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Learn how to start driving a manual car in low-density traffic.

How To Start Driving A Manual Car :: Lesson #3



Closed Caption


Hi there smart drivers, Rick with Smart Drive Test.

Talking to you today about: How to drive a manual transmission.

This is lesson three.

I went over lesson 1 and lesson 2, and if you haven't seen those lessons already, have a look down in the description box, I will leave them down there.

As well, I will leave them on cards up in the corner here.

So make sure you have a look at lesson 1 and lesson 2.

Lesson one, we went over clutch control, and we isolated the clutch, and we just worked with the clutch.

There were two exercises: One with the parking brake on, and just bringing it the clutch pedal out to the friction point...finding that biting point in the clutch.

Lessons 1 & 2

The second exercise for lesson one, was to bring it out through the friction zone, controlling the clutch, and getting the vehicle started in first and reverse gear.

Because, as I said again and again, first and reverse gear in a manual transmission are your toughest gears.

In the second lesson we went over combining the clutch with the throttle.

So you bring the clutch up to the friction point, hold the brake with your right foot, hold the clutch, take your foot off the brake and then move it to the throttle, and then throttle up a little bit, and then bring it out and accelerate, and move the vehicle forward.

So we did that.

As well, in first and reverse, and we throttled up and then stopped and then did it again.

We did that 20 or 30 times.

And then, the last exercise was to combine the clutch with the brake.

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And, we brought it down to about a thousand rpm, and then we pushed the clutch in.

And you don't have to push the clutch in right away when you're slowing down.

So, that was lesson one and lesson two.

And again, you can find that down in the description box.

So, what we're going to do today--Very exciting!--today we're actually going to shift the gears.

We're going to move from first to second to third and fourth and fifth.

If we get out on the road today.

And, so, the other thing that I would think about--just before you get started on this lesson - Go out someplace strategic...

think about where you're going to go.

So, you're going to start out in a parking lot, shifting the gears and getting comfortable with it.

And, then you're going to move out onto the roadway.

So you want to move out somewhere that's fairly flat and there isn't a lot of traffic.

So, right now, I'm in a residential area there's a dead end street; there isn't any other traffic around, except the residential traffic.

So, think about that - where you're going to go.

So it's just some place you can practice shifting first, second, and third.

And you're not going to be out in busy traffic and those types of things.

So think about, strategically, where you're going to go.

You might even take somebody else with you, so they can watch the other traffic, while you're working on your shifting.

And then, that way you're not distracted from what you're working on.

You're just focusing on shifting the gears.

So that's what we're going to do today...

We're going to fire up the cameras, take you for a drive and show you how to shift through the gears.

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

Hi there smart drivers, Rick with Smart Drive Test.

Talking to you today about shifting a manual transmission.

Yes! Today we're going to get out of first & reverse.

If you haven't seen lesson one and lesson 2, have a look down in the description box there.

And make sure you that you do the exercises in lesson one and lesson two.

And really learn a clutch control.

Because, once you learn clutch control, this part of shifting the gears, to second and third and fourth, is going to be fairly straightforward, because you're done the hard work, you've learned clutch control, you've trained the big muscles in the leg to do that fine motor control.

Owner's Manual

Now, before you even get started, dig out your owners manual.

Whether your owner's manuals in paper form, which is this one is, because this is an old truck, it's a 1998 honda CR-V.

If you get a newer vehicle, 2005 and newer, it's probably going to be in electronic form, it's going to be a PDF that they gave you on a memory stick, or it'll be on the vehicle manufacturers website.

You'll be able to find that information.

Or, if you've got a newer vehicle that has telematics on the dash, it's even going to be accessible on the telematics on the dash.

And, there will be a section in your owner's manual on manual transmissions.

And this gives you some general information about manual transmissions that use the transmission to help slow the vehicle on steep downgrades.

Especially if you're pulling trailers and those types of things.

As well, it will give you the speeds that you need for: When to shift the gears between first and second.

How Do You Know When to Shift

Now this vehicle:

1) It says 15 miles an hour, first to second;

2) 24 kilometres an hour, second to third;

3) 25 miles an hour or 40 kilometers an hour; third to fourth is 40 miles an hour, 65 kilometers an hour.

4) And fourth to fifth is 50 miles per hour, or 80 kilometers an hour.

Maximum Shifting Speeds

And, the other thing that's kind of fun in this manual here, it tells you what the maximum speed is that you should be travelling in the different gears:

1) First gear at 30 miles an hour, 48 kilometers an hour for a maximum speed.

2) Second is 54 miles an hour, or 86 kilometers an hour.

3) Third is 78 miles per hour, or 125 kilometers an hour.

4) And then fourth is 98 miles per hour, or 156 kilometers an hour, which is 100 miles an hour.

Now, just keep in mind that that is redlining! You are mashing down in that throttle, you are really kicking it! So, today's lesson, no, we're not going to be doing a maximum revs.

Now, I'll give you an easier way than having to remember all those speeds to shift the gears.

Easier Way to Know When to Shift

Petrol or Gas Engine

On this vehicle, this is a two liter engine, it's a small 4-cylinder: You shift between 2,500 and 3,000 rpm.

Now, if you're driving a petrol engine, and you're trying to get speed up, you're trying to merge onto a highway, or something to that effect where you need lots of speed, yes, you can bring your RPMs up higher, 3,000, 4,000 RPM, even 5,000 rpm if you're in a real hurry, you can punch it out.

Diesel Engine

If you're driving a diesel engine, a small 4-cylinder diesel engine: you're probably going to bring it up 1,200-1,500 RPM to shift.

Now, the bigger the diesel engine is, if you've got a 3,000 rpm, you can shift at a lower rpm, because bigger diesel engines create more torque, so therefore you can shift them at a lower rpm.

Fomula for Fuel Economy In a Manual Car

Now, keep in mind for a manual transmission, to get the best fuel economy that you want: You want the highest gear for the lowest rev.

It doesn't matter what kind of vehicle you're driving, whether it's a petrol engine, a diesel engine, a big truck, a bus: The highest gear for the lowest rpm; That's where you're going to get your maximum fuel economy.

Now, the other thing I'll tell you about maximum fuel economy, is to: Get through the gears as quickly as possible.

So that's the other way that you can get maximum fuel economy.

Now, just one other note, before you get started here on this exercise of shifting the gears...

Think of someplace strategic you can start out in, start out in a parking lot, and in some place that it's going to run out onto a roadway where it's going to be fairly flat, and there isn't going to be a lot of traffic around.

That way, you'll be able to just focus on shifting the gears, you won't have to focus on other traffic.

And, the other thing I might suggest is maybe you know, take a mate with you, or somebody else who can you know not talk to you and be quiet.

Who can watch the traffic around you, and you can focus in on just shifting the gears.

Think About Where to Practice

So, think strategically about where you're going to start out, and those types of things.

Certainly do not start out in high-density traffic and trying to shift the gears! Yes, you have your clutch control, and those types of things, but you want to have a fairly quiet place, to be able to practice shifting the gears between first and second, third and fourth.

Now, the other thing that I'll say, and this will come with practice is: The lower the gear, the less Rev you need, whether it's a petrol or diesel engine.

And, as you pick up the gears you need higher revs, you need more and more revs, but that will come with experience.

Practice Shifting a Manual Car

The other thing is, is after a week or two of driving, you'll begin to hear the engine, and know how the engine sounds, and how the vehicle feels, as it revs up, so you won't have to watch the tachometer as much to shift the gears.

And, one other thing that we will show you how to do, is to shift down in the transmission, to turn corners and those types of things.

Now, most of the time you're going to shift down in preparation for a corner.

On a right-hand turn, you're going to shift down to second.

On a left-hand turn, you're going to shift down to third.

It depends on the gearing in the transmission.

The gearing in these Honda's, between 1998 and 2003, tended to be a bit lower.

So, they tend to not go as fast in a gear comparable in a different vehicle.

So, it's going to vary a little bit on the vehicle that you're in.

But, just take note that this is going to be a bit simpler, but for the beginning, if you got a small petrol engine like I do here, four cylinder, a two liter, around the 2-liter mark, you're going to shift about 2,500-3,000 RPM.

So, what we're gonna do here, we're going to fire up the cameras go for a drive.

And, we'll show you how to shift the vehicle.

Stick around.

Friction Point & Freeplay

So, just a couple of things before we get started.

The one thing that I have neglected to mention up to this point, is: The Free Play.

The free play is the top little bit of the clutch.

So you come out to the friction point.

The friction point is where the two plates come together, and they start to grab, called the friction point or the biting point is that it's sometimes referred to, it's when the two plates come together and the vehicle starts to move forward when you have it in gear.

The friction zone is where the two plates completely move from enough friction for the vehicle to start to move, to where the plates come into complete contact.

At the top of the clutch there's a little bit there, that it doesn't really do anything: That's the free play.

And, you'll notice that when you start working with this you'll figure out the friction zone; Which part of the top, sort of third part of the clutch is the friction zone, that whole zone were the two plates contact, and then completely are in full contact, then there is a bit of the clutch, at the top, called the free play.

So, when you start shifting gears, you're going to come out through the friction zone, and then you can just kind of dump that last little bit, like half an inch or so on the free play.

But that will come with experience, as you get more experience driving a manual transmission, you'll figure out where the friction zone is in the clutch.

And, you'll teach your legs kinesthetic memory, it'll teach the muscle memory to figure out where that is, especially if you start driving the same vehicle all the time.

Shift pattern

First and second are to the left of the transmission, regardless of whether you're driving on the left or right side of the vehicle.

If you're on the left, as I am, you're going to pull it towards you for first and second.

If you're on the right side of the vehicle, you're going to push it towards first and second.

Now third and fourth, you just put it into neutral, where the transmission is in neutral, and just let it go to its natural resting position, push it straight forward for third.

So, when you come out of second to third, you don't have to *struggle*.


You just bump it straight forward out of second into neutral, and then push it straight forward, it'll go into third, because its natural resting position is between third and fourth.

And again, the shifting pattern, have a look at lesson one, and the shifting pattern is there.

The motion for shifting gears, after you get out of first gear, first to second, second to third, third to fourth, fourth to fifth: Wax on, wax off.

So, after you get out of first and reverse, you're not going to use the clutch and the throttle together anymore.

You can a little bit, but for the most part, you want to get right off the clutch before you step on the throttle.

So, it's off the throttle, push the clutch in, shift the gear, and then out to the friction point, control it through the zone, that friction zone, where the two plates come together, all the way off the clutch, then step on the throttle.

That way, you're going to prolong the life of your clutch, you're not going to wear out your clutch.

And, if you look at the downshifting video, which I'll also put down in the description here for you, you don't want to use a $15,000 drive train to save $400 brakes.

The brakes are cheap, so use the brakes, don't shift down to try and slow the vehicle.

And again, look at that video down in the description.

So, wax on, wax off: If the clutch is in, the throttle is off.

If the throttle is on, the clutch should be out, as much as possible.

So, try and come through that friction zone, and get your foot off the clutch as quickly as possible.

Coordinating the Accelerator and Clutch When Shifting

And, you'll see that, when I'm working the clutch and the throttle, as we go ahead here and start driving and shifting gears - Wax on, wax off - clutch is on, clutch is off.

Ok, the two do not work in tandem, you can't have them like this, it won't work.

And, make sure you when you push the clutch in, you got your foot off the throttle.

And, you'll probably make this mistake once or twice when you first start, that you'll keep your foot on the throttle, you got to take your foot off the throttle, then push the clutch in.

Because, once you disconnect those two plates, the motor is just going to rev, if you keep your foot on the throttle, you only do it once or twice, if you make that mistake.

So, wax on wax off: Clutch on, throttle off.

Throttle on, clutch off, ok? Works like this, it's easier to see the hand motions, than me try to explain it to you.

Tuck the Truck

Last bit, you'll see Tuck The Truck, here on the hood, we've replaced the piece of paper, and Tuck The Truck is here, and his name is Tuck, because it rhymes with truck.

And, he's fastened to the hood with duct tape.

So, say hi Tuck! Tuck says hi, and his job is to show you where the center of the hood is, in the lane.

So, that's that's Tuck The Truck.

So we're going to get going here and show you how to shift a manual transmission.

Alright, so, we're in first gear, we got the clutch in, put on the brake, parking brake on, as I said, we're in a residential area.

There, I'll turn the wipers on for you, so you can see out the front windshield.

Getting Started Driving

Ok, parking brake on.

So, we put our foot on the brake, hold the clutch in, parking brake off, clutch out to the friction point, we can see the tachometer start to set down, and we bring our foot off the brake.

A little bit of throttle, we don't need much throttle because we're going down hill.

Shoulder check, 2,500 rpm, push the clutch in, pull the selector down.

Ok, 2,500, push the clutch in, up to third.

We have a pedestrian, as you can see, we shifted down to second, we moved back over to the other side of the road.

A big bump there, so we're not shifting up.

And, there's a stop sign in front of us, so we're going to turn left, onto the service road, and the service road will allow us to practice our shifting.

So on the brake, thousand rpm, come to where the two roads meet, and come to a complete stop, and we shift back to first gear.

Check the traffic, nobody coming, ok, hold the brake, out to friction point...

I just about screwed that up.

Out to the friction point, a little bit of throttle, out on the clutch, 2,000rpm, in on the clutch, down to second.

2,000 rpm, clutch, up to third, slow down here.

And, we're going to stop and we're going to start again.

So, push the clutch in, brake, back to first, off, clutch out to the friction point, hold the brake, right there, off the brake, throttle, and we go...

Over the little bump here, okay, up to 2500 rpm, clutch in, shift to second, clutch out.

Control through the friction point, get your foot off the clutch as soon as possible.

2,500 rpm, push the clutch in, off the throttle, up to third, clutch all the way out, and then step on the throttle.


So, we bring it down to a thousand rpm, brake, push the clutch in, stop, complete stop, push it back to first.

Into first gear, out to the friction point, off the brake, throttle -- a little bit of throttle.

Throttle up, 2,500 rpm, clutch in, off the throttle, into second, all the way off the clutch and throttle up, 2500 rpm, clutch, off the throttle, clutch out, on the throttle.

2,500 rpm, clutch in, off the throttle, down to fourth, and we stop.

Down to a thousand rpm, brake, push the clutch in, come to a complete stop.

Back to first, out to the friction point, off the brake, throttle, out on the clutch, throttle up, off the throttle in with the clutch, down to second, out on the clutch, all the way out, control it through the friction point, up to third.

And we are out of road....

Brake down to a thousand, push it into the clutch, all the way in, come to a complete stop...

And we're just going to turn around here.

So, into first, shoulder check.

Okay, brake, into reverse, hold the break, out to the friction point...

You heard it rattle there a little bit, I let the clutch out a little bit too quick without getting a throttle.

Back to first, out to the friction point, off the brake.

Okay...Throttle up, 2,500, in, off the throttle, all the way out on the clutch, 2,500 push the clutch in, off the throttle, out on the clutch, all the way out, step on the throttle.

And it's the same thing, is you come right out through that friction point, then step on the throttle, try and get your foot off the throttle as quickly as possible.

So, we're scanning the intersection, there's nobody in the intersection we'll go down that side road when we come back.

Okay, and you can see we're doing 2,000 rpm, we're in third gear and we're doing 40 kilometers an hour, which is about...

20 miles an hour, I had to look at the speedometer.

Now, I've got a vehicle coming, so I'm going to stop, and I don't have to shift down, just brake.

Back to first, out to the friction point, a little bit of throttle, shoulder checking, in with the clutch, down to second, off the throttle, all the way out on the clutch, and step on the throttle.

2,500, clutch, off the throttle, out on the clutch, and we throttle.

And we're coming into the bump again...

Nice and easy, we're in the third gear, you can see it's going down to about 1,200 rpm.

And I didn't give it any brake, I just let it slow down, and it recovered again from that.

So, as long as it's up 1,200-1,500, it'll still take off again in third gear.

Okay, so, we're going to brake here and we're going to turn around, we're going to do another three-point turn.

So, we're right down around a thousand rpm, brake, clutch into first, out to the friction point, a little bit of throttle, all the way around...

In with the clutch, brake, into reverse, looking behind us, out to the friction point off a little bit of throttle, control the clutch.

You don't need to bring it all the way out for this one, because you need to feather the clutch because you want to go slow.

In with the clutch, back to first, out to the friction point, a little bit of throttle, move the steering wheel.

Ok, we need to back up one more time.

Friction point, a little bit of throttle.

And, again, you don't need to bring it all the way out, you have to feather the clutch.

And back to first, out to the friction point little bit of throttle, and we go, okay.

2500, clutch in, off the throttle, all the way out.

...And we go...

Okay, and again we've got the bump up here.

So we're going to go nice and slow, we're in third gear, and again it's 1,500 RPM, it's doing 30 kilometers an hour which is...

18.6 miles an hour.

Okay, another bump, we just take your foot off the throttle we just work the throttle, you can see that I don't have my foot on the clutch.

Okay, and we're going to turn left up here at this road that I saw up here, as it looked like a good road to practice shifting up on.

Right here, not a through road, so we'll just go down there, and then I'll show you a little bit of straight stretch out on in traffic, okay.

Okay, in with the clutch, down to second, out on the clutch, little bit of throttle, and we proceed.

Up to 2,500, off the throttle, in with the clutch, all the way out on the clutch, and throttle.

So, you can see how easy this is, once you get past first.

2,500, down to fourth, off the clutch, onto the throttle.

You can see that we're zooming along here pretty good in fourth gear, we're right up to 50 kilometers an hour.

So, around town 50 kilometers an hour, 30 miles an hour, you are going to do fourth gear.

So, we can see we're running out of road here, and we're just going to do...

So, down to a thousand RPM, in.

Fourth to Second Gear

And, we're in fourth, we can come right back to second.

Out on the clutch, and second is good for this cul-de-sac to come around.

And that will come with a bit of experience, what the gears are that you need.

But, again, you can look at the chart, in your owner's manual, that will tell you the approximate speeds.


Shifting a manual transmission, lesson number 3.

We didn't get out on the road today, because the video is just going to get too long, and I wanted to try and keep it short, to just show you how to shift the gears.

So, we went over the basic principles of shifting the gears.

And, the first rule of shifting the gears is -- Wax on, wax off -- Right.

When you push the clutch in, you take foot off the throttle.

When you let the clutch out, you push back on the throttle.

The only time that you're going to give it a little bit of throttle and clutch, at the same time, is first and reverse gear.

After that, when you shift to second, all the way out on the clutch, or at least most of the way out on the clutch, and then give it a bit of throttle.

Same thing with second to third, all the way out on the clutch, then give it throttle so it's Wax on, wax off: One's on, one's off.

The only time that you're going to work the two together: First and Reverse.

Otherwise, try and get your foot off the clutch as quickly as possible, and put your left foot beside the clutch.

That way, you're not riding the clutch, because you'll wear the clutch out.

So, we went over shifting.

We went over looking at the owners manual, for the different speeds that you're going to be attaining in the different gears: First, second, third and fourth.

And a five-speed if you're driving a 5-speed.

Now, as I said in the introduction, five speeds are going to be, the fifth gear, rather, is going to be your overdrive gear.

Six is going to be your overdrive gear as well, as if you're out on the highway and those sorts of things.

So, small petrol engine, four cylinder, you are going to be shifting around 2,500-3,000 rpm.

If you're driving a diesel engine, small diesel engine 4-cylinder, you're probably going to be shifting around 12 or 1,500 rpm.

And, again look in your owner's manual, it'll give you the information.

And, you'll get some practice.

So, again, when you go out and practice, and start shifting gears: Be strategic about where you go to be able to shift gears.

Work in a quiet area, that way you can work on just shifting gears.

And, I promise, the next lesson, we'll get out on the roadway, and I'll show you how to drive around in traffic, and stop lights, and those sorts of things.

And, as well, we'll probably get into hill starts.

I might even have a whole lesson, just on doing hill starts, to show you how to do that, so you're not going to roll back, for the purposes of a road test.

Especially for those of you taking a manual transmission for your road test, and we'll show you how not to roll back on a hill start, and do that successfully, because you can't roll back on a road test, because, unfortunately, that's an automatic fail on a road test, if you roll backwards.

Shift pattern, if you needed some review on the shift pattern, go to the first lesson.

And again, first and second lesson are down there, in the description box, or up here in the corner, on the cards.

You can find those, and the shift pattern is in the first lesson.

So, have a look at that, if you were having some difficulty shifting through the gears, in your 5-speed transmission.

Question for my smart drivers:

Do you have any exercises for new drivers learning to drive a manual transmission?

Leave a comment down in the comment section there, all of that helps out the new drivers.

I'm Rick, with Smart Drive Test, thank you very much for watching.

If you like what you see here: Share, subscribe, leave a comment, down in the comment section.

As well, hit that thumbs button.

Check out all the videos here on the channel, if you're working towards the license or starting your career is a truck or bus driver, lots of great information here.

As well head over to our website, good information over there, and tremendous online courses that you can purchase.

And, we're releasing Air Brakes Simplified in May 2017, it's the new e-book that we're going to release.

It's must know information, that you need to know to start the careers of truck or bus driver, need-to-know information to get your CDL license.

The exact questions, and information that you're going to be asked on the CDL license, to pass the air brake component of a commercial license.

So, look for that in May 2017.

Thanks again for watching.

I'm Rick with Smart Drive Test, good luck on your license.

And remember: Pick the best answer, not necessarily the right answer.

Have a great day, bye now.


...A little bit of experience, I don't even look at the tachometer anymore, but you need to look at the tachometer when you're starting...

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