For those of you who drive....can you drive stick?

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iliketrees
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30 Jul 2015, 2:36 am

Misery wrote:
I cant remember the last time I was in a stick-shift car... probably as a kid, would be the last time.

I've never seen the point, myself. My car already goes at the speed I want it to based entirely on just the gas pedal... why would I need additional complications to that? But then, I know little about and have zero interest in cars, as far as I'm concerned they are boxes with seats that are on wheels that go from one point to another.

If I WERE to try to drive one, all that'd happen is something would end up broken.

It gives more control. Like if you're speeding down a steep hill you can drop down a gear to save your breaks - each gear has "engine breaking", keeping the car from going too fast without using the breaks constantly down a hill which could make them overheat. It's also very useful on ice where you want to be in the highest gear you can be at your current speed to stop the wheels spinning, which loses the control. You don't want any sudden movements on ice so controlling the gear you're in does help. Also going up hills helps if you're in a lower gear since they have more accellleration. And if you pull into a fast road and need to speed up to stop the cars rear-ending you then you can leave it in each gear for longer (so instead of changing out of 3rd gear when you reach, say, 35 mph, you can let it go up to 45 mph). They're a bit harder to learn though, but worth it in my opinion for the added control you get. Not sure if you can do what I've said in automatics.



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30 Jul 2015, 2:38 am

Absolutely not! I destroyed two manual transmissions when my spouse tried to encourage me to learn. I just don't have the coordination. Infact I asked for the "automatic transmission only" endorsement on my drivers' licence so that new car dealerships cannot try to sell me "stick" vehicles under penalty of law. I'm happy to be a confirmed right foot only driver past, present, and future (unless I'm in one of those vintage cars that have the dimmer switch on the left).
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spanishgecko
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30 Jul 2015, 4:55 am

Over here there are not many automatic cars, so everybody learns to drive from zero with a stick. Once you learn it is just a practice thing until it becomes automatic and you never have to think about it anymore.

I love driving and have driven automatic cars before, but it really makes driving much more boring for me.


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30 Jul 2015, 2:27 pm

I only ever drove stick once, my friend at the time let me drive his Ford Ranger which was 4 speed I think. It certainly seemed pointless to me and unnecessary. A human can't shift quicker than a properly programmed computer can.


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cberg
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30 Jul 2015, 2:44 pm

Properly calibrated shift programs are available in maybe ten percent of what people think of as automatics. The only way shift latency can be lower than with a practiced driver is in a high end (usually dual clutch) automated manual; still a 2 pedal setup but the only automatic part is the PRNDL+- lever. Shifts can be almost as quick in newer automatics like ZF's and FCA's (7-9 speed boxes) although there's an invariable delay when there's no mechanical linkage. Gearless automatics (continuously variable transmissions) can be computer controlled nicely (sometimes) although they're inconsistent, no matter what the ratios in the junction box behind the shifter say, the pulleys will wear and the belts will stretch and/or break. A friend of mine is on his 3rd transmission in his 2012 Subaru as a result of choosing the auto box. That means removing the entire motor too. His dealer might as well have already replaced the car. Computers are quite unlikely to best humans at error correction. Case in point, I enjoyed driving a 5 speed automatic rental Jetta, though I took it over a mountain pass and noticed the +/- 'Tiptronic' shift functions still took well over a second to deliver the promised gear, and furthermore there was no way to skip gears. Manuals require more mechanical savvy but automatics force drivers to anticipate more in order to maintain the same level of car control.


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30 Jul 2015, 2:52 pm

ToughDiamond wrote:
Don't know if you can do this with an automatic - driving slowly on ice, sometimes it's better to use a higher gear than you normally would, so the wheels don't suddenly accelerate, melt the ice, and lose traction.
My automatic has traction control for that. If it's good enough for Lewis Hamilton and Sebastien Vettel, it's good enough for me, though I understand some "real drivers" out there prefer to compensate for poor traction directly. Presumably, their reflexes are much faster than the sensor/microprocessor loops in traction control equipped vehicles. Or something.

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I don't think anybody knows why US cars are automatic and UK ones are manual, but the best guess I've heard is that when they first invented automatics, they were fuel-inefficient compared with manual (assuming a reasonably competent driver). British petrol is VERY heavily taxed, so we had to keep our usage down. Automatics are much more efficient these days, but old habits die hard.

That seems like a plausible explanation. I learnt on both and have owned both, but driving a manual in midtown Manhattan traffic was horrible.



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30 Jul 2015, 3:38 pm

It's not that my reflexes are faster than next year's Toyota TCS, merely that I can exert more control over a car when there's a pedal for neutral, as well as choosing how quickly I come off downshifts. My previous three cars had no TCS or ESP, just ABS in my SAABs and naught but a 5 speed in my Datsun. Now that I've got a traction controlled manual AWD car, what I can tell you is that using the electronic safeguards when I leave it on a gear (i.e. 5th @ 40mph) is about the same as using them with an ordinary automatic car, but smooth clutch work on downshifts in that thing REALLY pays; manuals let you choose when and how drastically to activate traction control.

Haldex AWD is pretty awesome...

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28 Jul 2017, 10:38 am

I learned how to drive a stick back in 2004, when I was 19 years old. My first car was a grey 1987 Honda Accord LX four-door sedan with a five-speed stick transmission. Growing up, I always wanted to learn to drive a stick shift car as soon as I got my driver's licence. I had been saving some money for a while, and I wanted my first car to be a vintage Honda Accord with a manual transmission. My Dad taught me how to drive it, and we went to the parking lot of a local community college on Sundays when there were no classes being held, and we would drive around there. I had the Honda for 2 years, until it got some engine problems that I could not afford to have repaired. My Dad had the Honda donated to a local charity, and he bought me a used white 2001 Volvo S40 1.9T with an automatic transmission, which I still drive today. I still miss the old Honda Accord a lot, but the memories will last a lifetime.



Stoic0209
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28 Jul 2017, 11:04 am

OK... so, I used to know how to drive stick. Then I forgot how. :D

I learned in my Mom's Saab. I refer to all my experiences with that car as , "one big Saab story".

Ba dum tish. Anyways, It was really cramped, and hard to work, but I eventually learned it(it really helped to live on a dead-end road wit ha big old hill to practice popping the clutch).

Then, I went to college for 3 years, and didn't drive at all. I didn't get my license until I was 22, and then I thought it would be awesome to buy a car with a stick. Well, good thing we test-drove the car, because I quickly found out I lost the capacity to drive a stick. I went with a Hyundai Sonata instead. I call her my "hyunny". :D



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28 Jul 2017, 12:53 pm

I learned to drive a stick shift when I was 19. My car is a stick shift. I used to stall out all the time when I first started using it until I got the hang of it.


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28 Jul 2017, 8:27 pm

My dad wouldn't let me drive an automatic till I could drive a stick perfectly. It didn't take me long because I rode dirt bikes in my early teens and had a good feel for how a transmission is supposed to work.



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29 Jul 2017, 6:24 am

No. My car is an automatic transmission. It took me until I was 48 to even get a license.



TheSilentOne
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29 Jul 2017, 9:26 am

No. I would like to learn someday. I don't know anybody with a manual car, so I don't have anybody to teach me. Even all of my dad's classic cars are automatics.


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29 Jul 2017, 12:11 pm

I got my chauffeur's licence at 16 + 2 weeks, driving stick on ice. I was surprised to learn that one can pass a driver's test with an automatic. I was even more surprised that the tests said nothing about shifting an automatic to neutral to regain control on ice.