Five tips for driving a stick shift car

April 14th, 2021 by

If you’re the proud owner – or soon to be proud owner – of a stick shift car, then you know that driving a car with a manual transmission is very different from driving a car that’s automatic. It requires a certain level of finesse if you want to have a safe, efficient drive time AND avoid costly repairs and maintenance on your Clermont Toyota. We’re here to help (as always), and we’ve gathered a few quick tips from our expert sales team and service techs to help you handle your stick shift car as efficiently as you can.

stick shift car

What you need to know about driving a stick shift car

When you drive a car with a manual transmission – i.e., a stick shift – it means that you’re actually shifting for the car using a clutch pedal and shifter. If you drive an automatic, the car does all the shifting for you (all you have to do is push the gas and brake pedals). While a manual transmission car might sound more tedious since you have to do the shifting work, it actually has a ton of perks. Stick shift cars tend to be cheaper to buy, more fuel-efficient, and they’re definitely more exciting to drive as you have full control over your acceleration and RPMs.

However, stick shift cars also allow for more repairs if you damage the clutch, gears, shifter, etc. That’s why it’s critical that you know how to handle one of these Clermont Toyotas – check out our tips below.

Tip #1: Pull the parking brake. 

When you park your stick shift car, you’ll shift it into neutral before you turn it off. This means that your car can roll (you’d be surprised that it’ll even roll on a flat surface sometimes). Be sure to pull your parking brake so it doesn’t roll out of your parking spot and into another vehicle or building.

Tip #2: Always use your clutch pedal. 

You should always, always, always remember to push in your clutch pedal before shifting gears in a stick shift car. The clutch allows the gears to smoothly shift and if you try to shift without using it, you can do damage to your car’s gears and engine. Always use the clutch first, then shift. Similarly, you’ll want to use the clutch when you brake to avoid stalling out as your vehicle slows down and experiences lower RPMs.

Tip #3: Shift into neutral when you stop. 

Some drivers like to keep their manual transmission cars in first gear at stoplights so they’re ready to hit the road immediately when the light turns green. Some even use the clutch pedal to rock their car back and forth at stoplights. However, it’s in your best interest to shift into neutral when you’re waiting at a light. This will ensure that you avoid damaging your gears and engine over time.

Tip #4: Don’t fight against your RPMs. 

You need to work with your RPMs rather than fight them if you want to avoid stalling out, overheating, and damage to your Clermont Toyota’s parts. Don’t throw your car into a low gear if your RPMs are high – gradually work. your way down. Additionally, if you’re in a high gear, don’t slam the gas pedal to accelerate quickly (this can cause overheating). Instead, shift to a lower gear and use your gas in combination to speed up.

Tip #5: Take your hand off the shifter when you’re not shifting. 

Try not to rest your hand on your shifter if you’re not actively shifting – this just puts unnecessary weight and stress on this important car part and can do damage over time.

Get answers to all of your stick shift questions today

Have questions? Call Toyota of Clermont today. We’re open seven days a week at (352) 404-7000 and we’re conveniently located at 16851 State Road 50, just off the Florida Turnpike.

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