This guide will explain how to shift from 1st to 2nd gear on a vehicle with a standard transmission.
Step 1. Listen for sound changes in the vehicle's engine to warn you that it is "trying harder."
Loud hums are a signal (note the RPM reading at that point and you will begin to understand when the shift is necessary. Most vehicles need to change gears every time they reach 3000-3500 revolutions per minute).
Step 2. Raise your right foot off the pedals together, but do not press the accelerator or brake pedal
Step 3. Press the clutch pedal down quickly to the end of the floor or until you feel it disengage (a gentle jolt, a change in engine sound, a change in feel
The revolutions per minute will drop to a stable level and the engine should be much more stable).
Step 4. Gently push the shift lever back from 1st to 2nd gear
Step 5. Release the clutch gently and then continue to push the accelerator gradually
Don't be rough with any pedal, as the travel will be uneven and you could put too much pressure on the drivetrain.
- If the seat and steering wheel are adjustable (they probably won't be on a classic vehicle, but they will on a modern one), adjust them so that it is comfortable to press the clutch.
- Practice, practice, practice until your muscle memory knows what to do and your thinking brain doesn't have to work all the time.
- Afterward, practice on neighborhood hills before trying to drive on hills where there is traffic. Make sure there are no cars behind you and try to start without backing more than a few inches.
- Begin by practicing in a flat parking lot and make sure the parking brake is set just by moving the gearshift lever and without having to start the vehicle.
- Don't disengage the clutch “not a bit” while you decide to shift. This is called "burning the clutch" and it will bring you expensive repairs.
- Just in case, bring a cell phone and if possible an experienced driver. Of course, do not drive or talk on a cell phone.
- Do not drive in traffic until you feel completely safe making gear changes in your vehicle, so safe that you can talk very quietly with a passenger while driving. You will need to have the ability to focus on avoiding risks and obeying traffic rules while on the road and not on how you make the car work.
- Practice where you don't impact anything and where you can avoid buildings.