Manual Transmission Maintenance Service In the world of automobiles, there are two types of transmission: automatic and manual. In a manual transmission car, a driver-operated clutch is controlled by pedal to regulate the torque transfer from the engine to the transmission and a gear selector operated by hand is used to shift gears. Modern vehicles are typically manufactured with four to six forward gear ratios, although four is becoming less and less common.

In the 1960s and 70s, four speed manual transmission was the standard in the popular muscle cars of the day. By the 1980s, the five speed variety was much more common. Today, four speed cars are still manufactured, but retro cars are really still the king of the four speed transmission. If you want to learn how to smoothly drive a four speed manual transmission, then check out these simple steps.

The Basics

·         The clutch: The pedal on the far left is pressed down when the gears are shifted up or down. Fully press the clutch down every time you gear shift or you'll hear an awful grinding noise!

·         The gear shifter: Shifts the gears in the transmission.

·         The tachometer: A gauge on the dashboard that shows how many revolutions per minute the engine’s crank shaft is going. When you first start driving a four speed transmission, you can use the tachometer to help you shift smoothly. The general rule is to shift gears up when the tachometer reads “3” or 3,000 RPMs. Shift down when the tachometer reads “1” or 1,000 RPMs.

·         To start the car, press down on both the clutch and brake.

·         To shift gears, let up on the gas and press down on the clutch as you shift. Then ease up on the clutch as you press the gas again. If you shift the car too soon, the car will shudder, and you’ll need to downshift to keep it from stalling.

·         Don't ride the clutch. This means you should fully remove your foot from the clutch when you're not pressing down on it to avoid excessive wear and tear.

Practice Makes Perfect

Before you even start driving with a stick shift, it's best to practice with the car turned off. Go through the motions of shifting gears and using the clutch to practice your own mechanics and how the car moves. Then practice starting the car and driving around in a flat, empty parking lot.