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Hi I am a relatively new driver, i work at a car shop and everyone drives manuals, saying how they are more economical, fun, and overall a better experience. I want to learn manual but its hard to when people are reluctant to handing over their car to a beginner. One of my biggest concerns is knowing when to up-shift and down-shift, often times people say "listen to your engine" but i don't know what that means. I am looking into getting a 08' Scion tC as my first manual car, would that be a good car (Even if its front wheel drive) ?
 

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when they say '' listen to your engine '' what they mean is, when your giving it gas..the engine is winding out, up so to speak ?, when it gets as far as it can go in say, 1st gear ?, your engine will only rev so far, or..you blow it up from reving to high ?..lol. sooo..when your ears hear the motor get up to this point ?, then you should change gears to 2nd, and the process starts all over, it will go a little longer before the engine winds out compared to 1st gear. the same process goes for when your down shifting, the tranny will not go down a gear until the motor and rear wheels ( your front wheels for a front wheel drive ), catch up to the speed of the tranny gears. hope this makes sense for ya :).
 
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You can also use your speed to roughly know which gear you need to be in depending on the car. But I find the sound easiest. If the engine is racing, you are in too low of a gear. If the engine is stumbling and wants to die you are in too high of a gear. Being in too high of a gear is a bigger problem imo because you have the potential to stall the car in traffic.

You can't come to a stop unless you have the clutch pushed in or are in neutral. That messes up beginners sometimes.

Rob
 

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OK her is my take. Many many yrs ago, a stick shift was desired by more back yard tool turners, because they could fix a manual trans, and they costs less to buy than an auto trans. Stick shifts YRS ago were also more dependable and allowed you to have greater control of the LITTLE power many things had, asHP numbers have increased a lot over the yrs, in all bit big block v 8 vehicles, compared to vehicles many yrs ago.
Itoday's world. An auto trans is a much improved trans, and unless in a sports car, where your looking to rekindle the past, a stick shift is NOT needed, as in today's world, the average back yard tool turner, is NOT fixing any transmissions made tofay without special EXPENSIVE tools and training.
NOW in aHD truck, a standard shift can be a plus for pulling heavey loads.
But to be honest the stick shift pro's of the past(cheaper, repairable, better mpg, and so on) the line in the snad isn't there for the added work a driver has to put into driving them IMO.
yes they can be fun, but that fun can grow old fast in heavy traffc hill's, snow/ice, or?? plus there are way fewer stick shift vehicles out there buy from, so savings are NOT there as they onve were.
SO?? Buying a stick shift,isn't saving you anything really anymore.
Now IF you wish to learm, like others said, listen to the motor, watch your RPM's, and get seat time in driving,
the fact that you say you don't knw know what listen to your motor means, says to me your NOT a big motor head.
and as that as info here, I say your wasting your time here, Lol
stick to an auto trans, its easier and more convenient
 

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Im 32 and ive never owned anything but a manual. I learned to drive on a stick shift pick up. Really the only way to learn is just practice. I think many manuals now days its just a little lever or button on the steering wheel so its a lot simpler than the good ol stick shift.

The main thing is dont jump into traffic if youve never driven one, and be careful about hills. Learn when to shift and how to shift very smoothly. One thing I like about my stick is downshifting to stop and saving my brakes.
 

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When to shift is the same as an atv. I've found teaching someone who has ridden motorcycles and atv's much easier because they have the when figured out. Also if you learn to start with NO throttle you will never have a problem starting. Good luck. Mike
 

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Having learned on a 1953 flathead Ford I would imagine a modern stick is gravy.

First, it's easier to learn on a dead flat surface like a big parking lot.

Second it's much harder to learn to start on a hill, you'll need to wind the engine up higher and gain momentum before shifting into the next gear.

Third, and most important, learn with an experienced stick shift driver is with you.

Fourth, don't go out in traffic until you are fairly proficient in traffic and hills.
 

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I'm just catching this thread, did anyone mention the tachometer? Watching your rpm's is always a good clue as to when to shift. You know if your like me and have the music up to load to hear the engine! lol and remember texting while driving a stick is definitely more challenging than a auto.

On a side note when I 1st herd of manual cars with cruise control, I was like wth! But it's really a sweet options, for driving with elevation changes. As a auto will downshift and rev the car pretty high when going up mountains. A manual will not over rev, and can not downshift on its own. So I love my manual cruise control.

Back on topic, with today's cars the autos have lots of gears, and are most likely better on fuel economy over a standard, especially if you drive one like I do, lol.
 

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I agree with mrbb but still they are fun and I wouldn't want to get an auto rice burner. The pros of stick have disappeared with the new autos we have now.

M quick, you can always use your e brake on hills too
 

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M quick, you can always use your e brake on hills too
Yeah but if anything on a car without the hill assist, I just use the heal toe method. Great for power burn outs too!
 

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That's true!... unless you have a little 4 cyl haha
 

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if you can hear the engine, would be about the same as a rpm gauge. in neutral, [from idle, to sounds like engine is going to fast] can tell you when to shift. just guessing, i would say 40% to 50% in traffic, shift. 80% to 95% when racing. make sure you hit the gears when racing. when you tack to much, bad things can happen to engine. //ED PS; when i was 5 or 6, when the old man got drunk, i would take his keys, an go back an forth, in 1st or reverse in the driveway. when i was 9 or 10 they would let my drive the tractor out in the country, so they could pitch hay. my mom put a stop to that. 14 i got a lot up experience with the 53 chevy, pick-up, three on the tree, out in the country. it aint that hard. on a hill does take practice.
 

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Ngotham Welcome to the fourm. You'll find a stick really fun to drive and after you break everything in, a good synthetic oil and fluid change always helps things lube up better in the long run.
 

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Welcome!
Do you know anyone with a tractor? Learning to work the clutch is the first step, before needing to know when to shift. A tractor is a slow, easy way to learn to use the clutch, with much less chance of hurting it. Once you have that down, then you can work on the coordination of clutch and gas, to get the vehicle moving without 1) slipping the clutch, and 2) stalling the engine. Then, you work on the art of shifting. It can be intimidating, but you will get it.
The reason I mention the tractor is that it's easier to learn in stages, than it is to just get into a manual transmission vehicle, nervous and without a clear understanding of the processes, and a nervous owner sitting beside you, hoping you don't roast their clutch.

Once you learn, you'll never forget. It's an art, fun, and you will probably be in the 10% crowd. Most folks, especially young, don't know how to drive a manual. I made sure that my kids did, and they much prefer one over an auto.
 

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Should have learnt to drive over here in the UK, you have to specially book an auto as stick shift outnumber auto by a vast amount. Having said that, I drive an auto Discovery although it took a bit of finding.
 
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Not sure how it works in the USA but if you can legally drive a manual car my best advice would be to go out with one of your work colleagues to a big car park and drive around for an hour or so, get some hands on experience.
I learnt to drive at the age of 11 on open fields in a 4x4, once you've got the hang of clutch control it's a piece of cake.
Knowing when to change up and down gears will come naturally, you'll realise pretty quickly when the engine requires an upshift or down shift.

Good luck :biggrin:
 

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Welcome!
Do you know anyone with a tractor? Learning to work the clutch is the first step, before needing to know when to shift. A tractor is a slow, easy way to learn to use the clutch, with much less chance of hurting it. Once you have that down, then you can work on the coordination of clutch and gas, to get the vehicle moving without 1) slipping the clutch, and 2) stalling the engine. Then, you work on the art of shifting. It can be intimidating, but you will get it.
The reason I mention the tractor is that it's easier to learn in stages, than it is to just get into a manual transmission vehicle, nervous and without a clear understanding of the processes, and a nervous owner sitting beside you, hoping you don't roast their clutch.

Once you learn, you'll never forget. It's an art, fun, and you will probably be in the 10% crowd. Most folks, especially young, don't know how to drive a manual. I made sure that my kids did, and they much prefer one over an auto.
I will agree and dis agree on a tractor end deal here !~

as yes if you grew up using older farm equipment, learning to use a clutch is a given and like using a fork almost is at eating LOL

BUT since most older tractors with a clutch require the tractor to be stooped(non synchronized trans in so many) your never learning the ways of shifting on the fly
as in more modern standard trans like vehicles!

SO< will come down to what tractors you ran or grew up on
but you will, for sure learn that to STOP< you HAVE to push the clutch in LOL

I think driving a stick shift vehicle is a SKILL< and I also think many today cannot get it, too much eye hand feet coordination that many are too lazy to even WANT to master never mindset do it, too hard to work there phones and other gadgets??
 

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Welcome!
Do you know anyone with a tractor? Learning to work the clutch is the first step, before needing to know when to shift. A tractor is a slow, easy way to learn to use the clutch, with much less chance of hurting it. Once you have that down, then you can work on the coordination of clutch and gas, to get the vehicle moving without 1) slipping the clutch, and 2) stalling the engine. Then, you work on the art of shifting. It can be intimidating, but you will get it.
The reason I mention the tractor is that it's easier to learn in stages, than it is to just get into a manual transmission vehicle, nervous and without a clear understanding of the processes, and a nervous owner sitting beside you, hoping you don't roast their clutch.

Once you learn, you'll never forget. It's an art, fun, and you will probably be in the 10% crowd. Most folks, especially young, don't know how to drive a manual. I made sure that my kids did, and they much prefer one over an auto.
I will agree and dis agree on a tractor end deal here !~

as yes if you grew up using older farm equipment, learning to use a clutch is a given and like using a fork almost is at eating LOL

BUT since most older tractors with a clutch require the tractor to be stooped(non synchronized trans in so many) your never learning the ways of shifting on the fly
as in more modern standard trans like vehicles!

SO< will come down to what tractors you ran or grew up on
but you will, for sure learn that to STOP< you HAVE to push the clutch in LOL

I think driving a stick shift vehicle is a SKILL< and I also think many today cannot get it, too much eye hand feet coordination that many are too lazy to even WANT to master never mindset do it, too hard to work there phones and other gadgets??
The suggestion was not about learning to shift, but mastering the clutch.
 
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