Tips for driving a stick shift Toyota
Do you own – or are you planning to buy – a stick shift car? Otherwise known as a manual transmission, this type of Orlando Toyota comes with a clutch pedal, a shifter, and a need for know-how. Driving a stick shift car isn’t difficult, but it does require a certain amount of finesse if you want to avoid doing damage to your ride. Toyota of Orlando is here to give you some quick tips on owning and operating a manual transmission vehicle.
A lot of people choose automatic transmissions nowadays; they’re a lot more common than they used to be and they offer a degree of convenience that’s hard to beat. You just sit back and let the car do all the work for you. Manual transmissions, on the other hand, require that you manually shift the vehicle’s gears as you accelerate and decelerate. And while that can seem like it would get tedious after a while, it actually has its perks. Stick shift cars tend to be more fuel-efficient, cheaper to buy, and believe it or not, more exciting to operate as you have major control over your acceleration, speed, and RPMs.
Five tips for driving a stick shift
However, as noted, manual transmission cars do have more parts and more parts mean more potential for repairs. Check out these quick Orlando Toyota tips for driving a stick shift as efficiently as possible.
Tip #1: Don’t forget about the clutch. When driving a stick shift, you HAVE to use your foot to engage the clutch before you try to shift gears. If you don’t, you could do serious damage to your car’s gears and engine over time, resulting in expensive repairs. Always remember to push the clutch in, then shift. Same goes for braking – as you slow down, your car will lower its RPMs and if you don’t push the clutch in, you’ll stall out.
Tip #2: Put it in neutral when you stop. When you’re sitting at a light it’s tempting to leave your Orlando Toyota in first gear so you’re ready to move the instant the light turns green. Some drivers even rock back and forth, using the clutch to go forward and backward… but don’t. Leaving your car in gear and rocking and rolling can damage the gears and engine over time, so put your ride in neutral and sit tight until it’s time to hit the gas again.
Tip #3: Don’t forget to pull the parking brake. When you park your car, you’ll shift it into neutral before you turn it off. This means, however, that if you’re not on a flat surface (or even if you are in some instances), your car can easily roll away. Be sure to pull the parking brake every time you park before you exit your car.
Tip #4: Take your hand off the shifter when you’re not shifting. Some stick shift drivers rest their hand on the shifter when they’re in between shifts or sitting at lights. This actually puts unnecessary weight and stress on the shifter and can do damage over time.
Tip #5: Make sure you’re always in the right gear. For example, you should never floor the gas pedal to get acceleration when you’re in a high gear – this can cause the engine to overheat. Instead, shift to a lower gear and you’ll get instant get-up-and-go.
Get answers to your questions about manual transmissions at Toyota of Orlando
Have questions about stick shift cars or want to check out the ones we have in person? Call Toyota of Orlando at (407) 298-4500. We’re open seven days a week and you can visit us at 3575 Vineland Road, just off I-4 across from the Millenia Mall.