How to Avoid Jerks While Driving Stick

by Si Kingston

Learning to drive stick is not as straight-forward as learning to drive a car with an automatic transmission. A stick shift requires that the driver be constantly engaged in shifting the transmission from one gear into the next to increase or decrease speed. Drivers will often cause the vehicle to jerk when shifting gears due to inexperience or unfamiliarity with the car and its particulars like the engine revolutions. There are some things you can do to avoid jerking the vehicle when operating a stick shift.

Press the clutch pedal to the floor.

Move the stick into first gear and ease onto the gas pedal while slowly releasing the clutch. Make sure to perform this transition smoothly, or the car will jerk.

Pay attention to the jerkiness. If the vehicle jerked, the revolution, or revs of the engine is either too fast or too slow. If the car jerks back, sending you forward, the revs are falling too low. If the revs are too high, the vehicle will surge forward.

Ease off the clutch and onto the gas when shifting gears. If the revs are too low, shift faster into second gear before the revs drop too much. Add gas when easing off the clutch, but don't take your foot completely off the gas when shifting from first to second gear. If the revs are too high, wait longer for the revs to fall before engaging the clutch. Then press down on the clutch to pull the engine revs down before transitioning to the gas.

Slow down in a low gear. Don't take your foot completely off the gas until you begin braking. This will help prevent jerkiness when slowing down.

About the Author

Si Kingston has been an online content contributor since 2004, with work appearing on websites such as MadeMan. She is a professional screenwriter and young-adult novelist and was awarded the Marion-Hood Boesworth Award for Young Fiction in 2008. Kingston holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mills College.

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