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Old 03-20-2010, 10:37 PM
 
Location: Midwest
193 posts, read 325,151 times
Reputation: 140

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I've been doing a little research online trying to find a reputable stick shift driving school in NoVA but haven't had any luck yet... My parents never drove stick and I couldn't stop rolling back/stalling on hills when one of my friends tried to teach me so I've decided to enlist the help of a "pro". Can anybody offer up a suggestion on where I should look?

My other option is to hop on a plane and fly down to these guys:

STICK SHIFT DRIVER TRAINING SCHOOL - Home

Thanks!
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Old 03-20-2010, 10:56 PM
 
2,544 posts, read 5,138,681 times
Reputation: 838
That's a good idea. I drive stick, or (5 speed) manual transmission, and never thought of setting up a school
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Old 03-20-2010, 11:16 PM
 
Location: Censorshipville...
2,439 posts, read 3,787,497 times
Reputation: 1197
My brother taught me by setting me up on a hill (no other cars around so it was completely safe). Then he had me repeatedly practice getting the car going while on that hill. It can be frustrating, like anything new, but with a little practice it gets to be second nature. The key is to find the point where the clutch actuates. It's different on every car so you just have to figure it out.

A trick I learned is to blip the throttle slightly while your right foot is still on the brake. It's doable, you just have to shift your foot a bit. While the car is on the upswing of that rev, then lift off the clutch and add more throttle. That first blip of the throttle and the lifting of the clutch should allow the car to stay stationary on the hill or move you a bit forward thus giving you a chance to get on the throttle to provide forward momentum.

Another trick on really hilly areas is to apply a little e-brake. Pull up on the ebrake and push the button down so it doesn't lock(assuming it's one of those lift up ones in the center). Work the clutch/throttle to get you going and then lower the e-brake. It's sort of cheating, but works really well on a big hill. I learned that while driving around in Seattle and its monster hills.

Kudos to you for learning how to drive a stick shift. I'm so suprised that not many people know how to drive one. It's a skill I think everyone should have.

PS: Once you learn how to drive a stick shift in the car, it's really easy to learn it on a motorcycle. Same concept, except the clutch is on your left hand and you shift using your left foot
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Old 03-20-2010, 11:44 PM
 
Location: Virginia
5,295 posts, read 6,775,808 times
Reputation: 1876
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pequeño_Bonsai View Post
I've been doing a little research online trying to find a reputable stick shift driving school in NoVA but haven't had any luck yet... My parents never drove stick and I couldn't stop rolling back/stalling on hills when one of my friends tried to teach me so I've decided to enlist the help of a "pro". Can anybody offer up a suggestion on where I should look?

My other option is to hop on a plane and fly down to these guys:

STICK SHIFT DRIVER TRAINING SCHOOL - Home

Thanks!
My wife and I could use this too. My dad gave us a car that is stick shift. I'm getting better at it, though I don't drive it a lot.
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Old 03-20-2010, 11:57 PM
 
3,977 posts, read 6,526,083 times
Reputation: 2424
It's like riding a bicycle...after some jerky starts and stall-outs, you soon get the hang of it. Just get out in a big parking lot and mess with it.

But, I could have used some lessons the other morning...I was helping a buddy move some of his Kenworth dump trucks. Those beasts have a 13 speed Fuller transmissions. You only use the clutch to take off from a stop, but if you don't time your shifts right, you grind gears. I kept forgetting to hit the splitter switch in the proper sequence...anyway, I was embarrassed!
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Old 03-21-2010, 12:03 AM
 
Location: Loudoun Cty, Virginia
732 posts, read 1,638,262 times
Reputation: 579
Another vote for simply practicing in an empty parking lot. My father taught me in an empty school parking lot during the summers, but I struggled for the few lessons he gave me. Then one day I told myself I was going to drive to my friends house with the manual, and it sort of forced it to "click" for me and I got it.

Practice, practice, and then it becomes second nature and you dont even have to think about it.
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Old 03-21-2010, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Midwest
193 posts, read 325,151 times
Reputation: 140
Folks,

Thanks to all of you for the information. While practicing in a parking lot would be fine... I'm going to be purchasing a 6 speed and not many rental car companies can offer those to you. Plus, the friends that I do have who drive stick always seem to buck the cars so I'm not 100% sure I'd want them to teach me. Soooo, back to my original question of are there any stick shift driving schools in the area that are any good?

Thanks again!!!
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Old 03-21-2010, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Clifton, Va
258 posts, read 330,897 times
Reputation: 98
Keiths Driving School offered instruction with manual transmission when my kids took driving lessons with them. They have lots of locations, so I'm sure you can find one convenient for you in Northern Virginia.

Look them up at Keithsdrivingschool.com

But I think driving stick shift is just one of those things you just have to DO to get the hang of it. Fortunately I learned in South Florida where there are no hills! But its always nice to learn in someone else's car...that saves a lot of wear and tear on your transmission!
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Old 03-21-2010, 09:40 AM
 
171 posts, read 345,091 times
Reputation: 84
Back when I graduated college, I celebrated my first job by buying a brand new manual transmission car...but I had never driven a manny before (don't ask me why I didn't buy an automatic...). Salesman said, "don't worry, I'll teach you to drive it." By the time all the paperwork was signed, it was late, so I just had my dad drive it home and figured he'd teach me. Next morning I got a call from the salesman saying he was on his way to my house. Half an hour later he shows up and says, "ok, you're driving me back to the dealership." No practice in a parking lot or neighborhood streets first. I must admit it was a hairy trip...lots of hills and then driving through downtown Silver Spring, but by the time I got to the dealership I was comfortable enough to drive it home. Guess what I'm saying is if you can't find a driving school don't sweat it too much...buy your manual and just get out there and drive with someone who knows what they're doing. Even if they buck the cars when they drive, you can still learn to shift smoothly.
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Old 03-21-2010, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,141 posts, read 16,300,253 times
Reputation: 6477
What's next, a bike riding school?
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