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Whether you’re heading onto a racetrack with a high-performance racer or into the woods with a rugged 4×4, you’ll need a manual transmission vehicle for many excursions. Our beginner’s guide to owning a manual transmission car will help you understand your vehicle and why a manual is better than an automatic.
The Differences Between a Manual and Automatic
The primary distinction between an automatic and manual transmission vehicle is that drivers are responsible for which gear to use and when to shift. Manual cars are often more fuel-efficient than automatic models. Plus, many manual drivers enjoy the engagement of driving a stick shift, as it connects them to their vehicles.
The Advantages of a Manual Transmission
When you opt for a manual transmission over an automatic, you’ll find that these vehicles are more affordable because they are in less demand. The shrinking number of people capable of driving a stick shift also makes them more secure, as car thieves are less likely to steal a car they’re not comfortable driving.
Manual Transmission Tips for Beginners
Press the Clutch All the Way
When shifting, you need to push the pedal to the metal. This might feel strange since you don’t often slam on the pedals when driving an automatic. Still, you should push the clutch down completely, or it could leave some of the clutch discs engaged and wear them down.
Don’t Ride the Clutch
Another essential lesson for driving a stick shift is not to ride the clutch. In other words, don’t rest your foot on the pedal. Aside from slipping the clutch into first gear, the clutch should never be partially engaged, or it’ll wear out. If you want to make your vehicle’s clutch last longer, don’t ride the clutch!
Don’t Get Discouraged
If you’ve never driven stick, don’t be discouraged when you don’t become an immediate expert! When learning how to drive a manual, you’ll likely stall out frequently as you get the hang of shifting with the pedal and the stick. Everyone goes through growing pains and makes mistakes, so don’t hang your head if it takes a few drives to get comfortable.
We hope our beginner’s guide makes the first stages of owning a manual transmission car a little easier and more fun. While a stick shift may seem old-fashioned, it makes for fun driving. Plus, knowing how to operate a manual transmission has numerous advantages for adrenaline enthusiasts who enjoy off-roading, track-racing, and other extreme motorsports!