How to Start and Stop a Manual Car

How to Start and Stop a Manual Car

Starting or stopping the engine of a manual car is a little tricky for first time manual drivers as it is not as simple as an automatic car. The path to being able to drive a stick shift (manual) car begins with learning how to start and kill the engine in the safest way possible.

Part 1 of 2:
Starting the engine

1
Understand the different aspects of a manual vehicle. Unlike automatics cars, manuals, or stick shifts, have three pedals. The brake and gas pedals are in the same locations as you would find them in an automatic car. However, manual cars are equipped with a third pedal called the "clutch". This is the pedal furthest to the left. The gear shift of a manual car is also slightly more complicated than an automatic car. Manuals have several different gears ranging from 1 to 5, depending on the type of car (some have a sixth gear). Then, like all cars, they have the "R" for reverse. Putting the gear shift into the center position will put it into neutral.
2
Locate the "clutch". This is the petal furthest to your left. Unlike an automatic car, a manual requires the driver to use both feet. The left foot is responsible for the clutch and the right foot is responsible for the brake and gas pedals.
3
Make sure the car is in neutral. Before starting the vehicle make sure the gear shift is in the neutral position. This is when the gear shift is in the center position, you should be able to easily shake the gear shift. This is because it is detached from the transmission and should freely move. Some drivers may leave their car in first gear when they put it into park just in case the brake gives out. If you were to start the car in first gear then it will cause the car to jump forward causing damage to the transmission of the vehicle, its exterior and the vehicle's surroundings.
4
Put key into ignition. But DO NOT turn key just yet.
5
Place left foot onto clutch. Making sure the parking brake is still pulled up, place left foot onto the clutch and push it down.
6
Turn ignition. While keeping left foot on clutch, turn the ignition. Wait for the engine to start before letting go of key. Once the engine is running it is safe to take foot off of clutch, but make sure the parking brake is pulled up.
Advertisement

Part 2 of 2:
Stopping the engine

1
Getting ready to park car Once the car is in a position in which it can be parked, the driver should keep their foot on the clutch until the gear shift is in neutral. If the foot is removed from the clutch before the car is put into neutral the car will jump and die. Now that the car is in neutral, the driver can release the clutch while keeping their foot on the brake pedal.
2
Put car into park. Once the car is in a position in which it can be parked, the driver should keep their foot on the brake until the parking brake is pulled up. Once the parking brake is up, the driver can remove their foot from the brake, the car is now parked.
3
Turn off ignition. The key can now be taken out of the ignition.
4
(Optional) Place car into first gear. This step is optional and an extra precaution. Once the ignition has been turned off the car can be placed into first gear as an extra precaution. This can be done by pushing down on the clutch and then placing the gear shift into first gear.
Advertisement

Part 1 of 2:
Starting the engine

1
Understand the different aspects of a manual vehicle. Unlike automatics cars, manuals, or stick shifts, have three pedals. The brake and gas pedals are in the same locations as you would find them in an automatic car. However, manual cars are equipped with a third pedal called the "clutch". This is the pedal furthest to the left. The gear shift of a manual car is also slightly more complicated than an automatic car. Manuals have several different gears ranging from 1 to 5, depending on the type of car (some have a sixth gear). Then, like all cars, they have the "R" for reverse. Putting the gear shift into the center position will put it into neutral.
2
Locate the "clutch". This is the petal furthest to your left. Unlike an automatic car, a manual requires the driver to use both feet. The left foot is responsible for the clutch and the right foot is responsible for the brake and gas pedals.
3
Make sure the car is in neutral. Before starting the vehicle make sure the gear shift is in the neutral position. This is when the gear shift is in the center position, you should be able to easily shake the gear shift. This is because it is detached from the transmission and should freely move. Some drivers may leave their car in first gear when they put it into park just in case the brake gives out. If you were to start the car in first gear then it will cause the car to jump forward causing damage to the transmission of the vehicle, its exterior and the vehicle's surroundings.
4
Put key into ignition. But DO NOT turn key just yet.
5
Place left foot onto clutch. Making sure the parking brake is still pulled up, place left foot onto the clutch and push it down.
6
Turn ignition. While keeping left foot on clutch, turn the ignition. Wait for the engine to start before letting go of key. Once the engine is running it is safe to take foot off of clutch, but make sure the parking brake is pulled up.
Advertisement

Part 2 of 2:
Stopping the engine

1
Getting ready to park car Once the car is in a position in which it can be parked, the driver should keep their foot on the clutch until the gear shift is in neutral. If the foot is removed from the clutch before the car is put into neutral the car will jump and die. Now that the car is in neutral, the driver can release the clutch while keeping their foot on the brake pedal.
2
Put car into park. Once the car is in a position in which it can be parked, the driver should keep their foot on the brake until the parking brake is pulled up. Once the parking brake is up, the driver can remove their foot from the brake, the car is now parked.
3
Turn off ignition. The key can now be taken out of the ignition.
4
(Optional) Place car into first gear. This step is optional and an extra precaution. Once the ignition has been turned off the car can be placed into first gear as an extra precaution. This can be done by pushing down on the clutch and then placing the gear shift into first gear.
Advertisement