39 votes
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Need I press clutch pedal while starting my car in neutral?

It depends on the specific vehicle. Many modern standard transmission cars in the US have a clutch pedal sensor that will not allow you to start the vehicle if the pedal isn't fully depressed. You'...
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  • 24.3k
37 votes
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Why does the rear of my vehicle sink when I apply the handbrake on a downward gradient?

With the handbrake on, the rear wheel is not able to rotate. When the foot brake is released the car will try to move forward. This will cause a rotational force on the rear tire. Since the rear ...
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  • 20.6k
34 votes

How to add a 7th gear to a car to enhance fuel economy?

This is something that used to be quite common - in the '60s and '70s, people would add an electronic (or manual) overdrive to the back of the 4-speed gearbox to give an extra gear (usually two, as it ...
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  • 28.6k
27 votes

Need I press clutch pedal while starting my car in neutral?

Being from Canada, I feel compelled to mention that if you do not depress the clutch while starting when it is at all cold out (let's say < 0 Celsius) you will notice the starter motor labouring ...
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  • 422
26 votes
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What's the best gear to leave a manual vehicle in when parked?

The lower the gear, the better the job the engine compression will do at holding the car if the brake fails, that's because a lower gear makes the engine spin faster and requires it to do more work ...
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  • 14.3k
26 votes
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Why is it sometimes hard to engage reverse gear in a manual transmission?

It's common for manual transmissions to not have the same gear syncronizing mechanism on reverse gear as it does on forward gears. The job of the synchronizer is not just to match the speeds of cogs ...
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  • 1,125
25 votes
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How do the latest automatic transmissions match the efficiencies of manual gearboxes?

Traditionally... The major drawbacks of automatic transmissions were: parasitic losses in the torque converter, something which manual transmissions don't have. fewer gears, so a given engine was ...
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  • 39k
25 votes

What are the pros and cons for the two possible "gear directions" when parking the car on a hill?

You've got several things wrong, as you've made a lot of assumptions. First, in an engine if the ignition isn't turned on (ie: if it doesn't have power), you cannot push start it. You can turn that ...
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24 votes
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My (manual) transmission won't engage any gear 1 day after escaping bog

I've narrowed it down to the most likely possibilities: You may have burned out your transmission, or cracked the casing and lost all your fluid, in which case you're going to have to replace the ...
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  • 14.5k
22 votes
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Clutch less shifting - why does it work? Is it bad?

You can do this if your engine RPM, the speed of the vehicle, and the gear you are shifting to/from is just right. The reason you can do this is because you have synchros in the transmission which ...
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22 votes
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Why do 5 and 6-speed transmissions typically need different gear ratios?

tl;dr: different gear ratios are a feature, not a bug. Some cars use more gears for acceleration, some use them for better gas mileage. You can't do both. At 3300-3500 RPMs, shouldn't the WRX be ...
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  • 24.3k
22 votes

Why is towing a manual transmission car, in neutral, with the drive wheels on the ground, considered safe?

Manual transmissions (most, but not all) lubricate not through a pump, but through the action of the gears and secondarily through the level of the transmission fluid itself. In some transmissions, ...
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21 votes

How do the latest automatic transmissions match the efficiencies of manual gearboxes?

A lot of new automatic transmissions (e.g. Volkswagen DSG) arent actually auto transmissions, at least not in the traditional sense. They have a normal computer-controlled dry clutch (well two ...
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  • 1,340
20 votes
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Turning off a manual transmission car by stalling the engine

Using the clutch engagement to turn the vehicle off can definitely hurt the car. Essentially what you're doing is wearing the clutch, bearings that lie within the motor, rings and valve seals. If you ...
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  • 3,323
20 votes
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Can I confirm clutch slippage by shifting without disengaging the clutch (while stopped)?

It could possibly work, but the better question is why would you want to test it this way? You'd be "grinding the gears" for no reason (even though it's the synchros you'd actually be grinding). This ...
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19 votes

What's the best gear to leave a manual vehicle in when parked?

When I'm on a hill with the front of my car facing up the hill I park the car in first and turn the wheels away from the curb so the transmission is fighting against gravity. When I'm on a hill with ...
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19 votes

Why does the rear of my vehicle sink when I apply the handbrake on a downward gradient?

When you stop the car using the footbrake, all four wheels are held stationary by the brake. When you apply the handbrake, this locks the rear wheels only (in most cars) - as you then release the ...
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  • 28.6k
18 votes
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Does my electronic parking brake remain engaged if I disconnect the battery?

It is my understanding that electronic parking brakes remain in whatever state they were in when the battery dies or is disconnected. The electronic system does not "hold" the brake. It simply engages ...
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17 votes

WHY does an engine stall? (manual transmission)

What it comes down to is there are trade offs. In the case of the engine, it's torque output and rotating mass versus engine speed ... read on. First, it isn't power which is needed, but torque to ...
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16 votes

How to keep a car with manual transmission from rolling downhill when parking on a sloped surface?

The parking brake should hold the vehicle, otherwise it can be difficult to achieve a hill start. When parking, the front wheels should be turned into the kerb so if it rolls it runs into the kerb ...
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  • 34.4k
15 votes
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Lugging the Engine (Manual Transmission)

Lugging an engine is like hammering the engine parts with every explosion in a cylinder. It racks on the rod bearing/journals, makes the pistons slap the side of the cylinders hard, and if is done ...
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15 votes
Accepted

Is reverse gear in a manual transmission equivalent to any other gear?

Reverse is pretty equivalent to first gear, for a ratio of around 3.2ish. If it were any lower, it would be difficult to get started from a stop since the torque just won't be there. If you've ever ...
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  • 484
15 votes
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Manual Transmission - Why Can't I leave in gear at Light

Why can you not just shift to first and use the brake to keep the car from moving like all automatics in Drive, without touching the clutch? In a manual gearbox, the clutch (when you release the ...
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  • 4,402
14 votes
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what damage or extra wear (if any) is caused by turning over the engine while in gear (manual transmission)?

Until the engine starts the only thing applying torque to the drive train is the starter motor, the engine itself is not providing any torque. Starting like this will not cause any damage to the ...
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  • 311
14 votes

Are manual transmission cars disappearing?

According to NY Daily News, only 6.5% of cars in the United States were Manual Transmission in 2013. That number may even be an overestimate. More helpful is Fix.com, which actually has a useful ...
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14 votes
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How to find out if my non-fuel injected car has a rev limiter?

I'm not entirely sure a rev limiter will help protect you if you downshift at a speed higher than the gear you've selected is intended for. If you manage to lift the clutch, even without any fuel, ...
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13 votes

Does my electronic parking brake remain engaged if I disconnect the battery?

There are basically two types of e-e-brakes. There are single motor/cable systems and caliper-mounted motor systems. 1. On single motor/cable systems from autoserviceprofessional.com (Emphasis added):...
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  • 5,215
13 votes
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Brake have failed. Alternative means of braking

No. For (at least) three reasons: It's not safe. You're using the transmission/clutch to slow the vehicle down in a manner it wasn't designed to do. You're destroying your clutch. You state you ...
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13 votes
Accepted

How to keep a car with manual transmission from rolling downhill when parking on a sloped surface?

It isn't normal that the car moves downhill with the parking brake applied, if it does it shows that the parking brake isn't working properly. It should fully stop the car even when on a steep hill. ...
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  • 14.5k
12 votes
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Skipping gears when downshifting

If your car is slowing down, and you are at a "safe" speed for 2nd gear, then its perfectly normal to skip gears. If you're going the wrong speed and the engine RPMs aren't even close to what they ...
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