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  1. #1
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    Default Learning to drive

    So, clearly should have sorted this out earlier. I admit that. I got my licence in 1997 while only being able to drive an automatic car. Never learned to drive a manual and stopped driving altogether in 2000. I'm now 32 weeks pregnant.

    We now have a manual because DH does not believe in automatic cars. It occurred to me that I really need to be able to transport my baby around so I have been learning how to drive a manual since I was 24 weeks.

    It's so hard! I think I have the gears sorted (ish) but hill starts, oh my god. There seems to be this miniscule margin of error between stalling and revving the engine and I don't want to even attempt driving in traffic until I know the car won't roll backwards.

    In my arrogance, I think I thought of all those idiots you see on the news, and assumed that if they can drive a manual, then it must be easy.

    Honestly, is this a stupid idea? Would it be easier to learn to drive after the baby is born, rather than 32 weeks? I accept that I should have sorted this before I got pregnant, or at least earlier in the pregnancy!

  2. #2
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    I had a lot of trouble learning to drive a manual, it just felt like i was never going to get it and hill starts were one of my big issues (DH taught me and one day he had me doing hill starts up a usually quiet road and i was having issues, then a car came up behind me and DH was saying 'don't worry about the car, just take your time' etc and i freaked out and refused to move, then got out of the car (parked it) and made DH drive up the hill - meanwhile about 4 more cars had lined up behind us )
    Anyway i persisted and once i got the hang of it it became easy, i now refuse to drive an automatic. I love driving a manual, i feel more in control. It will click, you just have to keep at it and it will become natural. Stick with it

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    I honestly think it is alot harder to learn to drive a manual, after already learning auto.

    You will already have an inbuilt memory, and that is being messed with, as there are new things to think about.

    You are actually learning AND retraining yourself at the same time. So much harder then just learning!

    In all honesty though, just 'doing it' no matter how worried you are, is the only way to go. Over revving and stalling is FINE!! I still stall, and that's when flat and at the lights! (mostly I am off in dream land though LOL).

    However, if the car you are driving does not have a good clutch, you may not actually hear/realise the 'catch' sound it can make, when the car is starting to engage and it's time to accelerate. (do you know the noise I am talking about? Is it pretty clear when that occurs?)

    Just keep going. If you have insurance, you shouldn't worry too much about rolling back into someone's car. Usually you would only roll back a foot or two before either going forward, or reapplying the handbrake if things arn't working.

    If you roll back into someone, then I would be asking 'why the hell were you sitting so close anyhow?!'

    Good luck! If you are stressing out too much, then just make a commitment to yourself that you will go for your manual license when bubs is X months old. No need to push yourself too much before the birth!

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    Keep going! Atleast if you cry, you have an excuse
    It is tricky but once you get it you'll love it.

    Hill starts are the hardest, are you using the handbrake or just the clutch? I would just use the handbrake if I was you, and let the engine rev. My hubby still stalls my car on occassion and he's been driving manuals forever. It just depends on how well you know the car too.

    Good on you for trying!

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    I learnt to drive an auto to learn to steer and just get the feeling of a car, then once I had that under control I learnt in a manual. My dad drove a manual Rodeo ute at the time and it has the most impossible clutch, which left me in tears many many many times. However then my sister took me for a drive in her lancer, and I could drive it perfectly! I had a few lessons with her in that car, and it was as if the whole clutch thing just 'clicked', and I was then fine to get back into Dad's car! So it might be worth borrowing a friend or family members car for a couple of goes to see if that helps it to click for you.

    also when I was learning hill starts, dad would control the handbrake and would just make me look after the clutch, accelerator and steering wheel. I found without the added distraction of the handbrake, I found it easier to learn and was quickly confident enough to begin using the handbrake myself.

    good luck, learning to drive a manual isn't easy but once you've been driving one for a while, the clutch and changing gears will become second nature and you won't even have to think about it :-)

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    Stick to it and be persistent!

    I drove automatic for years then had to learn manual it probably is hard as you are retraining yourself. Last year I got a new car and opted for manual, I'd never go back now!

    Just use your hand brake if your having trouble up hills. It'll all click soon, just don't give up!

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    Gothel is offline Skip the drama, stay with Mama!
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    Stick with it. Once your feet learn the pick-up point, the balance between clutch and accelerator, it's like riding a bike. Can you find a hill where there is no traffic, eg a suburban street with an empty parking lane. take the traffic worry out of it and concentrate on learning the pickup point hth

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    I learnt in a manual, but I was taught that you can put on a bit of accelerator and just lift the clutch slowly (with the handbrake on) until you feel the bite, which is when the car actually lifts up slightly and feels like it is pulling just a little. Then at that point (keep your feet in place!) release the handbrake and keep bringing the clutch up and the accelerator down and you can drive away. Don't rush, or you'll stall from bring the clutch up too quickly or not having enough accelerator. It gets much quicker with practice. Also just remember that you'll always need more accelerator on a hill - the car needs more juice! Don't feel bad about revving it a bit while you are learning. You have to teach your feet to be doing different things at once!

    I'm teaching my brother so that he can upgrade his auto licence, and I noticed that when he's concentrating on the clutch, it goes really quiet because he's forgetting the extra accelerator. It's easy for me to notice, but harder when you're the driver trying so hard to concentrate!

    When I'm driving on my own after not having driven for ages (while my hubby was learning, and while I've been very sick through my pregnancy), sometimes I while I'm waiting at the lights on a hill, I do a test run to find that biting point so I have more of an idea where I need to lift to when I do drive off (ie, I find the point where the car rises slighlty and pulls a little, but then put the clutch back down). I don't think it's great for the clutch plate to do that a lot, but if I'm particularly nervous I'll do it.
    Last edited by JWM; 02-10-2012 at 19:45.


 

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