Costly Mistakes to Avoid When Driving a Manual

While there’s a lot we learn about driving a manual transmission in driving school, they don’t teach about the bad habits that can cost us in repair expenses, do they?


Last week we talked about the bad driving habits that can cost you thousands in repair expenses. Those bad habits we mentioned however, were specific to drivers of automatic transmission cars. What about people who drive manual? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Here are the driving habits you should stop doing to avoid expensive repairs on your manual transmission vehicle.

Just as before, the tips in here are taken from a video by Jason Fenske via the EngineeringExplained YouTube channel. You can find out in more detail the different points we describe below (including handy physical demonstrations of what happens inside your car) if you click through to the video.

Don’t Rest Your Hand On The Gear Shift

When anticipating a gear chance or immediately after changing gears, it’s natural to want to rest your hand on the gear shift for a bit. However, if you’re constantly applying pressure to it even when not switching gears, you’re potentially damaging your car. What you’re doing when you push down on the gear shift is that a part of the gear called the selector fork pushes against the rotating collar.

Costly Mistakes to Avoid When Driving a Manual

The static fork pushes against the moving collar which causes friction. This is tolerable if you only push down when you need to, but unnecessarily keeping it down when you’re not changing gears can put undue damage on the selector fork, which can result in expensive replacements sooner than necessary.

Not Putting Your Car In Neutral At A Stoplight

Sometimes when at a red light, manual transmission drivers will leave the car in gear while using the clutch to hold the car in place. What we should do instead is put it in neutral, and take our foot off the clutch.

Why? Whenever your car is in gear with your foot on the clutch, while the car is staying still, you’re applying more pressure onto the transmission than necessary. This can introduce unecessary wear and tear onto your transmission which will cost a bomb should you have to prematurely get it to working order again.

Don’t Use the Clutch to Hold Yourself on a Hill

One of the harder tests we all have to go through when getting our driver’s license in Malaysia is to get moving from a braked position on a hill. To do this, we put on the handbrake, get into gear, and slowly release the brakes while stepping on the accelerator pedal to push ourselves forward. This is the correct thing to do.

Some people however, get into the habit of playing with the clutch and accelerator to stay stable on a hill for fear of rolling backwards. This agains puts undue frictional damage on the transmission and should be avoided. If you’re not confident with your ability to do the hill maneuver, practice on flat roads until you get the hang of it. It can save you a lot of pricey repairs in future.

We hope this list helps you to break any bad driving habits that can ruin your manual transmission car. Speaking of cars, why not check out our comparison tool for car loans to see the latest offers and deals in the Malaysian market right now. Have anything to add to our list? Do share your thoughts with us in the comment section down below!


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