Manual vehicles are cars that use manual transmission gearbox. The driver is required to manually select or change gears using the gear stick or the clutch. They are usually located at foot pedals for cars. Manual cars are more efficient on fuel usage compared to automatic cars. Manual cars can also be started by pushing if the motor has failed or when the battery is dead.
Generally, manual cars have 3 pedals: brake, clutch, and the accelerator. For standard manual vehicles, the brake pedal is located in the middle. Before starting off, all the 3 pedals should be located and mastered. The pedals are as explained below.
- The clutch. It is located on the far left, and hence operated using the left foot. It is used for disengaging the engine and the wheels before gears are changed.
- The brake. It is the middle pedal. It is operated using the right foot.
- The accelerator. It is located on the far right side. It is operated using the right foot.
How to start a manual car
Before any attempt to start the vehicle, the driver should adjust the seat so that the pedals can be accessed easily. After doing that, the following steps should be followed:
- The side mirrors should be checked and adjusted to provide a clear view. After that, the driver can put on the safety belt.
- Using the left foot, the clutch is pressed in.
- The key is inserted into the ignition, but not turned on
- The gear level is checked using one hand to confirm if it is in the neutral state or if it is engaged. If it plays and moves around freely, then it is in the neutral state.
- The clutch pedal is now released slowly and then the ignition key is inserted and turned clockwise. If this is done well, the LED lights will turn on the dash board.
- At this stage, the engine is now turned on, and then clutch pedal then pressed in.
- Next, the driver should engage to the desired gear. However, if the first gear is engaged, the clutch pedal should not be released.
- Using the right foot, the accelerator is pressed, and then balanced before the clutch is released. This is done to avoid the car engine from turning off.
- Lastly, the clutch pedal is slowly released.
Now the car should have started and ready to go.
Driving a manual car
Driving involves changing the gears to drive faster or slower. Below are steps to be followed when changing the gears.
- Before changing the gears, the accelerator pedals should be released. The gear arm is held using one hand while the other hand is used to control the steering wheel.
- The clutch is now pressed in
- The gears can now be engaged or changed up or down in a sequential order. It is important to remember that gears are increased in in following the numeric order; 1, 2, and 3. Similarly, when changing downwards, the descending order should be followed. Failure to adhere to this will make the vehicle to jerk violently.
- After engaging the gear to the desired level successfully, the clutch is released quickly.
- At this stage, the accelerator should be pressed to increase the speed of the vehicle so that it corresponds with the selected gear.
Stopping a manual car
- The accelerator is released immediately so that the speed reduces.
- The brake pedal is now pressed gradually and uniformly.
- The clutch pedal is pressed in
- The car will eventually stop when both brake pedal and clutch are in at the same time. However, the engine is still running.
- The gear is put to neutral
- The handbrake is engaged, the brake pedals and accelerator released
- Finally, the engine is turned off by turning the ignition key in the anti-clockwise direction
The above steps seem simple. However, it is advisable to have an experienced driver beside the learning driver to offer more guidance.