Usishtuke sana mrembo, hii ni stick shift- thank you ¬ The Kansoul
There’s something so invigorating about driving stick shift or manual if you may. Although they aren’t as popular now, in days gone by your driving prowess was determined by how well you could handle a stick shift. Personally, I learnt how to drive using a stick shift, many years ago, you’d be surprised by how many. That’s beside the point.
Automatic cars do all the work for us now and at times you can feel a disconnect from your car.
Manual cars although amazing to drive take a bit of time to master. Unlike automatic cars, when driving a manual car, you need to be in full control, at all times. For one, you have to change/shift gears yourself. This means that you can pretend you are in a The Fast and Furious movie or better yet, you’re Collin McRae in the Safari Rally (google him!).
Unlike automatic cars, manuals have 3 pedals namely the clutch, brake and accelerator. They are also found in that order, the main purpose of the clutch is to enable the driver to change gears.
Funny story, the car I used as a learner had a faulty clutch, so I had to be extremely violent with it in order to change gears. Most clutches need a bit of a nudge compared to the other pedals.
The brake and accelerator serve the same function as in automatic cars.
Now let’s get into ‘the dance’, this is the act is using all three pedals when driving. How your feet move for the clutch to the brake to the accelerator is usually described as ‘the dance’. In order to learn how best to juggle these three pedals, you need a practical demonstration and lots of practice!
Key points to remember is that the clutch needs to be engaged to change gears. Always ease off the clutch, if you do it too quickly the car will turn off. A simple trick to remember, is ‘clutch-break car on’ and ‘break-clutch car off’. Like I said, this description would be better off it was practically demonstrated. (YouTube is great at this, check it out!)
The biggest challenge for most new users of manual cars is starting it. But once you’ve mastered that the rest is quite easy to grasp.
Personally, manual cars are my favourite. I feel more in tune with my car. The downside is that it’s quite tiresome when driving, particularly over long distances, and will end up being even more of a horror story if you’re stuck on a hill or on traffic. Manual cars plus hills, different WhatsApp group.
So as you join a driving school and face your first manual car, don’t worry, those three pedals are your friends. They make driving fun.