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  1. #1

    Question Using a manual transmission for the first time...

    Here's a question for everyone... If you've driven a vehicle equipped with a manual transmission, do you recall learning how to operate it (using the clutch appropriately, not stalling out, and shifting gears smoothly)? Although not the best at driving a manual transmission, I have before! Which brings up another question... Do you think everyone should know how to drive a manual transmission? And believe it or not, this generates another question... Do you think production vehicles equipped with manual transmissions require people to drive more safely due to having to pay more attention to changing gears and using the clutch? Thanks...

  2. #2


    My first car was a Maverick with a "3 On The Tree"... For those who don't remember those, it was a manual transmission, but the shifter was on the column like an automatic shifter. I don't know that I ever "learned" how to drive a manual, I just always knew I guess. Understanding what is actually taking place when working the pedals seems to help a lot of folks.

    I think that Driver's Education vehicles should all be manual shift. Yes, I think that one should know how to drive one before being turned out on the street with a driver's license.

    Finally, I think there are good drivers and bad drivers. The type of transmission probably doesn't change that. My kids will all have manual transmission vehicles... Makes it damned near impossible to test and drive.
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  3. #3


    I grew up on a farm and learned how to use a clutch when I was 5, tractors were not automatics back then.

    Everyone should learn how to drive a stick.

    I agree with Moog
    Ford has a better idea! Drive a GM!

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  4. #4


    Down here in Finland licence test is done with a manual. Autos are only allowed in special cases (handicap or some such), so everybody does learn to drive a stick.

    However, I reckon only few do actually learn to truly master it.


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  5. #5
    Sr. Mechanic Ridyn's Avatar
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    I didn't have an automatic vehicle until I owned a 2008 Chevrolet Silverado! My father made it clear that if he ever had anything to do with the financial means of a vehicle I was driving that I would drive a 5 speed or 6 speed, or whatever was on the market. Of course when I went out and bought my GTO's I chose the 6 speed because who in their right mind buys a automatic sports car...or a V6 sports car for that matter? LOL

    But yeah..I think everyone should have to know how to drive a stick, not 100% flawless, but at least good enough to be stuck in traffic and never stall.

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  6. #6


    Like giorge and I grew up on a farm. I learned how to drive my uncles 65 c10 (which is now mine) it was 3 on the tree and my uncle basically gave it to me when I learned how to drive it. I look back now I was turned into the family delivery boy but hey can't complain. Once the motor ciezed up I tore it apart and got to work.
    Last edited by ahmitchell1; 09-02-2012 at 11:34 AM.
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  7. #7


    The first vehicle I ever drove had a manual transmission, my brothers 46 ford 1.5 ton flat bed, I also learned how to double clutch in that truck, a skill which I thankfully havent needed to use but twice since that day 36 years ago. The next vehicle I drove a few months later was another brothers 65 Valiant wagon with a 3 on the tree, he thought it would be funny to have me drive him and his friends around San Francisco, learned a lot about clutch's and driving a standard that day.
    I was driving for about 3 years before I encountered my first automatic transmission.
    I taught both my wife and daughter to drive manual transmission vehicles (rented a car both times, why tear up my own clutch), my wife because we were moving overseas and almost every vehicle in Italy at the time was manual transmission, and my daughter because the I felt it was a skill she needed to know if she was gonna drive (they both also learned how to check the vehicles fluids and change a flat tire, didnt give them a choice learn it or you'll never drive my vehicles), surprisingly these are things they dont teach in Drivers Ed.
    Yes by all means everyone learning to drive should at least be introduced to driving in a manual transmission vehicle.
    I recently had to teach my son in law how to drive a standard, he was borrowing my Jeep and when he jumped in to drive it was obvious by the look on his face he had no idea how to operate a clutch, brake, gas pedal, gear shifter, and steering wheel at the same time, after an hour in a nearby field I can safely say he knows how to do that now.

  8. #8


    I remember the first time I drove a manual, it was like I was a natural. I was 14 years old, and we had an open field on the side of the house, I seemed to pick up on it right away. But then again, I also already understood the concept of a clutch and shifting since I had already been riding motorcycles for quite some time... I think everyone should have to learn how to drive them.
    00 Chevy Tahoe LT, 5.3 4x4

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