Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Site Notices
Posted: 2/26/2007 9:33:41 PM EST
She's not getting it. Start. Stall. Start. Stall. "Give it some gas, sweetie".

<vroooom!> (clutch on fire) <clunk>. Stall.

Give her some pointers, will ya? I don't recall it being this difficult when I learned.
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 9:36:14 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/26/2007 9:36:38 PM EST by silentsod]
Try getting her to move the car using only the clutch and no opening of the throttle. The key to teaching someone else how to drive a standard transmission is getting them to start slow and feel the clutch.

ETA: Make sure you do this on flat ground
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 9:36:57 PM EST
Here's the thing...maybe it's a guy thing. My brother (he's like 24) had never driven a manual before. I gave him a quick tutorial in my driveway, and he drove it over to his place. On the road. Only stalled it twice the whole way. He got the hang of it quickly. My dear wife on the other hand...
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 9:37:49 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/26/2007 9:38:31 PM EST by 4xDawn]
I'm dealing with this issue right now. My oldest wants to learn how to drive a stick...in my new car.

I'm thinking about renting/borrowing a beater for him to practice on.

I remember learning in a large, empty parking lot, which made it easy because I could focus on shifting, and not just driving.

I picked it up pretty fast because I knew how to drive a motorcycle, so understood the concept of shifting.

Link Posted: 2/26/2007 9:38:03 PM EST
teach her to ride a motorcycle first. Stick shifting will be easy after that.
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 9:40:02 PM EST

Originally Posted By silentsod:
Try getting her to move the car using only the clutch and no opening of the throttle. The key to teaching someone else how to drive a standard transmission is getting them to start slow and feel the clutch.

ETA: Make sure you do this on flat ground


I'm teaching her in my Jeep (God save the Mustang's blessed clutch). I started her off in 4L. With it's stupid low gear ratio in 4L, you pretty much can't stall it - throttle or not. She managed to stall it once (I have no idea how), but otherwise got the hang of it. As soon as I put it back in 2WD...ugh. She can work the clutch nice and easy at idle, but as soon as she touches the gas and tries that, it's all over. <vroom!> clunk, stall.
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 9:40:37 PM EST
I tought my sister to drive a stick on a gravel road and intersections with
lots of pea gravel. This time of the year there are lots of sand and cinders
down in the intersections, don't be afraid to let her spin the tires a little.
My sister got the understanding of not trying to spin plus if they spin a little,
they are less likely to stall it out.
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 9:43:31 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/26/2007 9:46:19 PM EST by silentsod]
I had an easy time learning how to drive a stick shift as well, and it befuddles me as to why other people can't just sit down and drive them.

The way you describe it she has trouble just getting the car going though, so focus on that and only that until she can have it rolling no problem. See if they have "Driving a Manual Transmission for Dummies" book?

That or teach her to bring the engine up to 3000RPM (for a V-8), 4500RPM (for a V-6), or redline it (for a I-4), and dump the clutch while feeding more power in.

Just try to pound in her head that only a small amount of power needs to be applied as the clutch is released? Movement of a quarter inch or so with the throttle pedal? I've only driven a Wrangler around a few times and I don't remember it very well.

Edited after reading your reply.
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 9:43:48 PM EST
I described it as a hand on a ski rope that drags you up the hill. When you press the clutch pedal, it opens the hand and lets the rope slide by. As you let off the pedal, the hand closes and gets a grip on the rope. Grab all at once and it'll take you of your feet.
Niiiiiice and Eeeeeeasy.

Me starting the car rolling in first while I was miming the rope and hand thing seemed to register alright. That was enough that I had her start off in first, shift into second, stop the car and repeat. Over and over and over again in a mostly empty Home Depot lot near closing time. After 80 or so start-one-two shifts we started circling the building to get up to third gear along the back stretch and down shift into second as we approached the corner.

The downshift thing didn't take. She's managed to drive stick on the highway a few times, but I do the shifting from the passenger seat. She has no idea how to select a gear appropriate for the speed. I didn't want to pile too much on at once. She can make it go if she has to. That's enough for now.

Good luck.
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 9:43:56 PM EST
The common mistake is in treating the clutch like a switch. They release the clutch slowly until the car starts moving, then they just release the pedal. I've explained it before as a brake in reverse... one doesn't just jam the brake pedal to the floor, neither do you just let the clutch go... as the previous poster mentioned, they need to try to get the feel for the clutch without using the gas.

What I would recommend actually is try it a lot/practice with the engine off (dry firing), to get the feel and motion of the pedal.... release smoothly through the active range of the clutch - then try it a few times just idling (rolling downhill can really help there if you have a suitable location) - then coordinate with the throttle.
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 9:50:34 PM EST
I was bound and determined to learn how to drive a stick.
My suggestions: Don't get pissy AT ALL!
She obviously doesn't understand yet, let her practice in a stress free environment.
Explain how it works, not everyone knows how these things work. And not just "push in on the clutch". Equate that to "here, shoot this".
Some people need to know how exactly things work, and then they need practice. Just be patient.
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 9:51:17 PM EST
Here is my foolproof method.

While outside of the vehicle explain what all the parts (gas, clutch, gear selector) do. Explain what is happening in the transmission (upshift - reduce revs, downshift - increase revs).

Drive to a suitable empty parking lot. Bring a book.

Park the car.

Wish her good luck.

Walk away and find a place to read your book.

Nothing but nothing infuriates a woman like having her boyfriend/husband "teach" her how to drive a standard. Besides, she'll know when she's messed up. You being there won't accomplish anything.
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 9:57:15 PM EST

Originally Posted By mnd:
Here is my foolproof method.

While outside of the vehicle explain what all the parts (gas, clutch, gear selector) do. Explain what is happening in the transmission (upshift - reduce revs, downshift - increase revs).

Drive to a suitable empty parking lot. Bring a book.

Park the car.

Wish her good luck.

Walk away and find a place to read your book.

Nothing but nothing infuriates a woman like having her boyfriend/husband "teach" her how to drive a standard. Besides, she'll know when she's messed up. You being there won't accomplish anything.


I like this. I figure, as long as she remembers where the brake is...we're good.

Hmmm.....
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 10:03:29 PM EST

Originally Posted By txwxgirl:
I was bound and determined to learn how to drive a stick.
My suggestions: Don't get pissy AT ALL!
She obviously doesn't understand yet, let her practice in a stress free environment.
Explain how it works, not everyone knows how these things work. And not just "push in on the clutch". Equate that to "here, shoot this".
Some people need to know how exactly things work, and then they need practice. Just be patient.


You want me to explain the subtle nuances of the pressure plate, throw out bearing, clutch disc, master and slave cylinders, benefits of synchros vs forced rev matching, etc? Wow!
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 10:10:00 PM EST

Originally Posted By SubnetMask:
I like this. I figure, as long as she remembers where the brake is...we're good.

Hmmm.....


In the interest of full disclosure I should point out that she was under the car helping me replace the clutch in that car 3 years later.

(Not that I don't relish the memory of that greatly. )
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 10:23:50 PM EST
Silly question, but have you tried a cattle prod? It's a great learning tool.

Got my wife to learn juggling and answer my "sandwich bell" with one.
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 10:37:42 PM EST
Turn the fan on and crank it all the way up. This will raise the idle and may help with the stalling out issue. Have her get a feel for the clutch without using the gas pedal.
Some people just arent used to using both feet to drive... Once she finds the "sweet spot" of the clutch, then she'll know when to give it gas.
You must learn to crawl before you walk...

+1 to what txwxgirl said too.
If she knows and understands how things work, then what she does behind the wheel will make more sense to her.
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 10:40:18 PM EST

Originally Posted By RRA-A2:
Turn the fan on and crank it all the way up. This will raise the idle and may help with the stalling out issue.


On one of those fancy new cars maybe.

On an 89 Jeep Wrangler YJ? The fan switch varies the resistance to the blower motor. That's it.
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 10:41:38 PM EST
I always teach people how to drive on a parking lot with a gentle slope. That gives them a chance to learn while going downhill. That makes it much easier. After you build-up their confidence you can then have them try to start moving while going up hill.

Do you have a tachometer in the vehicle you're using to teach with? If not, borrow one that has one. I've found it's near impossible to teach someone without one. You eventually learn to tell engine speed by the sound, but people that drive automatics aren't used to paying attention to that.z
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 10:43:06 PM EST

Originally Posted By SubnetMask:

Originally Posted By txwxgirl:
I was bound and determined to learn how to drive a stick.
My suggestions: Don't get pissy AT ALL!
She obviously doesn't understand yet, let her practice in a stress free environment.
Explain how it works, not everyone knows how these things work. And not just "push in on the clutch". Equate that to "here, shoot this".
Some people need to know how exactly things work, and then they need practice. Just be patient.


You want me to explain the subtle nuances of the pressure plate, throw out bearing, clutch disc, master and slave cylinders, benefits of synchros vs forced rev matching, etc? Wow!


Yes, I think you should. If she's serious. You don't have to get totally nerdy about it. Just explain the basics. And I totally understand everything you were making examples of.
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 10:45:56 PM EST

Originally Posted By SubnetMask:
She's not getting it. Start. Stall. Start. Stall. "Give it some gas, sweetie".

<vroooom!> (clutch on fire) <clunk>. Stall.

Give her some pointers, will ya? I don't recall it being this difficult when I learned.


Wait, this is all euphemism, right?

Link Posted: 2/26/2007 10:47:19 PM EST
Here's how Bob Bondurant taught me:

Start from a stop and go through all 5 gears without ever hitting the gas pedal.
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 11:03:11 PM EST

Originally Posted By PeteCO:
Here's how Bob Bondurant taught me:

Start from a stop and go through all 5 gears without ever hitting the gas pedal.


That might work in my Mustang. I'd have to bump the curb idle on my Jeep for that to work.
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 1:45:47 AM EST
The bigger guestion is jow long have you been together and is your relationship stong enough to endure this endevor? Seriously, if she gets upset with it, have someone else who drives a stick teach her. Practice, Practice, Practrice
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 1:53:32 AM EST
If you dont teach her to drive stick, she wont drive your 'Stang/Corvette when you get one.

Kharn
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 1:55:05 AM EST
Take her to a gravel parking lot/road. That she can spin the tires and not stall as easily. Also let her learn on her own when I have tried to teach someone how to drive I get infuriated easily and they get frustrated.

James
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 2:16:06 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/27/2007 2:16:42 AM EST by The_Reaper]

Originally Posted By mnd:
Here is my foolproof method.

While outside of the vehicle explain what all the parts (gas, clutch, gear selector) do. Explain what is happening in the transmission (upshift - reduce revs, downshift - increase revs).

Drive to a suitable empty parking lot. Bring a book.

Park the car.

Wish her good luck.

Walk away and find a place to read your book.

Nothing but nothing infuriates a woman like having her boyfriend/husband "teach" her how to drive a standard. Besides, she'll know when she's messed up. You being there won't accomplish anything.


Couldn't have said it better myself.

You are making her nervous. I didn't have an audience when I learned.


EDIT: I'm first to go #2 on this thread
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 2:16:17 AM EST
Leave it in the low side and tell her to launch in progressively higher gears. That way she can "sneak up " on the correct combo of throttle and clutch.

Woked for my squaw unit.
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 5:01:21 AM EST
I have taught 3 diffrent girls how to drive stick with my civic.. My car is prolly the worst car to try to teach someone one..The half-letric beast has almost now power and is easy to stall.. An well lit empty parking lot is your friend. I always let them get used to the clutch at idle. Then i let them in on my little secret... i always tell them to give the beast a little blip of throttle before letting the clutch out in first. it helps alot. The idle on my car is around 750 RPM a blip up to 1200 or so makes a huge difference. I also tell them that they are gonna stall a few times and not to worry about it.. Also have 3 or so shot before you guys head out to keep you calm and not yelling at her...
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 5:07:57 AM EST

Originally Posted By SubnetMask:

Originally Posted By mnd:
Here is my foolproof method.

While outside of the vehicle explain what all the parts (gas, clutch, gear selector) do. Explain what is happening in the transmission (upshift - reduce revs, downshift - increase revs).

Drive to a suitable empty parking lot. Bring a book.

Park the car.

Wish her good luck.

Walk away and find a place to read your book.

Nothing but nothing infuriates a woman like having her boyfriend/husband "teach" her how to drive a standard. Besides, she'll know when she's messed up. You being there won't accomplish anything.


I like this. I figure, as long as she remembers where the brake is...we're good.

Hmmm.....


And that's an important one! When I was teaching my wife how to drive stick, I told her she would have to release the clutch when braking to a stop or else the car would stall. Well she got up to 30 and then kind of had a brain fart because of the brake/clutch thing I told her and instead of braking before we ran into a curb she just turned the wheel. Good thing the suspension was good on that car, I thought we were going to roll over for a second.
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 5:13:58 AM EST
They way I was taught and the way I taught some of my friends is to first get a feel for the clutch. Start by having her push the clutch in and have it in first gear. As soon as the rpms drop have her push the lcutch abck in. This will help her get a feel for it. Repeat as nesecary.
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 5:14:53 AM EST

Originally Posted By PeteCO:
Here's how Bob Bondurant taught me:

Start from a stop and go through all 5 gears without ever hitting the gas pedal.


Also try it without hitting the clutch. Once I get rolling I usually can go all the way up to 5 and back down without hitting the clutch at all.


Originally Posted By swingset:
Silly question, but have you tried a cattle prod? It's a great learning tool.

Got my wife to learn juggling and answer my "sandwich bell" with one.


Link Posted: 2/27/2007 5:25:27 AM EST

Originally Posted By SubnetMask:
She's not getting it. Start. Stall. Start. Stall. "Give it some gas, sweetie".

<vroooom!> (clutch on fire) <clunk>. Stall.

Give her some pointers, will ya? I don't recall it being this difficult when I learned.


Have her follow you in the auto car to a spot about 20 miles across town. Switch cars. Drive home. She'll have it figured out by the time she gets home . . .
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 5:31:02 AM EST
If you have a normal car with a clutch that isn't too stiff here's what you do:


Start in a nice level empty driveway or parking lot.
Let the clutch out slowly. Do not give it any gas.
Continue letting the clutch out slowly until the car starts to move.
Continue letting the clutch out slowly until her foot is off the pedal.
Push the clutch in.
Allow the car to come to a stop.

Repeat at least a dozen times so she has a good feel of when the clutch starts to engage.

Without touching the clutch, have her practice finessing the gas pedal to go from idle to 1k rpms, 2k rpms, 3k rpms, back to 2k rpms, 1k rpms, and return to idle.
Do this several times.

Put the two together. Have her remember that she needs to let the clutch out until it starts catching then add just a little gas and continue SLOWLY letting the clutch out.

My wife learned this and was going almost right away.

When I was first learning, I would start letting the clutch out slow then increase the speed of my let off. This is the reverse of how it needed to be, but it was similar to how you would push down the gas pedal - except in the opposite direction.
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 5:31:28 AM EST
Once she understands the basics of how the clutch operates, nothing but practice will teach her. I'm not too mechanically inclined though, so I'll only teach newbies to drive stick on vehicles that are coming up towards trade-in Clutch rebuilds are pricey!
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 5:33:24 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/27/2007 5:35:58 AM EST by kap_x]
When my dad taught me, he used an analogy of the car breathing. Its gasoline is like our oxygen. When you hear and feel the car start to shake, the car is suffocating. You increase its oxygen (not too fas) until the car can breathe. It's really simple, obviously, but it might help a little bit.

more than anything else, figure out a way for her to keep her cool. frustration is almost inevitable, but it will hinder learning of stick-shiftery. Teaching a girl/woman to do anything drive stick is much more difficult than a boy. I guess they let their emotions get in the way or something. It will take a bit--she's not going to get it right off the bat. Positive reinforcement works best for girls. My dad would rip on my when I would fuck up. Girls won't respond that well to it.

Good luck! (seriously.)
Top Top