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Don't laugh! I have never driven a manual transmission car, i've really had no desire to until i've been looking into purchasing a 2004 WRX STi sometime this summer. All of my friends, family, etc. have automatic transmission cars so I don't have anyone to "teach" me.

I REALLY want to buy a WRX STi this summer, and I want to learn to drive a manual transmission car before I place my order for a STi, so I would like to learn in the next few weeks.

I've called a bunch of local driving schools, none of them have any programs that teach you how to drive a stick. Some people have suggested I rent a car and learn on my own, but I don't want to develop bad habits and ruin the clutch or something along those lines.

What would you guys reccomend I do?

Thanks, any advice is appreciated.

(Don't laugh ;))
 

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Well, the trick is actually you have to force yourself to drive a stick for quite a while to really learn how to do it. You can just rent a car and get the basics down, but you continue to feel a car out and learn how to improve your driving as you go.

I had never driven a stick when I bought my first car just before I was 16. I forced myself to learn...or I wasn't going anywhere. My dad took me out once, played in a parking lot for maybe 10 minutes and I drove it home. It was all me from there. A few stalls at lights here and there, but you just do it.

It really isn't that hard. If you can think like an engineer, it's simple. But, case in point, I taught my fiance to drive my car about a year ago and if I put her back in the car now, she'd have the idea, but it would be back to square one.
 

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Nod, understanding the principals is the biggest thing. After you know why it acts the way it acts you will know what pedal needs the pushin'. Your best bet is to rent a civic or something and have someone that does know take you to a mall parking lot on a sunday or late at night. When in doubt ALWAYS push the clutch back in. Also, when stopping on sharp inclines and trying to start again, without rolling backwards, you can cheat. Just apply the p-brake and start to drive until you feel it pulling against it. Then just turn off the p-brake and roll out. Good luck. Also...where are you from?
 

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I can drive a stick, but it's obvious that I have never done it on a regular basis. I thought about renting a manual car just to sharpen my skills. I even went so far as to call a few car rental places. However, I got the same response from all of them: "we don't rent sticks because people tear them up." I was lucky enough to have a friend whose wife let me borrow her 5-speed Civic (I promised I would pay the deductable if I trashed the transmission). I've taken it out a few times, but I think I'll have to just get used to it when my STi arrives.

Everyone that drives a stick had to learn how at some point, and most of them learn fairly quickly -- able to do a decent job of everyday driving within a couple of weeks. Not all stick drivers are great drivers, but they figured it out anyway. The only advice I have to give is to not freak out about it; you'll do just fine.
 

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Just one thing, if you can drive a stick but are a bit rusty don't bother borrowing a friends civic or something because the STi will feel so different anyway that'll have been pointless for you to drive the civic.
 

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Hehe... Driving stick. I can get around OK, and I've been driving stick for a couple years, but I still don't think I've mastered it.

Thinking like an engineer is good, but you have to convince your body parts to move as well. I understood the concept of driving stick well before I learned how to actually execute it.

I agree with them up there who said to have someone you know teach you in a parking lot...

Don't be discouraged by my comments, I'm just an uncoordinated goon when it comes to stuff like this. Even I learned eventually.

Good luck, I'm sure you'll do fine...
 

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my dad taught me when i was thriteen, i am now 16...... *thumbs up to fathers who teach theirs sons how to drive stick!*
 

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Everybody should learn to drive a stick, it makes you pay attention to your driving. I learned to drive a stick when I was 12 in a 1960 Ford truck. I turn 41 on Thanksgiving.
 

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I was definitly forced to learn to drive stick. When i got my first car (2.5rs Impreza) I either drove stick or went no where... I stalled a bit the first couple days then i got better w/ the clutch and only stalled it once in awhile. After like 2 months of it I had everything down and just needed to fine tune for desired smoothness
 

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back in australia nearly everyone knows how to drive manual... 99% of driving school cars are manuals and you cant drive a manual unless you pass your driving test using a manual. Myself, i never drove an automatic till well after i had my licence... i always thought coming here shifting with my right hand would feel wierd... i test drove an evo the other night and it all come natural after being 3 yrs since last driving a left hand drive manual... i've taught many ppl how to drive manual and never had any problem with anyone learning using the technique the driving instuctor showed me. that being said anyone reading this in north jersey wants any help i can help out, prob is i dont have a manual car here (yet! need my STi) but if u have access to one and need my help, PM me... cheers!
 

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99% of driving school cars are manuals and you cant drive a manual unless you pass your driving test using a manual.
Exactly. The U.S. probably has the highest percentage of drivers who couldn't, and wouldn't drive maunal for any developed countries.
 

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It is probably the opposite here. 99% of driving schools use a automatic.
Other than rush hour traffic, I prefer driving a stick. I couldnt imagine driving a 4 banger without a stick, most 4 bangers are dogs with a automatic.
 

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Maynard/AZ said:
Everybody should learn to drive a stick, it makes you pay attention to your driving. I learned to drive a stick when I was 12 in a 1960 Ford truck. I turn 41 on Thanksgiving.

I totally agree, driving a stick makes you stay much more alert while driving.

And I learned to drive stick when I was 9, on my uncle's farm, in a 1970ish isuzu pickup.... I'm 19 now.
 

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BHODGES3 said:
Also, when stopping on sharp inclines and trying to start again, without rolling backwards, you can cheat.
My '93 impreza L has this feature, hill brake, or something similar. Sitting on a hill with your foot on the clutch and brake, you can take your foot off the brake and it holds. Just tap the brake again, or let out the clutch while your in neutral and you will roll back. Its a GRREAT feature, i love it! Do any other subarus come with this option?
 

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S.T.i said:
99% of driving school cars are manuals and you cant drive a manual unless you pass your driving test using a manual.
Exactly. The U.S. probably has the highest percentage of drivers who couldn't, and wouldn't drive maunal for any developed countries.
They have the same licensing thing in England. If you see an automatic over there (you'll know because it will probably say "automatic" on the back), it's most likely a rental with an American behind the wheel.
 

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FutureStiOwner said:
BHODGES3 said:
Also, when stopping on sharp inclines and trying to start again, without rolling backwards, you can cheat.
My '93 impreza L has this feature, hill brake, or something similar. Sitting on a hill with your foot on the clutch and brake, you can take your foot off the brake and it holds. Just tap the brake again, or let out the clutch while your in neutral and you will roll back. Its a GRREAT feature, i love it! Do any other subarus come with this option?
The Forrester. It's a ball that rolls back in this chamber so it keeps the hydraulic pressure up, it was in one of the Drive magazine issues this past year...I think it's called Hill Climber.
 

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Jag32 said:
Don't laugh! I have never driven a manual transmission car, i've really had no desire to until i've been looking into purchasing a 2004 WRX STi sometime this summer. All of my friends, family, etc. have automatic transmission cars so I don't have anyone to "teach" me.
well, if you don't know the basic principles, it goes like this.
you have the clutch on the far left.
the clutch engages and disengages the gears. with it pushed down to the floor, the gears are disengaged and if you step on teh gas it will just rev, its essentially in "neutral".

the gas is obviously the one of far right.

the basic principle is apply a certain amount of pressure to the gas while letting up on the clutch, and while it varies on every car, when the clutch is raised to a certain height, the egars will catch, and away you go.

But just like everyone else said, practicing on a car you aren't going to be driving, such as a rental, is not very useful, because every car is different and has a much different feel. once you get your baby, give it a whirl, and in no time you'll be just fine.

hope this helps!
 

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Jag32 said:
Don't laugh! I have never driven a manual transmission car, i've really had no desire to until i've been looking into purchasing a 2004 WRX STi sometime this summer. All of my friends, family, etc. have automatic transmission cars so I don't have anyone to "teach" me.
well, if you don't know the basic principles, it goes like this.
you have the clutch on the far left.
the clutch engages and disengages the gears. with it pushed down to the floor, the gears are disengaged and if you step on teh gas it will just rev, its essentially in "neutral".

the gas is obviously the one of far right.

the basic principle is apply a certain amount of pressure to the gas while letting up on the clutch, and while it varies on every car, when the clutch is raised to a certain height, the egars will catch, and away you go.

But just like everyone else said, practicing on a car you aren't going to be driving, such as a rental, is not very useful, because every car is different and has a much different feel. once you get your baby, give it a whirl, and in no time you'll be just fine.

hope this helps!
 
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