How To Drive A Stick Shift / Manual Transmission
When driving a car with a manual transmission you are in charge of getting the car moving from a stop and changing gears. Unlike an automatic car, a manual car has three pedals, the clutch on the left, the brake in the middle, and the gas pedal on the right. There will also be a shift lever, normally between the front seats, usually with the gear layout shown on the knob. The most common layout has first gear up and to the left, second down and to the left, third straight up, fourth straight down, and fifth up and to the right. Reverse is normally down and to the right, or up and even further left than first gear. The space between the gears from the middle-left to the middle-right is neutral. A standard transmission does not have park like an automatic transmission, instead the transmission is left in gear when the car is parked.
While learning how to drive a manual transmission it's important to be patient and take your time as it will take some practice before you get the hang of it. The first thing to do is to get comfortable with the controls. With the car stationary, the motor off and the emergency brake engaged get used to pressing the clutch pedal all the way to the floor with your left foot. Study the gear layout and practice moving the lever through the gears. If you are unable to get the transmission into reverse check the owner's manual for more information, you may need perform an action like pulling up on the gear knob to get the lever into reverse.