5 Things to Avoid While Driving a Manual Transmission Vehicle

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A manual transmission is also referred to as a “stick shift”. Manual transmission is the old school way of shifting gears. There are many advantages of driving a manual transmission. A few advantages worth mentioning are; fuel economy and faster acceleration. When driving a manual transmission car, you have control over the gear changes and you can change gears whenever you want. Driving a manual car is a bit difficult at first, but once you get the hang of it, it is pretty easy to drive. In fact, people who learn to drive on a manual transmission can easily drive an automatic transmission, but those who learn to drive on an automatic transmission, find it really difficult to drive a vehicle with manual transmission.

Clutch plate detail


There are more manual transmission cars in Pakistan than automatic transmission. This article discusses a few things, one should avoid or take note of, while driving a vehicle with manual transmission.

  1. Using the Gear Knob as Hand Rest: A lot of drivers are in a habit of subconsciously placing hand on the gear knob when they drive. While driving, we can only see the gear knob and leaver, and are unaware of what is happening in the car’s transmission system. To understand this better, I will explain what happens while you change gears. There are important components that make up a manual transmission, for instance: a selector fork, rotating collar, pressure plate, clutch plate and the fly wheel. The clutch plate is placed between the pressure plate and the fly wheel.The selector fork is stationary in a manual transmission, and it is pushed against the rotating collar when changing gears. The collar is then pushed into the gear that you choose. The selector fork only makes contact with the rotating collar for a brief moment, when you shift gears. When you rest your hand on the gear lever, the fork touches the rotating collar, and this may cause premature damage to the selector fork. So, it’s a good idea to change gears and place your hand back on the steering wheel. It is a good habit to hold the steering wheel with both hands, to give you better control over the car.

Gear assembly

  1. Resting Foot Constantly on the Clutch Pedal: This causes the clutch to be partially engaged and results in the clutch plate wearing off. Resting your foot on the clutch also damages the throw out bearings, which may be partially in contact with the diaphragm bearing. It’s always a good practice to remove your foot completely from the clutch pedal after changing gears. You could rest your foot on the dead pedal, which is close to the clutch pedal (a flat surface right next to the clutch for resting left foot), it is mostly common found in cars nowadays.

Dead Foot pedal

  1. Keeping Car in Gear at a Stop: It’s not a good idea to keep your car in gear while you have stopped it on a signal. It is best to put the car in neutral and take your foot off the clutch. Keeping the clutch pressed causes premature damage to the throw out bearing. This is because keeping the clutch pressed for a long duration puts the throw out bearing in contact with the diaphragm spring, causing the throw out bearing to wear out prematurely.

Gear box

  1. Using Clutch Bite Point on Inclined Surface: The bite point is when the clutch plate engages with the fly wheel. The driver knows he is on a bite point when the engine makes a slightly different sound because of the revs dropping. Sometime, when you are at a bite point, you can feel a tiny amount of lift at the front of the car. When on an incline (especially when climbing bridges) using the clutch bite point technique to avoid the car from rolling back is a bad idea. This is because the friction material on the clutch plate gets damaged as the speed of the spinning clutch plate tries to match that of the spinning flywheel. This results in the clutch plate wearing off prematurely. It’s best to use the handbrake while on an incline if you don’t want the car to move backwards.

Bite point 

  1. Engaging Incorrect Gear to Gain Speed: Driving the car at a high gear but at slow speeds strains the engine. However, driving the car at an average speed on a high gear and maintaining a low RPM saves fuel. To increase the car’s speed, always progress through the gears to avoid straining the engine. It is also not recommended to over rev the engine while shifting from one gear to another. Avoid reaching the red line on the rev meter when shifting gears. In order to gain speeds, it’s better to drop gear, then accelerate and change gear rather than straining the engine by gaining speed on a high gear.
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  1. Imran Baloch says

    applause 🙂

  2. Test says

    Hi, Thank you for the informative artcile. I have one question.

    Is it safe to keep the car moving in neutral.

    For example, I am going on a speed of 60Km/h and i see from far that the signal is red, so i shift the car to neutral and car keeps rolling slowly to the signal, after which it stops at signal.

  3. Omar Farooq says

    It’s okay but you shouldn’t get carried away too much, as long as your foot’s on the brake you’re fine but don’t let the car on it’s own on the road too much or you could bump into another car. I myself do this on empty roads where there’s a bump once in a while where I have to slow down but I avoid it on busy roads.

  4. Guest says

    No. Car should always be in gear. You can just lift your foot off the accelerator, meanwhile let it remain in 4th or whichever gear it is in, then press the clutch when you absolutely need it. This technique is call “coasting” and is a recommended technique.

    Going downhill in neutral, or reaching a traffic signal in neutral is called “freewheeling”. Freewheeling is not an advised technique, it is always better to coast rather than to freewheel.

    IIRC, freewheeling vs coasting has been discussed in Highway Code Book issued by the NH&MP. In other words, IIRC freewheeling vs coasting has been covered in a legal requirement in Pakistan which you have to follow.
    Each bearer of driving license has to pass a theory test after reading this book before they are even allowed to appear for the practical test. Each bearer of driving license is required as per Motor Vehicles Ordinance of 1969 to have their own copy of latest edition of Highway Code Book with them at all times.

    There was a time around 5-10 years ago when the driving license inspector would refuse to let you sit in the theory exam until you produced the highway code book along with the purchase receipt, to show that you have not borrowed it from another candidate, rather it is your personal copy.

    From the thermodynamics aspect, engine should always have a moderate amount of load on it, which provides a sink for all the energy being created. Larger engines such generators, the generator operator is fired if he/she continues to run the engine without a load. If you rent a generator, the owner requires to you to have a minimum of 40% load on it at all times. If you cannot load it enough, the rental company would give you a smaller genset.
    For vehicles also, it is important to keep it in gear until the very last moment when you need to brake.

    From the vehicle longevity aspect, use engine compression to stop the vehicle, rather than burning the brake pads.

    From the safety aspect, going downhill, you must always be in gear, otherwise the brakes will heat up and you’ll lose control. Otherwise remember the Kallar Kahar traffic accident.

    Engine should always be at an RPM, otherwise the water body, power steering pump, A/C compressor and other attachments would not function optimally. Keeping it in gear would ensure it is at an RPM above the idle RPM, till the absolute last moment you need to disengage.

  5. Guest says

    “Driving a manual car is a bit difficult … ”

    Welcome to the new era of sissy drivers.

    Anyone remember double clutching?

  6. Shiraz Maqbool says

    I recall seeing my cousin doing it in his Bedford truck, but I’ve never driven a vehicle with unsynchronized gearbox so I’ve never done it…

  7. oh so says

    plagiarism detected. the writer is a clueless donkey cart driver at best. I was wondering how did he manage to write such a thing all of a sudden. Thanks for solving the mystery for me.

  8. Zulfiqar Ali Soomro says

    yar ENGINEERING EXPLAINED ko credits tou de do :p

  9. Zulfiqar Ali Soomro says

    I said exactly the same thing. I’ve watched all of his videos. Jason is amazing!

  10. Hassan Dar says

    exactly brother..!! first when i saw the title i thought okay…this is a lil strange..!! even those points are explained in same order….
    Sure they copied the content but they should have give him the credits for all the research he did for this as a common courtesy….

  11. Zulfiqar Ali Soomro says

    driving a manual is actually a litmus test to judge whether a person is a good driver or not, at least according to me :p

  12. Titan67 says

    Writers like him think they are the only ones who have access to Internet. I have been reading his blogs and I bet he can’t come up with such piece on his own.

  13. Usman Haider Sheikh says

    Samiullah Sharif receives worst feedback for his blog posts yet he is never ashamed.

  14. Usman Haider Sheikh says

    Gotta give him credit for dheetai in Begairti. No one can deny him that.

  15. Guest's guest says

    all good pakwheels writers are gone. now either i get to read rubbish posted by samiullah shareef or that city school kid adnan ali.

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