3-Easy Ways to Improve When Driving Manual Transmission.

#Drivingtraining #personalised #tutorial #tipsandtricks

If you have a car with a manual transmission, then you are a champion, a connoisseur of a dying form of motoring. Chances are, you’re pretty good at driving a manual transmission too and if that’s the case, you can stop reading now because this article is not for you.

However, if you suck at, or are downright scared of driving with a manual transmission and can’t seem to figure out what to do about it, then you’ve come to the right place.

Feel free to send this article to any friends and family who could benefit from the following tips, tricks, and exercises. Each tip intends to help improve your form, smoothness, and enjoyment of that manual transmission with little time and effort.

1. Stall on Purpose

This is where I always start when teaching people how to drive with a manual transmission. Making them stall the car on purpose several times to show them that stalling the car is not a big deal. Always do this by setting the parking brake.

Stalling isn’t that scary, and doing it on purpose can help program the driver’s brain to be less horrified to make this common mistake. After all, being horrified makes you tense, and being tense makes it harder to work the controls smoothly. Being nervous about stalling is also a leading cause of over-revving the engine when it’s time to get the car moving from rest and this causes a rough ride, a jerky start, and undue clutch and engine wear.

Seeing an obvious connection is difficult, but give it a try. Go to your car and stall it over and over again. Nothing bad will happen and hopefully, you’ll be less scared, less tense, and much smoother in no time.

2. Friction Point Exercise

Friction point exercises are the second thing I teach anybody learning to drive a manual transmission. Turns out, plenty of self-taught drivers never do these exercises. They drastically improve and smooth out their performance when it’s time to get the vehicle rolling. Friction point exercises form the foundation of getting to know your clutch.

Next time you’ve got nowhere to go and nothing to do, go to your car, start the engine, and place it in first gear. Leaving your right foot on the floor, use your left foot to release the clutch pedal as slowly as physically possible. It should take 7 to 10 seconds or more to fully release it. At some point along the way, you’ll feel something happening. The engine will lug slightly and the car will try to creep forward. The point where this happens is often referred to as the “Friction Point,” which results from the clutch making initial contact with the engine flywheel, therefore sending power to the wheels. The moment you detect the friction point, simply press the clutch back to the floor. Repeat the exercise till you get the hang of it.

Next, try the exercise again, this time, revving the engine slightly (to about 1,200 rpm) in the process as you very slowly release the clutch. Note the difference in the way the vehicle responds. This whole process will only cause your car to move a few feet, but you’ll get a great feel for the precise way to release the clutch pedal smoothly, and you’ll program some muscle memory into your foot and leg as a result.

3. Understanding the Concept of Clutch

The clutch pedal is not a two-position device. Failing to understand this had complicated my ability to learn the manual transmission many years ago, and likely resulted in plenty of undue wear to the clutch in our gen-1 Suzuki Swift 1.3L. The clutch has a wide range of positions available between the top and bottom of the pedal. Like the accelerator and brakes, you can press the clutch pedal slowly and lightly, vigorously and deeply, or anything in between.

I’ve encountered numerous first-time manual transmission drivers who weren’t aware of this. The reason behind this is, when you watch someone operate a manual transmission from the passenger seat, you’re only seeing part of the story, that is, their left leg performing big up-and-down movements. What you don’t see is the much smaller and more subtle movements that take place at the foot/ankle hinge. These small and subtle movements are vital for smoothness and success at driving.

Understanding that the clutch has more than two positions is the single best tip I never ever got during my Drivers-Ed. Think of it like a dimmer switch, you can use a little bit of it or a lot of it, as quickly or slowly as you need. Teaching this concept to newbies has consistently made the improvement to their confidence and smoothness. Maybe, it’ll help you, too.

Few Things to Remember Before You Leave


- Always check your surroundings for your and other’s safety.

- Familiarise yourself with the various functions and pedals/levers of the car.

- Wear a seatbelt at all times.

- Always start the car in neutral.

- Downshift while slowing down or in traffic.

- Always engage the emergency brake while parking the car.

- Use the hand brake while starting on the incline.


- Avoid engaging the clutch in traffic or at standstill.

- Do not shift into neutral while driving downhill.

- Avoid braking while you accelerate and vice versa.

- Do not shift into reverse while in motion.

- Avoid switching on the car in any gear other than neutral.

- Refrain from engaging the clutch while accelerating in higher gears.

Feel free to connect with me anytime(on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter) as there is more to driving apart from this. Providing Personalised Training to improve your overall driving experience.


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