Want To Learn To Drive Stick?

I know I am a few days behind, but I promise I am catching up on the blog post as we speak. 

Day two of Blog Every Day in May is to educated my readers on something I know a lot about or I am good at... This took some thinking and asking... 

No one truly gave me good ideas that I truly felt connected too to want to blog about until something sparked in my mind. I drive stick! From there, the post was born. Many people are amazed to learn that I drive a stick shift. 

Let's go back to Summer 2006, I was driving a gross looking red ford escort. The same escort I rode in the backseat when I was 5 {June 1995} to Minnesota for 2 days for my Grandpa's funeral. 

I stole that picture off google search but mine looked very similar to that. 
I didn't hate the car after all it had wheels and got me from point A to point B but I was wanting the new car like most of friends were driving. My dad rule was if I wanted a new car I had to learn to drive stick. {Mind you I rode a quad my whole life} I refused to learn stick. I thought why should I learn when my car is an automatic. Little did I know that would later haunt me. 

My car was blocked in the drive way and I wanted to go to a friends house. No one was home to move their car{they were all stick} & my car needed some work done on it. I finally mustard up the courage to move the car. I did it no problem & even managed to drive that car to my friend's house without stalling. 

December 2006 on my way to work, my car decided it had enough and over heated sitting in traffic. I drove straight to my mom's house and said I am buying a new car TONIGHT! I did just that. 

Little did I know the car I would buy December 18,2006 would end up being a 2001 Volkswagen Jetta stock model which means it is a stick and NO power windows. 

This leads me to teaching you about learning to drive stick... 
It all starts with confidence!  
Have the confidence to know you can do it! 

After you have your confidence & you decided you are going to learn to drive stick next comes the hard part. Learning to drive with both feet. 

Right foot is still used for gas and break but now left foot is used for the clutch. You need to find the spot where the car grabs gear while slowly releasing the clutch. This allows the car to move forward. Every car is different.  If you let out the clutch too fast it will jump and stall. If you give too much gas your engine will rev at a high RPM. It's very much a loving relationship. 

Once you get the car moving you need to know how many gears. Mine has 1-5 and a reverse. {German cars are made differently - the reverse is down to the left and up, while most other cars are all the way to the right and straight back}
a quick guide to know what gear to be in is

0-10mph = 1st 
10-29mph = 2nd
30-39mph = 3rd 
40-49 mph = 4th 
50 & above = 5th 

A lot of times you can listen to the engine and can tell when you will need to shift and or watch your RPM's. Also, many new cars now have a light on when to shift.

When shifting make sure you push the clutch all the way in and release. You do NOT need to find that spot where the car grabs only when starting at a standstill. (Red light, driveway, etc) Most cars also need to start in first gear when at a complete stop. When stopping you need to push the clutch in the whole time so you do not stall. Neutral will become your friend because you will be able to sit still without having to hold the clutch in the whole time. 

The hardest part of driving a stick is not looking down when shifting, push the clutch all the way in when shifting and coming to a complete stop and getting the car moving from a complete stop. Also, on a hill but that is a post for another day. Now you know all the tricks to driving stick!

A few helpful tips

- Do not give up. Remember the first thing I said is Confidence to know you can do this! 
- Stay focus to achieve this goal 
-every car is different but the same principal 
-practice makes perfect 
-Find someone who can drive stick and ask them if they can tell you when to shift from the passenger seat for a few times to let you get the hang of shifting.
-Once you get the confidence GIVE IT YOUR ALL! 

Find a patient teacher! 
Have fun learning to drive stick & let me know how you do! 


  1. I've always wanted to learn, just so I can show guys that I can and shut them up, but I'm to lazy and it looks to hard! Hahaa

  2. you be my patient teacher :)

  3. ditto to kayyyyy's comment. i've always wanted to learn!

  4. Okay...you are my new idol because I tried to learn last summer because my husband bought a stick (jeep wrangler) and I figured I should know how to drive a vehicle that we owned. Well, long story short I just ended up yelling "Sorry! I don't know what I'm doing" to ever driver that had to go around the stupid stalled vehicle in the middle of the road on our 3 block journey back home. I haven't tried again since that traumatic experience!

  5. That sounds complicated! Haha. I have a CVT so I get to pretend I drive stick when I want to and don't have to deal with a clutch, lol. It's the pansy way out. :-)

  6. nope never doing it.
    too much work.

    i drove a cushman for a summer job and it was stick but that's about as good as it gets.

  7. I could not agree more! Driving starts with self-confidence. It's a little scary and hard at first, but remember that everything is hard at the beginning. Learning how to drive is easier now because there a companies that offer driving lessons, from manual cars to automatic. Thank you for sharing your experience to others. This is a great motivation and great tips for those who want to learn more about driving. Take care!

    Rookie Driver