How to Drive a Car with Manual Transmission
* STEP 1: Look at the floorboard; you'll see three pedals. From left to right, they are: clutch, brake, gas.
* STEP 2: Study the simple diagram on the top of the gearshift, which will show you where the gears are. In most new cars, this will look like a three-legged H. First, third and fifth gears are at the tops of the legs; second, fourth and reverse gears are at the bottoms. The crossbar of the H is neutral.
* STEP 3: Make sure the parking brake is engaged and the car is on a flat surface in an area where you have plenty of room.
* STEP 4: Press down on the clutch pedal and then move the gearshift into the neutral position.
* STEP 5: Start the car.
* STEP 6: Keeping the clutch pedal down, put the car into first gear by moving the gearshift to the top-left position.
* STEP 7: Apply the foot brake and release the parking brake.
* STEP 8: Release the foot brake when you're ready to start moving.
* STEP 9: Begin to release the clutch pedal slowly; when you hear or feel the engine begin to slow down, slowly press down on the gas pedal as you continue to release the clutch. The car will start to move forward.
* STEP 10: Accelerate until the car has reached about 3,000 rpm, then take your foot off the gas, press down on the clutch pedal, and pull the gearshift directly down through neutral to second gear. Be sure to pull the gearshift down until it can't go any farther.
* STEP 11: Release the clutch pedal gently, simultaneously pressing down gently on the gas pedal.
* STEP 12: Repeat the shifting process each time you hit 3,000 rpm until you're driving at the appropriate speed. (Third gear is up and to the right; fourth gear is all the way down from there; fifth gear is up to neutral, right and then up again.)
* STEP 13: Downshift by releasing the gas pedal when you want to decrease your speed. Press down on the clutch and move the gearshift through neutral into the next-lower gear (move down only one gear at a time). Once you're in the lower gear, release the clutch slowly and brake as you do so.
* STEP 14: Stop the car by downshifting to second gear and applying the brakes. Apply the clutch just before the car stops. Don't downshift into first.
* STEP 15: Drive in reverse by following the same steps you would for starting in first gear. The reverse gear engages more quickly than first gear, however, so be sure to release the clutch slowly and begin to press the gas pedal as soon as the car begins to move
Tips & Warnings
* When you park your car, leave it in gear and set the parking brake. That way, it won't start rolling as soon as you put it in neutral to start again.
* You'll know you're in the right gear for your speed if the engine is running smoothly. If it's coughing and sputtering, shift to a lower gear. If the engine noise pitch is too high, shift to a higher gear.
* Avoid coasting with the clutch all the way down (called "riding the clutch"), as this will cause needless wear and tear on the clutch. When stopped at a traffic light, put the gearshift into the neutral position and release the clutch rather than sitting with the clutch engaged.
* The best way to start out is to find a patient friend or relative who knows how to drive a stick shift, and practice with him or her in a large, empty parking lot where you can practice safely.
* Repeated jerking, stalling, grinding, lurching and similar mishaps can wear on the clutch assembly. Be kind to your car'ask for help if you're having difficulty learning.