The Shift Pattern
How to Drive a Stick Shift - The Shift Pattern
The shift pattern is most often displayed on
the knob on top of the stick.  The diagram shows some
common shift configurations.  If yours differs, that’s OK.

The six speed pattern will be employed to explain how to move through
the gears.  This information is easily adapted to any other configuration.

                  Make sure that the car is not running.
                  Remove the key from the ignition.
                  Engage the emergency brake.

Confirm that the stick is in the “neutral” position.
It should move full throw to the left, full throw to the right and
pop back to the center when released.  
If there is any resistance, depress the
clutch to the floor and
move the stick forward and back until you feel it pop into neutral.

  • Now with the clutch depressed, push the stick full throw to the
    left, then forward into first gear.

  • Next, push full throw left and backwards,                                   
    until the stick pops into second gear.

  • For third gear, push the stick forward with the heel of the hand
    until you feel it pop into neutral and center itself, then continue
    pushing forward into third gear.

  • Fourth gear is straight back through neutral,                              
    until you feel it pop in.

  • From 4th go forward into neutral, then full throw right,              
    then forward again until it pops into fifth gear.

  • Sixth is full throw to the right and straight back.

Remember to hold the
clutch to the floor when you move the stick
through the gears.  And, go through the gears in the order presented.  
When you are done put the stick in neutral and release the clutch.

A word about reverse (
R).  Look for a button on the stick or a ring
under the shift knob.  Modern cars have these devices to prevent
accidentally going into reverse.  With the
clutch depressed, press down
on the button, or on the stick itself, or lift up on the ring, then go
full throw left and forward into reverse.  To exit reverse simply pull
straight back until the stick pops into neutral (
clutch depressed).

Do not try to memorize.  Simply get the feel of how the stick pops into
the gears.  You will learn the gears without trying as you progress
through the exercises.

Watch the video at the top of the page,
   then click on the link below:

       How to Drive a Stick – The Clutch
Good Job
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Try to follow the driver in this video as
he shifts through the gears.  He starts
out at a dead stop and puts the stick in
1st.  From 1st he accelerates through
2nd, 3rd, and 4th in order.  In 4th he
changes lanes to pass another car.  
As he passes he picks up speed and
shifts into 5th.

From 5th he shifts down into 4th to
change lanes again.  He then shifts up
into 5th to gain speed and pass another
car.  As he passes the road opens up in
front of him and he shifts into 6th.

It will help to enlarge the video to full
screen size.  

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