View Full Version : learning how to drive stick


78transam_inprogress
02-21-2006, 11:32 AM
Well here it goes. I'm 16 years old and have been driving an a4 since the start of my driving career. But, as I've been reading on this forum all of you love the m6's. So my question is, how hard is it to learn how to drive a m6? Also, since I will be learning, will it hurt the car if I mess up while shifting and such?

AOC
02-21-2006, 12:56 PM
Yes, you could burn up clutch, grind gears. It isn't that hard to learn if you have bit of hand/eye coordination.

I would recommend learning from a beater but since you are only 16, that maybe out of question. If so, learn to shift without engine running first just get the feel of shifting. I think hardest thing to learn is the first gear, but if you could master that, shifting to other gears should be lot easier.

78transam_inprogress
02-21-2006, 02:14 PM
Hmm well I think Im gonna practice with using one of my parents' a4 to get the feel of shifting and such. From what everyone has been telling me, it sounds like driving an m6 can being a pain in the ass in town.

camaromarc
02-21-2006, 02:38 PM
Once you get used to driving an M6 you won't even notice it. Its like you go into auto pilot mode.

luv2spd
02-21-2006, 02:39 PM
Yeah, manuals are very easy to drive especially w/ the LS1. Go for it.

mpe488
02-21-2006, 02:46 PM
Generally the more torque the easier because it takes less effort to get the right balance of clutch and throttle when you're taking off from a stop. So, M6 F-bodys are relatively easy to drive.

BlackTA98 LS1
02-21-2006, 02:46 PM
if my gf learned how to drive in one week, im sure you can too!

Sgt. Spuds
02-21-2006, 03:56 PM
Very easy to learn how to drive.... I too did the whole sitting in it with the engine off, and just would be like "fifth" and see if I could get it there in the first shot, and so on and so forth, randomizing it all. I haven't missed a gear since my first day driving... But I do have a Pro5.0 and LSS so that helps...

Takeing off in first is the only 'hard' thing... And thats not even taht hard.

78transam_inprogress
02-21-2006, 04:54 PM
Very easy to learn how to drive.... I too did the whole sitting in it with the engine off, and just would be like "fifth" and see if I could get it there in the first shot, and so on and so forth, randomizing it all. I haven't missed a gear since my first day driving... But I do have a Pro5.0 and LSS so that helps...

Takeing off in first is the only 'hard' thing... And thats not even taht hard.

What do you mean about taking off in first? I'm pretty used to driving quads so I kind of think of it as " you have to rev the engine up to the right rpm's before you shift into first?"

Sgt. Spuds
02-21-2006, 05:30 PM
No no no,,,

Takeing off is the hardest part of driving a manul.

If you've drivin quads, it will come very fast for you, just man up and go with a m6, its what you want.

jonny_boy
02-21-2006, 05:31 PM
i think he means starting from a stop in first you know not to much throttle not to little.about the engine revving thing you should be able to shift into first while idling.unless ive been doing it wrong.which is a good posibility :) i say go for the manual love mine i dont think ill ever buy another automatic.

Swang
02-21-2006, 05:35 PM
driving a manual is easy and driving a manual in a v8 powered car...even easier...the only thing thats easier than a gas v8 is a diesel, my god...an fbod is easy. i can put my car in first and pretty much just dump the clutch and itll take right off. these cars are easy.

DaGeneral
02-21-2006, 05:39 PM
I recently got my M6 SS Camaro and would never trade it in for an A4. After a few times I was done driving around the clutch would give off a bad smell but now that Im more experienced its like a 2nd habit to do things and ends up perfect. I still struggle on hills and THAT IS the hardest part of driving a Manual not taking off. At times I feel like I ride the clutch too much and just remember it doesnt take much for it to engage so dont ride it like I did.

LS1Lust
02-21-2006, 05:46 PM
I would sit in 1st with the clutch in then bring the clutch out slow enough that I could start moving then get the clutch all the way out without any gas, just all clutch. This was a good way for me to find that friction point where the car starts to move. I do it in every "new" manual car I drive.

~Alex

aNuBiS
02-21-2006, 05:49 PM
I guess I'll be the only one here to actually post up for us a4 guys. People seem to mostly see it as an ego thing. What, you got an automatic? Believe me, you dont need a manual transmission to be fast. Either way, its up to you to get what you want. But if it comes down to it, dont be afraid to go automatic just cause everyone might think less of you. It hasnt stop'd me, and believe me, there isnt anyone who thinks less of me because of it :D

Silverm6Z28
02-21-2006, 05:56 PM
If you want to drag race, then stay with the a4, but if your into street racing and having a good time drivin your car around town then an m6 is for you. I had a 4 banger grand am with a stick before my m6 and the m6 was way easier to drive. As long as your careful the m6 is easy to learn but its more about what you want to do with the car

Sgt. Spuds
02-21-2006, 07:16 PM
I guess I'll be the only one here to actually post up for us a4 guys. People seem to mostly see it as an ego thing. What, you got an automatic? Believe me, you dont need a manual transmission to be fast. Either way, its up to you to get what you want. But if it comes down to it, dont be afraid to go automatic just cause everyone might think less of you. It hasnt stop'd me, and believe me, there isnt anyone who thinks less of me because of it :D


Hes not asking if a a4 is better than a m6, at anything. Some people drive manuals for the fun of it, and not for the performance that they may be gaining/ loosing with it, some don't care, and some like the challenge of trying to be consistent with a six speed car, end of discussion.

I agree with the hills thing, they are pretty awkward sometimes... Just hold the clutch at the friction point and let it hold the car, I know its bad for the clutch, but its easy and clutches are pretty cheap..

00TAProject
02-21-2006, 08:21 PM
I taught my wife how to drive my TA in just a few days.....At first it was tough for her, but then I told her "Slide the clutch out until the car start rolling. Hold it there until everything catches up, and let it go....The rest is history, she just doesn't take it out without me.
She LOVES driving it....Nothing like rowing through the gears once you have it down.......

clayton02LS1
02-21-2006, 11:43 PM
Learning to drive any manual is easy. It's something you just have to do to get the feel for it. You can't exactly read and do it. And the clutches in the f-bodys are really forgiving, so you don't really have to worry about stalling it.

Covet
02-22-2006, 07:17 AM
Once you get used to driving an M6 you won't even notice it. Its like you go into auto pilot mode.
As much as I love M6's this is not completely true, at least for me. I don't even notice that I have a manual under normal driving conditions a lot of the time. The only times I notice it are A) when I'm flying through the gears and having a hell of a lot of fun, or B) when I'm in stop and go traffic. Believe me, you NOTICE that you have a manual in bumper to bumper crap.

jonny_boy
02-22-2006, 08:54 AM
[QUOTE]Some people drive manuals for the fun of it, and not for the performance that they may be gaining/ loosing with it,



i know i do

Reject
02-22-2006, 09:12 AM
driving a stick in the stop and go traffic in rush hour in a big town REALLY lets you know you have a manual tranny... wears your leg out fast especially when you have a bunch of stupid drivers cutting you off and you having to do the take off bit all over again! i love manual cars....just not for daily driving.

AOC
02-22-2006, 09:56 AM
^^ I don't know, I had 4.10 gears in my 2000 SS and traffic never bothered me nor wore my leg out. I love rowing through the gears, it is a blast.

Reject
02-22-2006, 10:04 AM
i'm talking about the traffic hour, were you only move about 10 feet then stop wait 4 minutes then do it all over again for about and hour and a half and get litterly no where. then the guy with the most raggedy ass car gets right in front of you and SQUEZES his way in and holds up traffic even more! I FKKING HATE DALLAS TRAFFIC!! i mean yeah small town driving is great, just once the bigger it gets the more of a hassle it becomes.

The95Firehawk#250man
02-22-2006, 10:14 AM
i drove my M6 5 hours home after i bought it. in worst learning conditions, had to go trough dallas then starting out icy and then rain the whole way back. you should be fine just dont try to powershift right off. 2nd is easy to get 3rd is alittle harder.

Smoke Panther
02-22-2006, 10:19 AM
The best way i can describe handling a manual is you have to balance the clutch and the accelerator...not push them both the same amount, but the same amount in different directions.
I've found a way to deal with heavy traffic on surface streets. What I do is pop the car in neutral and just letting it roll on it's own while people do all their jockying and whatnot. As soon as everyone else is done, i'll re-engage in the appropriate gear

c0ncEpT
02-22-2006, 10:28 AM
Learning to drive a stick is really easy! I rode dirtbikes all my life and when I 1st went to drive a car with a stick I only stalled it out once and thats when I wasent paying attention and tryed to launch it from 3rd :D!

8GTOKLR
02-22-2006, 11:18 AM
i'm talking about the traffic hour, were you only move about 10 feet then stop wait 4 minutes then do it all over again for about and hour and a half and get litterly no where. then the guy with the most raggedy ass car gets right in front of you and SQUEZES his way in and holds up traffic even more! I FKKING HATE DALLAS TRAFFIC!! i mean yeah small town driving is great, just once the bigger it gets the more of a hassle it becomes.

Stop your bitching..you have it easy. Come and drive the Orange Crush every day here in southern california. We have 18 freeways and all are conjested every single day.

I like the M6 in traffic better because you dont have to hold your brake all the time you can put in nuetral without worry of bands and planetary gears. you can throw revs at people on there cell phones, i can sit in traffic in 2nd gear and at 750 rpms the car wont stall(dam torque) Also learning a stick is easy on this car the dam thing engages at 1000 rpm , Make sure you get a short stick or aftermarket shifter put in makes it that much easier

99camarosupersport
02-22-2006, 11:29 AM
I agree with the hills thing, they are pretty awkward sometimes... Just hold the clutch at the friction point and let it hold the car, I know its bad for the clutch, but its easy and clutches are pretty cheap..
:huh: lol clutches aren't cheap, i do this sometimes if i know i wont be stopped for long, but just be careful when cars are behind ya, that'll piss ya off on a hill when they get really close ;). and learning on a ls1 actually is alot easier than learning on a slower 4cyl. etc. believe it or not, it is alot more forgiving.

SouthEastCamaro
02-22-2006, 11:34 AM
i learned when i was 16 too (im 17 now).i learned on my 02 camaro. i learned in 2 days and i got really good at it. going from stop to first was my biggest problem, the rest of the gears are really easy.

AOC
02-22-2006, 01:34 PM
i'm talking about the traffic hour, were you only move about 10 feet then stop wait 4 minutes then do it all over again for about and hour and a half and get litterly no where.

Yup, been there, done that and I didn't mind (and still don't with my current ride) it at all. :drive:

Lost My License
02-22-2006, 01:55 PM
Once you learn how to drive stick it makes automatics boring. There are pros and cons to both. For M6 you'll feel a bit more manly haha, people will give you a bit more respect also, also ITS FUN. Downside...bumper to bumper traffic sucks alot but only in major slow moving traffic! When your crawling in traffic and moving inches and inches and inches at a time your legs may get tired and its just annoying. For automatics you obviously don't have to go through this...but since your 16 and kids at that age are all about the manual most likely they'll rag on you alittle, this is generally only for two reasons though their jealous or they hate you because their girlfriends are piled in your car. I'm 20 now and my friends are still like this. Though when you get tired and its late at night, and you just want to relax, automatics are nice. As for the difficulty of driving manual...piece of cake once you learn, when your really good tachs become useless when driving normal you'll know when to shift by the sound of your vehicle and you will have the "feel" for it. In general stick isnt hard to learn and its fun. Just go with what your comfortable with, and if it's automatic and someone has a problem with it make them realize you'd smoke them either way

BiggCmass
02-22-2006, 06:26 PM
On the same note- I havent driven a manual F-Body but many other manual cars. What is the shift pattern for the fbody?

135R
246

or
R135
X246

Thanks, I know its a dumb question but if its a hurst shifter w/o the markings, I don't want to throw it into Reverse when I think its 1st the first time I drive it.

DaGeneral
02-22-2006, 06:30 PM
135r
246

BiggCmass
02-22-2006, 06:41 PM
Thanks man, saved me some embarassment...

ss rally red
02-22-2006, 07:38 PM
Go for it dude, I learned to drive a stick in my grandfathers 67 Chevy pick up,it was a three on the tree and I was 9 years old,LOL I promise whatever you learn/practice on will be eaiser than that.........

sundaydriver
02-22-2006, 08:05 PM
I'm willing to make a trade. I will " mentor" you in that feel of clutch in & out while slipping smoothly up & down thru the gears... okay bang them when comfortable, just feel it! If you will teach me to drive an automatic without my left leg and right arm flailing about!!
Last auto purchased in "72" and since I live outta town and back windy roads are the norm with little traffic my shifers in my vehicles are connected to my right brain and can be either used rote or left brain switch and bring on that shit eatin grin!!

bww3588
02-22-2006, 08:47 PM
yeah exactly, once you become used to the stick you will want it all the time. just like sex. once you get it you want6 it all the time. i know when i drive my moms car or somthing i try to hit the clutch and shift the first few times i take off. i love manuals.

kyle91z28
02-22-2006, 10:02 PM
It's all about preference. I personally think automatics are boring. I also personally cannot stand stalled autos. Automatics are better for bracket racing, but m6 is much more fun. Anyways, there are tons of people who drive manuals everyday in traffic and its not that hard. Not to mention not everyone lives in New york or LA. The city i live in has 115,000 people and the only time there is bumper to bumper traffic is during rush hour. So if u cant drive in bumper to bumper traffic, take back roads.

Sgt. Spuds
02-22-2006, 10:03 PM
First time i drove my dads truck ( a4 ) after I drove my car, I went to go press the clutch to start it lol!

JimMueller
02-22-2006, 10:50 PM
I specifically learned to drive stick in a friends beater, only so that I could take my friends '93 (or was it '94?) Viper for a test drive a few days later. Unfortunately, I got stuck waiting for traffic on a fairly inclined parking lot exit with cars piling up behind me. I swallowed my pride and switched seats so I wouldn't roll into the car behind me :argh: But driving it around otherwise was pretty easy.

I didn't drive another stick for a few more years, when I test-drove my current car. I was probably gone for 45 minutes and they were all upset about the extended drive when I returned.

I think the biggest issue is just knowing where the friction point is on the clutch pedal, and knowing how fast to apply/release the pedals. One thing which I do in an automatic but haven't trained myself to do on a stick is left-foot brake. I also find the proper seating position benefits me - this is what I use:
- left wrist extends just slightly past top center of steering wheel with shoulder blades flat against seat
- seat adjusted F/R so that my upper and lower right arm form a right angle at my elbow
- seat back adjusted almost vertical
- seat height just low enough so that my thighs aren't pressing against the front of the seat
- seat tilted so that my helmet doesn't rub
- 1-2 shift: thumb on top, palm on right
- 2-3 shift: thumb down, palm on left pointed diagonally towards 3rd
- 3-4 shift: thumb down, palm on true left

It'll be fun for you, you keep your respect with your friends :), you acquire better coordination and are more in tune with your vehicle. The only kind of coordination you learn in an automatic is how to answer a phone, not spill your drink, adjust the fans, turn on the wipers, and read a newspaper simultaneously on the way to work while dodging other drivers irritated at you :jest:

oohtwo WS6
02-22-2006, 11:21 PM
My favorite thing is when your at the dealership looking at cars....ask to drive a stick, when they ask if you can drive stick, say yes....pause...and then ask whats stick ?? The salesmans face is priceless after that.....and then they dont believe you can drive one till you pull out... I do it everytime I look.. :)

sidewayz28
02-22-2006, 11:35 PM
i learned how to drive a stick with my first car which was a 83 camaro(rebulilt 350, 5 spd). sure enough a few months later i had to get some shit replaced in the tranny..but now with the new camaro its so much better. my car has 21,000 miles so its brand new and everything feels perfect. but be careful and take your time, it can be a little frustrating at first but you just gota be patient! and be careful with those hills they can kinda be scary once your on your own for the first couple times :). but i definitly wouldnt mind an A4 in a camaro. those rears are better then the m6s.

sidewayz28
02-22-2006, 11:41 PM
btw im 17 now...and an A4 must be easier to drive when ur twisted. oh well manuals are more fun

LS1Lust
02-23-2006, 02:20 AM
Yeah going to an auto from a stick is great. I usually end up useing the break with both feet because I am looking for the clutch. My right hand will move to put the car in neutral :) Some times I forget that the car will move when I take my foot off the brake. So at lights I'll take my foot off the brake to get ready to go and the car will start moving! :)

~Alex

catfSSh
02-23-2006, 03:58 PM
i learned stick on a 97 z28 so as long as you have a general idea and someone to teach you, youll be fine.

and yea once you get the hang of it, you forget you are even shifting its so natural.

M6 HANDS DOWN

kornfreak_401
02-23-2006, 07:45 PM
good luck driving stick, you'll get it