How hard is it to drive a stick shift?

I have never driven a stick shift, and I'm curious.

14 Answers

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  • lj1
    Lv 7
    1 month ago
    Favourite answer

    It's easy once you get the hang of it. The hardest part is learning how to get moving from a dead stop.

    Most people learn how to drive a stick shift it in a day or two, and it becomes second nature after a couple of weeks. The trick is to stick with it. I used to have an automatic car and a manual pickup truck. A few weeks after buying my truck, I was able to switch between the two vehicles effortlessly.

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  • 1 month ago

    Here is the trick. When learning to gauge the adjustments between the clutch and the break, do a soft touch. Imagine you are pressing on cotton balls. Think easy, soft and smooth. The other trick is to practice stop and go for only the distance of 12 inches, then 36 inches. Keep going stop and go for a few inches or feet. Once that is real smooth, the distance between stop and go does not matter. If you can stop and go smoothly for 3 feet then surely you can do to for 30 feet, 30 miles and so on. I taught people and they got it in one hour.  Good luck.

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    • el1 month agoReport

      You’re welcome. With both feet...press, release, etc. find the sweet spot! Play, don’t worry. Nice and easy.

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  • 1 month ago

    I can tell you about my experience, and the experiences of my 3 children and also that of my wife. But remember, everyone is an individual, so your experience will be your own.

    When I learned to drive, there were only a few automatic cars around - yes, I'm that old! - and there wasn't really a choice. People just learned to drive on a manual, or stick shift, car.

    Many years later, when it was time for my children to learn, my oldest wanted to learn on a manual. I taught him on that, but as his mum and I had divorced by then and he spent most of his time at her place, she taught him on her automatic. When it came time for his test, he did that on a manual car and passed easily.

    My two daughters both were scared of manual cars but I have no idea why. The older one, in particular,  was very good at driving the manual, but she chose to do her test on the auto. The younger one just shrieked any time I asked her to drive the manual. Now that her boyfriend has bought her a manual car, it's going to be very interesting watching how she reacts!

    When I remarried, my wife said that she'd learn to drive a manual. Eight years later, she hasn't and she now says that she can't drive one, yet I know that she can because I've seen her do it. But because she's decided that she can't, she has no hope of ever achieving the goal of doing it.

    If you decide that you want to drive a manual car, I firmly believe that you'll be able to. However, if you decide that it's too hard, then you'll probably never be able to. 

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  • 1 month ago

    I learned how in just one day. How hard it is for you to learn depends on how you practice, how quickly you learn things, and if you have a stick shift to practice with. Helps if you already know how to drive an automatic.

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    • The Devil
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      Andrew, if you already know how to drive and automatic, learning to stick shift AND drive is reduced to just learning to use the stick. One problem is always easier than two.

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  • 1 month ago

    There can be a bit of adjustment to different vehicles. 

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  • 1 month ago

    Not difficult at all. Know when to push the gas at the right time vs letting up on the clutch is essential. But fewer cars have them so there may be no need to learn it

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  • not at all in my opinion

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  • Jay P
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    "Easy" and "hard" are subjective terms.  Some people pick up on it quickly while others take a lot longer.  The physical aspect of using a clutch pedal and selecting the next gear is easy enough to learn but learning how to do it smoothly takes practice...sometimes a lot of practice.

    You also have to take the vehicle you're learning on into consideration.  Some manual transmission vehicles are simply more forgiving and easier to learn on than others.  For example, I've owned various stick shift cars for years but when I bought my current one, the accelerator pedal is incredibly sensitive compared to all of my previous vehicles.  It took some time to learn how to get the engine speed up just enough to take-off from a standstill without over-revving the engine.  I looked like a newbie behind the wheel of my new ride a few times as I became accustomed to the touchy gas pedal.

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    • Jay P
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      Very true.  The actual gear selector can be a pain as well on some vehicles, either very notchy or difficult to find some gears.  I just used the accelerator pedal story as that was my own experience.

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  • Murzy
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Easy. Remember, how many people who are not as smart as you that can drive a stick.

  • 1 month ago

    You mean a manual car? Harder than an automatic but not that hard. Keep the clutch down a bit in first gear and only completely release the clutch when you get to second.

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