General Question

Mama_Cakes's avatar

How hard was it for you to learn to drive manual transmission?

Asked by Mama_Cakes (11025points) August 17th, 2013

I’ve never. Thinking about going with a Jeep YJ (manual).

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26 Answers

Emmy1234's avatar

Well. I learned just not well. Tore out my boyfriends clutch and coasted into someone on a hill. I stick to an automatic now lol

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

It’s easy, have someone who knows how teach you.

filmfann's avatar

I bought my Subaru before I knew how to drive a stick. Once I bought it, my brother drove it home, then showed me how to do it. I struggled for a week or so while commuting across the Bay Bridge.

Sunny2's avatar

Once you learn to manage the clutch, it isn’t hard. I drive one by choice, now. I feel like I’m more in control of the car than I do when driving an automatic drive.

CWOTUS's avatar

Take your time to learn in an open parking lot, a long driveway, or on a road with no traffic.

It took me about a month (Saturday mornings only) as a 16-year-old. My dad would go to the office to catch up on some work (he said, and I believed him), and take me with him to the plant, where I had acres of space to practice. (Oh, and this meant that except for the first time, or any time he’d try to show me something new, he was never in the car with me. No pressure that way.) Once I could start, stop, change gears and maneuver with some sense, then he’d let me drive him home.

And when I really thought I knew what I was doing he’d make me go by way of Drummond Ave., in Worcester. (Forty years later and I’m still wondering how people make that ride day in and day out.) Drummond Ave. had a slope that is not to be believed in a residential neighborhood… and a stop sign onto a major road at the top of the hill.

Fun times.

Coloma's avatar

Really hard, and now I have forgotten, considering it was about 30 years ago and I have only had automatic transmissions since. My ex had an old Chevy truck…I used to jerk and lurch my way across town. HATED it! lol
I am a left handed, right brained blonde, brilliant in my own right but fuck stick shifts…just don;t have the coordination. haha

Now ask me to wax philosophic on almost any topic and I’ll show you my true abilities. :-p

tups's avatar

I have never driven an automatic. Manual is the natural thing for me. I don’t know how hard it is to learn when you’ve been doing the other thing all life. It wasn’t hard for me.

YARNLADY's avatar

It was very easy for me. My dad taught me how to drive.

My son learned in two or three short sessions.

Blondesjon's avatar

It was easy for me but incredibly hard on the car.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Every car I buy is manual, I just prefer it because I enjoy driving them more. You can also usually get great used car deals if you buy manual. Some hate it, you’ll know after a while but it kinda depends on your personality too. If you commonly like to take the easy comfortable way it’s probably not going to be your thing.

Pachy's avatar

I learned to drive on a stick Volkswagen, and it was years before I drove an automatic. What you need is a very patient instructor (mine was my mother) who understands, and teaches you, that driving manually is about more than just where to put which foot where and when; just as important is becoming familiar with how the car feels and sounds.

jca's avatar

I learned like @Pachyderm_In_The_Room learned. It was how I learned to drive, because my parents only had standard shift Rabbits. So my mom took me to empty parking lots and we practiced shifting first, second, third, neutral, stop. First second third, neutral, stop. Then on the street, using signals, etc. Then hills, which takes some getting used to.

My advice is just don’t shift too soon. I have friends that have or had standard shifts and they would have it in 4th at about 35 mph, which IMHO is too soon. You want to feel the car rev – don’t even look at the tachometer, just feel it. When it revs, then shift.

filmfann's avatar

I really think driving a stick is real driving. An automatic just involves aiming the car, and controlling the speed.

hearkat's avatar

I learned to drive on automatics, but we also had a Chevy Chevette manual that I learned on. It took lots of time and practice. When my son was 18 and he wanted to get his motorcycle license, I took him out and taught him to drive my manual Mini Cooper. I figured it was better for him to understand the concepts of how the gear work and how the clutch grabs in a car before trying on a motorcycle.

We started on quiet local roads that were level, then drove around the development which had slight hills. Once he felt pretty confident with that and was able to go without stalling, we hit a bigger, busier road and so on. We took the motorcycle course together and the instructors were amazed at how well I did, and I credit it to having driven mostly manual for 25+ years and >500,000 miles.

OneBadApple's avatar

I taught my wife and both of our kids to drive using a manual transmission by taking each to a large, empty parking lot in the evenings, and having them reach speed and slow down in big, rectangular circles while practicing changing to the appropriate gears.

Today, they’re all very good (not as good as I am but…..I mean….who is ??)

bkcunningham's avatar

I learned how to clutch and shift gears on dirt bikes when I was a kid. I learned to shift gears sitting in the middle of my dad’s Chevy pickup with the stick shift between my legs and with an older brother at the wheel clutching. I could drive a stick shift from an early age.

Go to a big parking lot with a good teacher and have fun.

gailcalled's avatar

I learned in HS from the football coach who also taught drivers’ ed. The cars were all manual shifts. It is an invaluable skill and although I haven’t shifted gears and used the clutch in yonks, I cannot imagine forgetting how.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

It took me a few training sessions with my Dad when I was 18 and I quickly mastered the manual transmission. He was a great teacher with extensive experience, Thanks Dad!

Adagio's avatar

I learned to drive in a manual car, it was years and years before I ever got behind the wheel of an automatic. I’m of the opinion that everyone should learn to drive in a manual vehicle first. We lived on a winding rural road, nothing like changing down a gear to go into the corners, you just don’t get that with an automatic, you really feel the experience of driving in a manual car, that was true for me anyway.

woodcutter's avatar

It came to me fairly easy and quick. I thought it more interesting than the automatic trannies but nowadays I think standard shift cars are crap. I really like automatics much better now. I have one of each. So much easier to sit back and just drive.

wildpotato's avatar

You are going to think I’m nuts, but it was nearly impossible to learn in a car, and extremely easy to learn on a tractor. We’re talking 15 minutes, I had it down pat after years of struggling with various people trying to teach me on a car. The tractor didn’t jerk or die and it was much more difficult to hurt it if I did something wrong. Plus they move really slowly. All of which made learning manual on a tractor a major confidence-builder. It still makes me nervous to drive a manual car, but at least I can do it now.

OneBadApple's avatar

Come on, man. Driving (buck) with a (buck-buck) manual transmission is no more (bucka-bucka-buck-buck) difficult to learn than, say (bucka-bucka-BUCK-BUCK…...god dammit) typing…..

gailcalled's avatar

^^ Before I had quite completely mastered the gear shift and the clutch, my grandfather, who owned an auto wrecking business, gave em a 1946 Dodge that had been a smashed-up pile on the highway. This was in 1953 and I was 16, old enough in those days for a license.

He banged out the dents; my mother drove me to his yard to pick up the car; then I drove it the five miles home on The Boston Post Road. My mother said that it was like watching a Mexican jumping bean careering down the road.

I shut my eyes and still remember.

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Paradox25's avatar

I first learnt to drive a car with a manual transmission. I’m a guy, and yet it didn’t come easy to me like it did for most others. Some people who attempted to teach me would get irritated with me, then I’d usually just say fuck this. It was a woman who happened to be my mother’s friend who taught me how to drive a stick when I was sixteen. I was so bad at it that she practically sat on my lap while I was driving to prevent me from wrecking her car! I can’t believe I’m admitting this.

I’m not a car buff or anything like that, and I don’t enjoy driving too much anyways. I’m not worried about control of my vehicle, only getting from point A to point B with as little incident as possible without anybody killing me. I did drive a stick during my teen years, but only on sporadic occasions.

I didn’t actually get my license until my early twenties, but now I prefer to drive automatics. Not all clutches are easy to operate either, including those on many of the industrial equipment I’ve operated. In the end, just like with everything else I’ve learnt to do, I had to teach myself how to drive equipment with manual shift transmission through experience. It still doesn’t hurt to get a patient individual to teach you if you’re lucky enough to find such a person.

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