Driving a manual car is not hard as it seems initally. Once learnt, it soon transforms into one of those joys that lasts a lifetime and one cherishes every time one takes a car for a ride. We all think that we know “how to do things” until we are learn better. The article deals with a very simple topic of “How to drive a car with manual transmission?” and explains in detail the things that you should not do and why, while driving a manual.
1. Don't use the gear lever as hand rest
We only see the gear lever, what’s happening within the manual transmission is not visible to us. While changing gears with the gear lever, the selector fork, which is stationary within the manual transmission is pushed against the rotating collar, and the collar is pressed into the gear that you want to choose.
Resting your hand on the gear lever may cause the selector fork to come in contact with the rotating collar and thus causing premature failure of the selector fork. While changing gears, the selector fork comes in contact with the rotating collar only for a brief period of time, however resting your hand for long durations can speed up that process and result in premature selector fork wear.
2. Don’t rest your foot on the clutch pedal
Resting your foot on the clutch pedal would cause the clutch to engage only partially and hence result in slippage. This would not only reduce the fuel efficiency due to loss in transmission energy, it would also cause the clutch to wear out prematurely. Another component that may get damaged due to this is throw out bearing that may contact the diaphragm bearing only partially.
Instead use the dead pedal, it’s present beside the clutch pedal and most cars provide it nowadays.
3. Don't leave your car in gear at stop signal
If you do not intend to turn off the engine, the best thing to do is to take your car out of gear and let it stay in neutral. While the throw out bearings are generally designed to outlast clutch, it’s still better that the clutch doesn’t stay depressed for prolonged durations, as it puts the throw out bearing in contact against the diaphragm spring and can cause it to wear prematurely.
Also, in case your car has slight clearance issues with your clutch, you may have premature wear with the car in gear and not in case if it sits in neutral.
4. Don't use clutch bite point to hold on an incline
While on an incline, many people release the clutch until the bite point and feather the throttle to stay steady on the incline and keep the car rolling backwards. This would result in the great wear of the friction material of the clutch and you would need to replace it prematurely. Cars with the hill hold feature tend to hold the car for about 2-3 seconds after the brake pedal is released, this gives sufficient time for the driver to make switch from brake to race pedal and hence prevent the car from rolling backward.
It is better to use a hand brake in case the car does not come with hill hold feature to keep the car in position and keep it from rolling back instead of using the balance between race and clutch pedal.
5. Don't use the incorrect gear to gain speed
The top gear of your car would let you cruise at higher speed at low engine RPM and thereby save fuel. However, to gain speed you would need to go through the gears progressively to prevent the engine from undue strain. You may strain the engine in two ways, first, if might be using a lower gear at higher car speed causing the engine to reach the redline. It’s better to progress to a higher gear before the reaching the redline or when the gear indicator tells you to do so.
You may also strain the engine if while driving in a higher gear, you floor the throttle to gain speed. Due to the gearing disadvantage, would not only be slow to reach a higher speed, but it would also put the engine under a lot of strain. It’s better to drop a gear and then floor the throttle and shift to a higher gear for cruising. In short, you should always be driving in the correct gear.