Can you drive a stick?

My car broke down the last week and while I'm waiting for it to be done I'm learning to drive my boyfriend's stick shift. I absutely cannot get the hang of this thing and wondering if other people had such a hard time learning this. Between my boyfriend and YouTube I seam to get the concept but when it comes to actually doing it it's an epic fail.

Is It Normal?
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  • Don't beat yourself up. 20% of men and 80% of women will never master manual transmissions.

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  • Put a slight amount of pressure on the stick just before you push the clutch.

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  • It's quite easy, it's the only way to enjoy a fast car as well, automatics are a bore. You need to learn it if you ever want to get motorcycle too.

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  • Learned to on drive on many of manuals and my first car was a jeep wrangler so im Pretty food at it even though it's been a while. Online in Florida, I imagine if you lived somewhere super hilly like San Francisco learning would be a nightmare.

    The vehicle you're learning on also makes a difference. I found trucks and jeeps, and older vehicles much easier than more modern imports and sports cars with much tighter gearboxes and springier clutches.

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  • Manuals can be pretty hard to master.. true me.. it took me AGES to get used to it specially the takeoff (which I had more problem with) but you end up getting used to it.. just remember when you start to release the clutch when you change hear to start putting pressure on the throttle

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  • A manual box, I learned to drive in a car with one so yep.

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  • Kinda sorta, but not really. I haven't attempted to drive a stick since spring break 1990.

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  • Years ago I helped my exgf learn to drive a stick. First I unzipped my,,, nah kidding. But when I drove I would have her put her hand on the stick while I shifted. My thought being that If the shifting pattern etc. is in her mind without trying to think about that part then the rest would come a little easier. Go to an empty parking lot and practice. Start off slow, relax and you are going to be nervous, but after a bit of will become 2nd nature. The hard part for most I think is they forget they have to push in clutch also when stopping. When it starts bucking push clutch back in a bit, rev it up a bit more then slowly let clutch back out. If you just sit with car of practice with your timing of pushing in clutch, shifting and giving it gas, etc. Get you tube in your phone, sit in car and with engine off, practice going thru the shifting without hurting anything. Good luck. Give it a little time you will get it. YOU DO KNOW that WOMEN ARE BETTER at multitasking than men. Right ? So don't be scared.

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    • Wait! You have to unzip the stick? Now I'm really confused...jk! 😂
      Thanks for the tip!

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      • At least do us a deal, when you get the hang of driving a sticking back and tell us about what worked for you to get the hang of it. I hope somebody here gives you tips that work for you. (Without the zipper tho).
        Another thing you can do is in your driveway just get used to shifting reverse to first and get the hang of letting clutch out and how much gas to give to try your starts. I think once you get more of it to a minor thought instead of a panic attack while driving. Again -GOOD LUCK.

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        • I'm so excited! I just got back from my first trip through town!
          I first started with one of the above comments of practicing the foot and clutch work inside which really helped at first. From there I did what you mentioned about unzipping the stick 😂ok and going back and forth in reverse to 1st. That was really challenging at first because the driveway has a dip that I was backing into, but after a few days I started getting better at it. Another thing you mentioned was holding the clutch in to brake which was probably the biggest help. I was always too scared of breaking the clutch, so I would press on and off it very quickly causing me to never move an inch. Knowing I could hold it in is what really did it for me!
          My bf works alot and has been gone a few weeks now out of state and I'm so thankful I was able to start getting the hang of it while he was gone so I can get back to it. Thank you so much again for your help!!

          Also, I only had one person lay on the horn at me so it wasn't too bad overall!

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          • Well, I'm glad to hear you were able to use some of the tips and helpful hints you were flooded with. Then you had to weed thru and find what you felt would work for tou. And only 1 person honking at you ? I would say you are for sure a success in the stick. Just remember how important it is for that unzipping. Lol. But seriously, with a stick be glad you don't live in San Francisco. I was stationed there, drive a stick, said hell with this. I went home to Oregon and got my Automatic 1969 Mustang Mach 1, 351 windsor, medium lime metallic in color. Damn, I miss that car. After you drive a stick for awhile, wait until you learn the downshifting to slow down, or to pass on a hill or just passing anyone. Then it's almost like another dimension of driving. Just remember to be smart and be safe. D.D.A.D.- Drive sober.

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        • I wasn't able to practice today, but I will be all weekend and I will definitely post what worked for me. Thanks again for your help!

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  • This will sound silly, but set up pedals and a “shifter” in your house. Watch YT and shift with the driver. It takes repetition and a little rhythm, but you’ll get there. It beats grinding gears and burning up the clutch. If the car doesn’t have hill assist, leave inclined hills until you are confident as sometimes you need to apply the hand brake too after you take your foot off the brake pedal. Think of it as dance moves, and play music while you practice if that’s your thing.

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    • Thank you, that's a great idea! I cant afford to fix his car too and im terrified im going to screw it up..When it comes to these dance moves with the car you would think my laces are tied together...its pretty bad. There is no park assist so I roll back, buck, and then stall. I'm going to set up peddles and practice inside. Thanks again!

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