How to Properly Drive a Manual

Those who drive automatic cars might feel overwhelmed by the prospect of driving a manual. It's like asking them to drive a truck or heavy machinery almost because they were so spoiled by how easy it is to shift gears on an auto.

It's not that hard to drive a manual transmission vehicle. Just remember that it's both a science and art wrapped in one gear-banging package. Driving stick can be loads of fun too.

Just remember to undo some natural tendencies you might do out of habit from driving automatics. Read below to find out what these tendencies are specifically.

Tendencies to Avoid When Shifting from Auto to Manual

  • Using the Gear Lever as a Hand Rest: Most drivers who are used to automatics might put their hand on the gear lever like a hand rest because it's perfectly fine to do with an automatic transmission car. You should avoid using the gear level as a hand rest because the selector fork might end up getting into contact with the rotating collar.  In turn, this could cause premature failure of the fork. This is because the selector fork should remain stationary in manual transmission cars when not in use. It should only be pushed against the rotating collar when you want to shift gears.
  • Using the Clutch to Hold Yourself on a Hill: Holding yourself on a hill with your clutch isn't recommended because it wears out the clutch's friction material. There are multiple ways to avoid rolling down a hill without holding the clutch to do so. When driving manual cars, this type of practice that's okay with automatics can wear down the transmission mechanism of a non-automatic. It can also influence the free roll practice of the car that allows it to move swiftly when push comes to shove.
  • Resting Your Foot on the Clutch Pedal: Don't rest your foot on the clutch pedal. That wears down your clutch prematurely and reduces the fuel efficiency of your car because of all the lost transmission energy. Resting the foot on the pedal can cause it to engage partially as well, resulting in slippage. When driving shift stick cars, make a conscious effort to never rest your foot on the clutch pedal. Use it when you're supposed to, which is when you're doing normal shifts.
  • Flooring the Gas Pedal When Your Engine Is at Low RPM: Don't floor the gas pedal when your engine is at low RPM. This isn't a smart driving habit in manuals. Flooring the gas pedal on an automatic is fine because you can climb up to a higher gear automatically there. Flooring the gas pedal without shifting to a higher gear gradually is bad for the manual car, unhealthy for its engine, and so forth. Just downshift instead of flooring it in 5th gear as well for more efficient driving.

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