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Old 07-11-2011, 09:58 AM   #1
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Learning to drive manual on a new car

I'll be buying the new ST as soon as it's available, and whether auto is an option or not (it's looking like it won't be), I'm planning on going with a manual transmission.

This will be my first car with a manual transmission, and I've only ever driven a manual once before. I drove around in a friends truck in a parking lot so I could get the basic covered. Not to toot my own horn, but it was quite natural for me, and I didn't stall the truck once. My instincts were dead on, without instruction.

Still, I'm nervous about potentially damaging my new Focus with my beginner skill set. Let's be honest, driving around in a parking lot is a lot easier than taking a car out on the road. And don't even get me started on hills.

So should I be confident about cementing my skills on a brand new car, or should I be looking to get more experience before I get this car (how I'll do this is beyond me).


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Old 07-11-2011, 10:13 AM   #2
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I learned on my MS3 and the clutch was 10,000x different than my dads mini Cooper S. The MS3 clutch is apparently the equivalent of a stage 2 performance clutch. I would think the ST's clutch is going to be similarly performance oriented. Low biting point, nonexistent slipping zone, etc. What you could probably do if you wanted to practice would be get an MS3 or other performance car and try that.

That being said you're not going to hurt your ST by learning on it. You'll probably stall it, but NBD just restart it and get going again. It'll make some funny sounds when you first start out and don't know WTF you're doing, rattling, chugging, etc. Hills aren't too bad because you've got this nifty thing called the parking brake. Use your right hand to hold the parking brake up to keep from rolling back and use your feet to modulate the clutch. When you get going, release the parking brake and you're on your way.

You'll get it eventually. Don't get discouraged. You'll have good days and bad days.
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Old 07-11-2011, 10:22 AM   #3
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You could learn on your new ST= wow! Or you could get the basic skill's kind of down on another car 1st. Each different car has a different feel to it, as far as clutch take up, throttle feel, & brake feel. Any one buying a ST wouldn't want a auto anyway! That part of the make up of driving a performance car= driver involment! There really aren't that many stick's on the road any more= most people are lazy, or don't want to deal w/ it. So let the ST be stick only where it belong's!
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Old 07-11-2011, 10:40 AM   #4
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I bought my 11 SES after only driving my friends 08 SE manual for like 15 minutes. I stalled it a few times test driving it because I didn't want to rev it very high. But after a day or so you pick it up pretty well. I wouldn't worry about learning on the new vehicle. If you stall it just start it again.
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Old 07-11-2011, 10:48 AM   #5
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Beat the new ride to death while under warranty and then get it fixed once you know what you're doing.
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Old 07-11-2011, 12:45 PM   #6
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Yes! Another shifter! We need more manual transmissions out there. Looked at Camaros the other day, and only one out of the ten had a stick.
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Old 07-11-2011, 01:06 PM   #7
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take it slow. learned how to drive in my dads cobra. he changed the clutch so it was difficult for me to find the feel. i messed up alot, but i visualized what i was doing wrong and corrected it day by day until i finally got it. my dad was actually suprised about how good i did
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Old 07-11-2011, 01:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmenke12492 View Post
Yes! Another shifter! We need more manual transmissions out there. Looked at Camaros the other day, and only one out of the ten had a stick.
Yeah, I'm helping my brother shop for a used Mustang. You wouldn't believe how few have a v8 and a manual transmission, even for the older one's he's looking for (mid to late 90's model).
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Old 07-11-2011, 01:33 PM   #9
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Go test drive some cars with manual's between now and then. More expeirence driving stick, the better
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Old 07-11-2011, 01:41 PM   #10
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When there is a performance model, It is nice to see when they mandate a manual transmission.

These semi-auto transmissions are better than nothing, but the old stick-shift is the only way for me.
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