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Can you drive a manual transmission and do you have one?


DawnM
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Manual Transmission, multiple answers ok  

344 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you have a manual transmission car?

    • All of our cars in the family are manual transmission cars
      13
    • At least one of the cars in our family is a manual transmission
      115
    • No cars currently, but we have had them
      151
    • I can drive one with confidence
      261
    • I can drive one if necessary, but not that well
      38
    • I do not know how to drive one
      36
    • I think it is a good skill to know
      187
    • I don't think it matters if one knows how to drive one or not
      19
    • Other
      3


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Again, just curious.

 

I learned to drive a stick shift when I was about 24 years old.  I just went out and bought one and a friend helped me learn in just an afternoon.

 

When we got married, both of our cars were stick shifts.  When I got pregnant I couldn't fit close enough to push the clutch in AND drive the car!  I am too short.

 

So, we got our first automatic in our married life at that time.

 

We still have 1 stick shift in the family.  It is Dh's commuter car but I drive it sometimes as well.

 

Dawn

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I learned to drive a stick shift b/c that was the only decent car I could find in my price range when I first bought a car.  Every car I've owned after that was a stick except the Outback I own now and that is b/c we couldn't find one used with manual transmission.  I prefer to drive a stick b/c I feel more in control of the car.  Sometimes I still reach down to shift gears before I realize it isn't necessary!  

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One of our two cars is manual, and I can't drive it.  :o 

 

My husband tried to teach me once, and it didn't go very well.  To be fair to myself, his car is kind of... persnickety.  It's a two seat car, so the only time he can teach me is if we have a babysitter.  We have no family in the area to babysit, so the few times a year we get out by ourselves I have no desire to spend the time learning to drive his car.

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I drove a stick shift in my 20's, but have owned exclusively automatics for the last 15 years.  I much prefer an automatic, but can drive a stick just fine.

 

DH has never owned a stick shift, and never really learned how to drive one.  He had to drive one a few times as part of some military exercises and I guess it wasn't pretty.   :tongue_smilie:

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The best way to learn is to spend lots of time driving around a quiet block that does not get much traffic, or driving in circles in a large parking lot making sure to practice stopping and starting.  One thing I don't miss is the challenge of starting into first gear after being stopped on a hill at a stop light!

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My dad and brother tried to teach me. I could drive a stick well on our country roads, but was horrible in the city or any traffic. We own only automatic now. I do not feel it a skill my dds must know (unless they ever plan on going on a reality game show :D). I'm always amazed at those that go on the Amazing Race and can't drive stick - like they've never watched the show!

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I learned on a stick and drove one until I was 26. It's been a decade since I last drove one, but I presume it would come back fairly quickly if I needed to.

 

I'm glad to have an automatic where we live now (lots of stop-and-start traffic) but when I'm out driving when the traffic is flowing smoothly, I do kind of miss the feel of a stick (driving an automatic kind of feels like a videogame, KWIM?)

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I've owned several manual transmission cars in my lifetime, and I vastly prefer driving them over driving an automatic. In fact, when I bought my current car, I traded down from a new-model automatic to a car three years older primarily to get back into a manual transmission. I bought the automatic in a fit of "just wanting to be done looking" after months of researching and test driving and regretted it almost immediately. Eight months later, I was so cranky about it that my husband suggested I see if I could find something that would make me happier without costing us anything extra out of pocket. It was probably a dumb decision financially, but it has greatly improved the quality of my life. (I spend a LOT of time in my car.)

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I had to learn when a company car was in the shop and they had only a stick shift to replace it- it was do or die. Think scary, 3rd world roads, and me having to navigate them and learn at the same time. I pity that poor jeep cherokees transmission, but I learned!

 

We don't have any stick shift cars currently, but I'd like my kids to learn, just in case. You never know when they might find themselves on the amazing race, lol!

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I've owned several manual transmission cars in my lifetime, and I vastly prefer driving them over driving an automatic. In fact, when I bought my current car, I traded down from a new-model automatic to a car three years older primarily to get back into a manual transmission. I bought the automatic in a fit of "just wanting to be done looking" after months of researching and test driving and regretted it almost immediately. Eight months later, I was so cranky about it that my husband suggested I see if I could find something that would make me happier without costing us anything extra out of pocket. It was probably a dumb decision financially, but it has greatly improved the quality of my life. (I spend a LOT of time in my car.)

No fair!  You are making me think thoughts that could lead to a lot of trouble!

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Every car I have ever owned has been automatic transmission. When I was a teenager my dad tried to teach me to drive standard transmission..... that was not a good experience. I could probably handle standard transmission if it were an emergency and someone was dying, but other than that.... you don't want me as your get away driver if that's all you got.

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I learned how to drive on a stick and I love it. I haven't had a manual car in a long time, but I am sure I will again.

 

I will insist on my kids learning how. My mom didn't learn until I was a teen (the car I learned on) and a couple times she was really stranded because she could only drive automatic. I don't ever want my kids to be in that situation.

 

I also think that driving a stick and knowing why I was doing etc gave me a much better idea of how a car actually works. I understand the system, it makes sense to me, and there are NOT many machines about which I can say that.

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My dad took me out to teach me a couple times just after I got my license.  Unfortunately, my younger sister was in the backseat so between her heckling, his stressing, and my perfectionism I didn't learn.  DH took me out once briefly, but I didn't make much progress.  Now with little ones, I just haven't made the time.  DH has a small truck that is a manual and there are definitely times when it would have been handy for me to have been able to drive it.

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I learned to drive on a Ford Festiva manual with NO power steering. Thankfully, my Dad has the patience of Job. My dh learned on one becasue an automatic is unusal in the UK. A sister of mine gave us a manual car for him to use as a commuter. When it died two years ago, we bought an automatic. We will never buy or drive one again. It hurts our knees and wrists.

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I said that I could drive one with confidence but that isn't completely true.  I would need a few hours of driving one to get back into the groove of driving one without forgetting about the clutch.  

I would drive an automatic, and off and on for years, I'd be pounding the floor for the clutch, and waving my hand trying to find the gear shift.

 

I learned how to drive on a stick and I love it. I haven't had a manual car in a long time, but I am sure I will again.

 

I will insist on my kids learning how.

I learned on a stick (5spd. I detest 4spds.  the rpms are too high, and I can't shift any higher.) and insisted my children learned on a stick.  one son complained up one side and down another about what an anachronism sticks are.  he learned.  2dd was very glad as it was part of what enabled her to drive a school van at university.  my girls were also rather smug about the fact they could drive a stick, and most of the boys they knew didn't know how.

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I am glad we had a stick when ds learned how to drive. He is now taking our old manual transmission truck. I learned on a stick and it's no big deal to me  but I do now prefer the ease of automatic. I can eat and drive... :)

 

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My dad thought I should know how to drive any kind of car, for safety reasons, and I will tell my ds the same thing when he is old enough to drive. You never know when your teenager will be out with a friend who will drink too much, and your kid will have to drive the other kid's car home.

 

One of our cars is a stick shift, but the others are all automatic. I can drive any of them, but because there is often quite a bit of traffic around here, the automatics are a lot more convenient.

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1 of our 4 cars has manual.

 

My first car was a manual.  My mom got to drive my car for the first 3 days I had it until I learned to drive it. LOL  I drove a manual for about 5 years, and I can't remember a time that at least one of our cars wasn't.

 

All of our kids will be taught to drive a stick and I will encourage them to make their first car a manual, just so they gain the confidence of driving one.  I also think it is good so that you understand the gears and how to utilize the torque to move the car in different situations. 

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I would drive an automatic, and off and on for years, I'd be pounding the floor for the clutch, and waving my hand trying to find the gear shift.

 

 

I know for a fact that this happens to me.  About 4 months ago I needed a loaner car and the only thing they had available was a stick-shift.  I took it and was able to drive it off of the lot ok.  But I wasn't comfortable driving it until I had driven for a while.  That's when I switched back into driving it without thinking.  Then after about a week, I got my car back.  And I could drive it off of the lot ok.  But I wasn't comfortable driving it until I had driven for a while!  Then I switched back into driving the automatic without thinking.  

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I learned to drive a stick (actually a three on the tree) when I was 15. I'm so glad I learned. I've driven all kinds of trucks and tractors because I could drive a stick--what a blessing being a farm wife.


 


We had a stick shift car all the time we lived in Belgium. Recently test drove Mustangs and impressed the sales guy with how well I could drive the stick.


 


I would happily drive one today.


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I learned on a standard when I was 11, 28 years ago.   It was my dad's 1971 VW convertible.  

He still has it.   :)

I am far more comfortable with a manual transmission than an automatic.  

 

Of our current vehicles, two of the cars are standard, as well as the pickup.  Only one of the cars is an automatic and that's just because we couldn't find a standard...  

 

Buck greatly prefers a manual also (he's been driving since he was 8), but Bean likes an automatic.  
She embarrasses us...  

;)

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I learned how to drive with a manual transmission with the gear shifter on the steering column.  Anyone remember those?  I can drive one with ease, taught oldest ds and dd to drive one, and my youngers will know as well.  I think it is quickly becoming a lesser known skill, but one I think they should have.  I taught ds in our church parking lot.  In less than an hour, he was on the road and doing fine on his own.

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Took my driving test at 16 with a stick shift because that's all we had. I drive an automatic now (I believe all minivans are automatics) and like not having to think. Dh's car is a stick though, so I do drive one occasionally.

when I bought my first minivan 20+ years ago, the entry level model came with a stick. It handled like garbage.  (we immediately looked at automatics)  I grew up with a 67 microbus, and it was a stick.  I think it was the 80's before my mother bought an automatic, and dh was the one who took her car shopping.  we have automatics now because the trim level of the models we have only come in automatic.  

 

sticks don't seem nearly as available.  our kid car is a 20 yo loss-leader bait-and-switch car 4spd.  (dh annoyed the salesman by buying it.)

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I tried to learn.  I failed.  I am scared enough of cars that one more thing to worry about it just too much.  We inherited a stick shift SUV in 2006.  We sold that sucker in 2007 and never looked back.  My husband can drive one just fine, but he learned to drive before the healthy mature fear of 2 tons of metal set in.  You know, when one is 15 and 1/2 and thinks they are invincible.  I learned to drive long after I had learned I was soooo not invincible.  

 

If I lived in a different country or in a rural setting I might think "gee, this is something I must know."  But I don't.  I happily live where a car is a choice, not strictly a need.  I can think of no feasible circumstance I might be in where the ability to drive a stick would save my life or that of a family member.  

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In the UK you don't see many automatics so basically pretty much every one drives manual. I had an automatic for about 6 month a few years ago when someone gave me an old car. I can't say I loved it, I disagreed with its gear choices. I prefer the control of manual. It just takes practice to learn clutch control and every car is different but once you've done it a few years it's like breathing.

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Two of our three vehicles are stick shifts; DH prefers stick to automatic, so his commuter vehicle and our pickup truck are sticks. I prefer automatic, so my van is an automatic. However, he taught me to drive a stick about five years ago when we bought the commuter vehicle, because it has a nice, easy stick, because he felt that I should at least know how to drive one (because at the time, we only had two children, and gas was $4 a gallon, and any time I could take his little car somewhere instead of my bigger vehicle, which was then a gas-guzzling SUV, it was a good thing). I am proud to say that I can drive both the little car and the truck with confidence, although I find the truck annoying, because I'm very short and can barely reach the clutch (especially at 8 months pregnant). However, I'm incredibly grateful for the truck, because my van's been in the shop quite a bit this spring, and without me being able to drive the truck, either we'd be paying out a fortune for DH to drive the truck to work so that I could have his little car, or the kids and I would be stuck at home all day, every day. So, yes, I think it's a good skill to have, although I still don't want one for my primary vehicle.

 

ETA: The same year I learned to drive stick, I also taught myself to knit -- I was proud of myself for acquiring two new skills, even in my thirties!

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I can not drive a stick.  We've never owned one, nor will I even look at one.  My dh had a stick shift when he was in highschool.  He tried to teach me to drive it (we were dating), but I could not do it.  I could never get the "feel" down of when to shift, nor could I get it to shift correctly (I do think his car was a bad one to learn on, there was something wrong with the clutch).

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When I was in my 20s, I was in a Singles group at church. We ladies found out the men had a running joke......they would say, "Do you think she drives a stick shift or an automatic?"

 

What they meant was, "Is she a control freak (stick)or is she easy going (automatic)?"

 

I drove a stick shift and yup, I was in the control freak category! But I wore it as a badge of honor! No passivity here!

 

Dawn

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I haven't owned a manual in 20 years. I'm sure if you gave me some time in big empty parking lot I'd get to driving just fine. I'm glad I know how to drive one. I drive a lot, but am not a fan of driving so I don't have preference got automatic or manual. Shortly, I will be teaching dd to drive. I wouldn't want to do that in a manual.

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My dad made sure we could drive a stick back in the day before we got our license.  We are doing the same with our own kids.  You never know when you will need to drive a stick so it is mandatory here.

 

Edited to add, I am a huge American muscle fan, the sound of a well tuned V8 makes me weak in the knees.  As a die hard Fast and Furious fan, I would love to have a manual again someday.  Vroom Vroom!!!  My dream cars at the moment are a 67 Chevy Impala (think Dean's car on Supernatural) and 1973 Dodge Charger Rallye Edition (like the one on Burn Noticebut no stupid spoiler on top) and of course, the 1970, 900hp, Dodge Charger Vin Diesel drives in the Fast and Furious.  I had a brown one back in the day and I adored it.

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My first couple of cars were stick shift, and I loved the feeling of control and the thought that I was not over-using the brakes. But I hated it when I had to stop at the top of a steep hill and someone then pulled up close behind me, because I always slid back a little before going up. I was glad I drove stick shift when I was in UK, because (at the time), most cars had it.

 

I first got auto transmission cars because they were easier to find and could be resold more easily. Now I am grateful for the convenience.

 

But I like pp's idea of teaching kids to drive both kinds of cars. I hadn't thought of that, but it would be a good skill to have in an emergency.

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I learned to drive stick when I was about 19.  My roommate taught me how and we laughed through the whole experience. 

 

My husband has always driven a stick so we've always had at least one in the family.    Strictly speaking we do not currently have one because my husband totaled it 2 weeks ago, but the plan is to replace it with another one pretty soon.  But, they're getting harder to find.

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We had to learn on a manual, then were allowed to drive an automatic once we learned. We don't currently have one because dh always buys automatic. I prefer manual, and swear my next car will be one.

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My mom insisted we all learn, and I'm glad she did (and she was right that it would impress the boys ;) ).   When we had to replace dh's car last winter, he made the extra effort to find a manual, because we want dc to learn it too.  It's definitely a dying art in America, but who knows if we or dc will always be in America - I want them to have the ability in case they travel, and it really is more fun.    One of my many jobs in college was parking cars as a valet, and 2/3 of my coworkers couldn't drive a stick so I made more $$ just for having that skill.  Around the same time, I dated a guy who was in the Army reserve, and he said even the tanks he used were automatic.  :eek:   

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My first car was a manual and I also currently drive one. I prefer it to auto, but might not feel that way if I lived in the city!

 

We also feel it is an important skill and will teach both dc how to drive a manual.

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Yes to both questions. I learned how to drive a manual when I was 15 yo. My first car was 5 speed Mustang with a stiff clutch. I now drive a manual 6 speed 200hp VW. Love cruising down the highway with my hair flying and my rock music playing.

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