Introduction So, how exactly do you drive manual transmission? Well, to start off, you might have heard some people use the term manual transmission, standard transmission, or stick shift. Truth is, all three are the same thing. I personally use manual transmission or stick shift as those two are the more commonly used terms. So now, why do people prefer driving stick shift over driving an automatic? People prefer driving stick shift over automatic because stick shift allows people to be in full control of the car at all times, it allows the driver to be more interactive with the car, and because you save more on gas overall. Also, some exotic cars only come with stick shift so some people have the money to buy one but the problem is, they don’t know how to operate one. A similar situation, a person’s dream car could be stick but again, they don’t know how to operate one. Oh, and it’s more fun because if you’re one of those crazy people, you can do a lot more things with a stick shift car than in an automatic but we’ll get to that later on in the future. But for now, let’s get started.
When you first get sat into the stick shift car, you might notice something strange, especially if you’ve only been in cars with automatic transmissions all your life; there are three pedals. Normally, in automatics, there are only two pedals; the brake pedal and the gas pedal. This is because the transmission will shift gears by itself without you having to do it by yourself. In a stick shift car however, you use the clutch, which is the pedal to the very left, to upshift and downshift the different gears.
The Gear Shifter
Now, normally the gear shifter that you see in automatics from the early 2000s or pre-2000, you only see a P, R, N, D, 1, 2, 3 (some cars have a 4). In modern cars now though, you only see P, R, N, D, and most likely a ’-’ and ’+’. That’s because now most cars have the ability to allow you to either drive in automatic mode or sports manual mode. In a stick shift car, however, you normally see a H pattern on top of a gear shifter with numbers 1, 3, and 5 on the top and 2 and 4 on the bottom. Some stick shift cars, though, have 6 gears and the sixth gear would be on the bottom half to the very right. Now you’re probably wondering where the reverse gear is. Reverse gear, it depends on the car. For American cars, reverse in the older cars are normally on the bottom right, right beside fourth gear. For Japanese cars, they are normally on the bottom right as well but you have to push down on the gear shifter. For German cars, it’s on the top left right beside first but just like Japanese cars, you have to push down on the gear shifter. Nowadays though, car companies are improving on the transmissions to improve on gas mileage, so in other words the reverse gear may have changed locations, it just depends on the car itself.
With the handbrake, this can vary. This only applies to automatics. In some cars, you have a footbrake, where all you do is push down the pedal and your car’s parking brake instantly activates. On other cars though, you have the old fashion handbrake where you have to pull up the lever to engage the handbrake. On stick shift cars however, it is always a handbrake where you have to lift up on the lever.
Usually when people have just gotten into a parking spot, they put their car into gear, activate the handbrake, and then shut off the engine. Now, you might be wondering why they leave the car in gear and not in neutral even when the handbrake is activated. The reason is because sometimes the handbrake will fail and shutting the engine off after putting the car in gear is another safety precaution. In other words, your car will not start sliding forward or backward just in case the handbrake fails. Some people either leave the car in first, second, or reverse gear, it’s all based off of personal preference. Me personally, I leave the car in first gear.
Start Up The Car
There are two ways of starting up the car, it just depends on what kind of car you have. My mustang, for example, and presumably all other American cars, you have to push in the clutch pedal and be on the brakes in order to start up the car. In my friend’s Acura Integra, however, I did not need to push in the clutch to start up the car. If the engine does not require clutching in before starting, move the gear shifter from first into neutral before starting up the car. If the engine does require clutching before starting, either 1) move the gear shifter from first into neutral and then start up the car or 2) start up the car, move the gear shifter from first into neutral, and then release the clutch. Reason being is because if you let off the clutch after starting the car with the car still in gear, the engine will stall and stalling isn’t good for the transmission/car in general.
Rolling Out From First Gear
This is always the hardest part about driving stick shift and this is what usually annoys people the most. Say you’re in an empty lot (I recommend practicing in a parking lot) and you’re not sure about where to start. Well, you first have to clutch in and shift into first gear. Then, you slowly let off the clutch until you feel the point at which the clutch engages the transmission. You’ll know it when the car starts to slowly inch forward. This is also where people start making mistakes such as letting off the clutch too slowly and burning the clutch or letting off the clutch too quickly and stalling the car. As you are slowly letting off the clutch, at some point, you will feel the clutch starting to engage the transmission. At that point, all you do is hold the clutch there until the car starts moving at a steady rate and then you let off the clutch. But, obviously this will be too slow if you were on a public road. So now, you’re probably wondering how you combine this process with adding a bit of gas to make yourself roll out of first gear faster. It will take a bit of practice but what you do is pull the revs up to around 1500-2000 RPMs while slowly letting off the clutch. As the clutch engages, you will see the RPMs drop at which point you will want to hold the clutch at that spot until the car starts moving again, at a steady rate. As you become more familiar with where the clutch engagement point is, you will know when to get onto the gas pedal, making it second nature.
Now that you have successfully rolled out from first gear, shifting into other gears is easy. Say you’re traveling at 2500 RPMs in first gear and want to shift into second gear. All you have to do is push the clutch pedal in, move the gear shifter from first to second, and then as you are letting off the clutch, ease onto the gas. If you let off the clutch too quickly without adding gas in time, it will be somewhat of a rough transition. If you let off the clutch too late and add too much gas, you will burn the clutch. You will want to get on the gas as soon as the clutch hits the engagement point, just like how you rolled out from first gear from a stand still. You do this for upshifting to all the other gears as well. After you shift gears though, do not keep your left foot rested on the clutch as that will actually wear out your clutch over time and do not keep your hand rested on the gear shifter as that will also ruin the transmission over time due to pressure.
Well done! You now know how to drive a stick shift car or a manual transmission car, whichever way you want to say it. You also now know how to operate ALMOST every vehicle on the road, excluding full sized trucks. So now, go out, have some fun driving and there will be more tutorials to come in the future. Now if you’re still confused after reading this guide, I have provided a video as a visual to help you understand everything more clearly. Enjoy and make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel, follow me on Twitter, and Instagram for more updates!
As you might be aware, Audi never produced a C7-generation RS6 in Sedan/Saloon form, but the owner of this car decided that if Audi weren’t going to build one, then he would!
The car you see here started life as an Audi A6 3.0 V6 TFSI. So it’s basically the next fastest A6 after the S6. The Audi RS6 looks very wide and that’s because it has wider front and rear arches. This guy has basically cut up his A6 to put the RS6 arches on the car. You’ll also notice that his A6 was a prefacelift one, so he’s gone and changed the rear lights and headlights as well.
The interior has also been stripped out and put together again, but with OEM RS6 parts like the carbon inlays and gear shifter. He’s also decked the dashboard and pretty much everything you can touch with Alcantara.
Still not happy with this (or maybe he realised he’s in too deep now), the owner has now purchased the 4.0TT V8 and tranny from the RS6 and he will be doing an engine swap!
I don’t know how much he’s spent on this project, and it’s still ongoing, but we’re going to guess it’s a hell of a lot money. Stunning piece of work though. The last pictures were only posted very recently! Go follow his build here.