How to Drive a Manual Car

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Follow these steps if you are looking for how to drive a manual car for beginners:

Step 1: Start a Car in Neutral


Start the vehicle in neutral, turn on the ignition key to crank the engine and depress the clutch pedal. Drivers might not have to depress the clutch for switching on an older car model, but most modern cars are engineered in a way that it is necessary to engage the clutch before starting the engine.

This practice also ensures that a vehicle will not give any hiccups while starting, even if a driver forgets to put the gearbox in neutral.


Step 2: Shift into First Gear

With the engine running, drivers must engage the clutch entirely with their left foot and shift the gear-lever into first gear. At this point, individuals must use the left foot only for operating the clutch and the right foot for modulating brake pedals and accelerator.

Step 3: Get the Car in Motion


To set a car in motion, drivers must disengage the parking brake while keeping the clutch pedal depressed. They must not accelerate at this point.

Now, drivers should start lifting the clutch pedal until they notice a drop in revs and clutch plates start coming in contact. This is also known as ‘bite point’. Individuals searching on how to drive a car, should note that disengaging the clutch further at this point will make the vehicle crawl ahead without any accelerator input.


Step 4: Upshift into Higher Gears


Now that the car is in motion, release the accelerator and push down on the clutch. Then by following the shift pattern, change the gear-lever to second gear. After upshifting, disengage the clutch and begin applying moderate throttle inputs for maintaining momentum.

Individuals looking for how to drive a manual car must note that this entire procedure of engaging and releasing the clutch, modulating throttle inputs, etc. needs to be synchronised in quick succession.


Step 5: Downshift to Lower Gears

A car tends to shudder when stuck in a traffic jam and starts slowing down. In such cases, drivers must downshift a certain number of gears by following the same procedure - release the accelerator, depress the clutch and shift down to a lower gear.

Step 6: Stop a Manual Car


To completely stop a manual car, disengage the accelerator and apply moderate force on the brake pedal to gradually downshift the gears to first gear. Once the vehicle is moving at a crawling speed, shift to neutral and allow it to freewheel without the involvement of any throttle input. Then allow the vehicle to come to a halt by engaging the clutch and depressing the brake completely.

Wondering what to do during an emergency situation?

While searching on how to drive a car, individuals  must note that they can stop a vehicle in any gear during an emergency situation by pushing down on their vehicle’s clutch and shifting it to neutral.


Step 7: Reversing a Manual Car

Firstly, beginners having a search query on how to drive a car must ensure their vehicle is at a complete stop before shifting it to reverse gear. While reversing, they must check out that there is no vehicle or individual behind their vehicle before backing up.

Step 8: Parking a Manual Car

Unlike an automatic car, a manual one does not come with a ‘Park’ gear. Therefore, it is imperative to engage a parking or emergency brake every time while parking a vehicle. Alternatively, drivers can also shift their vehicle into the reverse or first gear to prevent it from moving or rolling.

Also readHow to Parallel Park: A Step-by-Step Guide