Going to teach my girlfrend to drive stick - tips?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by mr00jimbo, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. mr00jimbo

    mr00jimbo

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    I've been driving stick for 10 years. Downshifting, rev matching, friction point, hill starts, etc. are easy for me.

    But I am teaching somebody who's new to them. I tried to teach her before and she was good to start but stalled it. I was a ****ty teacher, i kept grinding my teeth and going "GIVE IT GAS!!!!! No...not THAT much!"

    I think the problem is my girlfriend drives a 4x4 truck so her gas pedal is a lot heavier and stiffer, so when she gets in my car, the pedal is light and she revs it to like 5 grand when i tell her, "a little gas" and when i say less, stalls it.

    I am going to work with her on the friction point and gear positioning (which isn't hard, IMO).

    Any tips?
     
  2. WmHBonney

    WmHBonney

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    Find a large, empty parking lot.
     

  3. Kevinr20

    Kevinr20

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    The way i teach people is have them slowly release the clutch until it starts to grab then push it back in. Do it a bunch of times to get a feel of when the clutch engages. Then work in giving it gas when the clutch engages. Might be slightly hard on your clutch but a good way to start.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR
     
  4. Peace Warrior

    Peace Warrior Am Yisrael Chai CLM

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    It's been a fews years, but I would generally idle up the engine. Nothing drastic mind you, just a few hundred rpms. Then as training progressed (usually no more then the second or third day), I would put it back to normal. I never "passed" a student until they could release the clutch and get the vehicle going without any accelerator at all. (I knew they'd NEVER have to do this in a real world scenario, but it sure as all get out made a difference in their confidence.)


    An aside: I noticed I went through more throw-out bearings specifically, and clutches generally, when giving student driving lessons, but my mechanic said this was normal to see as when when two or more people are driving the same standard shifting vehicle, they do not drive it alike and the "clutch knows."


    Lastly, a local boat ramp is a good place to acid test reverse starting backwards up a hill. Just wait to do this one near the end of your driving class.


    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013
  5. nikerret

    nikerret Mr. Awesome

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    I've taught a lot of people how to drive a manual transmission. The key is patience. Also, force them to drive on real roads before they tell you they are ready. Do go out of your way to find a real road where no one is likely to be.
     
  6. CAcop

    CAcop

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    What he said.

    I learned in a big parking lot on a weekend. All I did the first few times was stop and start, taking it in and out of gear. Then I moved onto shifting up and down. Using the engine to slow and all that other stuff has to wait. Baby steps.

    My uncle tried teaching all kinds of **** the first trip out with his kid. She never learned.

    To this day I can hop into a stick and go because I learned the basics first.

    It is just like shooting. Don't try to learn to shoot on the move the first day you pick up a gun.
     
  7. FLAHOTROD

    FLAHOTROD

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    This, plus:

    Talk her through it before actually beginning. Let her get it in her mind before she actually begins driving. When I have taught people how to drive a car with a manual transmission, I would tell than that starting off is the hardest part. Once they were moving and shifting into higher gears, it was much easier. That put them at ease, knowing not all shifts were as difficult as starting off.

    With the clutch pedal down, have her put enough pressure on the gas pedal to get the engine revs up a little bit. (Have her try this in neutral to get used to the feel of the pedals and the sound of the engine.) Once that is established, have her slowly let up on the clutch pedal. Once that seems comfortable to her, try it for real. Let the clutch up very slowly, letting it slip a little more than usual at first (while she's learning). She can learn to let it up quicker (with less slippage) once she gets the hang of it.

    Most importantly, be patient and do not make her feel uncomfortable. She is propbably very stressed out just trying to learn it.

    Good luck.
     
  8. Mr KV

    Mr KV

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    Slow and steady on stock clutches.
     
  9. Mr KV

    Mr KV

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    Slow and steady on stock clutches.

    I taught my wife how to drive on a twin plate and she got it after 5 tries. I suggest telling your girlfriend to keep her left heel planted on the floorboard as she releases the pedal.
     
  10. Hawker Man

    Hawker Man

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    Flat parking lot, 1st gear only, NO GAS pedal. Just let the clutch out and get the car rolling then clutch back in and break to stop. Repeat many many times.
     
  11. jtmac

    jtmac Señor Member

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    This right here is where to start.

    I had a few terrible teachers that got me nowhere--when I learned how to drive stick, I had to teach myself. I've since taught a few people how to drive stick. No one I've taught has been unduly frustrated as I was or as I've seen other people.

    Find a nice big parking lot, then lay the ground rules:
    - The clutch pedal is down when you start the car and when you are changing gears.
    - You can't be in gear when you're stopped.
    - Be smooth. Pretend there's an egg under the gas and brake pedals.

    Start her off by having her find where the clutch grabs. She can push the pedal back in if it shocks her, or (if your car has the torque) she can smoothly and slowly let it up to get the car going with minimal jumping. Let her do that until she's comfortable. Move on to shifting to second. Let her stop and start over again and move on to shifting to second as much as she wants until she's comfortable. Once she's up to shifting to third, have her gently brake and feel what it's like when the engine lugs. Have her practice that a couple of times and make sure she knows how to downshift (leave rev matching for another time unless she's a prodigy). Do that until she's comfortable. Once she's capable of those, take her on the road and let her integrate them.

    DON'T act bothered if she stalls or has jumpy starts. A couple of stalls and a couple of rough starts won't kill your clutch, but an extended period of her not "getting" it because you get stressed out might. Just let it go, smile, and start over until she's doing it smoothly. If she doesn't have the pressure of your stress and she has clear guidelines, she'll pick it up. :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013
  12. CanMan

    CanMan

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    I'm teaching my youngest daughter to drive a stick shift now. Not right now dammit..... anyway, it's the hills. Took her into Seattle today where hills rule & azz hat drivers ride your butt like they're going somewhere. Once she's confident on hill starts it's all, well, downhill. Synchronize gas & clutch, synchronize gas & clutch, repeat over and over. Good luck with teaching your girlfriend. Hope you've more patience than I do!
     
  13. Hummerbike

    Hummerbike

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    The best way to teach your girl friend to drive a stick is to let someone else teach her. You will have higher expectations of her and when she doesn't meet those expectations it can cause stress and arguments. Best to loan your car to a friend and let him teach her while you go have a beer somewhere.
     
  14. NorthCarolinaLiberty

    NorthCarolinaLiberty MentalDefective

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    This right here. I tried to teach my wife to drive. Well, she eventually drove, but we would not do it again. Never knew any other guy who did not argue when he tried to teach his wife.

    Come to think of it, my dad tried to teach my mom to drive. Another disaster. :rofl:

    Hang it up. It ain't a technical problem!
     
  15. method

    method

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    I did a lot of my learning on a stick in my driveway, simply backing up 15 feet or so, then pulling back forward, just getting a feel for getting moving. My dad had the good thinking to have all the kids have a stick shift for their first car, so I did my practicing in the driveway whilst waiting the last couple months to turn 16. Maybe just let her do something similar by herself.

    Be sure you teach her how work the brake and gas simultaneously with her right foot. Dad didn't do a good job of teaching that, though I remember him trying, and starting on a hill was the hardest thing for me to get down. Get some pedal covers to make it easier if necessary.
     
  16. nursetim

    nursetim

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    I dearly love my wife and want to stay married to her for a few more decades. I do not try to teach her anything.

    To the OP, go ahead a buy a replacement clutch and maybe a transmission now, while you don't need it. If you do, you are covered. If you don't, and you get into a bind, it may sell quick depending on the popularity of you car model.
     
  17. Gallium

    Gallium CLM

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    A good way to start.
     
  18. HerrGlock

    HerrGlock Scouts Out CLM

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    Hire someone to teach her. Same with shooting, same with pretty much anything else. You either have or will have plenty of stress in a relationship you don't need this to add to it.
     
  19. Psychman

    Psychman NRA Patriot Life Member

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    Best advice here, but I bet the OP doesn't take it.
     
  20. mtpisgah

    mtpisgah

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    The best thing is to use someone else's car and save your clutch.