questionshow did you learn to drive a stick shift?

vote-for22vote-against
vote-for10vote-against

I know someone that rented a stick shift car to teach their child how to drive one. Kind of sneaky...

vote-for8vote-against

By having a maniac of an older sister punch me every time I messed up.
A (I think) 68 Ford van, 3 speed on the column. I was 13. That was 38 ears ago.
She's still a maniac.
But, I can drive anything I get into.

vote-for7vote-against

If you just like to ride around in your car, an automatic transmission is great. But if you really want to drive the car, you definitely need to learn to use a stick shift.

My dad tried to teach me, but after the third attempt involving his hollering and my crying, I got a friend to take over. The basic coordination is relatively simple to learn, and a few hours practice should give you a good beginner's sense of feeling for gas/clutch action. The trickier parts -- how to ride the clutch on a hill, for instance -- take lots of practice. If you have a friend with a slightly hilly driveway, take advantage of it as a practice route.

I drove only stick shifts for almost 40 years, till physical limitations made it safer and wiser to go to an automatic, but I miss that stick!

You'd really have to work hard to ruin the clutch or transmission. Get your dream car and go practice. It will be well worth the investment in time to gain the pleasure of being an active driver of your car!

vote-for5vote-against

@lynnaux: great idea! I learned on a stick shift - lived in a very hilly part of New England. A little time to learn, a clutch worn out, but I did enjoy it. However, if anyone is in a heavy traffic area, the fun soon wears off.

vote-for5vote-against

I was so excited to take my written permit test. Afterwards, my mom threw me the keys and told me to drive. I said "I don't know how to drive a stick." She said that I'd better learn, cause she didn't drive me there for nothing. I have had a manual ever since!

On a learning note. Go to parking lots. Make sure you practice starting from a dead stop on a hill as well. Thats another funny story.....

vote-for5vote-against

I learned on a military cargo truck. They say that you can't kill that vehicle because the engine is so powerful, but I managed to stall it out twice on my first attempt. The cargo truck was the only stick I drove for 3 years, then I really fell in love with driving a stick on my friends Eclipse. After totalling my truck 6 months later, my next truck had a stick in it and I still love to drive it for that reason.

vote-for5vote-against

I taught my kid when he was 13. The most important point, when & how to let out the clutch. Let it out easy. As you let it out, there will come a point where you feel the clutch start to engage; the friction point. I taught my son to feel this point by NOT using the gas to get the car rolling.

On level ground in a clear area or parking lot.
1) Clutch in (push the pedal)
2) Shift into 1st gear
3) Without using the gas, let out the clutch SLOWLY. When the car starts to move, you will actually be able to feel it in the clutch.

I wouldn't recommend doing this without a manual transmission driver in the passenger seat.

I was taught by my girlfriend (in '83)

vote-for4vote-against

Practice is all it takes.

I learned by my 1st car being a stick shift with only driving one once before that. Sure I was terrible at first but I became decent at it after a couple months.

In learning, you are going to wear the clutch and transmission drastically so I recommend buying a beat up, piece of crap car and drive it until it dies. You could also just buy your CR-Z but expect to need a fresh clutch and possibly transmission after a year or so.

vote-for4vote-against

I was self-taught in the Ozark Mountains. It was either learn how to drive and get away, or stay there forever. I still to this day love driving a "stick", although my body hates me for it.

vote-for3vote-against

The hardest part is starting from a dead stop. Once the car is moving, switching between gears is relatively easy.

Try to practice somewhere that can you get the car rolling, get into 2nd gear and stop. Repeat until you are comfortable. The learn it in Reverse.

Hills and traffic come with time and patience.

vote-for3vote-against

(no joke)
When I was 13 my Dad was drunk and told me he wanted me to drive him somewhere in his Isuzu Trooper... So it was a... special experience... I also refuse to ever be intoxicated because of similar experiences... on a brighter note... I can drive a stick shift since age 13 =)

vote-for2vote-against

Trial and error. Only thing I can say. Just takes practice.

vote-for2vote-against

In an mgb, and the pickup my dad bought me. The mgb has a superior manual tranny, and the truck i had to learn to take the test, so kind of forced to learn then.

vote-for2vote-against

My dad taught me when I was 16. He drove me to an empty parking lot and had me stall the car a couple of times. Then he had me catch the clutch before it stalled so I could learn the "stall point". Once I learned when the car would stall, I was able to keep it from stalling and keep it running. 16+ years later and I still prefer my stick. My hubby hates that I drive a stick, but it's not his car, it's mine. :) Good luck!

vote-for2vote-against

@everythingkitchens: My first car was an MGB. I loved that car. Wish I had another one.

vote-for2vote-against

My dad taught me in my first car, a 96 Plymouth Neon. We just drove around the block a few times, he did it once just so I could see the general motions, then had me do it. It was even more of a challenge since the original owner of the car bought it without a tachometer, so I had to learn when to shift entirely based on feel and sound.

I mainly prefer stick for the better gas mileage, though newer automatics are starting to catch up. But it is funner to drive too. I have to remind myself occasionally that just because it has a manual transmission and 2 doors, that doesn't mean my Chevy Cobalt is a sports car.

vote-for2vote-against

@everythingkitchens: My first stick shift was also an MGB, loved that car! I taught myself on the way home from buying it. Pretty funny, when I took it for a test drive the guy asked me if I was ever going to shift into 2nd. Drove it from San Jose to Hollister and figured it out...then we took it to San Fransisco. That was terrifying but again, I figured it out.

vote-for1vote-against

I learned in my Toyota Starlet in 1970 something. It was hard but I was eager to learn because I did not want to hurt my car. Hills were the scariest and still are to some extent...how many years later. I think my car learned to live with the way I drove. I finally sold it to a kid for his first car after putting 350+ miles on it. You won't ruin your car. They are smart.

vote-for1vote-against

You should get a CR-Z, great car.
You wouldn't be the first person to order one without knowing how to drive it. A friend of mine learned to drive stick on the car she ordered when she went to pick it up. She was on her way in 20 minutes, and could drive stick like a pro within a week.

vote-for1vote-against

My last job actually. I had to be given a new truck, but the only one available was stick. I told them I didnt know how to drive a stick but boss said "looks like youll learn". He took me literally 100feet down the road and back, told me I would figure it out with time, and sent me on my way. I dont know how many times I stalled out in the middle of the street.

vote-for1vote-against

I learned from 3 older brothers, a drivers ed simulator and the first car I bought was a standard shift - a VW bug, old school style.

vote-for1vote-against

My dad is teaching me right now in his '97 Toyota Tacoma. The toughest part for me is getting into first gear after a complete stop, otherwise, shifting gears is easy.

vote-for1vote-against

bought a suzuki samurai as my first car. had to drive it home somehow....

vote-for1vote-against

Age 14.. 63 chevy pickup, 3 on the tree and no brakes... 1st car was 67 VW squareback which was followed by a lot of MGBs...

vote-for1vote-against

Thanks for the answers, guys. It's a skill I've always felt like I should learn. When I went to Ireland a few years ago, I had to rent an automatic, and the guys at the rental agency thought there was something wrong with me.