Mazda3 Forums banner

1 - 20 of 61 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Having never driven a 5spd, but reading and seeing the pros/cons of it, I would like to get one in my next car. It'd be shame to go thru life w/o ever trying it. The 3 looks like a great car for MT, infact I liked the protege for 5spd as well...seemed well suited for it.

Anyhow, I'm abit worried about test driving a 5spd since I don't have much experience. Any ideas on how to go about learning 5spd, or do I just have to learn after getting a new car... I mean even driving home might be a trick then too.. :oops:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,290 Posts
If you have a friend who owns an MT car, ask him/her to guide you. Go to an empty parking lot and learn. I think that's one of the best ways to learn.
If you've never driven an MT car before, I dun suggest you to buy a new car and learn from it. Those hills in Vancouver might be tricky for you. At least learn the basics first.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
I was in the same situation when I bought my first car (96 jetta). I had my father test drive the car because I couldn't drive a manual tranny at that point. The day I picked up my car, my Dad took me to a parking lot and showed me the basics in a half hour. It took a few days for me to smooth everything out, but if you are motivated enough you can pick it up quick. I put minimal wear on the cluctch of my new car, so I wouldn't be worried if you think you're a quick learner.

It helps if you understand the mechanics of driving a manual before your lessons.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,626 Posts
somebody on another forum suggested going and buying a beater for 100$ or something and learning on that car. That way you don't mess up the clutch on your brand new car, you get it all out of the way on the yucky car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
314 Posts
I've never driven manual before my Mazda3 and it was the 2nd time in my life driving a manual car when I went to pick up my from the dealer. All I can say is find a friend that has a manual car, ask him/her to teach you or refresh the basics to you. That, and I found that the site www.standardshift.com does help in understanding the basics, but nothing is better than actually doing it. All in all, I find the Mazda3 easy to drive in manual.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,673 Posts
bobmtb said:
I've never driven manual before my Mazda3 and it was the 2nd time in my life driving a manual car when I went to pick up my from the dealer. All I can say is find a friend that has a manual car, ask him/her to teach you or refresh the basics to you. That, and I found that the site www.standardshift.com does help in understanding the basics, but nothing is better than actually doing it. All in all, I find the Mazda3 easy to drive in manual.
What he says. If you are able to drive your friend's car then your 3 will be a breeze because the clutch is really forgiving.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
581 Posts
What you need, in order to learn.

Good friend (who is forgiving and tolerant) with a car with Manual Transmission.
One big empty FLAT parkling lot.
A free night.
Patience.

That's how I learned. I have a friend who let me practice on their well used Focus ZX3. I mentioned the "forgiving and tolerant" part because you'll probably end up experiencing at least one stall. Actually, it's good to know what a car does when it stalls. And if you're anything like me (heavy feet) you'll probably experience a bit of tire squeal and jerky gear shifts until you train your feet to be more gentle on the pedals.

And don't forget, take your buddy out to dinner or at least buy them some gas for their car. It was the least I could for mine when he showed me how much fun a manual transmission on a car is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
882 Posts
I have taught a few people to drive standard over the years but cut back on that because it is very frustrating.

One thing that I found people liked is being taught how to shift by feel so you can drive without listening to engine revs and your listening to music. That's somewhat advanced but once I got the people starting without stalling I'd start getting them started on that. ;)

It's not terribly hard to learn, what my wife had problems with which ultimately lead to her not wanting to drive standard was that she felt that minding the clutch and all that took her attention away from the road. Some people are like that but for most it just blends in.

Anyways good luck with that, go find a buddy and offer up some dinner and a few beers (for after) that should do the trick. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
882 Posts
One upshot of learning to drive a manual is that once you get it started it's nowhere to go but up. You'll always be learning timing and other skills like power shifting as you drive them more and more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
168 Posts
If you can't find a friend or family to loan you a stick shift, you should be able to rent one, but go with someone who can drive a manual. And, yes, a large, empty parking lot is the best place to practice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,201 Posts
somebody on another forum suggested going and buying a beater for 100$ or something and learning on that car. That way you don't mess up the clutch on your brand new car, you get it all out of the way on the yucky car.
Wow... they actually sell pos cars that cheap? How crappy are we talking?

Great site bob!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
I learned to drive a stick in about 1/2 an hour. My pops took me to an empty parking lot and taught me 3 or 4 things and the he said, OK lets go! We went straight to the highway after that. I had to go back to College two days later and I went back without my car because I didn't feel to confident with driving it. That lasted for about a week and a half and I had somebody take me back home to pick it back up. I was drove it back to school without to many problems because it was mostly highway driving. The next day I drove around campus to learn how to drive it.

Someone once told me the key to getting it is to not let your foot off the clutch until you get to third. As you get more practice you will be able to let your foot off.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
779 Posts
My first car was a manual, Saturn SC2, which was actually my oldest brother's car. The day he gave it to me, he brought me out to the local park and went over the basics which went fairly quickly. Same day I learned how to drive up hills and go onto the freeway. Took 2-3 days to get comfortable and about a week or so to master.

The main thing about manuals is getting into first gear. Once you're rolling everything else becomes a synch (and can get repetitive). The Mazda3 shouldn't be too hard to learn on (it's got a great clutch!) given you have a good teacher.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
thx for the advice/info

thanks for the info/advice everyone... much appreicated. i guess it does come down to having confidence in your driving ability. its funny though, that everywhere outside of north america stanard transmissions are the norm, and traffic is worse than what we find here... (asia/europe)...

are we just lazy here or what ? :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
744 Posts
One thing to make sure that you have when starting out is a friend that has more patience than you do. I don't know what I would do if my girlfriend didn't already come "equipped" with the knowledge of driving a manual because I would have done anything to make sure she didn't grind the gears while driving my cars, like resort to an automatic. (I hate to think of it)

I started out learning from my step-dad who yelled at me when I grinded the gears, 3 weeks later I still had trouble then my bother took over teaching me and I had a good rhythm down that day. Of course you are still going to mess up, because the learning curve is never ending. I am a 5 year "manual exclusive" driver and I am trying to keep my foot off the clutch when I'm not shifting (Like while sitting at a stop light). I am also trying to get rid of the habit of downshifting all of the time. As my brother later told me "The brakes are used for slowing down while the transmission is used for speeding up" and "Brakes are cheaper than clutches and sycronizer plates"

Just for the heck of it, if you want to know how a manual transmission works check out http://www.howstuffworks.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,201 Posts
I read that guide... While you're at it read about the automatic. I never appreciated its sophisticated structure until I did. It's so much more advanced than the standard transmission... but it's so quickly dismissed.
 
1 - 20 of 61 Posts
Top