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Drive Stick

June 21st, 2009

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How can I learn how to drive stick quickly?

I interview for a satellite installer position with Dish Network on Tuesday. I found out during my phone interview that all their trucks have manual transmission, and being able to drive stick is a requirement for the job. It's kind of embarrassing, but in the 16 years since I began driving, I still haven't learned how to drive stick. I really need this job, but have no friends or family that own a manual transmission car. Everyone drives automatics.

Well I learned by simply hoping into one in a large, empty parking lot and having at it. However, that isn't going to work in your case.

I'm not sure if the trucks have a standard H stick or what, but I'd definitely study up on the gears... where they are located. Possibly make a fake stick. You're going to have 3 pedals - clutch, brake and gas pedal.

When you start a stick, put it from a gear to neutral..you need to have your foot on the clutch and brake.
The clutch always has to be held in while you are changing gears.
So if you're going forward and the clutch is in first.. release your foot off the brake and gradually release your foot off the clutch. Depending on the idle of the truck, if your on a hill or what.. you might have to start to put on some gas as you release the clutch.

I had a truck that didn't really require that, but it was idled high.

As you drive, you can hear the gears starting to wind. As it gets to that point of being high rpm or whatever, you need to change gears. However, it didn't need to go too high. You could practice this on an automatic. Put it in the low gear and listen, then put it in the 2nd gear and listen.

Top keys...
Knowing the locations of the gears.
Being able to release the clutch and start smoothly.
Knowing when to switch gears... up and down (but up is more important as to being on time) However, if you start accelerating in too high of a gear, the car won't hardly go or might kill out.
Always put the car in gear before turning it off, but put it in neutral before starting. Starting a car in gear makes it jump hard.
An idle stick (on that moves around freely) puts the car in neutral.

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