Automatic cars have become so popular nowadays that it is hard to find a new manual car. Coupled with the fact that people are also generally lazy nowadays, and as such opt for an automatic transmission car in which they don’t have to keep changing gears. However, for those who love the manual transmission cars like myself the general consensus is that the best way to enjoy driving is via a manual car. Although driving a manual can be tedious especially in traffic, I still wouldn’t trade my manual car for an automatic. Actually in some countries like the US it acts as a security feature due to the fact that some car thieves can’t drive a manual so it will not likely be stolen.
Check out some of the things that you should not do in a manual car so as to avoid those costly repairs.
1. Rest your hand on the gear stick
As you drive, one often finds it easier to just rest your hand on the gear stick so that you can easily change gears as and when it is necessary. However, if you do this for a long period of time you risk wearing out the selector fork of your gear box. This is the fork that helps you shift between the different gears as you drive. Damage to it means that if say you change from gear three to four, the gear will not hold in place but will keep shifting back to neutral. I was a victim of this and I can tell you it wasn’t funny, I had to drive for a distance of over 30 kilometers while trying to hold the gear stick in place. Eventually I had to replace the entire gear box and that doesn’t come cheap so to avoid all that, just don’t use the gear stick as a hand rest. In any case it is always wise to have both hands on the steering wheel so as to ensure that you have maximum control of your vehicle.
2. Leaving the car in gear while stuck in traffic
A lot of people do this in order to help you accelerate quickly once traffic opens up. However, this is not a good idea because it will lead to wearing out of the throw out bearing which are pressed up against the clutch disc.
3. Using the clutch to balance while on a hill
A hill start is not the easiest thing to do in a manual car and most people tend to balance the clutch while stuck in traffic on a hill. This allows one to just press on the accelerator when the traffic starts moving rather than holding onto the brakes when traffic stops and trying to balance when it starts to move. Some people don’t like doing this is due the fact that there is a risk of the vehicle rolling back and hitting the car behind if you are not able to balance the pedals in time. However, by balancing the clutch you are essentially burning out the friction material on your clutch disc. If you happen to find yourself on a steep hill and in traffic instead of balancing the clutch, just engage the hand brake and when the traffic starts to move put the car in gear and press on the accelerator a bit. When you feel the car starting to strain against the hand brake, quickly disengage it and step on the accelerator to start moving. It would be advisable to practice this on a flat ground first.
4. Don’t apply a lot of throttle at a low engine rpm
Unlike in an automatic, for a manual one has to first allow the engine to pick up speed before flooring the accelerator. When you shift to let’s say fourth gear and you haven’t let the engine pick up speed there will be a lag and the engine will not respond as quickly as you want it to. When this happens it is always advisable to down shift to let’s say 2nd gear at which the rpm will start picking allowing you to accelerate after which you can shift to the 3rd, 4th and 5th gear as the engine picks up speed.
5. Rest your foot on the clutch as you drive
This is something that I sometimes find myself doing unconsciously mostly while in slow moving traffic. The reason behind this is to allow me to quickly step on the clutch in case I need to slow down. However, this has a downside in that it leads to premature wear and tear of the clutch disc and the throw out bearings.
Check out this video for a more detailed explanation