Which one is better, manual or automatic? Admittedly, automatic transmissions seem more ideal on city roads given the better convenience it provides. Despite that, other drivers still prefer the good old stick shift, as some say that you'll have better control of your vehicle, plus, it also delivers a more engaging drive. Then again, this is an open-ended argument, but if you prefer using a car with a manual transmission, then here are 5 useful tips that you should be aware of while driving on the road.
Resting your hands on the gear shifter
When you’re driving, it is recommended to avoid resting your hand on the gear stick for safety reasons. Always take note that both of your hands should be on the steering wheel in a 9 & 3 o’clock position while driving. In this way, you can control the car’s steering more effectively and maneuver it safer. The only time that you’ll touch the gear stick is when you’re shifting gears. Simply put, don’t use the gear stick as a handrest.
Are you the type of driver who’s fond of resting your foot on the clutch while driving? If yes, then you should start breaking this habit because you’re slowly destroying your vehicle’s clutch. To put things in perspective, the clutch makes contact with the moving metal part. Now, the clutch lining will burn if you regularly rest your foot on it. To prolong its lifespan, you should let go of it once you have changed gears.
Not using the handbrakes
Handbrakes should be your weapon of choice to prevent your vehicle from rolling down on an uphill road. Instead of feathering the clutch pedal, you should use the handbrake. This is similar to the previous point wherein the clutch lining will burn if you rest your foot on it. The alternative to this habit is this—pull the handbrake up when you need to hang on an inclined road, apply throttle and gradually let go of the clutch, and then release the handbrake.
Coasting in neutral
They say that coasting while the gear is in neutral could yield better fuel economy. While that may be correct, coasting in neutral is something that you should not do. The reason for this is that you’re not in full control of the vehicle. If something suddenly pops out in front of your vehicle, you can react faster and safer if your gear stick is engaged. Moreover, cruising downhill in neutral is not a good idea because you’re putting too much pressure onto the vehicle’s brakes, causing it to overheat. To prevent this, use a lower gear when you’re driving downhill and let your engine do the braking.
Ignoring the RPM
Revolutions per minute (RPM) or engine speed is a way to measure how many times the engine components rotate. Drivers may use this information to determine when to shift gears. A manual transmission gives the driver full control over the RPM because he/she decides when to make the engine speed faster and slower. With that in mind, don’t throttle the gas pedal when your engine is at low RPM because this would stress your engine out. Instead of flooring the gas pedal, it is best to downshift in order to regain momentum.
Driving a manual could give you more control over the vehicle but, you should also observe the way you drive. We hope that the points mentioned in this article would help you become a better and safer driver.
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