Not HOW to learn manual....but WHERE to learn manual???
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This is a discussion on Not HOW to learn manual....but WHERE to learn manual??? within the New Member Hangout forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; First off this seems like an awesome forum with alot of knowledgeable people! I'm in the market for a new ...

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    Not HOW to learn manual....but WHERE to learn manual???

    First off this seems like an awesome forum with alot of knowledgeable people!

    I'm in the market for a new car, and the 09 wrx 5dr is at the top of my list. Problem is, I have next to no experience driving a manual car. All I have is a basic to moderate understanding of how the transmission works (took vehicle dynamics/I'm in a Formula SAE program), and a ton of videogame practice. So, what I'm trying to find is a way to practice on a car before I test drive the car I might actually buy.

    This is more difficult than I thought! I have some friends with manual transmissions, but they're all too afraid I'll damage their clutch (alot of em keep their cars in crappy condition, and the clutch is already just about to burn out). I looked for car rental places that offer manual transmissions, and it seems like all car rental places only carry automatic transmissions now. Same thing with driving schools.

    So where should/can I learn??? I'm thinking of just going to a place like carmax, and giving the intention that I want to buy a car. Hopefully have a salesman could drive out with me and let me practice on some random car. Problem with that option is I don't feel like having that guy calling/emailing me nonstop about a car I'm not interested in at all. Another option is I could just go right to the dealer I am thinking about buying the wrx from and be truthful, and maybe they would help me out. The thing is I don't want the first time I try manual to be in the car I might buy!

    Unfortunately that might be the case unless there's another option I'm unaware of? Driving manual (when not in traffic anyway) seems like it's a blast...especially in a wrx. You guys got any ideas where I can learn?

    Thanks for reading

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    Sammich Makin' Pwincess wrxtreme06's Avatar
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    do any of your family members drive manual?

    when i got my permit my parents took me to an empty mall parking lot at 7am and i practiced for a few hours until i got the hang of it.

    as far as going to carmax and trying to learn by test driving.. i dont think thats a good idea. my brother works for audi and he would have people come in all the time trying to test drive manual cars but not know how to actually drive stick. within the first few minutes he'd say in a polite way "you dont know what you're doing.. i need to take over from here"

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    Registered User Bebop's Avatar
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    I learned on my wrx and the thought of learning on my first manual car was scary. Overall though I didn't damage the car while learning. I may have worn the clutch out a little in the process, but if you really take your time you'll do fine. My biggest problem was that I didn't give it enough gas when I started from a stop.

    As many people have said all over, the only way to learn is to practice and it's the truth. I looked over SO much information before practicing and it was pretty much useless other than the basics.

    Good luck!

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    Registered User Pactin's Avatar
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    Try looking for a friendly dealership. If you can convince the salesmen that you are actually interested in buying a WRX, they might be motivated enough to give you a crash course on driving manual (which was what my dealership did).

    Of course, you should buy another WRX if you happen to cook the clutch.
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    Registered User Fly'n Brian's Avatar
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    I would say this its only 500 bucks for a new clutch so I wouldn't even worry about it.

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    Thanks for the quick responses!

    Unfortunately no one in my immediate family drives a stick (although now that I think about it my 1st cousin's husband drives a manual 350z, but I don't think I got the guts to ask...).

    Regarding carmax, the reason why I thought of that method was because a friend of mine told a salesman there that he was interested in some car on the lot but didn't know manual, and apparently the salesman got in the car with him and taught him on the spot. This was supposedly before he gave him any information (other than a drivers license, I'm guessing)...I'm just curious regarding how often something like that happens.

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    Registered User Bebop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pactin View Post
    Try looking for a friendly dealership. If you can convince the salesmen that you are actually interested in buying a WRX, they might be motivated enough to give you a crash course on driving manual (which was what my dealership did).
    Same here. My dealer was willing to let me try and was very patient as I made an ass out of myself. Truth is, you won't be able to drive the car long enough from the dealer to be fully competent at driving manual. It's also hard to honestly like manual over automatic until you can be comfortable at using the car at it's potential. That's how it was for me at least.

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    try looking in the phone book for a cheap driver's school...call around to see about practicing on a manual car.
    or just buy a cheap ($500) car to practice on and beat on

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    Administrator RayfieldsWRX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fly'n Brian View Post
    I would say this its only 500 bucks for a new clutch so I wouldn't even worry about it.
    Hmmm...no matter how much money I make, I never seem to get to a point where $500 is trivial.
    Having someone install it in a WRX is somewhat more expensive, btw, at least in my area.

    Find a family member who has a beater vehicle or pickup with a manual. I plan to teach my kids on my Ranger, assuming it doesn't blow up between now and then. I learned in a '70's vintage Fiat at age 15. Good times.
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    Registered User ZACK777's Avatar
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    I learned to drive a stick on a big rig, lol not kidding. The first mt passenger car I drove was my aunts cavalier, I then went to a small family owned used car lot and test drove a 5 speed 93 turbo diesel silverado, which I ended up buying.
    So my advice is to borrow a family members car or go to a small off the map car lot and test drive a car or two.
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    Registered User falkonsti's Avatar
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    maybe a soht in a million but....

    logitech makes a racing wheel called the g25. it has a 6 speed gearbox and a clutch pedal ( i think that they might be the first one to do so.) anyways it cost 300 bucks, and theres a couple programs that use it. im not really sure how "real life" of an experience it is but it would be good for them in the future to do so, maybe come out with a drivers ed program that teaches you manual. http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/ga...s/131&cl=US,EN
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    Most auto dealers don't require a salesman to ride with someone interested in buying the car anymore.

    I would suggest having a grandparent (most older folks HAD to drive a stick in their life) or if your lucky, a parent, to go, test drive a car, bring it home, and have you learn in a parking lot. If anything happens, all you have to do is swap driver and passenger, call the dealer, and they'll fix the problem... worst case scenario of course, highly unlikely though.

    All of my friends have been more than willing to teach me and let me learn to drive on their cars. Unfortunately, the first 2 I learned with were a Saturn Ion Redline with about 280hp to the front tires and a supercharged 80's firebird. Both were monsters to control with it being my first time driving stick.

    If you're worried about insurance, maybe you should consider an older WRX wagon. I read a few places that the wagons save at least $40 a month.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuned2F View Post
    Most auto dealers don't require a salesman to ride with someone interested in buying the car anymore.
    i find this to be far from true....

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    Registered User ZACK777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuned2F View Post
    Most auto dealers don't require a salesman to ride with someone interested in buying the car anymore.
    Quote Originally Posted by greenc51 View Post
    i find this to be far from true....
    From my experience the main stream auto dealers like a Chevy, Ford, Dodge etc. usually have a sales person ride along on the test drive. Where I worked, (Pontiac Dealer) the customer would just about have to commit to buy the car before a test drive was aloud, stupid I know.
    Like I said earlier look for a small out of the way used car lot and test drive a MT, they are more likely to allow a test drive alone mainly due to the lack of sales people to cover the lot. Make sure to bring somebody with you to drive it off the lot initially.
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    That's funny. When I was 17, my father and I went to 4 big car lots around, Duncan Automotive, New River Nissan, Shelor, and Rick Woodson Honda.

    I wasn't allowed to drive any of them because of my age, and the company insurance, but my father took a 350Z, Mazdaspeed 3, Mazda 5, Subaru Impreza, Honda Accord, Honda Civic, Civic Si, and a few other cars without a salesman. We rode with a salesman for the Civic and Civic Si, but they handed the keys over and gave us a time about an hour later to bring it back.

    I was surprised we could drive sports cars, such as the 350Z and Mazdaspeed, but still, we were able to.

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