Don't turn it on yet, as there are several steps you must take before turning it on.
Step 2. Identify the clutch, brake, and throttle
Manual transmission cars have these three pedals, and it is very important that you know which is which before you drive.
- The pedal on the left side is the clutch. It allows you to unhook the motor from the wheels while you are shifting gears and you must operate it with your left foot.
- The middle pedal is the Brake and the one on the right is the throttle. You must use your right foot to operate both pedals.
- Remember that the order of the pedals never changes, regardless of whether the vehicle is designed to drive on the left or right side of the road.
Step 3. Make sure the car is in neutral
It is very important that the car is in neutral before starting it. To make sure, verify that:
- The shift lever is in the neutral position. Being in that position, the lever is looser and you can easily move it from one side to the other. To put it in neutral, press the clutch all the way down and move the lever to the center (neutral) position.
- You have fully depressed the clutch. If you prefer, you can put the car in neutral by pressing the clutch all the way with your left foot.
Step 4. Start the engine
Once the car is in neutral you can turn the key and turn it on. Just remember that:
- If you moved the gear lever to the center position to put the car in neutral, you can turn the key without pressing the clutch.
- However, if you only depressed the clutch pedal (while the lever is in another position), you must hold down the clutch while turning the key. Otherwise, the cart will give a strong push forward.
Part 2 of 3: Start Driving
Step 1. Push the clutch all the way down
Once you've started the car, you should put it in gear before you start moving it (unless the lever is already in gear, in which case you can skip to step 3). Push the clutch all the way in to put the gear in gear.
Step 2. Move the lever into first gear
Keeping the clutch depressed all the way, slide the lever to first. For this you must move the lever to the left and then up. Normally, the gear number will be indicated on the left corner of the lever.
Step 3. Take your foot off the clutch gently
Begin to take your foot off the clutch very slowly until the engine speed (or RPM) begins to drop and the car moves slowly. This is known as a "retention point".
Step 4. Begin pressing the accelerator
Once you find the hold point, you should press down on the accelerator gently.
- As you press the accelerator with your right foot, you should continue to release the clutch with your left foot in one simultaneous movement.
- If you can do this correctly, the car will start moving in first gear.
Step 5. Be careful not to drown the car
If you release the clutch too quickly, the car will stall and you will have to start the process all over again.
- On the other hand, if you press the accelerator too fast before fully releasing the clutch, you can end up wearing out the clutch and damaging the vehicle.
- Don't worry, the car will stall a few times at first if you are just learning to use the manual transmission. You are going to need some practice to find the balance between releasing the clutch and pressing the accelerator.
Step 6. Go into second gear
When the engine starts to sound like it's under pressure (typically between 2500 and 3000 RPM, although this varies by vehicle), it's time to move into second gear. For this you must do the following:
- If necessary, take your right foot off the gas pedal and fully depress the clutch with your left foot.
- Grab the shifter and slide it straight down into second gear, which should be marked with the number 2.
Part 3 of 3: Mastering Hill Starting
Step 1. The first thing is to have a good understanding of hill starting
To move a parked car on a slope, you must perform a few different procedures that are necessary to prevent the vehicle from rolling backwards.
Step 2. Use the brake pedal
To start on a hill with the brake pedal, you must press the clutch with the left foot and the brake with the right. Put the gear lever in first, release the parking brake and take your foot off the clutch until you feel the detent point. Then release the brake (keeping the clutch pressed in the detent point will prevent the car from rolling backwards) and press the accelerator a little more than usual. Continue driving normally.
Step 3. Use the parking brake
To start on a hill this way, you must press the clutch and put the car in first gear. Slowly release the clutch until you feel the hold point, then release the parking brake. Once you've released the brake, put your foot on the gas and continue normally.
- Make sure to push the clutch all the way down.
- When starting the vehicle, make sure the parking brake is set to prevent the car from moving.
- Always wear a seat belt.
- Don't try to drive a manual transmission car if you don't know how. Ask a friend to teach you.
- Make sure you keep your foot on the brake or that the parking brake is set before starting the vehicle, as it can shift when the clutch is pressed or if the gear lever is in neutral.