I was cruising along the open road. This being your typical SoCal summer weather, the temperature was somewhere in the mid 80s. Evidently the radiant heat circling around me didn’t faze me one bit. No sir! There wasn’t a worry in the world that would ruin my day! I was in a 1993 “Classic Red” Mazda Miata, with the top down and my hair trailing behind me. For those of you who missed “The Crisis Is Real”, well lets just say the crisis is REAL!
Note: Before we go any further, I want to make one thing clear, the terms standard, manual and stick shift all mean the same thing. They all refer to a manual transmission gearbox vehicle in which each gear represents a limited gear ratio. Through the entirety of this article I will be cycling amongst all three words, so just know that they all mean the same thing.
I’m sure a good number of you are scratching your head in absolute confusion. After all, this is 2015, an era where technology has made immense progress. Heck, some of you may have never even seen a manual vehicle. In an effort to make driving more consumer friendly, while taking into account fuel efficiency, the automotive industry has been making the automatic transmission and/or the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) a much more common setup in modern cars. Instead of boring everyone with the technical details, I will simply make a case for the manual transmission vehicle and the importance of learning to drive one.
Sure, the odds of you waking up one morning and saying to yourself, “Oh, geez! I really want to live a little today. Guess I’ll just take the other car”, is fairly unlikely. BUT what if there was a zombie apocalypse or an alien invasion and the only means between you escaping (or saving the world) was a manual transmission vehicle? Wouldn’t that make you think twice?
I’m going to be honest with you all (as I have always been), learning to drive a stick shift isn’t rocket science. As a matter of fact, once you understand the basic concept, the rest can be perfected through continuous practice. Like all things in life, we at MP do not believe we hold ALL the knowledge in the universe (although we tell ourselves otherwise). We are simply sharing our own knowledge and what has worked best for us when it comes to learning to drive a stick shift car. It’s advised that you consult driving instructors, the internet (Google, YouTube, Wikipedia, etc.) and social networks for additional resources.
Here we go…
The automobile’s engine power output is transferred to the wheels via various gears. These gears come in difference sizes, with each size associated to a specific gear ratio. To help everyone better understand the concept, we recommend checking out this awesome classic video. A manual car, just like a multi-speed bicycle, allows the driver to manually shift between the various gears to help better control the vehicles power output between the engine and the wheels. The lower the gear your vehicle is in (1st or 2nd), the harder the gear has to work (revolutions) in order for the appropriate power to be transferred across. As you move up in the gear sequence, the power output to gear revolution (gear ratio) will eventually become 1:1. The difference between a manual transmission and an automatic transmission car is that the manual transmission requires the driver to handle all of the shifting between gears while in automatic cars, the computer takes care of the operation.
At this stage, I’m sure you guys have taken in quite a lot of knowledge. Since our goal is to educate and not decimate, we’re going to pause here for everyone to break and process the insights. For those who have been captivated by this article and cannot wait, we advise you to search the internet for more knowledge on how a manual transmission and the gearbox works. Be sure to check back for part 2 where we actually tell you how to drive a stick shift vehicle.
We leave you with this… All men should know how to work his “stick” properly!