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      02-21-2013, 03:14 PM   #1

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Learning manual

Ok, so I have never learned how to drive a manual car. My parents never had one, and I never did because i didnt learn. None of my friends have manuals also. What is anyones idea on how I could learn a manual? Any time i've gone to buy a car, they will have a car in manual that i want but i can't test drive it and it's pretty annoying. Should I pretty much test drive a car in auto and if i like it get manual and just learn as i go? i mean it seems if you never learn it, you never will.
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      02-21-2013, 03:18 PM   #2
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try renting one for a weekend.
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      02-21-2013, 03:32 PM   #3
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Good luck, I was in your same position when I was deciding on a manual or auto 370Z. I could not find a place that rented manual cars in IL; I even checked moving truck rentals & posted on craiglist. I ended up taking my Dad with me to a private seller with who had a manual 370Z I was really interested in. He let us take it out and my Dad drove to an empty school parking lot & we switched spots.

I did have dirt bike / motorcycle experience so I had some experience with a clutch and how shifting should work in general. That said, I "learned" how to drive a manual transmission in that car. Ended up purchasing it so I don't feel bad that I "used" his car to get the basics down. My suggestion would be to find the car you want in a manual version and give it a go. Depending on how serious you present yourself to a dealership, they may let you "learn" in the car.
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      02-21-2013, 03:33 PM   #4
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Good luck finding a rental that is a manual.

Honestly if you daily drive a car for a week straight that's a manual, by the end of that week you'll be pretty good. Also, every car is a little different so just because you learned on one doesn't mean you'll still be good on another. When you're first starting to learn, you WILL stall it at a stop light, and the main thing is not to panic..

For me, it was really imperitive to understand what was happening when you release the clutch, so I'd suggest making sure you understand what's actually happening.

People make it out to be a lot harder than it is. The only way you'll get good at it is to do it.. I've tried to teach people how to do it, and honestly I think it's just as good to figure it out on your own. The only "teaching" you should need is for someone to explain what's happening when you release the clutch and press the gas and other basic do's and don'ts, otherwise it's all feel after that.

Both my cars are MT's, and there's times I get into AT cars and put both feet on the brake thinking there's a clutch pedal.. I don't even think about what I'm doing anymore.
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      02-21-2013, 03:46 PM   #5
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if the idea of shifting your own gears is appealing to you, just buy the manual. You will learn it quickly, we all did
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      02-21-2013, 03:51 PM   #6

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I had an awesome SA in Kansas City who was willing to take an hour to make sure I learned to drive, and appreciate, a manual... best of all, it was in a brand new E92 M3... and in 2008 when they were first showing up on lots.

Bad news is that in 4-5 years of owning a DCT... I got rusty.

I've been test driving manual jeep wranglers, and everyone has been just fine with me being rusty, screwing up their clutch, and stalling in traffic. So, my recommendation is find a privately owned manual on craigslist that you would be interested in buying (or fake interest, whatever), and go for a drive... Just make sure you let them know a head of time that you dont have a clue what you're doing
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      02-21-2013, 04:19 PM   #7

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not bad ideas, I always thought about just going to the dealership and test driving the manual and not say anything. I had a friend in high school that had a manual, but he never wanted to let anyone "learn" how to drive with his car.
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      02-21-2013, 07:01 PM   #8
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You'll learn the basics within the first few hours at most. It's all about see-sawing the clutch vs gas pedal and getting a feel for just how much you need to let the clutch out before you give it gas. Honestly the most difficult part is getting it off the line. You'll start out over-revving it and lurching it and maybe even stalling a few times but it's really not that bad.

I wouldn't be against someone buying a manual car brand new when he/she doesn't know how to drive it yet. You won't destroy the clutch, etc like people say. As long as you're not a complete retard and it's not a GT3RS or similar with a crazy lightweight flywheel/race clutch.
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      02-21-2013, 07:42 PM   #9

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Originally Posted by TK-421 View Post
I wouldn't be against someone buying a manual car brand new when he/she doesn't know how to drive it yet. You won't destroy the clutch, etc like people say. As long as you're not a complete retard and it's not a GT3RS or similar with a crazy lightweight flywheel/race clutch.

Test driving an auto/DCT whatever will still let you try out 95% of the car; steering, throttle, feel, etc. You'll learn the other 5% as you go.

I had to test drive my e89 in DCT... they didn't have one for testing in standard.
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      02-25-2013, 08:00 AM   #10

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Look around for local driving schools that do lessons on driving a manual transmission. Book a few lessons and enjoy having an instructor with you as you drive the car guilt free. Its less rushed than using a test drive car to learn and less pressure to commit to it afterwards. I think its best to have some competency with a stick before test driving a car for purchase because not all cars are equal when it comes to how good the clutch or shifter are and you will be in a better position to evaluate that if you know the basics on how to operate them.

Here in Toronto I used a driving school called Shifters that exclusively taught how to drive a manual. After that I had the confidence to properly evaluate a car on a test drive. I know now I'd prefer driving a manual in all cases except if your commute to work is long and full of heavy traffic.
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      02-25-2013, 10:08 AM   #11
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Surprised at all the replies. I hope I don't have a bunch of people coming over to learn how to drive a stick on my car when I sell it. Its a test drive not a training course.
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      02-25-2013, 11:12 PM   #12

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A lot of community colleges hold cheap classes on how to learn a manual. Check your local CC listings.
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