BMW Brake Cooler Kit E36 M3 by SneedSpeed

2 10 2012
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Learning Manual Transmission Driving

1 10 2012

If you are tired of going around using an automatic transmission car, you might want to improve your driving skills by driving a manual transmission vehicle. It feels good to be able to drive this kind of vehicles since you will be a very versatile driver and race cars only use manual transmissions. The down side to this is that you will be grabbing the race shift knob more often especially in traffic.

At first driving a car using manual transmission might feel awkward, but as you go along and get more experience in manual shifting, grabbing that race shift knob to shift gears will feel natural.  Getting familiar with the use of the race shift knob, transmission, the clutch and the brake is all you are going to need in order to master the manual car.

Learning how to drive using a manual transmission, you have to condition your mind to use the race shift knob with your hand and both of your feet pushing the brake and clutch pedal at the same time, while driving. If you have been driving around for years in an automatic transmission car, you might feel a little awkward since you are used to resting your left foot while driving.  But in manual transmission, you have to depress the clutch with your left foot every time you shift gear. This is mandatory because the clutch disengages the transmission from the engine so you can change gears.

If you are a new to the manual transmission, you might be confused at first since clutching, revving the engine and shifting gears must be properly timed. Sometimes even if you already depressed the clutch, and applied your brake to get the right speed for shifting down, your transmission gear box will fail to disengage its main gear shaft to the engine.  If this is the case, you can perform the old hat trick of long distance trucker where after depressing the clutch they will make a quick revving of the engine to force the gearshift to disengage from the clutch disk. The procedure for this is quite simple however it takes years of practice to master.

To start your practice session, you can go to an abandoned road or parking lot without many people or other cars around and start by using first gear. The most crucial first step is the releasing of the clutch while simultaneously revving the engine slightly so the engine can anticipate the sudden load it will be engaged to it once you release the clutch. This needs careful, timing, measured revving of the engine and slow releasing of the clutch.

If you timed it wrong or you are depressing too much or too little your clutch and accelerator pedals, then your engine will die or cough and you might feel that jolting motion of the car. But don’t worry about this cause it’s the start of your learning process. So grab that race shift knob and start manual-transmission driving today.

photo credits: corneveaux on flickr