It can seem terrifying if you’re stuck with a car that has a manual transmission, that is, if you have never driven a manual before. My dad had always told me that it was necessary to learn how to drive a manual, just in case of an emergency, and boy was he right. You never know when your manual transmission talents will come into play, and you should always be able to drive any car in sight, you know, in case of an emergency. But don’t worry, it’s not that scary! Driving a stick-shift, such as a manual Volkswagen isn’t as hard as it looks; however, it will take some practicing to become proficient.
How to drive a manual car.
- Push in the clutch (the pedal furthest to the left), and turn the key to start the engine. Make sure your right foot is on the brake.
- With the clutch pushed to the floorboards, move the stick to first gear (usually to the left and up).
- Now comes the more difficult part. Go ahead and slowly release the clutch until you feel the car start to roll.
- After the wheels start to roll, give it a small amount of gas.
- When you’re ready, slowly ease your left foot off of the clutch while giving more gas with your right foot. Tip: Unless you’re trying to peel out, don’t push the gas to the floorboard, but ease into is slowly; caress the pedal with your foot.
- “Fooey, I stalled the car… Now what?” Don’t worry, you didn’t hurt the car. Go ahead and start over at step one. But let’s figure out why you stalled the engine. Our guess is that you put the car into first gear, but there wasn’t enough gas for the engine to make the car move, so it stalled. To prevent stalling from occurring over and over again while you’re training to become and expert manual driver, remember to push the clutch back in if you feel like the car is starting to jerk back and forth; this likely means it is going to stall.
- If you didn’t stall the car and the car is now driving at a slow speed, it’s time to shift to second gear. Take your foot off the gas while you push in the clutch. While the clutch is pushed to the floorboards, move the stick down into second gear. Once in second gear, slowly release the clutch and start to apply gas. Hurray! You’re now in second gear!
- Going from second to third and so on and so forth is the same process, but easier. You may feel like you’re jerking the car around the streets, but don’t worry, you’re not hurting the car. To drive smoothly you’ll have to learn the balance between the gas and clutch very well, this just comes from practice. So, keep practicing! We know you’ll get it.
If you have questions about how to drive your Volkswagen, or you need to receive Volkswagen services before you hit the parking lot, give us a holler. Schedule an appointment online with the click of a button or reach out. We’re always here to help. Be sure to visit our previous blog posts to understand all of the services we provide for customers such as you.