A manual or standard transmission transfers power from the engine to the differential using a clutch and pairs of gears that are manually selected using the gear selector and locked to the output shaft. Most cars today with manual transmissions have five or six different forward gear ratios, however manual transmissions with anywhere from three to seven gears are common, depending on the year the vehicle was made.
The clutch is positioned between the engine’s flywheel and the transmission. Normally the clutch is engaged, and locks the transmissions input shaft to the flywheel. When the clutch pedal is depressed, the clutch is disengaged by a thrust bearing, and no power is transferred. With the clutch disengaged it is possible to select gears. To start the vehicle moving, the clutch is slowly released, and slipped slightly. It is important not to ride the clutch once you are moving (by resting your foot on it for example) because this can lead to clutch slippage (which over time can cause clutch failure) or premature thrust bearing problems. Gears are normally selected using a shift lever, often mounted on the floor, but sometimes mounted on the dash or steering column. The gears are usually layed out in an H pattern, with neutral being the space between gears.