How To Drive a Manual Car In South Africa

By | October 28, 2021

The key difference between manual and automatic transmission cars is that a manual transmission requires you to do more work when the vehicle is in motion. Thus, the driver is expected to change the gears when it is necessary.

An automatic transmission, on the other hand, does the grunt work for you, changing gears fluidly as you push on the gas pedal.

Step 1: Get to know your car

Most cars have four or five forward speeds, as well as one reverse gear. When in neutral, it allows the car to idle without stalling without keeping your foot on the clutch. If you press the gas pedal while in neutral, you won’t move. The acceleration pedal can be found on your far right. This works with the gears to give the engine various levels of power. The clutch pedal is located at the far left and is used when shifting between gears. Your clutch foot and your acceleration foot will work closely with one another because to shift into gear, you will need the clutch, and to move forward, you will need your acceleration.

Step 2: Learn The location of the Gears

First learn to shift the gears, and remember to push the clutch each time you do so. If you do not push your clutch in all the way and then proceed to shift the gear knob into position, you will hear an unpleasant grinding sound which means your car is still not in gear.

Step 3: Starting The Car

Put the car into neutral before starting, this will prevent your car from jumping forward and stalling (which is generally embarrassing). Alternately, start the car in gear with the clutch pedal pushed to the floor, then shift into neutral, release the clutch pedal, and let the car warm up.

Step 4: Using The Clutch

Clutch control can be extremely annoying for first-time drivers, so give yourself some time to really crack the code. Use your left foot on the clutch and your right foot on the brake and gas. When at a traffic light, don’t get into the habit of holding the clutch in for more than a few seconds. Instead, put the car in neutral while stopped for any period (which will also give your foot a quick stretch break.)

Step 5: Upshifting

Driving a manual vehicle is all about that magical place where the clutch comes up and the acceleration pedal goes down. It’s the place where the gears are shifted and the car accelerates.

Step 6: Downshifting

Downshifting is the act of shifting to lower gears while slowing down. Downshifting not only helps you slow the car, but it also puts you in the right gear for lower speed. Downshifting should become your bestie – especially in bad weather or on downhills, where immediate braking can be dangerous. While downshifting, move your foot from the clutch to brake while in gear. This will help you slow down without revving too high between gears.

Step 7: Reverse

As the name suggests, the reverse gear will move your car backwards. You will use reverse when wanting to park or turn around. To get into reverse, you will need to shift the gear stick to the position with the letter R. Only do this while at a complete stop. Be extra careful when reversing into a tight parking spot with your crush in the passenger seat, if you get this right – you’ll earn major brownie points!

Step 8: Practice!

All of this is going to seem overwhelming at first, but it will become second nature with practice. Start off in a big empty parking lot, then progress to quiet roads and so on. You’ll be driving like a pro before you know it!