The basic skill for learning to drive a manual car is clutch control. Learn how here - watch the video. SUBSCRIBE TODAY! ► http://youtube.com/c/smartdrivetest See Topics Below.
This video is for absolute beginners. The two hardest gears to learn in a manual car are first and reverse.
Shift Pattern 3:04
How a Transmission Works - Basics 5:26
Finding the Friction (Biting) Point 8:27
Exercise #1 - Finding the Friction Point (Biting Point) 9:13
Exercise #2 - Moving the Vehicle 12:38
Question: Do you have exercises for students to learn clutch control? 19:55
A shift pattern for any manual transmission is a basic 'H' pattern. And the transmission pattern or shift pattern is the same regardless of whether you're driving a left-hand or right-hand drive vehicle. First and second gear will be on the left side of the shift pattern. Third and fourth gear will be in the middle of the shift pattern and often, fifth and reverse will be on the right side of the gear box.
Most standard transmissions will be a 5-speed. Vehicle manufacturers are beginning to make 6- and even 7-speed transmissions, but if you can drive a 5-speed the other transmission configurations are straight forward.
Know that the shifter is designed to rest at the middle gears when in neutral. Thus to go to first and second you need to push/pull the selector to the left, and to go to fifth gear--and often reverse--you have to push/pull the gear selector to the right.
When learning to drive a manual transmission it is important to isolate the clutch and learn to find the friction point - the point where the clutch connects the engine with the drive train and the vehicle begins to move forward.
As I said this is the absolute first lesson, and you are only going to learn clutch control. Without clutch control, you are going to have difficulty driving a manual car well.
EXERCISE #1 - with the parking brake applied, simply bring the clutch out to the friction point, let the engine revs drop a couple hundred rpm and then push the clutch back in. Do this exercise for both first gear and reverse gear. Do it approximately 30 times for each gear.
EXERCISE #2 – this exercise moves the vehicle forward with just the clutch. Put your right foot on the brake and put the gear selector into a forward gear. Keep your right foot on the brake, both hands on the steering wheel, and bring the clutch out to the friction point and hold. When the engine bogs down a bit, release the brake because now the vehicle is being held by the clutch. Slowing bring the clutch out through the friction zone until you are able to completely take your foot off the clutch. Because the most vehicles are electronic fuel injection, these will not stall. The engine will torque up when more power is called forward. When the vehicle rolls forward, push the clutch in and engage the brake to stop the vehicle. Do this exercise approximately 30 times for both first and reverse.
These are the fundamental exercises for learning clutch control. After you learn clutch control, the rest of the gears and driving a manual transmission are fairly easy. But without clutch control, it will be difficult to drive a manual car. Spend the time here on the fundamentals and you will find that you can competently drive a manual transmission within a few hours.
Hi Teresa Smithey - Thank you for your comment. And we're happy to hear that the information helped out with finding the friction point and mastering clutch control. If there is anything further we can do, drop us a note. Always happy to help. All the best, Cheers Rick
I lived in Toronto, Canada ('a 'foam' town where they make good beer...) for many years and learned to drive an automatic car. Now I'm back in the UK, I have to learn how to drive using a clutch, and this video is really helpful. Thanks a lot...
Hi Sergei Lebadev - Thank you for your comment. And you are most welcome. If there is anything further we can do, drop us a note. Always happy to help you out there in the UK. All the best, Cheers Rick
Hi Priscilla Then - Thank you for your comment and query. It is called the friction point owing to the clutch consisting of two plates. When you push in the clutch pedal you separate the two plates and separate the engine plate from the drivetrain plate, and you can bring the vehicle to a stop without stalling the engine. When you release the clutch pedal, it bring the two plates together, and when there is enough friction, the vehicle begins to move forward. Thus it's called the friction point or the biting point. If there is anything further we can do, drop us a note. Always happy to help. All the best, Cheers Rick
Smart Drive Test you have really earnt my respect.. wish there is youtubers like you. To be honest i didn't expect a reply specially after having uploaded the vid a year ago. I will definitely subscribe and share your content cause they are quite interesting and helpful
Hi Elie Saba - Thank you for your comment, and absolutely no need to apologize. Any YouTube creator that's working to build a sustainable and viable community whom they can help and serve is self-reflective and working to be better. And nothing is appreciated more than viewers who take the time to provide feedback - good or bad. It is tremendously valued and helps to make the content better for future videos. Thank you my friend. All the best, Cheers Rick
Hi Lobsang Gyalzen - Thank you for your comment. And those are prolific in other parts of the world. If there is anything further we can do, drop us a note. Always happy to help. All the best, Cheers Rick
Hello Rick, I have a question on how to start the car up. Can you start the vehicle when it is in 1st gear? Let’s say you parked the car and left it in 1st, can you just take off or do you need to be in neutral when starting it up? Please respond
Hi Allen Rodriguez - Apologies for the late response. Yes, you can start the vehicle with it in first gear. Just ensure that you push the clutch in first. And most newer vehicles will not start the engine unless the clutch is depressed. If there is anything further we can do, drop us a note. Always happy to help. All the best, Cheers Rick
Hi Ron York - Thank you for your comment. And you are most welcome. Be sure to let us know how your knowledge test goes. If there is anything further we can do, drop us a note. Always happy to help. All the best, Cheers Rick
Excellent Video clip! Apologies for chiming in, I would love your thoughts. Have you ever tried - Tarbbatigan Cars Rehabilitation Tip (google it)? It is an awesome exclusive guide for learning how to repair your car the easy way without the headache. Ive heard some super things about it and my GF after many years got excellent results with it.
Hi michael anyiko - Apologies for the late response. Thank you for your comment. And you are most welcome. We're happy to hear the information proved helpful. If there is anything further we can do, drop us a note. Always happy to help. All the best, Cheers Rick
Hi Shiver MeTimbers - Thank you for your comment. And you are most welcome. We're happy to hear the information helped out. If there is anything further we can do, drop us a note. Always happy to help. All the best, Cheers Rick
Hi Luv Kumar - Thank you for your comment. And we're happy to hear that your driving lessons are going great. You're doing the work and it is paying off!! If there is anything further we can do, drop us a note. Always happy to help. All the best, Cheers Rick
Nice vid, but you say we don't use our leg muscles for fine motor control.
That's correct, but you use the hinged foot on the ankle to press pedals right? I dont know anyone who would push their entire leg...
I've started watching your videos a few months back out of necessity, as back then, I've just gotten my license and I felt so "raw" driving without an instructor, and your videos sure helped ease me in to being a better driver. Now, I watch your videos more for the educational and entertainment aspect of them. Whenever I'm in a tough situation, one thing that comes to mind is saying "What would Rick do here?" and you always saying "Chose the best answer- not necessarily the right answer." Thanks as always.
Hi Reilly Owens - thank you for your magic comment. I’m happy to hear the videos are both entertaining & educational. And that we’re helping with the tough choices required when driving. All the best my friend, Cheers Rick
Keep watching different videos and hearing differing opinions.
But I have had my self behind the wheel of my cheap manual car I am learning on for 2 days perhaps 2 hours behind its wheel.
Originally I was trying to get my RPM's up first around 2,000rpm then release the clutch slowly around the biting point.
Then my neighbor took me out and showed me to do it the way your suggesting.
Slowly letting off the clutch and letting the vehicle take it self.
I need to practice that abit more & become more confident with it because when I went into town today (I live in the country)
I was basically doing a mix of both together.
But i'm coming along.
Smart Drive Test well I got decent enough with it.
But I found a very good deal on a 08 Lancer being sold AS-IS as a dealer my former employer has good relations with.
Bottom line I scored it for next to nothing.
And sold the car I was learning manual on for profit to go towards it.
Hi Dylan Mayhew - apologies for the late response. How are you getting on with the driving manual? I'm sure by now, you're driving and not thinking about it much. If there is anything further we can do, drop us a note. Always happy to help. All the best, Cheers Rick
Greetings! This is probably a basic question, but I would like to know what these types of clutches are called. In my driving school car and this Honda finding the friction point (or engaging the half clutch as we call it) has very little effect on the engine. Unless uphill it's virtually impossible shut the engine with the clutch. However, on the other car that I've driven, when the clutch engages, the friction is too strong and the engine shuts off. Apparently one is supposed to start moving with a combination of clutch and gas. Thanks!
Hi Alteran/Алтеран - Thank you for your comment. In my vehicle, it is a hydraulic clutch, but they hydraulics is only to separate the two clutch plates to disconnect the drive train from the engine. I teach clutch control first, and then after you've mastered the clutch, then add in the throttle. If you learn clutch control first, the rest is easy. On the second vehicle, you still need a bit of work on the clutch control, otherwise it wouldn't stall. If there is anything further we can do, drop us a note. Always happy to help. All the best, Cheers Rick
Hi Gavin - Apologies for the late response. Thank you for your comment. And you are most welcome; we're happy to hear the information proved valuable. If there is anything further we can do, drop us a note. Always happy to help. All the best, Cheers Rick
Hi O.J Fitness - Apologies for the late response. Thank you for your comment and great compliment. If there is anything further we can do, drop us a note. Always happy to help. All the best, Cheers Rick
Hi firestarspelt - Thank you for your comment. Wow - a carburetor! Does it have an 8-track too? That must be challenging to learn how to drive a standard - that 3 pedals, 2 feet kind of thing. If there is anything further we can do, drop us a note. Always happy to help. All the best, Cheers Rick
Hi Rob - thank you for your comment, and no that is not a silly question. If you look at the rest of the lessons, I show you how to combine the clutch and the throttle. The first lesson is to teach you clutch control, which is essential for learning to drive a manual car. Once you learn clutch control and can get the vehicle started in 1st & reverse, the rest of the gears are relatively straight forward. I think you already found the other lessons, but here's the playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0x-bChcUvwE4covDy04Sre8cPPb-q4HL If there is anything further we can do, drop us a note. Always happy to help. All the best, Cheers Rick
Rick is an excellent teacher, just wanted to mentioned one thing that also helps with clutch control is keeping your heel to the floor while on the clutch while keeping the foot relaxed and able to slide back to release the clutch and also relaxed while moving the foot forward while pushing in the clutch. Once in a while I have to pick up the foot but for the most part I've found using my heel and Rick's advice on feeling the bite of the clutch has helped me drive in traffic without stalling out.
Hi bull419 - Thank you for your comment and good information about keeping the heel of your foot on the floor to better control the clutch. And you're correct - once you learn clutch control, the rest of driving a manual car is relatively easy. If there is anything further we can do, drop us a note. Always happy to help. All the best my friend, Cheers Rick
Hi sasideep koyya - the friction point is when the vehicle begins to move forward. If your vehicle has a tachometer, the needle will drop when the clutch begins to engage the motor with the drive train. Do the first exercise in the video and that will help you to locate the friction point or the "biting point". If there is anything further we can do, drop us a note. Always happy to help. All the best, Cheers Rick
Hi rima- thank you for your comment and query. My advice to learning to drive a manual transmission is to spend the time learning clutch control as outline in this video. And as I said, first and reverse are going to be your hardest gears. So once you get comfortable with first and reverse, do the exercise in the this video before going out on the road: https://youtu.be/dJpMKkwEhxI If there is anything further we can do, drop us a note. Always happy to help. All the best, Cheers Rick
So pity I gave up driving a manual car! I had a female instructor, I had big troubles with the clutch, everytime I failed she was freaking out "You are such a dumbass, you don`t listen to me, do whatever you want, you`re going to crash my transmission, how many times are u going to stay in that intersection, even girls can handle a manual car". Then I took automatic transmission, no trouble at all, the excuse that I was telling to myself "Why should I learn manual, 90 % of Americans are driving automatic cars and don`t care about it", now I realised that even though you are not going to drive a manual it is a good thing to have a full license (now I`m going to have only automatic transmission license), besides, you have an opportunity to feel a car.
Driving manual cars is not hard, you just have to be persistent and find a good and patient instructor, just like this guy!
Hi Sandmann6965 - thank you for your comment. That sounds like a truly awful learning experience. Unfortunately, not all driving instructors should be teachers. And yes, being able to drive a manual car is a great skill to have because in Europe and other countries the numbers are reverse - 90% of vehicle are manual. If there is anything further we can do, drop us a note. Always happy to help. All the best, Cheers Rick
Hi Ziggy - thank you for your comment and query. The first exercise with the hand brake is a stationary position, as you stated. It is for you to learn where the biting point is in the the travel of the clutch. As you stated, if you let the clutch out completely, the engine will stall. With the parking brake applied, just bring the clutch out to where you see the tachometer lower a bit and you hear the engine sound change, and then push the clutch back in. You're teaching the muscles in your leg where the "biting" or "friction" point in the clutch is located and how to control the clutch. Once you learn clutch control, the rest of learning to drive a manual is going to progress fairly quickly. If there is anything further we can do, drop us a note. Always happy to help. All the best, Cheers Rick
Julius M i have done the same thing, i started on a bus, now am a freight hauler, if you can, try to learn on a truck. They are very forgiving, especially unloaded. In fact, i can drive a standard transmission truck fairly easily, but still have trouble on small five speeds. Rick is a great source for information if you need anything.
Hi Julius - thank you for your comment. Nope - I never laugh at those that are brave and take on the challenging task of learning to drive. You inspire others that too are learning a new skill. You're going to do great. Keep practicing. If there is anything further we can do, drop us a note. Always happy to help. All the best, Cheers Rick
my name is nuhu am in dubai learning manual car I need little explanation about how to park car on side of the road they if come on second jear what is next as they said I should be on first jear this is my whastapp number 00971528054540 please I need the information today or by tomorrow morning as I already fail two times
Hi Firdaus Musah - thank you for your query. Have a look at this playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0x-bChcUvwGCsjYZkDkW3eWPF5X08EJ1 If you still have further questions, drop us a note. Always happy to help. All the best, Cheers Rick
Hi Mr. August, can you explain more about controlling the clutch? does it mean gradually going up after you're at the biting point? What if you're at the biting point but the car is not moving? does that mean you have to move your leg slightly up?
Hi koiminx - thank you for your comment and query. Yes, controlling the clutch is letting out the clutch gradually when you get to the biting point. Watch the tachometer - when the clutch gets to the biting point, the tachometer will go down. At that point, you have to control the clutch through the friction zone. If the car isn't moving, you're not at the biting point yet.I would suggest going to a parking lot and working on the 2 exercises in the video. If there is anything further we can do, drop us a a note. Always happy to help. All the best, Cheers Rick
Hi Pansy Blackwell - apologies for the late response, and thank you for your comment. Petrol is short for petroleum, which is an European and other countries thing - it's the same thing as gasoline. If there is anything further we can do, drop us a a note. Always happy to help. All the best, Cheers Rick
Hi priscilla ama-koufie - thank you for your comment. Where are you that you're taking your road test in a manual car? Have a look at the other information here to - most of it is gear toward passing a road test. If there is anything further we can do, drop us a note. Always happy to help. All the best, Cheers Rick
Hi Harriet Mwendapole - thank you for your comment. The first exercise is to apply the parking brake and bring the clutch out to the friction point - do that 20 times for both first and reverse gears. The second exercise is to move the vehicle forward without giving it any throttle--just control the clutch--and do that 20 times is both first and reverse gear. If there is anything further we can do, drop us a note. Always happy to help. All the best, Cheers Rick
You see, the thing is, my parents 92' wrangler will stall if you dont give it gas, and when you give it gas, it jumps to 3000rpm. If you ease off, or dump the clutch, it jumps or stalls (whichever it prefers). So, kinda screwed as i'm looking at an 03 miata with a manual.
Hi Cameron ZY - apologies for the late response. Thank you for your comment. That vehicle can be driven - what is going to take some time is teaching your big leg muscles fine motor control. And if you can learn to drive that vehicle, any other standard car is going to be easy to drive. If there is anything further we can do, drop us a note. Always happy to help. All the best, Cheers Rick
Hi 808BAMFasian - absolutely! Hold the brake with your right foot, and bring the clutch out to the biting point. When you find the biting point, then release the brake and move your foot to the throttle. And then a little bit of throttle and bring the clutch out the rest of the way. I would suggest go back to basics and do the first exercise in the video. In a parking lot, put the parking brake on and practice bringing the clutch out to the friction point - hold it there and watch the tachometer drop. When you can do that 10 or 20 times in both first and reverse, you will find your starts are better. If there is anything further we can do, drop us a note. Always happy to help. All the best, Cheers Rick
thanks for the reply. One thing I forgot to mention is that his clutch is soft and it's hard to tell when it bites. So, when I start in first, you think i should find the biting point first then give it gas?
Hi 808BAMFasian - thank you for your comment and query. You're clutch control is not quite there. The reason it's jerky is because you're hesitating on the clutch. Once the clutch comes to the friction point, you have to keep bringing it out smoothly, completely and without hesitation. I would suggest to go to a parking lot and practice just using the clutch when starting - in other words, isolate the clutch. Practice isolating the clutch in both first and reverse. When you can do that efficiently, move to lesson #2 where you combine the clutch and the throttle. If there is anything further we can do, drop us a note. Always happy to help. All the best, Cheers Rick
good video man i klick a like. Just a thing i notice i think your clutch on that car is soon woren out because it cathes/biting point is really at the bottom when you lift it it cathes immediatly. it should cathches around half way up if it catching imideatly when you lift it up you should take it to a workshop otherwise you will worn out the kuggwheel in the gears. Hope you answer to me and if it just me that sees wrong :D
Hi Jimi Kivilompolo - thank you for your comment and information. I knew that about Europe, but did not know that about Finland. If there is anything further we can do, drop us a note. Always happy to help. All the best, Cheers Rick
Hi Lian Reyta - thank you for your comment. I am confident that you will find the lessons helpful and will accelerate your learning to drive a manual car. If there is anything further we can do, drop us a note. Always happy to help. All the best, Cheers Rick
Hi Salvador Dali - thank you for your comment and that the video proved useful. Yes, if she hasn't driven for a while, some lessons would be good. And actually, it is easier if she already has her license because she can focus on learning to drive without the pressure of passing a test. All the best, Cheers Rick
Hi Mike Springer - I know you're nervous and little doubt tests are daunting. Keep in mind the examiner just wants to see if you can driver. He or she know's your nervous. Try to focus on what you're doing and demonstrate your ability. Work to keep you're focus on what you're doing. A bit of nerves is good, but don't let those get the best of you. If there's anything further we can do, drop us a note. All the best, Cheers Rick
I have been watching ur videos and they r helpful thanks for putting them out there for people such as myself I tense to forget everything when I doing my road test such as controlling my speed to drive on the right side of the road and parallel parking
Hi Mike Springer - Are you taking your road test in an automatic or manual car? Why were you unsuccessful on your first two attempts - not too much detail, just general? A road test is made up of 4 major components: 1) speed management; 2) space management; 3) observation; 4) communication. If you can demonstrate competency in these 4 areas you won't have any problem. Remember to breath - focusing on your breathing will cause your body to relax. And remember, all you have to do is take away the examiner's right to fail you - nothing more, nothing less. Let me know about the previous test, and I'll give you some pointers. Cheers Rick
Hi Dorothy - Globe Driving Academy has a driving instructor that works with seniors and others that are doing post-crash retraining. In my professional opinion, that would be the best driving instructor.I talked to Noreen there, and she stated that you could get started with them on 22 March - after Spring Break. Driving lessons there are $45/hr. and they have packages. Give them a ring and let me know how it goes. All the best, Cheers Rick
Thanks for responding so quickly. I live in the West-end of Toronto (Jane and Weston Road is the closest intersection). I currently don't have a mentor or know anyone in Toronto with a car. My husband has a truck (Ford F-150) but he's already moved to our retirement home in the country (4 hours East of Toronto). I visit him every 2-3 weeks and I have tried to practice driving his truck but he has no patience to teach me. I end up even more nervous and anxious afterwards.
Hi Dorothy: I'll make some inquiries. I would suggest that you put significant energies into finding a mentor. You are going to need considerable practice outside driving lessons. Perhaps there are some seniors that need to be driven or some other place where you can get driving practice. I'll see what I can do at this end. All the best, Cheers Rick
Hi Rick, I was wondering if you could recommend a good driving instructor in Toronto. I was scheduled for my first lesson on Sunday and she was a "no show". There's tons of driving schools here but not a lot of really good instructors. I am extremely nervous and anxious so I need to find a kind, calm and patient instructor!
Hello from Europe ! I know it's a bit early to comment this , but first gear is always placed from neutral to first position with vehicle stopped . When downshifting from second to first gear , bring vehicle to a halt in second gear and fully stopped and then shift to first gear. Basics . Once again another excellent instructional video !!
Hi Annibal Moreira - thank you for your comment & your compliment. Yes, you're getting ahead of me a little bit, but the information will prove helpful for others learning to drive a standard transmission. I believe this instructional series will be 3 or 4 parts. If there's anything specific we can do, drop us a note - always happy to help. All the best, Cheers Rick
Rick August, you've been indeed doing a great job in helping out novice drivers like me. I had never driven a car in my entire life, and all of a sudden I had no other choice but to learn driving in a short span of time (a kinda crisis situation I can say :D). But going through most of your videos in this channel really helped me learn the fundamentals and get a good grip on them. I was able to learn driving and get a CA license in less than 2 months' time! And I owe must of the credits to you; hats off to you!!
I've become a regular visitor to your channel and I keep bringing improvisations in my driving through that. I also shall be recommending your channel to all those buddies of mine who wanna improve their driving skills.
Hi Milton Raj - thank you for your lovely comment. And thank you for sharing your story of expedient success. And thank you for your endorsement for the channel. If there is anything specific or further we can do, drop us a note - always happy to help. All the best, Cheers Rick
Great video, exactly what I was looking for. I felt that all other beginner's manual lessons were not throughout enough explanation wise and this one definitely is. Taking it slow and learning the basics by heart is the key. I will try manual transmission for the first time in the simulator of my CAA driving school, and the following day in real life (7th hour of practice: first practice around a rural area). These lessons will definitely help me develop this skill.
Hi Florencia - thank you for your comment and compliments. Let me know how the work in the simulator goes - I haven't had the opportunity to work with one. All the best with your endeavours to drive standard. If there's anything further we can do drop us a note. All the best, Cheers Rick