The Advantages of Manual Transmissions

I really need to learn how to drive a stick after reading this.

It’s theft proof. :rofl:


I first learned how to drive with a 1993 Saturn SL, 5 speed transmission, in Casper Wyoming, in February. :rofl:

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I tried to learn decades ago but could never quite master it.

I have eye and hand coordination issues, and eventually gave up after a few decades of trying. My last attempt was a Nissan Pathfinder, which got wrecked by a drunk driver within a few months after purchase (he slammed into it with a Hyundai Tiburon while the truck was parked on the side of the road in front of my house). I could never master driving up a hill from a dead stop, killing the engine just about every time I tried.

Oh, well.

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You probably could’ve mapped out all of my favorite hangout spots and routes based on the amount of skid marks I left in the first 6 months of learning. :rofl:

My dad had a rather unique way of teaching me how to drive a stick shift. When I got old enough, he talked me into getting my CDL learner’s permit. Then he took me on a few of his trips over the summer (I was in college at the time). Then, somewhere in the southwest Texas desert, he pulled over and had me drive.

Let me tell you, after learning to drive a semi, other vehicles are much easier to handle. :rofl: :rofl:

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I learned on a 1987 Toyota 22R with a 4-speed and a jacked up clutch.

Well that’s not entirely true. I actually learned on an unsynchronized manual in a New Holland diesel tractor. But the Toyota was the first automobile I learned on.

I was about… 10 years old or so?

Had a love for manuals ever since. Out of all the vehicles I’ve owned all but three were manuals. The car I drive now is a manual. 2018 Honda Civic Si with a Six-speed.


I learned on a 1975 Honda Civic…took some time, but finally got it down.

Drove a work van that was 3 on the tree. Thank gawd I had a friend who had one, and I watched him drive…a few months before I got that job. It also had no rear windows…had to really up my game using only mirrors for lane changing and driving in reverse.

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The trick to easy hill starts is the “e-brake trick.”

You engage the E brake, start to ease off the clutch slightly, when you start to feel the “give” you disengage the e-brake. Keeps you from rolling backwards. You can also “feather” the clutch but that’s for more experienced drivers; when done wrong you can prematurely wear the clutch doing that.

My Civic Si has made me lazy. The car has a hill start assist feature. It holds the brakes for me automatically as I ease off of the clutch.

Frankly it’s the easiest car I’ve ever owned. The clutch is perfectly “weighted”, it has a delay valve in the slave cylinder so you don’t have to be precise with your take up, and the hill start assist.

My last Manual was a 2010 Toyota Matrix XRS 6 Speed that redlined at 8k RPM. 180hp for a small car. It was fun to drive.

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I’m also one of those weirdos who double clutch downshifts on a synchronized gearbox.

Left over habit from that New Holland since I wasn’t one to float gears; I just double clutched the upshifts and downshifts. You don’t have to double clutch a synchronized transmission but when done during down shifts it’s super smooth. You just rev match during the downshift.

I don’t do it on upshifts though. Pointless there.

Similar but for me the first time behind the wheel with a stick shift was an icy McDonald’s parking lot in Pittsburgh.


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God those were awesome little rides. I wish Toyota would have sold more of them; they’re a bit collectible now and aren’t cheap used buys anymore. They did have the Corolla sedan versions that are more common with the same powertrain. But the ones I find usually have way too many miles on them.

I’d say the most fun car I ever had was my 99 WS6 Trans Am with a six-speed. That was a seriously fun car to drive especially after I installed a short throw shifter.

Terrible for long drive commutes though. Car was horribly uncomfortable on usual southern highways; spring tension was way too tight to deal with our terrible roads. And for such a massive car it had the tiniest interior. My old Celica had more interior space. It was kind of claustrophobic driving it.

But it was fun since kicking the tail out was as easy as downshifting a gear and hitting the 5600rpm redline. And it was bullet proof reliable mechanically speaking. It nickel and dimed me constantly with interior pieces and stupid stuff breaking constantly (keeping the AC working in that car was a trial of frustration; I ended up replacing every AC related component on that car) but I never had engine, trans, or diff problems. The car took all the abuse I threw at it.

I miss her sometimes, but I got offered too much money to refuse.

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I miss driving a stick, been way too long. Did it pretty much all through my 20s.

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Fun Fact, the Pontiac Vibe was a sister version of the Matrix, and were built at NUMI, in Fremont CA. It was partnership between GM and Toyota. The VibeGT was the Matrix XRS version.

The NUMI factory is now where Teslas are built.

I used to work in Fremont…near the Tesla facility. Sometimes I would see close to 100 Teslas parked in parking lots of empty buildings, waiting to be shipped.

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I much prefer a manual bit the past 2 vehicles I’ve had are automatic, not necessarily by choice.

I had to take driver’s ed in an automatic, but drove a manual as a daily driver since I was 16 pretty much all the time after that. Not telling you how long that’s been. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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I have three cars, the one I drive the most is a manual. My first car was a manual. On typical cars I prefer automatic.


i drive manual

it takes abut two minutes to learn, but years to perfect


They quit putting them in the F150 sometime around 2008. Only in F250.

I preferred manual and you can always jump start on a grade.

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