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Best way to learn how to drive manual trans. car?

16491 Views 29 Replies 25 Participants Last post by  BigNazty114
hey guys,

I have driven an automatic transmission car all my life. my first car was an Olds Cutlass that my mom let me use in high school. That was a POS...wouldn't start up half the time :lol: but it was an automatic.

the car I drive now (which my parents gave me too because I am in school and make no $$$) is their camry. Pretty nice...2000 camry LE auto 4cyl.

I am planning on buying my own car in about a year or so, and I really hate having to "narrow" down my options to
just auto trans. cars. for example:

1. Thought of an Acura RSX-S, but it's only in 6-spd manual. Sure, I can get the base RSX, but it's less powerful, and if I include leather seats (standard on type-s) the base is only like $1000 LESS than type-s model.
2. Honda S2000 (used) can go for as low as $20,000 but it's only manual too
3. Most sports cars/coupes are more fun in manual I assume, and auto usually costs more anyways.

None of my friends have a manual which i can practice with or family members.

What should I do so I can learn how to drive a stick? I have the general idea down (test drove a stick before, but still get nervous driving one, ie going in reverse in stick, or not stalling at a stop sign/red light). Is there a driving class I can take just to learn how to drive stick, places where i can rent a stick for a few days, etc?

i'm all out of ideas. really want to learn how to drive stick so I don't always have to see if the "new" car I want have an auto/manumatic option :mad:

thanks guys for any advice
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ust but one and go for it. that's how i learned and you must not think about what your doing cause you'll screw up just relax and let your legs work. i learned in haiti in a car that was running with a shoe lace and lots of duct tape also i had no seat belts but i learned real quick. you can do it but you need to get comfortable with the car first.
The easiest way is to find someone that is willing to teach you on their manual car... and older model preferably so they don't yell at you for stalling all the time :lol: When I learned to drive stick I was a little frustrated so I just rolled up and down my driveway until I didn't stall anymore and found the "sweet spot" on the clutch... so 1st gear up the driveway, and reverse gear down...

If you really can't find anyone willing to teach you or lend you their car, then apply for one of those manual driving courses offered by driving schools.
Geo!!! 95% of them are stick.... and they have no clutch whatsoever. Oh ya... Ford Rangers are pretty easy too.
Practice, practice and more practice.
Thats the only way to learn to drive stick. Like 2wicked says, when learning to drive manual just relax, it doesn't matter if the car stalls (I've been driving stick for almost 18 years and sometimes the car stalls on me:eek:rder: ). The starter won't explode if you use it too much or the clutch wont hit you, just take your time and before you know it you'll be driving stick without knowing it. :D
just practice on ur new long as you remember to step on the clutch while shifting.. u won't have any problems

i admit i forgot to step on it once.... man was my friend pissed:lol:
If you just buy your car and teach yourself on it, you'll be a clutch master in 3 days.

If anything rent a manual car from Hertz or something.
easiest thing to learn stick on is someone's old toyota. Seriously. Their tranny's are really forgiving. I drove a honda accord once and if i didn't shift almost perfect, it'd jump a little or turn off. I remember my brother's old 85 celica was super easy to shift, almost shifted smoothly even with out the clutch:lol:
thanks guys for all the help. I thought of just getting a manual car and then learning off of it, but wouldn't that put too much wear on the clutch, since new cars need a "break-in" period of 500-1000miles. Of course if my next car is used, then it's not an issue.

does hertz rent stick shift cars? i thought they only had autos?

what I almost did, was remember when GM had those overnight test drive deals (saturn, chevy, etc)? well, I thought of keeping a pontiac vibe manual overnight and learning from it. but the salesguy wanted me to testdrive with him first. Of course, I stalled the car 2x during the testdrive :lol: shifting was not an issue for me, it was getting going from a stop sign/red light that got me. he was still willing to let me keep the vibe overnight if i wanted, but i felt really bad because i didn't want to mess up his car. so i decided not too.
^You should have. Then take it to a empty parking lot which is basically all flat. Highschool parking lots and stuff usually work and then practice there.
well my 2 cents here....

u guys are unlucky that u can get a driver's license for auto... from where i come from, there are mandantory driving lessons conducted by driving school and 100% stick...

well, u got to catch the 1/2 clutch and that is the most important...

erm... practise... anywayz... the only time i prefer auto is when i'm stuck in a Traffic Jam...

well... find a moron, who doesn't really know much about cars and that moron must drive a stick, then practise...

well... hopefully u can find one, for if that person loves his car alot, he won't really enjoy letting u practise on his car... due to the damage that and the heart ache of watching ur car over-rev and stalling and other stuff...

peace though.. just my 2 cents.
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You could find a beater in the want-ads for a couple hundred dollars, learn to shift it, and sell it again (or trade it for your new car). When you don't pay much for the car in the first place, you don't care how much you get for it, either!

I didn't know driving schools taught stick. That's a better idea.

earthmike said:
You could find a beater in the want-ads for a couple hundred dollars, learn to shift it, and sell it again (or trade it for your new car). When you don't pay much for the car in the first place, you don't care how much you get for it, either!

I didn't know driving schools taught stick. That's a better idea.

that was my idea.200$ for a car don't even need insurance really.teach myself and my g/f how to drive. and seeing as how my g/f's sis is turning 16. i would let her learn to drive if she wanted and if it turns out she can't get a car she can have that one. works out well. now just to find a car for 200
i know a guy who works at a ford dealership. i go over, and we practice on teh used cars :D
rent any manual car for a day... but even if you don't get practice before getting the car, it doesn't really matter because driving a manual is realllyyyyyyyy easy. Even my mom knows how to drive a manual. It seems complicated but its not. Afrer a few hours, you'll start getting the hang of it.
Buy that suckaand drive it. Youwill learn quick. I had my Camry converted to a stick from an automatic only having driven stick like 3 times before and I knew I sucked. Yup, I mishifted, I stalled, I even grinded a few times, and I held up traffic but I was a pro after 1 week. Now, it's like second nature to me. I don't even see how people stall. I have to almost actually try and do it now.:thumbup:
Well its not like you'd be jumping into it blindly... you've tried driving stick a couple times, so you know what its about. I think you just need to practice. If you buy the RSX, chances are you'll be cruising all day long when you get it. If you do, you'll be a master by the end of the night.:thumbup:
Buy the manual car and get your friend to drive it off the lot if necessary (I had to do that once for someone). Then, just learn on your car. You already know the basics, it's just a matter of practice. I know someone who learnt stick on his new TSX, he was cruising after 3 days.

I let my gf drive my car the first day I got it. She took like 2 lessons in driving stick like 13 years ago...she didn't stall once, didn't grind the gears...but man, it was all jerky and stuff. I'm sure she didn't do any harm whatsoever.
best way to learn is to get actual experience driving....someone can only tell u so much what to do...its just like riding a bike...practice makes perfect.....and once u learn...u never forget....comes in handy when u have to drive someone elses car in emergency situations.....
Yeah. I wanna learn. I did it once in a '90 camry. Didn't go so well. How much is the swap?
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