If you’ve got a kid or a friend who wants to learn how to drive stick, here’s a simple way to explain the process.
If you've been driving stick for awhile, chances are someone's asked you to teach them how to do it as well. It might sound like a daunting task, but this quick video explainer from Wyatt Knox at the Team O'Neil Rally School is a good template for teaching how to drive manual quickly and effectively.
Unlike a lot of other long-winded stick-shift how-to videos, Knox doesn't really waste any time explaining how a manual transmission works. He says people new to sticks should adjust themselves to having to use their left leg to depress the clutch, and understand its relation to shifting gears. Then, he goes straight into getting the car moving, demonstrating you don't need to actually use any gas to set off. From there, he incorporates the gas pedal into the equation for faster starts, and then, graduates to shifting gears on the move. All of this is done in the span of five minutes.
If you're planning on teaching someone how to drive stick, this is a great outline to follow.
The Team O'Neil YouTube channel also uploaded a quick video on how to handle hill starts in a manual transmission. Setting off from a stop on an incline is one of the hardest things to learn in a stick-shift car, but using the handbrake to keep you in place is a clever trick that can save you trouble, if you know how to do it right. Check it out here:
This article, originally published November 13th, 2018, has been updated to include a video from Team O'Neil covering hill starts.
By Brian Silvestro ~ Jan 15, 2020