Can you drive a stick shift? If you can’t, you should read this.

Most vehicles manufactured today are built with automatic transmissions. In other words, as you build up speed in your vehicle, you don’t have to switch the driveline into a different gear to handle the speed, the vehicle does it automatically. Some transmissions don’t even use different gears anymore; they’re called Constant Velocity Transmissions (CVT) and they don’t shift as the car builds speed. In a manual transmission (or stick shift) vehicle, you’re in total control of what gear is used and when. Many supercars and performance vehicles have manual transmissions, as do different types of work vehicles.


Why should you know how to drive a manual? Not only does it open you up to different job opportunities, you’ll have a better understanding of how your vehicle works. Driving a stick shift gives you much more control over how your car operates. Knowing how to navigate through the gears while operating a clutch, accelerator, and brake definitely make you a better driver.


If you’re ready to learn how to drive a stick shift (good choice!), you should first learn what each gear is used for.


·      1st gear – This gear has a lot of “pull” to get a vehicle moving, but cannot be used for high speeds. Because of this, first  gear is used to start your vehicle from a stopped position.


·      2nd gear – This gear will transition you from taking off to beginning to build speed. Most drivers shift into 2nd gear once their speed is about 10 mph.


·      3rd gear – Third gear is for use up to about 20-30 mph.


·      4th gear – Again, depending on the vehicle you own, and how many gears it has, 4th gear should be used once you are traveling around 40 mph.


·      5th gear – In many vehicles, 5th gear is the final gear available. This is the gear you use when traveling at  highway speeds.


·      6th gear – If your vehicle is equipped with a 6th gear, it is used for traveling at highway speeds for long periods of time.


·      Neutral – If you are at a stop sign, traffic light, or need to have  your vehicle’s engine on but not moving, you can use neutral. This way, you don’t need to have the clutch engaged the whole time you are sitting.


·      Reverse – Obviously, this is used for moving the vehicle backwards.


Many people are intimidated by manual transmissions, however, once you learn how to use one, shifting becomes second nature and you just automatically know when to shift gears.


Owning a manual transmission vehicle can make it a lot more fun to drive and it provides you superior control over how the car behaves – this is why performance vehicles often have manual transmissions as an option.


If you’re interested in owning a vehicle with a manual transmission, SVG can hook you up! There are a lot of different types of vehicles that are just inherently more fun to drive if they’re a stick shift. For example, this Jeep Wrangler!



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