5 Useful Tips for Learning to Drive a Manual

By Product Expert | Posted in Tips & Tricks on Tuesday, June 8th, 2021 at 4:02 pm
Man resting hand on gear shifter of manual vehicle

Driving a stick-shift vehicle is a lot of fun, especially when you know what you’re doing. Manual transmissions used to be standard in older vehicles, but once the 1970s hit, the auto industry shifted toward automatic transmissions because they are less work for the driver, convenient to use and easier for new drivers to use. Today, a small percentage of new vehicles are equipped with manual transmissions, which makes them highly sought after for those who know how to and enjoy driving stick. Are you interested in learning how to drive a manual? Check out 5 times from our team at Carville’s Auto Mart in Grand Junction, CO!

Manual transmission on 2020 Toyota Yaris

5 Tips for Driving Stick

  1. Don’t hold your hand on the gear shifter, as doing so can cause the components that shift gears to rub together and wear down.
  2. Limit use of the clutch when possible.  
  3. Pay attention to your RPMs. Make note of how many RPMs your vehicle is at when driving 75 mph on the highway in the respective gear and try to keep the RPMs at that level when in a different gear at lower speeds. For example, a 2015 Jeep Patriot uses 3000 RPM while in fifth gear traveling 75 mph, so when the driver is in second gear traveling 30 mph or in third gear traveling 40 mph, the RMPs should rest at around 3000. Be careful not to overexert the engine by staying in a lower gear while traveling at higher speeds, or by staying in a higher gear and using less RPMs, as this impacts mpg and engine performance. The best practice is to try to keep your vehicle in the RPM “sweet spot”, meaning that the driver of a 2015 Jeep Patriot would select a gear based on which is closest to 3000 RPM for the respective speed.
  4. Don’t get discouraged if you stall out—it happens to everyone who is learning to drive stick.
  5. Press the clutch into the floor when changing gears.

Related Video: Check out a few tips for driving a vehicle with a manual transmission!


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