Learning how to drive a manual car can seem like an intimidating task, but with the right instructions and some helpful videos, you'll be on the road in no time. From learning the basics to tackling more advanced skills like parking on a hill or downshifting, videos are a great way to learn how to drive a stick shift.
Four Great Videos for Learning How to Drive a Stick Shift
The Basics of the Manual Transmission
In this helpful video, you'll take a tour of the instrumentation and equipment of a manual transmission, including the tachometer, parking brake, shift knob, and clutch. You'll also learn about each step of starting up the car and shifting, as well as stopping and turning off the ignition.
How to Downshift
Once you've mastered the basics of driving a five-speed, it can be helpful to learn how to downshift. Downshifting allows you to slow the car using the transmission and engine, rather than the brakes. It's also helpful when you are in traffic and must speed up and slow down a lot. However, this skill takes quite a bit of practice, so seeing what should happen via video is a great way to learn the fundamentals.
How to Start on a Hill
Starting a manual transmission on a hill can be very challenging, especially if you're a beginner. The balance of clutch and gas is different when the car has to overcome an incline. In addition to plenty of practice in low-traffic areas, watching a video on starting on a hill can help a lot.
Parking a Stick Shift on a Hill
If you must park your car on a hill, the process is a little different for a vehicle with a manual transmission than it is for an automatic. You have to ensure your car is in gear when you park, but the gear you choose depends on how gravity is affecting your vehicle. This helpful video shows you how to parallel park safely when you're on a hill.
More Resources for Videos on How to Drive a Stick Shift
In addition to these videos, there are a few other excellent resources that can help.
MonkeySee is one of the most well known instructional video sites. Here you'll find Jumi Kim, the President and CEO of Capital Dream Cars, walking you through the steps of "driving stick" in an exhaustive video that covers starting the car, driving uphill, driving downhill and much more. This is a good example of a professional driving instruction videos that you'll find online.
HowCast offers several useful videos about driving a stick shift. Aimed at beginners, these videos will walk you through the steps and offer helpful tips. In the basics video, a driver shows you the position of all of the gears, how to start the car, and then how to shift into first gear and accelerate.
Wonder HowTo features a large assortment of how-to videos on driving, and a lot of these include how to drive a standard car. You'll learn the basics, as well as more advanced techniques. The number of kudos received by a video can help you determine its quality.
Although there's only one video on Edmunds.com for learning how to drive a manual transmission, it's an excellent resource for beginners. This video covers all the basics, plus many advanced techniques.
Hit the Road Safely and Confidently
At first, it can seem like there are a lot of steps involved with learning how to drive a stick shift, but seeing other drivers in action makes the process seem more manageable. Take a few minutes to watch helpful videos, and then go out and practice these skills for yourself. Soon you'll be ready to hit the road safely and confidently in your five-speed car.