One of my goals for 2011 was to learn how to drive a standard. I haven't really practiced much because the truck we have has no power steering and I didn't feel safe taking it out on the roads. Now that we have a new truck I decided to give it a shot again. What I learned is I have definitely improved at driving a standard from the first time I tried it earlier this year. My problem area is when first taking off from a stop. I can shift from first through third once I'm moving easily. I've definitely gotten that part down lol. My first time trying today on the road I only stalled once and only popped the clutch once. Then I watched my husband drive and learned a few things.
1. You can push the clutch all the way in quickly and without the brake.
2. You can use the brake without the clutch in shallow turns.
3. You have to ease out on the clutch slowly . . . very slowly!
4. You can skip gears going up but NOT down!
5. You always use the emergency brake on slopes when parking and must be in 1st or L.
6. You must be under 10mph to shift down into 1st.
Then I tried again and immediately stalled and popped the clutch all in the matter of a minute! Go me! Once I got going I did well all the way to the end, then I had trouble getting turned around again. I did some reversing too and that doesn't freak me out as bad as it used to. When I got back to the house I practiced easing on the gas while parked to get above 1000rpm, but it sticks right where I need it to ease off the clutch, so I just need to practice jumping the gas up above 1000rpm, easing off the clutch and when the rpm drops again jump the gas again, then good to go. It's just going to take practice. :) I had fun even though it gave me a headache haha!