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How to drive a standard transmission car? Step by Step

Driving School: Learn to Drive Stick Shift via Amazon

Whether your answer to the poll is yes or no, if you will follow the below-mentioned steps in your real training, I guarantee that you will start driving a standard transmission car in a matter of days, of course you will not hit a tree or someone with this training.

So today I will explain you step by step on how to drive a standard transmission car. The two main factors for successfully driving a standard transmission car are patience and confidence. These both factors not only apply to the learner but also to the instructor.

Driving any car whether it is standard or automatic requires determination and concentration but a person should be more cautious when driving a standard transmission car. There are many people who know how to drive a car with automatic transmission and can manage on how to drive when they are already moving but learning to drive with changing gears and shifters is the main thing. It is not that driving a manual transmission is really difficult because in my country India, most cars come with manual or standard transmission and even I learned driving standard transmission cars around 7 years ago when I was 25 years of age. Also, there are a lot of old people and young boys and girls whom I have seen on Delhi’s road learning to drive a standard transmission car. I remember that I learned driving my first car from a prominent driving school in Delhi. So let’s move on and learn how to drive a standard transmission car step by step:

Learn how to drive a standard transmission car.

Learn how to drive a standard transmission car.

Here is a stick shift car from Maruti

Here is a stick shift car from Maruti

Cannaught Place in Delhi. These all are standard transmission cars driving here. This is something known as bumper to bumper traffic where there is just a finger space between you and the car behind and front of you making 1st gear very important.

Cannaught Place in Delhi. These all are standard transmission cars driving here. This is something known as bumper to bumper traffic where there is just a finger space between you and the car behind and front of you making 1st gear very important.

Step 1 - Find a Large Safe Area

Day 1 of learning a standard transmission is very important and you must find a large safe area to practice driving the car. Try to learn in an area where there is no or little traffic, pedestrians, or, obstacles. A learner must hire a driving instructor with the car that has brakes in front of both seats, I mean driver’s seat and front passenger’s seat where the instructor is sitting because sometimes it is not possible to avoid crowd and when the learner loses confidence and is unable to hit the brake pedal, the instructor can to avoid injury to pedestrians or a motor vehicle accident.

Step 2 - Only You and Instructor In The Car

Now in step 2, only instructor and learner should be sitting inside the car and there should be no third person in the rear seats to avoid distraction.

Step 3 - Moving the Car in First Gear

In this step, pull up the hand brake or parking brake of your car and press with your foot on the clutch, brakes, and accelerator. Your instructor will make you friendly with them. Remember, clutch is to be pressed for changing gears, brakes to stop the car, and accelerator to the move the car. Now, your instructor will make you familiar with the shifter. For example if your car has five gears, first one in front, second one in back, then third one in front and fourth one in back and then fifth one in front and reverse gear at the back. Neutral is always in the center. All the gears are mentioned on the gear stick and need to be understood before utilizing. You do not need to use third gear until and unless you are familiar with starting to use first gear and second gear with the manual transmission because using higher gears or high speeds in the training period can make you lose control on the car and cause an accident.

Step 4 - First Gear Continued

Now before starting the car check if your shifter is in neutral. Okay it’s in neutral now what. Now start the car, release the parking brake, and press with your feet on the clutch completely. Now apply first gear and release the clutch slowly and slowly and also press the accelerator a bit, remember only a bit or the car will turn off with a quick jerk. This is the most important step for beginners. 50% of your driving is complete is you learn the first gear and then shifting other gears while the car is moving.

Step 5 - Learning Second Gear

The most difficult part of driving a standard transmission is to make your car moving and that work is accomplished with the first gear because your car will not pick up on other gears and if it can, do not do it because it will put unnecessary pressure on your clutch plates and gear mechanism causing wear and tear of the system or a complete burnout in a matter of months. First of all, you need to learn how to use clutch and accelerator simultaneously, very little of that will not move your car, very much of that can stop the car with a jump or jerk, so your both feet need to work simultaneously so you need to practice it several times until and unless you consider turning the second gear. I remember it took me two days to learn the first gear, I was too slow. No no. Everyone is not like me. Some people learn it very quickly. Just you need to concentrate.

Step 6 - Second Gear Continued

Now when you are all set with the first gear, give some time to the reverse gear. Once you have learned the first gear, it would not be really difficult for you to understand the second gear. Once you are confident about first and reverse gears, you are all set to move forward with higher speed gears.

Now watch this video on how to drive a manual trasmisson car.

Step 7 - Getting Familiar with Gears

Now in step 7, start the car, release the parking brake, press the clutch, apply first gear, move the vehicle, and when the car is in moving a little bit, press the clutch again and apply second gear. Now your car will be moving really smoothly in second gear. Now stop the car and do this again and again until and unless you are familiar with neutral, first, second, and reverse gears.

Step 8 - Learning High Speeds

Now in step 8, again repeat all the steps till second gear and then use the third gear for higher speeds. Slowly and steadily, you will not be in need of a safe area to drive as you will get familiar with all the gears, clutch, brakes, accelerator, and other things including left and right indicators, but then also avoid driving initially in high-traffic areas and on streets with hills.

Step 9 - Moving the Car Uphill in First Gear

Now comes the most important step where not only beginners but sometimes old car drivers lose control and that is handling a car uphill or on an incline. When I was learning driving a standard transmission, my instructor gave little time to drive uphill and that is why I lost control one or two times with my girlfriend sitting on the passenger side and that was a distress for me. So what I did is that I chose an isolated hill and started learning to drive my standard car uphill on the slope. I needed to use parking brakes many times but in two or three days, I mastered it. Now I will tell you how to do it. Take your standard car to a nearby hilly road, drive on until you reach a point where you will go back down unless you apply a brake, stop your car with the pedal brake, pull on your hand brake, now apply first gear and use clutch and accelerator simultaneously and at the same time release the parking brake. This time you will need to use a little more acceleration as it is uphill. If your car stops with a jerk, pull on the hand brake, do the procedure again and again until and unless you are able to take your car up the hilly road. Now, when you are able to do it with hand brake, practice doing it without parking brake or hand brake.

Step 10 - Parking Car in Reverse Using Rear View Mirror

Another important thing is to park the vehicle in reverse which you will also learn slowly and slowly. Always remember that the reverse gear is very powerful so you need to slow down while doing that. If you do it quickly, there are more chances of hitting something on the road as you can easily lose control in reverse gear.

So above were a few steps on how to drive a standard transmission car. I hope you will get rid of the fear of driving a stick shift car and will start driving on your own in a matter of days. For advanced learners, if you want to drive in high-traffic conditions then there is no place better than Delhi in India. Come to my place and I will teach you how to drive a stick shift in traffic that is only crawling where you need to apply the first gear several times in a minute. For comments, where new learners are asking can we press clutch every time there is a turn or something, I would say no because pressing clutch unnecessarily burns out the clutch and gear system and also fuel efficiency of the car is drastically decreased so apply clutch only when you need to shift gears or when you need that your vehicle will touch the other car in front of you if you will not do that.