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Learn the parts of the car and how to get it going.

Your Very First Driving Lesson; What You Need to Know


Closed Caption

Updated May 2022


- Hi there smart drivers, Rick with Smart Drive Test.

Today we're going to talk to you about the controls that you need to know how to get the vehicle moving for your first lessons steering wheel, transmission brake throttle, and how to adjust your seat.

After you adjust the seat, learn the transmission, and start the car, drive in a parking lot.

Stick around, we'll be right back with that information.

Welcome back, talking today about the controls that you need to know for your first driving lessons so you can get going, start practicing in preparation for passing your driver's test.

Adjusting the Steering Wheel


So steering wheel, you need to adjust the steering wheel, most steering wheels on late model cars in this day and age are going to have a tilt, so they're going to be able to move up and down.

Most steering wheels on modern cars will have a tilt feature.

Generally what I recommend for new students is to have the top of the steering wheel at the top of the instrument panel.

That way you can have good view of the instrument panel.

The steering wheels turn one and a half in each direction for full turns.

For most right turns, you're going to turn one revolution.

Most turns on curves and corners, you're going to turn it about it a quarter of a turn, that's how much you work the steering wheel.

Almost all steering wheels on cars will turn one-and-one-half revolutions for full turns left and right.

Adjusting the Driver's Seat Correctly


The seat, put your foot underneath the brake pedal on the floor, and then adjust it so you're back and forth, so you have a slight bend in the knee and you can comfortably reach the throttle and the brake.

The back of the seat, adjust it forwards and backwards.

There's a lever down here.

Put both hands on the steering wheel, and adjust the back of the seat so you have a nice bend in the elbow here.


The seat belt comes across and pull it further than you need it, hold the bottom piece, clip it in, and then pull the shoulder strap tight.

Make sure the bottom piece is across your hips, and the angle strap is across your shoulder.

The car must be at a complete stop with your foot on the brake to put the transmission into reverse.

If this is cutting into your neck, there's an adjustment here that you can move it up and down on the side of the car here.

Head restraint, it's not a headrest, it's not some place to rest your head.

At minimum, the top of this should be at the top of your ears all right.

And again, you should be 10 inches or 25 centimeters from the steering wheel.

In the event of air bag deployment, be as far away from the steering wheel as you can and still have control of the car.

For some of you that are going to be short, you're going to be a little bit closer.

But try and get as far as away as you can, to keep yourself safe in the event of a collision.

Starting the Car's Engine

Next thing we want to do, key is in the ignition or you might have a push start with a key fob.

You have to put your foot on the brake pedal for the vehicle's engine to start.

To start the car's engine you must have your foot on the brake and the transmssion in park or neutral.

Put your foot on the brake pedal and turn the ignition key--hold it approximately two seconds until the engine starts.

Release the key

The parking brake is on.

Engaging the Transmission

PRINDLE - Park, Reverse, Neutral, Drive and Low

The way that we put it into gear - the transmission:

  • hold it;
  • click the button on the front of the selector;
  • pull it back;
  • as soon as you put pressure on it let go on the button and pull it all the way down it will stop in drive.

Park, reverse, and drive are the gears you'll need to get started on your first driving lesson.

And for the purposes of getting going, you only need to know park, reverse, neutral, and drive.

It's NOT "R" for race, on an automatic transmission. 😜

So drive is forward, neutral is the vehicle is not going to move, and if you just push this forward, the the gear selector will stop at Neutral.

It will not go into reverse.

When you put the transmission into reverse, the backup camera will come on automatically.

And if you want to go into reverse you have to push the button on the front again.

When you go into reverse, be sure that the vehicle is stopped and you have your foot on the brake pedal.

And then into reverse.

And on newer cars you're going to have a backup camera and the backup camera will come on automatically when you put it into reverse.

So we're getting ready to go, we've got the parking brake on, you have to put the parking brake on every time you park the vehicle for the purposes of your driving test.

Start doing that right from the beginning, push the release button.

Put the transmission into park, and apply the parking brake every time you park the vehicle.

As soon as you put pressure on the transmission on the selector, let go of the button, pull it down, it stops in drive.

Getting Ready to Drive


You're still holding the foot brake, now release the parking brake, it's either going to be on the floor and you push it in and it'll release or it's a handheld one, and you'll put that down.

So now we're in drive, got your foot on the brake pedal.

And now two hands on the steering wheel looking in the direction we want to go and we work the throttle (accelerator).

When you start driving, wear comfortable shoes (trainers or running shoes) to have the best contact with the pedals.

The vehicle will move forward.

One foot is going to work both the throttle and the brake.

Work with the ball of your foot, so make sure the heel of your foot is on the floor.

Wear have comfortable shoes.

Runners, trainers and those types of things.

Don't try and wear high heels or some crazy heavy work boot or what not.

When the steering wheel is adjusted properly, you should be able to have clear view of the instrument panel.

Wear trainers or running shoes, and then work the throttle with the ball of your foot or the toes and just kind of put your toes like that and then work the throttle and have the heel on the thing.

And then you don't move your heel to work the brake pedal, you just rotate your foot to the left and apply the brake pedal.

So it should be pivoting on throttle with the ball of your foot, and then when you want to apply the brake, you don't lift your foot out, just move it across and apply the brake and then back to the throttle.

You CANNOT two-foot drive, for the purposes of a driving test.

Put the foot on the brake the vehicle will come to a stop.

Working with pylons in a parking lot doing slow-speed maneuvers is the best start when learning to drive.

And the reverse for stopping, put it into park all the way into park you're still holding the foot brake, apply the parking brake and now the vehicle is secure, you can turn it off.

So first lesson in a parking lot or low density traffic steering wheel, automatic transmission, throttle the brake, the parking brake, your seat belt and adjusting your seat.

Stick around to the end for funny bits, for another video click here, to subscribe click here and remember, pick the best answer, not necessarily the right answer.

Have a great day, bye now.


Seatbelt, you're going to adjust the seatbelt, get going here, comes across, this be so much easier if I didn't have to pee.

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