In the era of automatic cars, driving manual cars sounds like torture. But, really it’s not. We have already covered how to drive a manual car for beginners. This time, we will talk about the things you should avoid while driving a car with manual transmission. These are tips that will help you enjoy smooth rides with your manual car.
1. Do not leave your car in gear at a red light
Stopping at a red light, 9 out of 10 manual car drivers leave the gear engaged. Just because they want to make a quick getaway when the lights change. Not only is it a driving sin but also a reason for unnecessary wear and tear of the clutch.
So, do your clutch a favor by putting the gear in neutral whenever you stop on your way.
2. Do not use the gear lever as a hand rest
Again, 9 out of 10 manual car drivers will admit to the crime of resting their hand on the gear lever. If you are one of those drivers, you need to stop using the gear lever or gear stick as your hand rest. By doing so, you are applying pressure to the gear selector fork. That pressure will speed up wear and tear of the clutch.
Be a careful driver and keep both your hands on the wheel.
3. Do not gear up, directly, to overspeed
This one is especially for the beginner drivers who do not know how to use gears to build up speed. The top gear will surely let you cruise at higher speed, but you can’t just jump to the fifth or sixth gear. Doing so will put the engine under a lot of pressure, and your car will start experiencing engine-lagging. Not a good sign!
So, if you do want to cruise with your manual car, first drop a gear, gently apply the accelerator, and then shift to a higher gear.
Another thing about gearing up is that each gear goes with a certain speed range and RPM. For example, if you are driving at 30-40 mph, you can’t switch up to the fifth gear. Because the fifth gear is for driving at 80 mph or above. In the beginning, you’ll have to keep these speed ranges in mind. With time, you will develop a natural feel for gear matches certain speeds and RPM.
4. Do not rest your foot on the clutch pedal
Another mistake that most manual car drivers make is resting their foot on the clutch pedal. This practice causes clutch failure and fuel efficiency. When you drive with your foot resting on the clutch pad, the clutch plate comes in partial contact with the engine’s pressure plate and produces friction.
Getting a clutch failure repair can be expensive. So, save yourself from the trouble just by taking your foot off the clutch pedal. Simple!
5. Do not use clutch and accelerator pedals to hold your car on a hill
If your car does not have the hill-hold assistance technology, you might find yourself holding on to the clutch and accelerator to keep your car steady on a hill. But that’s not a very good idea. When you do this, you are forcing your clutch plate and engine’s pressure plate to move at different speeds. This process will produce friction between the two plates and wear out the clutch. So, you’ll end up with a failed clutch which will roll your car backwards on the hill.
Do not put your life in danger and use this hill balancing trick carefully and only when you really need it.
6. Change the manual transmission oil after every 40,000 kilometers
You should check your owner’s manual for the exact transmission oil change interval. For most manual cars, the limit is 40,000 kilometers. Changing the transmission oil in time will increase the fuel efficiency of your car. Not doing so will result in lubrication problems leading to worn out gear teeth.
If you are a beginner manual cars driver, follow these tips to do it right from day one. If you have been driving a manual car for years and have experienced clutch, gearbox, or engine troubles, look out for these habits and correct them. It may be tough in the beginning, but what’s tougher is damaging your car’s system and having to pay for repairs later on.