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View Full Version : If You're Driving A Stick....


blas
05-01-2010, 04:59 PM
And you're sitting at a red light, and there are people behind you........PLEASE be courteous and do NOT roll backwards and scare the shit out of the people behind you that you may back into them.

I don't drive a stick, I'm not sure why people do this, but it irritates me. If there are people behind you, quit being lazy and make sure you aren't rolling backwards. I have to ask my brother, but I'm sure there is a way a manual transmission can sit still at a red light without rolling backwards. Especially if we are not on top of a hill.

I nearly shat myself the other morning on the way home because the douchebag at the front of the line kept rolling backwards as we waited for the light to change. And of course, I was right behind him.

Exaspera
05-01-2010, 05:06 PM
Sometimes, when I'm on an incline, I can't help but roll back a bit before I can engage the clutch. How close do you sit behind the cars in front of you?

Mikkel
05-01-2010, 05:08 PM
I'm sure there is a way a manual transmission can sit still at a red light without rolling backwards. Especially if we are not on top of a hill.

The same way as on an automatic, use the brake pedal. I always look out the side window to check that the car isn't rolling when I stop at a red light.

blas
05-01-2010, 05:25 PM
I don't know exactly how far back I stay, but I try to keep common sense and stay back enough just in case they don't go right away when it turns green, because the norm around here is that people tend to race to the red light, but are too busy screwing around that they don't notice when it turns green.

Magpie
05-01-2010, 06:10 PM
Are we talking about not rolling backwards while just stopped, or about not doing the bit on an incline where starting involves a minor backwards roll first? The former is inexcusable, the latter should involve a trip to Montreal and the driver's watch placed behind the wheels. (Friend of the family got taught to start on hills that way).

Exaspera
05-01-2010, 06:15 PM
If the hill is really steep, like some in San Francisco, I'll use the emergency brake to help.

Technically, the space between non-moving cars should be enough that someone can see the rear tires of the person in front of them.

Aut
05-01-2010, 06:39 PM
If they are rolling back in that moment between releasing th brake and accelerating, that's fine. But for the ones that refuse to hold the brake pedal down while waiting to go, that's wrong. They are failing to keep control of their vehicle and without the brake pedal being depressed, the brake lights are not engaged.

casey13
05-01-2010, 06:40 PM
It's kind of hard to have one foot on the clutch to prevent stalling, one on the brake, and one on the gas pedal.

Exaspera
05-01-2010, 06:55 PM
I usually put it in neutral and keep my foot on the brake at a light. Less wear and tear on the clutch.

Mikkel
05-01-2010, 06:56 PM
It's kind of hard to have one foot on the clutch to prevent stalling, one on the brake, and one on the gas pedal.

While you are stopped, you have one foot on the brake and one on the clutch. If the incline isn't too steep, release the clutch to the point where it's just on the point of engaging, move your right foot to the speeder and you are away without rolling backwards (or not much). On a steep hill you pull the handbrake, move your right foot, release the clutch to the point of engaging, release the handbrake and go. It takes a bit of practise to coordinate everything, but you don't need three feet.

AccountingDrone
05-01-2010, 09:34 PM
The same way as on an automatic, use the brake pedal. I always look out the side window to check that the car isn't rolling when I stop at a red light.

Well, I only have 2 feet, and a manual has 3 pedals. I will be on the brake while stopped but at some point in time I have to have one foot on the accelerator and one on the clutch, What is your suggestion?

If people stopped crawling up ones ass while at a light, that slight roll would not be an issue.

blas
05-01-2010, 09:39 PM
I don't go crawling up anyone's behind in traffic. I come to a safe stop at what I feel is a safe distance.

I don't think I should have to worry about the person in front of me rolling.

It's not like I can tell which cars are auto and which are stick just from looking at them, the only way of knowing is when one in front of me starts rolling backwards.

My only issue with people crawling is when they are at the front of the line and keep scooting and scooting, and it's not a sensor, it's a timed stop light. Scoot all the way across, it's not going to change.

Edit: Think of it this way. Most of the time, I don't feel I should have to let last minute lane changers get in front of me, but I'm not going to risk an accident because someone waited until the last minute to change lanes, just as much as you feel you shouldn't have to go out of your way to be sure your manual transmission car is completely stopped at a red light in case someone is behind you, but you wouldn't want to risk backing up into someone, would you?

casey13
05-01-2010, 10:14 PM
I don't know of any car that goes forward in neutral. You still have to put the clutch in to shift.

HYHYBT
05-01-2010, 10:56 PM
I do this a little, once in a while, because while I know how not to, it *is* a bit tricky and I simply don't drive a manual anywhere near often enough to do so perfectly). But unless you're within a few inches of my bumper, you're safe.

greek_jester
05-01-2010, 11:27 PM
It's kind of hard to have one foot on the clutch to prevent stalling, one on the brake, and one on the gas pedal.

Which is why, if the car is on a steep enough slope that it will start to roll before you can reach them, the hand brake should be left on until you can adjust the clutch & accelerator to the biting point (which will hold your car on an upwards slope without rolling). Most British cars are manuals (stick shifts) & knowing how to do a hill start is part of the practical driving test.

blas
05-01-2010, 11:34 PM
Just to be clear, I am not speaking of hills and inclines. Flat road, flat out red light stop lights where traffic should be totally stopped.

I know from riding with my brother (who refuses to drive automatics save for his Fiero) that with a manual, when you first go, it will hop back a tad, that's not enough to scare anyone.

It's the idiots who sit at red lights and roll backwards more than just a tad before they go...like the light is red and everyone is supposed to be stopped and they just roll back because they are too lazy to make sure their vehicle is totally stopped.

Pagan
05-02-2010, 01:02 AM
What I hate are the people that sit there and roll back and forth. That's gotta be hell on the clutch and brake.

Come to think of it, one of my ex's drove a stick and he never rolled back, even on hills.

Technically, the space between non-moving cars should be enough that someone can see the rear tires of the person in front of them.

I was taught all of the license plate.

Kogarashi
05-02-2010, 03:29 AM
Technically, the space between non-moving cars should be enough that someone can see the rear tires of the person in front of them.


I was taught all of the license plate.

My Driver's Ed teacher taught me same as Exaspera; make sure you can see the rear tires of the driver in front of you when stopped. That allows for normal manual roll-back, but not the yahoos that do the back-n-forth at the light.

Polenicus
05-02-2010, 04:11 AM
Bah, this is terrible driving.

I've driven stick for years, I greatly prefer it to standard. And y'know what? I never roll back. When I'm at a stop light on the hill, I shift into neutral and use the brake. I can shift back into gear, clutch, give it some RPMs and get moving before I move backwards at all. If it's a VERY steep hill, I'll use the handbrake.

The douches who rock back and forth are just riding their clutch because they're lazy, and/or they don't know how to start up on an incline. Which leads me to suggest they look into the fine selection of automatic transmission vehicles available. Stick shift does not a 'leet racing d00d' make, and if you can't even start up on an incline without riding your clutch, then you don't know what the hell you're doing, and a stickshift isn't going to make you any faster anyway.

protege
05-02-2010, 05:12 AM
I drive a stick shift...and there's very little roll-back on hills. Of course, I know what I'm doing, so that helps ;)

When I'm sitting at a light, I put the car into neutral, and put my foot on the brake. No sense in having the clutch in if I don't have to ;) I also don't spin the wheels, unlike many of the idiots around here. Again, why screw up the tires I don't have to?

But, what really annoys me, are the idiots who *purposely* roll-back their cars...to try to make people *think* they have a five-speed. Seriously?

mattm04
05-02-2010, 05:44 AM
I just had that happen the other day. I could see the tires and some pavement in front of me and the idiot kept rolling back. I honked, he stopped and we repeated this several times. By the time the light changed i could barely see his plate. Jerk.

Racket_Man
05-02-2010, 05:48 AM
try having a large semi-truck do the rolling back thing on a reletively flat road. several have darn near taken out my front end

Mikkel
05-02-2010, 07:13 AM
Well, I only have 2 feet, and a manual has 3 pedals. I will be on the brake while stopped but at some point in time I have to have one foot on the accelerator and one on the clutch, What is your suggestion?


If the hill is steep, use the handbrake. That way you can use a hand instead of the third foot you lack :D:D.

Andara Bledin
05-02-2010, 08:30 AM
Technically, the space between non-moving cars should be enough that someone can see the rear tires of the person in front of them.
The way I was taught, you should always be back far enough that you can see where the rear tires on the car ahead of you meet the road.
But for the ones that refuse to hold the brake pedal down while waiting to go, that's wrong.
I'm afraid I'm guilty of this. If I'm on an incline where I need to hold position for a bit before moving forward again, I will often not use the brake at all and just hold the throttle at the point where I'm not moving or moving forward a very slight amount. Although, if there is no other vehicle near me, I will do the rocking thing.
It's kind of hard to have one foot on the clutch to prevent stalling, one on the brake, and one on the gas pedal.
In my VW, I used to be able to use my left foot to go from brake to clutch without any rollback. Unfortunately, my current car isn't designed in a way that I can do that.
I know from riding with my brother (who refuses to drive automatics save for his Fiero) that with a manual, when you first go, it will hop back a tad, that's not enough to scare anyone.
I have never had a stick that would go backward on a flat road when starting. Ever. That includes the MG Midget, the Datsun 280Z, the VW Bug, a friend's car I drove once because he was drunk, and my current Toyota Tercel.

Although, since it's been brought up, I've seen a lot of tractors that will hop back slightly before moving forward. Does anyone know why this happens?
The douches who rock back and forth are just riding their clutch because they're lazy, and/or they don't know how to start up on an incline.
I admit that I rock because I'm lazy. But when there's someone behind me, I don't rock, I just hold position.

One thing to note is that for some people, hills are a very rare thing. I encounter a stop with an incline about once a month, if that. Until it was brought up in an earlier thread here, I'd never even heard of the thing with the parking brake.

^-.-^

Midnight_Angel
05-02-2010, 10:00 AM
Which is why, if the car is on a steep enough slope that it will start to roll before you can reach them, the hand brake should be left on until you can adjust the clutch & accelerator to the biting point (which will hold your car on an upwards slope without rolling). Most British cars are manuals (stick shifts) & knowing how to do a hill start is part of the practical driving test.

Same thing here in Germany. If you can't start uphill without the car rolling back, there's no driving license for you.

Chromatix
05-03-2010, 01:12 AM
This *is* one of the trickiest parts of driving a manual. You have to understand how it all works to use all the controls effectively. Once you do understand it, it's not difficult but still annoying to start on an uphill.

First of all, DO NOT hold the car on the clutch for more than a second or two at a time. You will wear it out very quickly - and clutches are expensive - as well as becoming the idiot who rolls back and forward in the queue. It also wastes fuel.

To start up a steep hill, you WILL need to use the handbrake, because you only have two feet and need to operate three controls simultaneously. This is true even if you have only had to stop for a second because the idiot in front of you (driving an automatic) was fiddling with his radio instead of watching the queue in front of him.

The handbrake has a ratchet on it. If you hold the catch in, you can freely move it between applied and released positions without any delay. This is useful.

Anticipating this, get into a habit of using the handbrake whenever you come to a stop using the footbrake and won't be starting again *instantly*. Stop sign on level road where you can see the road is clear - you can save some time by just starting without the handbrake. Stop sign on an uphill - you'll need the handbrake. Traffic light or motorway queue - use the handbrake and change to neutral.

Whenever you use the handbrake, check that it's on hard enough. If you start rolling, even very slightly, when you release the footbrake, it's not enough - press the footbrake again and *then* adjust the handbrake. (If the handbrake won't hold it however hard you pull it, hold the footbrake for now, and get the handbrake seen to ASAP.)

The technique for starting: press clutch, first gear, balance clutch, apply throttle if required, listen/feel for tension on the handbrake ("trying to move"), release handbrake, release clutch once moving.

Department stores *sigh*
05-03-2010, 03:30 PM
I think the OP is referring to what I call 'Rockers' where their vehicle is moving back and forth at a light. I have seen one or two who move a good 1-2 ft back and forth for no apparent reason other then to keep their feet active and look cool I guess.

HYHYBT
05-03-2010, 11:27 PM
You all keep saying "handbrake." Do that many cars still have those? Everything I've ever driven, and all but two vehicles I've ridden in have a foot-powered parking brake, and while the release is often done by hand, it's also located where you have to bend forward to use it. Yes, I learned to do it that way when absolutely necessary, but it's not as easy as you make out. (I've found it easier to work the three pedals with two feet.)

Kogarashi
05-04-2010, 01:25 AM
You all keep saying "handbrake." Do that many cars still have those?

I seem to be the opposite from you. All but one car I've been in (where I've been in a position to notice) has had the handbrake between the driver's and front passenger's seats.

Shalom
05-04-2010, 01:54 PM
I think it's more a function of where they put the shift lever. Cars with a floor shift (both automatic and standard) generally have the handbrake; those with a column shift tend to have the foot-operated emergency brake. (Which means that if you are lucky (?) enough to have a three-on-the-tree, you've got four pedals to deal with down there. Five, if the headlight dimmer is on the floor as well.)

Then there's the old Renault 4, which had the shifter sticking straight out of the dashboard, and in which you couldn't pull the handbrake when it was in first because the two levers got in each other's way. Wonder what genius came up with that design.

Geek King
05-04-2010, 04:09 PM
Pickup Truck, floor shift, foot parking break.

But I know how to drive my car, and can start from a stop on a steep hill without significant rollback. I've heard of the breaks-and-clutch method, but its not how I was taught, yet I do just fine. I suggest people rolling back either don't know how to drive a stick, or are just jerks.

protege
05-04-2010, 06:06 PM
Wonder what genius came up with that design.

Probably the same genius who thought that selling the 5 as the "Le Car" on our shores was a good idea :rolleyes:

Chromatix
05-04-2010, 06:13 PM
Wonder what genius came up with that design.

Either a Frenchman, or a Dutchman who'd been to too many coffee shops without actually drinking any coffee. :roll:

HYHYBT
05-05-2010, 12:06 AM
I think it's more a function of where they put the shift lever. Cars with a floor shift (both automatic and standard) generally have the handbrake; those with a column shift tend to have the foot-operated emergency brake. (Which means that if you are lucky (?) enough to have a three-on-the-tree, you've got four pedals to deal with down there. Five, if the headlight dimmer is on the floor as well.)

I don't think so; the manuals I've driven have all had the shifter on the floor, and also all had (or have) a parking brake pedal (though the two with the hand brake also had manual shift on the floor.) The automatics have been pretty well split between floor and column (by the way, I vastly prefer the column shift for automatics, but it's hard to find nowadays and I cannot figure out why.) Every one of them had (has) the brake on the floor, though now that I think on it, they're also all American makes. Perhaps that has something to do with it.

Pagan
05-05-2010, 12:26 AM
You all keep saying "handbrake."

I think we mean the parking brake and I'm really hoping that all vehicles do still have them.

The automatics have been pretty well split between floor and column (by the way, I vastly prefer the column shift for automatics, but it's hard to find nowadays and I cannot figure out why.) Every one of them had (has) the brake on the floor, though now that I think on it, they're also all American makes. Perhaps that has something to do with it.

Hmm, I've been in several American-made cars that have the parking brake on the right of the driver's seat. Two Chryslers and two Saturns (one of which I drive now). The Chryslers, the gear shifts were on the steering column, the Saturns, both in front of the parking brake.

My best friend's car is a Toyota and her parking brake is on the right side of the driver's seat, too.

HorrorFrogPrincess
05-05-2010, 12:31 AM
There's still one thing I don't understand. (One thing?)

Why do you need to have your foot on the clutch, brake, and GAS when you are stopped in a manual? I drive an automatic, but one foot is plenty for operating both gas and brake.

Magpie
05-05-2010, 12:33 AM
Why do you need to have your foot on the clutch, brake, and GAS when you are stopped in a manual? I drive an automatic, but one foot is plenty for operating both gas and brake.

It's not for when they stop, it's for when they start. You need to switch very quickly from brake to gas so as to avoid rolling backwards.

Sunsetsky
05-05-2010, 12:36 AM
I usually put it in neutral and keep my foot on the brake at a light. Less wear and tear on the clutch.

Yea. That's how I do it too. I learned how to drive a car in a vehicle that was a stick. I used to hate having to stop on steep inclines. I was paranoid that I would coast backwards and be unable to move forward quick enough.

I never understood while people coast back and then move forward and then coast back, etc...I'd imagine you would be wasting a little gas doing that apart from giving the person behind you a heartattack.

AriRashkae
05-06-2010, 12:34 AM
Try learning to drive manual on a tractor with $h!tty brakes, and a father standing behind you yelling "Don't pop the clutch!" And of course, you're driving b/c you have to pull another tractor (or worse, his truck) out of the mud in the barnyard. :lol:

To this day, while I am physically capable of driving standard, I'm terrified to do so because I'm afraid I'll kill the clutch within 48 hours. :lol:

Magpie
05-06-2010, 01:31 PM
Wait... I thought the point of learning to drive on a tractor was that they were really difficult to kill, so you could learn more safely.

AriRashkae
05-06-2010, 05:31 PM
No, he was more worried about me yanking the chain and ripping off important parts of the truck and/or tractor. :o And I don't think we have 5 straight feet of flat ground down the barn, so I was always trying to balance the clutch while easing the tractor forward because the brakes suck and the gas is done by hand over the steering wheel. So, no brakes, 1 foot on the clutch, 1 hand on the gas, trying to see the chain behind me, while steering the tractor on the most level path I could find ahead of me. :lol: It's a wonder I'm willing to get behind the wheel of anything!

HYHYBT
05-07-2010, 01:15 AM
My "favorite" moment learning to drive a manual was when we took a trip to Michigan, and it snowed. The road we were on (no other cars around, or likely to be) was mainly ice, and Dad wanted me to get a feel for what happens when you slide (which I already knew, but just hadn't done in this particular vehicle.) So he told me to get it going, and then hit the brake as hard as I could. Problem: he'd recently been getting after me about my apparently bad habit of putting in the clutch at the same time as the brake; he said you should not touch the clutch until you've slowed down first. See where this is going? Following these directions, odd though they were, I hit the brake hard without using the clutch. Suddenly stopped wheels + engaged, heavy-duty clutch +running engine = broken universal joint + one end of the driveshaft lying on the ground.

AriRashkae
05-07-2010, 01:22 AM
:spew: You know, that makes me feel better. I don't think anything I do could ever top that. My condolences.

protege
05-07-2010, 05:52 PM
Odd. Of course, I don't slam on the brakes all that often. I do know, that with my Corolla (and the Tercel before it), if you slammed on the brakes the clutch would actually disengage. Nice to know that if I have to do that...I'm not going to stall the car too :)

Andara Bledin
05-07-2010, 09:46 PM
Problem: he'd recently been getting after me about my apparently bad habit of putting in the clutch at the same time as the brake; he said you should not touch the clutch until you've slowed down first.
Why would you not shift out of gear as soon as you knew you were slowing (while being prepared to go back into gear, should you need to maneuver)?

^-.-^

Chromatix
05-08-2010, 01:14 AM
One reason is that its better to keep both hands on the wheel when braking. Bad things can happen to traction under those circumstances, just when you least expect it. Also, when you need power, if you're not already in gear you have to take time to select it.

There's also the factor that you can use the engine resistance for a small part of the braking effort, until it reaches idle. That's the reason for using low gears on downhill as well as up. It's possible to put the clutch in and coast, change to a lower gear, and later gently let in the clutch to slow for a turn (and I did this once during a driving lesson).

The "correct" technique for braking is to apply the brake gradually and firmly (rather than jamming it down), and to disengage the clutch when the engine reaches idle (rather than immediately). You can take the opportunity to change gear once you're either stopped or no longer braking.

HYHYBT
05-08-2010, 01:50 AM
I know how, but was instructed to do otherwise. Hey, it was his truck :)

wolfie
05-10-2010, 04:00 PM
To start up a steep hill, you WILL need to use the handbrake, because you only have two feet and need to operate three controls simultaneously.

Back in the early '70s, my mother's Fiat 128 didn't need to use the handbrake - she'd release the clutch using her left foot, and the brake using her right foot - and give it some gas using the hand throttle:D. Of course, once the brake was off, she'd use the gas pedal in the normal manner.

crazylegs
05-10-2010, 05:08 PM
Re the distance thing

When stopped in a line of traffic you should be able to see the tires of the vehicle infront and a small portion of tarmac too before you see the front of your vehicle.

Tires and tarmac people, tires and tarmac

*Source - Roadcraft manual, blue light training.

HYHYBT
05-11-2010, 12:11 AM
I remember Dad telling about a feature on the Studebaker they had when he was little called a "hill holder." If I understand rightly, it was a lever on the door that you pulled to make the brake stay on until you let the clutch out, or something like that. I've never seen one, but like the push-button transmission, it sounds like a good idea that didn't make it.

Chromatix
05-12-2010, 08:02 PM
I remember Dad telling about a feature on the Studebaker they had when he was little called a "hill holder." If I understand rightly, it was a lever on the door that you pulled to make the brake stay on until you let the clutch out, or something like that. I've never seen one, but like the push-button transmission, it sounds like a good idea that didn't make it.

That sounds *exactly* like what we call a "handbrake". Except that it's on the centre console behind the gear lever, and has a ratchet to hold it on for parking, too.

*Source - Roadcraft manual, blue light training.

Funnily enough, I've got an old edition of that. Orange cover, very retro-looking police car, forget when it was published. And still relevant.

HYHYBT
05-12-2010, 11:20 PM
That sounds *exactly* like what we call a "handbrake". Except that it's on the centre console behind the gear lever, and has a ratchet to hold it on for parking, too.
No, it's more automatic than that.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hill-holder

crazylegs
05-13-2010, 09:40 AM
Funnily enough, I've got an old edition of that. Orange cover, very retro-looking police car, forget when it was published. And still relevant.

They're great books - not only for those who are undergoing blue light training but anyone who generally wants to improve their driving skills.

RecoveringKinkoid
05-13-2010, 11:12 PM
Yeah, sometimes if the hill is very steep, you might not be able to help rolling back a few inches. Which is why you should always leave room in front of your car.

Or, they could be "balancing" on the clutch (my husband taught me to do this when he taught me to drive stick)...or I should say, PRACTICING balancing on the clutch on the top of a hill.