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    Thread: MT dilemma - teaching the wife

    1. Member
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      12-27-2018 08:54 AM #1
      So my wife has never drove standard before, so the last few days I have been trying to teach my wife MT. I did take her out to the country where there was a long quiet road where I had her start / stop. I thought she was ready and had her try driving home. I think she got quite nervous with the pressure of traffic and executing at 4 way stops didn't help, even though she was doing it time and again on back country roads. Of course the 'bro trucks' and 'suburban utility van' owners really seem to be overly large dicks, even the females, as they were blaring their horns after the first stall.

      Any suggestions in continuing the teaching?

      I had her feathering the clutch out slowly to get a feel of the clutch.
      I had her slowly applying gas while launching - she was quite smooth already on this
      Up shifting is a bit jerky but told her it will come with practice
      Down shifting, she did it on her own without me noticing until I looked over to watch her RPMs - I was impressed
      Outstanding is hill starts and other emergency maneuvers

      Honestly, I am at a point of saying 'here are the keys you just have to keep going at it' and just get the practice in. Anyone have any other suggestions?
      I think I might get her to go out with a friend of mine, as she daily drives her Fiesta to see if a different prospective might help.


      Of course now that we have two cars, I have been making excuses to just trade in the R for a RS of sorts, so that isn't helping me teach her. 'ya...we might need to trade it in for an automatic'

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    3. Member
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      12-27-2018 09:25 AM #2
      Let me start by saying that I’m impressed she’s willing to learn. I think having your female friend teach her is a great idea as it would reinforce the idea that yes, women drive manuals as well.

      The whole reason I narrowed down my choice to an R is that my wife would never learn to drive a manual (but in her case the right decision). Driving a manual in SoCal sort of sucks anyways.

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      12-27-2018 09:30 AM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by Rudy_H View Post
      Honestly, I am at a point of saying 'here are the keys you just have to keep going at it' and just get the practice in.
      This is likely the best way to go about it. Once you have the basics it's much easier to practice without the pressure of someone looking over your shoulder.

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      12-27-2018 10:20 AM #4
      My only thoughts are can we please not call a manual transmission a "standard" transmission. Since about 97% of new cars come with an automatic of some sort (and most are automatic only), calling manuals "standard" seems silly.

      Other than that, seat time on the road is the only other suggestion I can give.
      Quote Originally Posted by gwmermel!
      May surprise everyone, but I have been "role-playing" the troll.

    7. Semi-n00b TallPaulBet's Avatar
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      12-27-2018 11:06 AM #5
      One method that I used to help my girlfriend become comfortable with driving manual in traffic was I would drive behind her in a different car to eliminate any anxiety about angry drivers blaring the horn at her for stalling or being too slow. It really helped her not be anxious in traffic and I also gave her plenty of room for hill starts. Over time I would progressively get closer behind her and pretend to be an a-hole driver so she can get used to it and be comfortable in any situation. Only took a day or two for her to be cruising in hilly deadlock traffic without breaking a sweat.
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    8. Member KevinC's Avatar
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      12-27-2018 11:35 AM #6
      I went through this a couple of years ago. Progress was very slow at first. At one point we went home and I queued up a few YouTube videos on the topic and had her watch those. That seemed to help a bit. But do screen them first - like all YouTube material, quality is all over the place.

      Part of my girl's initial problem was that she was overthinking the entire task. Once the fundamentals of what's going on mechanically when you go through the motions are taught, it really comes down to practice from there. She was continuing to overthink everything for a while. Once she got past that and just drove and worked on smoothing out her technique, she got over the hump and continued to improve until she was totally proficient.

      Be patient and supportive, and I think she'll come around. Good luck!

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    9. Member KevinC's Avatar
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      12-27-2018 11:39 AM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by TaxMan5 View Post
      My only thoughts are can we please not call a manual transmission a "standard" transmission. Since about 97% of new cars come with an automatic of some sort (and most are automatic only), calling manuals "standard" seems silly.

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      12-27-2018 12:07 PM #8
      I think simple repetition is huge. She seems to have the basics down, so just getting out there and establishing the muscle memory is the last big step.

      Driving with someone else is also a good idea on your part, another perspective can be helpful. On that note as well, I did kind of what KevinC did to and had him watch a few YouTube videos once he had the basic idea down. Doing this too soon can be overwhelming but I think can be really helpful to get past the final hump in being proficient. I liked this one as it gives a little more insight into what actually happens with the mysterious clutch pedal.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=devo3kdSPQY

      Also, a stock Golf R might be easy to drive but the clutch action so refined and numb is can be hard to get a good feel for when the clutch actually grabs. Something like your friends Fiesta might be a good change of pace for a more analogue learning experience.

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      12-27-2018 12:17 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by flypanam View Post
      I think simple repetition is huge. She seems to have the basics down, so just getting out there and establishing the muscle memory is the last big step.

      Driving with someone else is also a good idea on your part, another perspective can be helpful. On that note as well, I did kind of what KevinC did to and had him watch a few YouTube videos once he had the basic idea down. Doing this too soon can be overwhelming but I think can be really helpful to get past the final hump in being proficient. I liked this one as it gives a little more insight into what actually happens with the mysterious clutch pedal.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=devo3kdSPQY

      Also, a stock Golf R might be easy to drive but the clutch action so refined and numb is can be hard to get a good feel for when the clutch actually grabs. Something like your friends Fiesta might be a good change of pace for a more analogue learning experience.
      This is exactly how I learned to drive stick! Well for the most part. I started actually just hoping in the driver's seat with some of the theory understood, and just went from there. After the first evening of trying I watched some youtube videos, but to no avail. Once I was actually able to get the car going from a stand still fairly consistently the youtube videos definitely helped to round out my understanding, I feel like the videos just cleared up some of what is going on behind the scenes. Aside from that, I think trying different cars is another great way to get a feel for the clutch, as well as simply going to a parking lot and just moving from one spot to the next. The parking lot method is what helped me the most hands down. After all the biggest hump is getting going from a stop, once thats down the anxiety goes away from ******* drivers.

      P.S. One thing I have always heard of, but never tried, was putting a sign in the window that says something along the lines of "Please be patient, learning to drive stick"

    12. Member scmarchy's Avatar
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      12-27-2018 12:23 PM #10
      practice, practice, practice. i taught my ex wife a long time ago and would take her out to a quiet hill and practice after work for about an hour per day. after a couple days of that she decided she was ready to drive herself to work.
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      12-27-2018 12:38 PM #11
      I'll back up the truck a bit, and say this: is it really necessary to teach her? Does she have her own car?

      My wife has her car, I have mine. I'll occasionally drive hers when we're both in the car, but she doesn't drive mine, ever. And we're both good with that. We have two cars for a reason.

    14. Member davewg's Avatar
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      12-27-2018 01:34 PM #12
      My wife is great in a parking lot or on a quite road when she tries, each year, to learn to drive the 'vette.

      Get her out into traffic and she basically freaks.

      The hope is to get her out with a driving school (we have one left locally that still offers lessons in a manual car) to see if that helps cement things.

      I'll reiterate what others have said - practice, repeat, practice, repeat, etc.
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      12-27-2018 01:37 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by pnwbrdr View Post
      I'll back up the truck a bit, and say this: is it really necessary to teach her? Does she have her own car?

      My wife has her car, I have mine. I'll occasionally drive hers when we're both in the car, but she doesn't drive mine, ever. And we're both good with that. We have two cars for a reason.
      IMO, I think driving manual is an important life skill like swimming or cooking. Can you get by without it? Sure, but if you have the opportunity and someone willing to teach you, you should take it. You never know if there will be a situation one day where someone needs to drive a manual car. I'm not saying everyone needs to learn how to rev match and heel-toe but I think people should at least know the basics.

      I just started putting my 14 year old behind the wheel last summer in an empty lot I own. He's driven tractors and gators but this was the first time driving a car. I put him in the wife's auto Cherokee first but made it a point to get him in my manual Mazda before I sold it so he could get the basics down. Will he care about driving stick when he picks his first car? No idea, but I'll know he can which is enough for me.

    16. Member TIGSEL's Avatar
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      12-27-2018 02:15 PM #14
      I personally would never teach anyone to drive a stick in my R for a fear of them crashing it. On the positive note, considering how weak the R's clutch is, she will probably bring it's miserable existence to and end much quicker
      Quote Originally Posted by Frank Reynolds View Post
      I lubed it up really well. I got it in eventually but it was nothing like how they show in the video. Usually the case, but I'm friggin sore still!

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      12-27-2018 03:00 PM #15
      This happened to me over 40 years ago, she went from an automatic Toyota to a 5 speed Honda Civic. Drove the car home parked it and gave her the keys, she knew the basics as we had a 5 speed Fiat 124 Sport Coupe. She learned on her own as I think most wives do not like to be taught to drive by their husbands. If she is doing as well now as you describe, probably in a month of being left alone she will be reasonable well accomplished in driving the R that traffic will not bother her. Also, she does not want to damage the R as she sees this as YOUR car and maybe thinks you will be really upset if she does. So, just leave it with her if she needs help she will ask. My wife has only driven a manual since that time, including the Nissan Frontier Pickup. GOOD LUCK to you both!

    18. Member ZPayne's Avatar
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      12-27-2018 08:04 PM #16
      While you can't really help those first few stalls in traffic, its nerves, and its gonna happen, I think the best way to teach people is off public roads at first. Just practice releasing the clutch with no gas about 1000 times before even adding gas. then practice adding gas about another 1000 times before you begin to upshift through the gears and move out on the road.

      I'd suggest a "student driver" sticker on the back window while she's learning, maybe that'll help the basic bitches in automatic CUVs pipe the f**k down.

    19. Member Gbells124's Avatar
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      12-27-2018 10:29 PM #17
      My girlfriends got Wrx she daily’s and she is very impressive. I’ve being trying to teach her to double clutch. She just needs to practice. tried showing her how to heal toe but she is just not interested in learning that as she is not going to track the car. When we tuned her car it enabled launch control and I tried to show her how to launch it but she gets nervous it’s going to break something which I really cAnnot blame her as I try not to launch my car for the same reason. She drives my dsg r once in a while and I’ll have her launch that if she wants.
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      12-28-2018 05:26 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by flypanam View Post
      IMO, I think driving manual is an important life skill like swimming or cooking. Can you get by without it? Sure, but if you have the opportunity and someone willing to teach you, you should take it. You never know if there will be a situation one day where someone needs to drive a manual car. I'm not saying everyone needs to learn how to rev match and heel-toe but I think people should at least know the basics.
      My wife knows how to drive a manual. She learned years ago. Drove my WRX for a while too while we were a 1 car family. But she hated it. Made her unnecessarily nervous.

      The reality is that 95% of the cars on the road are automatics, and that isn't going to decrease any time soon. A situation where you must drive a manual is very few and far between unless your job is a valet driver or something.

      Don't get me wrong, I'm a manual guy. As long as my car needs gears, I want to be in complete control of shifting them. But there's no reason to force the issue in this day, imo.

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      12-29-2018 10:41 AM #19
      The hardest part i had when i learned manual was when i stalled or was on a hill when the car behind me would just blare on the horn. It would shake me up and then i would end up stalling again. Not to mention parking lot ramps where the car behind you is right on your bumper the entire time.

      I learned the most after getting the basics down when i went out solo in an empty parking lot for a couple hours just practicing starting/stopping (as stalling was the most stressful part for me). It really depends on their personality as everyone learns different, i learned much better solo when i could just practice starting over and over again.

      I ended up learning how to drive manual well enough to get by, but decided it wasn't for me pretty quickly.

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      01-04-2019 09:45 AM #20
      Thanks for the feedback

      I think I will get her to try with the friend of ours a bit, but end of day practice!
      We do have 2 cars, so we can trade cars, but she has a base Impreza, and I kind of like my R...but she said so herself too, jumping in once in a blue moon doesn't help, we need to trade cars for a few weeks to give her a shot.

      There are two real reasons for us to get her to know 6MT, so if I park behind her in our driveway, she can move it herself if I am out of the house or not able to for one reason or another. Also road trips, we can trade off driving which is the biggest. She is from a city about 600 km (370 miles) away, so we tend to visit her parents every 1-2 months. The Impreza is ok for road trips but I get bored driving it, and its a commuter car. I have been spoiled more then anything over the past decade of cars which is the bigger issue I think - end of day she said I can drive what ever I can afford, as long as she gets to choose her car which is perfectly fine with me...the little catch is that ability. Last road trip over the holidays, I got eyeing the S4 and S5 Sportback which was a mistake...the thought is there now...

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      01-04-2019 10:37 AM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by Rudy_H View Post
      There are two real reasons for us to get her to know 6MT, so if I park behind her in our driveway, she can move it herself if I am out of the house or not able to for one reason or another. Also road trips, we can trade off driving which is the biggest.
      That makes a lot of sense. I'm in a different spot with a wide driveway that can accommodate 2 cars, but I definitely agree with you on the road trip aspect. It is nice to have that flexibility, and that's ultimately why we bought an Outback as car #2.

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      01-04-2019 11:43 AM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by KevinC View Post
      Let's call the DSG a "standard" from now on! This kind of comment makes me "cranky"(Model A).
      Rick

    25. 03-29-2019 12:10 AM #23
      My wife doesn’t know how to drive my manual R either. I have offered to teach her, but she has her own car and doesn’t seem too interested. For your situation I like the suggestion to drive in a car behind her and let her get time learning without as much pressure.


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    26. 03-29-2019 12:14 AM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by JudithJohnson View Post
      Studying to drive a car is a complicated process. Learning to drive a car is an incredibly difficult process for a woman. Teaching driving a car for women is an incredibly neural process.

      My husband can teach me to write, but since I do not want my husband to shout and scold me, I use the service www.paperial.com from which I buy admission essay always and which helps me, instead of my husband, to learn to write papers, which helps me to become smarter, to become more erudite, to enrich my vocabulary, to become more abrupt and popular.
      I hope your husband doesn’t shout and scold you too much...



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      03-30-2019 10:45 AM #25
      First clue for teaching your wife to drive a stick, or to do anything else: don't refer to her as "the wife."

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