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DON'T FREAK OUT! Stalling a manual car is going to happen; learn how to get going again.

How to Never Stall a Manual Car Driving in Traffic


Closed Caption


• Never stall a manual car by learning clutch control. Go to lesson #1 to master clutch control in a manual car.

• Manual cars stall when taking off because the drivers releases the clutch too fast (dumping the clutch) and the engine cannot meet the demand and stalls.

• Stalling the engine in a manual car is NOT bad for the vehicle, so long as it's not done 8 or 10 times every day.

• First and reverse are the hardest gears to master in a manual car and it is in these gears that you will most often stall the engine.

• You may stall the engine when in traffic if you forget to shift back to first gear when stopped, or the incorrect gear to match the speed when you slow.

• The car may also stall on a hill if the gear is too high and you fail to shift down to a low gear where the engine can meet the demands to move the vehicle forward.

• If hill starts are not done correctly, you could also stall the engine.

• When you do stall the engine...PAUSE. Push in the clutch. Switch the ignition switch off. Restart the engine. Recheck that the transmission is in 1st gear. Proceed.


Hi there smart drivers.

Rick with Smart Drive Test talking to you today about stalling a manual transmission vehicle.

Yes, eventually it's going to happen.

Now before we get started here, if you're working towards a license or starting your career as a truck or bus driver, be sure to hit that subscribe button and get all the great videos that will ensure that you pass your license test.

Now stalling a manual transmission vehicle.

In the last video we did lesson #4, I actually stalled the vehicle and actually I was going to edit that bit out, but in post-production there I thought that I should leave it in.

So I did and I got a comment from toddler in diaper--yes that's the username--and he said that he didn't feel so bad about himself after I actually left that in.

And so what I thought I would do was give you more explanation about how to actually get the vehicle going.

It's just a matter of pushing the clutch onto the floor, turning the key to the off position, turn it back on, and restart the vehicle and just get going again.

Really what is important is knowing that it's not a matter of if it's going to happen, it's a matter when it's going to happen.

And just to practice, you know, a couple of times in the parking lot.

Dump the clutch, push the clutch in, turn the key off, turn it back on, start the vehicle and get it going again.

But don't panic, don't get pressured by other vehicles on the roadway because we all know the pressures of social driving.

So just take a breath, push the clutch in, turn it off, turn it back on, and get going again as quickly and expediently as possible.

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

Stall the vehicle and get it going again and show you how to get going after you make the mistake of doing that.

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

[INTRO & MUSIC] Hi there smart drivers.

Welcome back.

Rick with Smart Drive Test talking to you today about what you do if you stall the vehicle either by dumping the clutch or having it in the wrong gear when you're driving.

It's not a huge deal.

Most vehicles, you just push the clutch back in, turn it to the start position - start it again, or push the button and it will start.

It's not a huge deal.

Now take a moment because it's going to to take five to ten seconds.

And when you're sitting in an intersection and people are behind you.

And I stalled it - there you go.

Just start it back up, check to make sure we're in first gear--always check to make sure you're in the right gear because a lot of times you might have stalled it because you were in the wrong gear because you didn't switch back to first gear.

You left it in third or whatnot.

So you just need to check that you're in the correct gear when you stall it.

Because that's a leading cause other than dumping the clutch.

[CHUCKLING] The other reason that you may stall the vehicle is because you're in a new vehicle, you're not used to it, or you've moved from a diesel engine to a petrol engine.

And petrol engines are far less forgiving, because you've got to bring it up to the friction point, give it a bit of throttle.

And if you don't give it a bit of throttle, you're going to stall it - especially the smaller petrol engines.

It might be a bit more forgiving if you've got a V8 or whatnot, but the most part if you move from a diesel engine that has a lots and lots of torque to small petrol engines you can have some challenges.

But for the most part it's not a huge deal.

If you're doing hill start,s you might be more prone to stall it on hill start.

I have had students stall large 500 horsepower diesel engines on a hill, which you know, takes a bit of skill to be able to do that.

So we're just waiting right here and then we'll go around here.

There's nobody behind us.

Now there's a vehicle coming up behind us.

We're waiting for the gap here.

I guess I'll move up here a little bit and put the front tires on the front cross walk line right there.

Now we're ready to go if there's a gap or we can meet the gap.

It looks like there's a gap coming here, so we could meet the gap here and then we can turn left.

Yes, meeting the gap here.

Here we go.

Into second gear; turning the corner.

And usually, the only time that you're going to stall the vehicle is if you're starting from a dead stop.

It's unlikely if the vehicles is rolling that you're going to stall it.

You might have it in too high of a gear, like if you put it in fifth gear, for example.

It's going to rattle and roll and you're like, "oh wait a minute? Something's wrong." And then you pick the right gear and it'll take off.

So I put it in fifth gear and you can hear it rattling and chunking along there.

Of it's not sort of running smoothly, you know there's something wrong.

You've got too high of a gear or whatnot.

So that's another thing.

If you do stall it, make sure that you check to make sure that you're in the right gear.

Okay, we left it in second here.

And see I stalled it.

So that's pretty common.

You start it back up, make sure you're in first gear, and then take off again.

So that's the first thing.

The next thing you do when you stall it is make sure that you're in the correct gear.

Because a lot of times you won't be.

So we're uphill - give it throttle.

Check the tracks and we continue.

And again, you can't shift on railway crossings if you're driving a manual transmission regardless of class of license.

So always go all the way over the track with the entire vehicle before your shift the gears on a hill start.

Okay, so that gives you some idea of some of the reasons why you might stall the vehicle.

And if you do stall the vehicle, it's not a huge deal, just push the clutch in, check to make sure you're in first gear and restart the vehicle.

Quick review of stalling the vehicle when you're learning to drive a manual transmission or if you're moving into a different vehicle or you're just not paying attention it will happen.

As I said in the introduction, it's not a matter of if it's going to happen, it's a matter of when it's going to happen.

Because even veteran drivers like myself will stall a manual transmission at intersections or those types of things.

The important part is to take a breath, try not to panic, just turn the key to the off position, push the clutch in, restart the motor, and get it going as quickly as possible.

And if you are at an intersection, make sure you scan the intersection to look for your gap and get a good space to pull out into if you did miss your gap.

Because sometimes that three or four seconds it takes you to get the vehicle going again - it's going to cause you to lose your gap.

And if other vehicles behind you honk and that type of thing, just take a breath, try to relax and don't get too panicked about it because you just want to try and get the vehicle going again as expediently as possible.

Question for my smart drivers: what is your experience stalling a manual transmission? Leave a comment down in the comment section there.

All of that helps of the new drivers learning how to drive a manual transmission.

If you like what you see here share, subscribe, leave comment down in the comment section.

As well, hit that thumbs up button.

Check out all the videos here on the channel if you're working towards your license or starting your career as a truck or bus driver.

Lots of great information here.

As well, head over to the Smart Drive Test website.

Awesome information over there, and tremendous online courses that you can purchase.

Later this month, we're bringing out "Air Brakes Explained Simply" It's an air brake manual that updates the 40-year-old air brake manuals that are currently in circulation in North America.

As well, it gives you step-by-step instructions to pass both your theory and your practical examination for your air brakes for truck, bus, or RV unit.

And as well, it gives you at least 150 air brake questions that you will be asked on a theory exam.

I'm Rick with Smart Drive Test.

Thanks very much for watching.

Good luck on your license.

And remember pick the best answer not necessarily the right answer.

Have a great day.

Bye Now Aaaand, have you ever tried to start the motor when it's already going as I did there? In crashes and what to do in the event of a crash is complement...

is for - not complement...

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ricksdt's Avatar
ricksdt replied the topic: #110 1 month 1 week ago
Happy to hear we could help out my friend. Drop us a note if you have further questions. Cheers Rick
noway's Avatar
noway replied the topic: #109 1 month 1 week ago
I remember trying to drive a manual when I was about 16-18 years old up a hill. It was horrific. I had terrible anxiety and I didn't know what I was doing and my teacher sucked. I just remember being terrified to turn the engine off and go through the steps above. I remember envisioning the car sliding down the hill and exploding. Regardless, I will take the tips I learned here today, should I ever drive a manual transmission again.

Be Well,

Ryan Owner of www.pittbus.com

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