Tips for Beyond Basic Stick Shift Driving
March 22, 2007 3:42 PM Subscribe
I'm a reasonably adept stick shift driver but what do I need to know to be a great stick shift driver?
posted by otherwordlyglow to travel & transportation (48 answers total) 49 users marked this as a favorite
I learned how to drive stick shift (manual transmission) in San Francisco about 3 years ago, nearly 20 years after learning to drive an automatic transmission car. I'm pretty good at it but I still feel like I can do better. At this point, I know some basic tricks (use the parking brake when stopped on a hill) but what else is there I could be doing to win the admiration of stick shift drivers everywhere?
One specific question I have is about using the clutch when idling. My usual mode is to shift out of 1st gear and into neutral, keeping my foot on the brake, if I think I'll be stopped (say, in traffic) for more than a few seconds. Which is worse for the car, sitting in 1st gear with the clutch pressed all the way down, waiting to be able to accelerate out or shifting out into neutral and then shifting back into 1st once you can resume forward? Is the extra shifting (1st-neutral-1st) any worse than idling in 1st with the clutch in so as to avoid having to shift out and then back into 1st?
That's the type of tip I'm looking for.