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Old 05-04-2012, 03:08 PM   #1
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Advice on teaching how to drive a manual transmission

Hey all,
I'm about to start teaching my girlfriend how to drive a manual transmission. I
learned by watching my dad do it for 12 years or so.

I was thinking about finding a field or country gravel road, putting the Jeep in 4Low and letting her go (slowly).

Do you have any advice or tips on teaching someone to drive one?

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Old 05-04-2012, 03:13 PM   #2
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I think 4-low will be too forgiving, it will be hard to stall out. Other than that, I think you have the right idea, parking lots work great also.

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Old 05-04-2012, 03:22 PM   #3
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Back road or parking lot in 2hi. Have her put it in first and slowly let out the clutch until it starts to bite and the rpm drops a bit, then clutch back in. Keep doing that a few times until she learns where that bite spot is. Then do the same thing but have her slowly let it all the way out without touching the gas so you're just idling along. The jeep should be geared low enough that idling along should be easy. From there add in gas then add in shifting. That's how I taught myself!
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:22 PM   #4
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I don't really have any suggestion for teaching - just a little story on how I learned.
The first time driving a stick was when I was 16, my boyfriend (who is now my husband) got a little (ok a lot) drunk one night at a party, and I had to figure out how to drive it home. I made it, and have been driving a stick on and off ever since - that was 27 years ago -
I just ordered a new Wrangler Rubicon with 6 speed - can't wait,
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:26 PM   #5
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I taught my daughter by letting her use the e-brake on starts until she could get a feel for where the clutch engaged. The rest of the gears were easy once she got going. It saved the extra wear on my starter and battery.
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:34 PM   #6
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My uncle taught me to drive a manual down a back road. He made me watch him all day before we went out. This wasn't a Jeep, but a heavy duty work truck. He put me on this road because there was no traffic. That allowed me to learn to release the clutch and feather the gas to get going without the stress of someone behind me. This also only allowed me to shift from second (this particular truck started real well in second) to third and back to second. Didn't have to worry about actually working my way through the gears.

This is how I taught two of my exes to drive a standard.

Hope this helps, atleast a little...
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InvertChaos View Post
Back road or parking lot in 2hi. Have her put it in first and slowly let out the clutch until it starts to bite and the rpm drops a bit, then clutch back in. Keep doing that a few times until she learns where that bite spot is. Then do the same thing but have her slowly let it all the way out without touching the gas so you're just idling along. The jeep should be geared low enough that idling along should be easy. From there add in gas then add in shifting. That's how I taught myself!
Absolutlely. The entire concept of any manual transmission is to understand the "friction zone", and its' effect on RPMs and vehicle movement. Always start flat or slightly downhill with newbies. And take alot of valium. Good Luck!
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -JC-

Absolutlely. The entire concept of any manual transmission is to understand the "friction zone", and its' effect on RPMs and vehicle movement. Always start flat or slightly downhill with newbies. And take alot of valium. Good Luck!
Amen. Also don't freak out if it stalls. Its all part of the process and nothing will break horribly. Also don't worry about clutch wear too much, they're pretty hardy. Basically just adopt a laid back and understanding state of mind. My dad would always freak out and stress me out whenever I would try to learn on his truck with a little 4cyl. He never understood that getting angry doesn't help anyone learn.
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:08 PM   #9
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I found that it works well to tell them to let the clutch out slowly until it stalls...and then tell them not to do that again....seems to be a decent way to let them feel what is going on. Then just tell them to give it gas next time at that point. Too many people are scared to give it enough gas for some reason
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:17 PM   #10
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There area couple of you tube videos on this. I am planning to teach my wife as well and I had her watch a few videos. Some are good and some are really bad. Bottom line is that you have to have lot of patience. Your gut will wrench a few times. Just take a Benadryl before you start teaching her.
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rivershark2005 View Post
My uncle taught me to drive a manual down a back road. He made me watch him all day before we went out. This wasn't a Jeep, but a heavy duty work truck. He put me on this road because there was no traffic. That allowed me to learn to release the clutch and feather the gas to get going without the stress of someone behind me. This also only allowed me to shift from second (this particular truck started real well in second) to third and back to second. Didn't have to worry about actually working my way through the gears.
I learned on my dad's work trucks too, just moving them out of the sun if we were going to be going somewhere or moving them out of the way when camping. I couldn't kill it in first even if I had wanted to which is quite unlike my Jeep with 3.21s.

Quote:
Originally Posted by InvertChaos View Post
Amen. Also don't freak out if it stalls. Its all part of the process and nothing will break horribly. Also don't worry about clutch wear too much, they're pretty hardy. Basically just adopt a laid back and understanding state of mind. My dad would always freak out and stress me out whenever I would try to learn on his truck with a little 4cyl. He never understood that getting angry doesn't help anyone learn.
I'm usually a pretty chill individual. I think she will be freaking out more than me.

She understands the concept of how it works and she's been "practicing" on an ATV and by doing the shifts on the Jeep while I work the clutch. I am not super worried about it, but I would definitely feel more comfortable teaching her on dad's old truck.
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InvertChaos
Back road or parking lot in 2hi. Have her put it in first and slowly let out the clutch until it starts to bite and the rpm drops a bit, then clutch back in. Keep doing that a few times until she learns where that bite spot is. Then do the same thing but have her slowly let it all the way out without touching the gas so you're just idling along. The jeep should be geared low enough that idling along should be easy. From there add in gas then add in shifting. That's how I taught myself!
This is the right way , all clutch no gas at first until they can get it rolling

After success a few times with this then add the gas pedal, then add a shift into second
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InvertChaos View Post
Back road or parking lot in 2hi. Have her put it in first and slowly let out the clutch until it starts to bite and the rpm drops a bit, then clutch back in. Keep doing that a few times until she learns where that bite spot is. Then do the same thing but have her slowly let it all the way out without touching the gas so you're just idling along. The jeep should be geared low enough that idling along should be easy. From there add in gas then add in shifting. That's how I taught myself!
This is the best advise in my opinion. I just bought my stick shift after only driving one 4 times (2 were test drives). Seems like it took about 30min to an hour to learn and about 3-4 days to get pretty good. Getting out of fist is clearly the hardest part.

The first thing I think i would do is let her figure out how to shift gears smoothly by sliding the stick. Showing that you press just slightly over before pushing up to go into first for example. My first day was really notchy because I was going a bit to diagonal with it. Make sure she knows were R is vs 6th. Actually R might be a good way to start because you really don't need to use the gas and it is almost impossible to stall.

Then I would teach here the engagement zone like InvertChaos mentioned. Explain that it is about half to 3/4 of the way out. Then expalin that you can get faster launches with less slipping by adding the gas at the friction point and less clutching. It is also good to mention that slipping the clutch at higher RPM's does more damage and you don't want to ride the clutch. When I first started I had a tendency to give too much gas to overcome letting off the clutch too fast. If I was to go back and give advise to myself it would be to slip the clutch more and use less gas.

When she gets good enough to go out on the road, stick to right hand turns. Late night or super early mornings are a good time to mess around on the main roads. Make sure that there are not going to be any times were she will have to stop on an incline with someone behind her. If there is a parking lot with an incline that would be a good thing to practice after she is up and going.

I would basically add one to the tens place of what speed I was going to figure out what gear I needed to be in after slowing down.

10=2
20=3
30=4 etc.

It is good to mention that you should not shift down to 1st in almost all cases.

I'm sure you will think of other stupid crap that is coming to mind like having to put the clutch in when you stop. So I guess I will stop preaching to the choir.

There was a site with a forum that was good for pointers and questions How to Drive a Car with a Manual Transmission

Good luck.
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:47 PM   #14
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Move the seat up!
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:48 PM   #15
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Put a live cougar in the passenger seat, tape a bag of Lucky Charms under the Jeep but tell her it's cocaine, then tell she has only a few minutes to drive away and flee before the cops you called get there to bust her
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:12 PM   #16
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With 3.21, I would start in 4L. If she stalls it too much, it will be a long day. This way she will get the hang of the shift pattern, especially the 5-R shift. I mean 5-6.

After driving 2K on mine still adjusting to the 3.21's.
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:41 PM   #17
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im in the process of teaching my wife too, im a bad teacher so i just took her car and she had no choice but to drive mine. the good thing is that she already had an idea of how to drive a standard.
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:44 PM   #18
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This way she will get the hang of the shift pattern, especially the 5-R shift. I mean 5-6.
oh the ole 5-R, missed that shift on the highway a couple times ...frantically apologized to the jeep each time
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:14 PM   #19
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Rent a Honda for a day. Let her beat the crap out of it. THEN put her in the Jeep. The hardest part, with the 2012 drive-by-wire system is applying the correct amount of throttle. Hydraulic clutch and electronic throttle take the "feel" out of it. Driving a manual is a lost art today, it seems. I honestly cant think of ANYONE, besides my son, who has had to learn how to drive a manual in years....
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:57 PM   #20
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Do what my Dad did to me when I was 12.
Took me to the bottom of a STEEP hill. Pointed the car up it and said if you can get to the top the car is yours.
It took a while but at the end of the day I was the proud owner of a 1958 Renault 4CV.



Three things happened after that:

When I turned 14 I got a drivers license.
The Renault burned up.
I swore I would never own another foreign car.
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Old 05-05-2012, 01:29 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Afmcronnie
Rent a Honda for a day. Let her beat the crap out of it. THEN put her in the Jeep. The hardest part, with the 2012 drive-by-wire system is applying the correct amount of throttle. Hydraulic clutch and electronic throttle take the "feel" out of it. Driving a manual is a lost art today, it seems. I honestly cant think of ANYONE, besides my son, who has had to learn how to drive a manual in years....
I was hoping to borrow her roommates near identical Hyundai that has a 5 speed.but I, think her rooomate is smarter than letting me.teach her in that.
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Old 05-05-2012, 01:50 PM   #22
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I started to teach my daughter to drive and it lasted around 5 minutes. At that point I drove home and paid for driving school. Just saying :lol:
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Old 05-05-2012, 08:41 PM   #23
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I had an F-150 short-box. 6" lift w/35's. Kid loved it. He wanted to learn how to drive it. Started out letting him drive up the hill and around to the back of the house to the hose. He did in in 4L, then had to wash it. Then I would let him drive it across the field and around to the front, then he had to wax it. It got washed and waxed alot.
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:28 AM   #24
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My dad taught me in a big parking lot the day I got my yj. Then on our way home he pressured me into learning how to climb a hill from a stop by literally putting the bumper of my moms brand new dodge intrepid right under the rear bumper while I saw her look of absolute horror in the rear view mirror.....

Long story short I've never once stalled or rolled back on a hill. Lol. I can still see the look on my moms face. She was just sure I was gonna roll back on that car. Nothing like motivation. Lol

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