What to Avoid When Driving a Standard

Alberto Ramirez
by Alberto Ramirez

Alberto is an aspiring nutritionist (and soon to be culinary student) with a serious addiction to bacon, wine, goat cheese and online shopping. She is recently married to a social media guru who loves *almost* everything he conjures up. ...


image1There are many benefits to learning how to drive a standard vehicle. Not only does it open up the possibilities of being able to drive all standard and automatic vehicles if the need comes but a standard transmission gives you more control over your vehicle and your gas mileage. It does take a little extra concentration, both feet, and some good timing but it’s all worth it in the end. Being able to drive a standard makes you feel like you have the power because you’re not limited to only being able to operate an automatic transmission. Just like when operating any vehicle you’re going to have some pluses and minuses and there will always be things to remember while driving but driving a standard has a few others in particular.

image2So you’ve learned how to drive a standard or stick but you’re not fully versed in what to avoid while you’re driving one. It’s your lucky day because I’m about to tell you exactly what you need to avoid. The first thing you need to learn not to do is look at your feet. Your eyes should be on the road and your body should memorize where your feet need to be and what they need to be doing. The second thing I’ll tell you not to do is keep your right hand on the gear shifter all the time. Instead your hands should be on the steering wheel together at the recommended positions such as 10:2, 9:3, or 8:4 whenever you’re not shifting gears.image4 The third thing you should not do is keep your left foot on the clutch at all times. You’ll want to keep your foot on the dead panel on the foot well next to the clutch whenever you aren’t shifting. It will be close whenever you need it but if you’re hit by another car your foot won’t hit the clutch and without your hand on the gear shifter you’re not in danger of flipping gears if you were to accidentally press in the clutch.

Now let’s move onto number four. When you turn on the engine of a standard transmission vehicle, don’t forget the car is in gear or you will stall the engine which isn’t good for the vehicle. Instead of stalling yours or someone else’s vehicle, just place your feet on the clutch and brake and hold them down until you can pop the gear out and shift into neutral.  The last one I’ll tell you is never to use your clutch and accelerator to balance an astatic position; doing this will wear down the clutch in your vehicle unnecessarily. If you’re wearing down your clutch you’ll have to spend more money and time getting it replaced. Vehicles are expensive enough when you’re trying to keep up in maintenance, you don’t need to create a problem that could be avoided. Instead of trying to balance your vehicle this way, keep your foot on the brake pedal as long as possible and press on the clutch only when it is necessary.  Good luck with your learning, hopefully these tips are helpful to making your standard last longer and you drive it betterimage3