Tips to Drive a Manual Transmission Like a Professional

Written by sam grover
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Tips to Drive a Manual Transmission Like a Professional
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Driving a manual transmission like a professional race car driver is more difficult than simply making it work. It's a matter of increasing your control and efficiency beyond the bare minimum required to move the car without stalling. They all involve harmonising your accelerator with your clutch and transmission by paying more attention and keeping the engine's fundamentals in mind.

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Clutching

One of the key components of driving a manual transmission like a pro is in how you use the clutch. Basically, you should never clutch just a little bit. Many beginners will do things like use the clutch to slow the car down, or "ride" the clutch while taking an overly long time to shift. These practices all put you less in control and also wear your engine out.

Double-Clutch

You should also learn how to double-clutch.This is when you match the RPMs to the gear you need to be in when you downshift.

It's essentially the same process as when you shift up, but in reverse. When you shift up, you ease off the accelerator because higher gears require less RPMs. When you shift down, then, you should do the reverse--press the clutch, put the car in neutral, release the clutch and rev the engine. Then press it again and drop your car into the lower gear--there should be almost none of the lurching that comes from sloppy downshifting.

Heel-Toe Shifting

Once you're really advanced, you can try heel-toe shifting on curves. This is complex, but you can learn it with practice, just like you learnt how to drive a manual in the first place.

To heel-toe shift, you should press the brakes as you approach a curve. This shouldn't be too difficult, as it's what you would normally do.

Next, you need to press the clutch in with your other foot--again, not very difficult. Now that the engine's disengaged, you can do the more difficult task of taking the bottom of your brake foot and putting it on the accelerator. Press it while maintaining pressure on your brakes to bring the RPMs up to where they need to be when you drop the car into a lower gear.

If you do this correctly, you should be able to go around curves smoothly and without losing revs. This will increase both your control and your fuel economy.

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