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How to drive a stick shift Before you begin Know your way around A manual transmission demands that the driver shift the gears instead of the engine Most cars have four or five forward speeds as well as reverse In order to master the process you need to know the following The clutch pedal is located at the far left and is used when moving up or down from one gear to another The clutch is disengaged when the pedal is pushed to the floor Neutral is not a gear actually it is the absence of gear When the engine is running in neutral you can rev up the engine but you wont go anywhere Youll also be able to wiggle the shifter back and forth - which you cant do when engaged in any gear For most cars second gear is the workhorse It will get you up and down steep hills as well as through congested downtown Reverse gear is somewhat different from the others its got more range than say first gear but doesnt like going for too long or too fast So dont back up around the block to pass the time The gas pedal at far right works with the gears to give the engine power at different levels As mentioned before if you press on the gas pedal while out of gear you will only rev the car up this is how 50s hot-rodders showed their toughness But if you over-accelerate with the clutch partially engaged youll eventually wear it out Step 1 Learn the Gears Learn the location of and feel of passing through the gears First learn to shift the gears without the car running pushing the clutch in each time Then from the passenger seat try it with someone else
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