5 Important Tips on Driving a Manual Car

It's very notable that manual vehicles are associated with the “bragging rights” tag and are often utilized for a more rugged driving when compared to the automatic counterparts, and as such require certain level of care and caution to be exercised especially on road. 

Important Tips On how to drive a manual car effectively

It is important to note that maintenance of manual vehicles is often in most cases, more expensive than automatic vehicles depending on usage and mode of handling.

Take for instance, the automatics do not have clutch which is found in the manual, and due to rough and unethical driving styles, you end up burning out your clutch, wearing out the brake pads and disks as well; you’d then be spending more than you’d do on your automatic.

I’d try to make this list as concise as possible, driving home the salient points to note

Firstly, as a driver you should be aware that manual vehicles require more concentration and dedication than automatic vehicles as you are required to use all ten fingers and two feet.

1. Avoid Resting Your Foot On The Clutch For Long:
This is very common among learner drivers and inexperienced ones as well.

Leaning on the clutch pedal for too long only burns out the clutch and end up damaging it in the process. Only use the clutch when changing gears and when braking (note that when on high speed, first use the brake to lower the speed before applying the clutch for a final stop). Replacing clutches is expensive, thus it’s pertinent you enjoy your vehicle and get value for your money for a while before replacement.

2. Do Not Rest Your Hand On The Gear Selector:
As well, this is also very common among drivers, even with experienced ones. You end up mounting pressure on your vehicle’s gear system by resting your hand on the gear selector and on the long run, causing damage. Only place your hand on the gear knob/selector when there’s a need to change gears or reverse. So when next you drive, do well to avoid this.

3. Always Check Fluid Levels Before Driving Out:
You already know that it is better to sacrifice time for a good cause. Spending one or two minutes checking fluid levels – brake fluid, engine oil, clutch fluid and the radiator coolant would go a long way in preventing vehicle breakdown on the highway owing to overheating, engine damage, brake failure amongst others. A low radiator coolant level is most likely to cause overheating of the engine, low engine oil most likely to cause engine cranking and damage and lots of other system failures. So always and always check on these, and if needs be, consider filling up to the required level.

4. Avoid Over-Revving:
Yes, very common with “fast and furious” drivers, but it’s actually not an ideal way of driving if you consider cost and benefits. First, over acceleration wears out the engine and timing belts in no time, it wastes fuel, and at most, you may damage the engine when you rev up to the red zone on your accelerometer. Most often, drivers rev too high when on first gear so as to make the vehicle run faster – that’s for those involved in racing and not for your expensive joy ride. Slower speeds consume less fuel; gentle and gradual acceleration improves fuel economy and ensures value for your money as your engine lasts longer.

5. Avoid Coasting In Neutral Gear With Your Engine Turned Off:
If you drive a manual car, you may have been involved in running your vehicle in neutral and racing along with it. It’s really not cost effective this way, especially when you allow your vehicle coast downhill in neutral. You may end up losing grip. 

If you may know, your power steering assist and braking assist are all turned off when your engine is off, so you may have difficulty breaking when coasting in neutral gear. Always use the first gear with the engine turned on when coasting.

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