Which one is better, manual or automatic? This is an open-ended argument but, if you prefer to drive a stick shift, here are the 5 useful tips that you should be aware of while driving on the road.
Keep your hands at the steering wheel
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 effective 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.
Don’t be a clutch driver
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 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.
Use the handbrake
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 incline road; apply throttle and gradual let go of the clutch; and then release the handbrake.
Never coast 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.
Take note of the RPM
RPM or revolutions per minute is a way to measure how many times the engine components rotate. Drivers may use this information to determine when to shift gears. 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.