Free Process Essays - How to Operate a Manual Transmission


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How to Operate a Manual Transmission


A vast majority of our population find operating a manual transmission, or stick shift, to be extremely difficult. However, in actuality all it takes is some serious practice and devotion to make driving a stick shift like second nature. For successful driving, the same steps must be followed each time the car is driven.

The stick shift panel is typically located between the two front seats of the vehicle. The stick shift can be moved left to right and up and down for changing gears. The clutch pedal is usually found to the right of the brake pedal.

Specifically, on a standard five speed, the gears are as follows: Neutral is located in the middle of the panel. From neutral, gears must be changed accordingly. First gear is found to the far upper left, and is used to get the car moving from a stopped position. Down left is second gear, used for speeds up to twenty-five miles per hour. Third gear is located upper middle of the panel, used for speeds from about twenty-five to forty miles per hour. Fourth gear is found at the lower middle and would be good for between forty and fifty miles per hour. Fifth gear is found to the far upper right, and is used for higher driving speeds such as on the freeway. Last but not least is reverse, which is to the far bottom right, used for backing up. These gears must be maneuvered the exact same way each time the automobile is driven.

Undoubtedly, figuring out the timing of letting out the clutch and giving the car more gas can be the trickiest part of driving a stick shift. The clutch is found to the far right of the brake. When changing gears, the clutch must always be pushed to the floor with the left foot or immediately the car's gears will grind. The clutch must be slowly let out as more gas is given to the car. The timing of this process must be perfect to ensure a that the car will begin to slowly move forward. As for stopping, such as at a red light or a stop sign, begin by moving the gear shift to the neutral position.

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Then use the brake to coast to a complete stop. Downshifting is also a worthy tool to use when a light is red and then suddenly turns green as the car approaches. Downshifting is accomplished by changing gears to third or second, and in some cases even first gear, when in a higher gear such as fourth or fifth. Hence to bring the car slowly back up to the previous speed.

In addition, another tool to use to know when to change gears is the car's revolutions per minute (r.m.p.) This r.p.m. gauge is typically found next to the odometer. When the gauge reads about three it is time to change gears. Furthermore, a slight humming will begin to sound from the engine. This also is an indicator that it is time to change to a higher gear. If the gear is not changed the car's engine could become damaged or overheat. These steps are crucial to the success of driving a stick shift.

As a result, remember, every stick shift is a little bit different. Driving a manual transmission can be exceedingly difficult and frustrating, yet can be extremely enjoyable. Just be sure to follow the same exact steps each time, and don't give up. Patience and practice are the main keys in the mastery of the stick shift.


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