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How to Go Uphill in Reverse With a Stick Shift

Updated February 21, 2017

Learning to drive a manual transmission vehicle is difficult enough, but adding to it the aspect of starting off driving uphill makes the whole process that much more difficult. What if you add reversing uphill to the mix? While this may seem to be more difficult, in actuality, the process is not much different. It's the perception of what you're doing that makes it more difficult, not the actual act of reversing uphill.

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  1. Sit in the vehicle, fasten your safety belt and then adjust the seat to a comfortable position, if necessary. The three pedals on the floor are the clutch, brake and accelerators. The accelerator is on the far right and the brake is in the middle. These pedals are actuated by your right foot. Work the clutch pedal on the far left with your left foot.

  2. Depress the brake first, and then the clutch. Next, release the parking brake. If the parking brake is a pedal, release the clutch to release the parking brake, but keep your right foot on the brake pedal to prevent the vehicle from rolling.

  3. Start the vehicle, and then shift the transmission into reverse. On most cars, the reverse gear is at the far right of the shift gate and toward the driver. Some cars may have the reverse gear in other locations in the gear box. Look at the diagram on the shift knob if you are unfamiliar with the location of reverse in your vehicle.

  4. Aim the vehicle with the steering wheel, and then check your mirrors to be certain nothing is behind you. You may find it easier to turn around and look through the rear window while backing up.

  5. Ease your foot off the clutch pedal while holding the brake pedal. You will be able to feel when the engine engages the transmission. When it does, take your foot off the brake and gently press the accelerator. If the engine has engaged the clutch, the vehicle won't roll forward. It is very important to get the feel for the reaction of the transmission. For that reason, practice doing this as often as possible in an area free of other vehicles or pedestrians until you get the hang of it.

  6. Tip

    Parks provide excellent opportunities to learn how to drive a manual transmission vehicle. Make certain when you go, however, that the park roads aren't too busy.

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About the Author

Don Kress began writing professionally in 2006, specializing in automotive technology for various websites. An Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certified technician since 2003, he has worked as a painter and currently owns his own automotive service business in Georgia. Kress attended the University of Akron, Ohio, earning an associate degree in business management in 2000.

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