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How to Drive a Car: A Step by Step Guide
When an individual is learning how to drive a car, there are several things that they should keep in mind. Regardless of whether one is a seasoned or rookie driver, it is imperative to be aware of certain aspects when one is behind the steering wheel.
Several individuals know how to drive an automatic car but are not comfortable behind the wheels of a manual one. The opposite holds true as well. Therefore, to help out all individuals, this article will illustrate all vital aspects of driving both these types of cars.
Read to know more!
What Are the Things to Do Before Driving a Car for the First Time?
Individuals searching on how to drive a car for beginners must first ensure to do the following things before starting to drive:
- Adjust driver seat and mirrors as per preference.
- Put on a seatbelt and engage the parking or emergency brake.
- Get familiarised with the gear shift pattern mentioned on the gear-lever and try a mock gear change to get the hang of it. Besides this, one must also ensure that they are on a level field to avoid rolling back or ahead.
After doing all of these, individuals looking for answers on how to drive a car in India, can proceed with the steps to drive a manual and automatic car.
How to Drive a Manual Car for the First Time?
Follow these steps if you are looking for how to drive a manual car for beginners:
Step 1: Start a Car in Neutral
Start the vehicle in neutral, turn on the ignition key to crank the engine and depress the clutch pedal. Drivers might not have to depress the clutch for switching on an older car model, but most modern cars are engineered in a way that it is necessary to engage the clutch before starting the engine.
This practice also ensures that a vehicle will not give any hiccups while starting, even if a driver forgets to put the gearbox in neutral.
Step 2: Shift into First Gear
With the engine running, drivers must engage the clutch entirely with their left foot and shift the gear-lever into first gear. At this point, individuals must use the left foot only for operating the clutch and the right foot for modulating brake pedals and accelerator.
Step 3: Get the Car in Motion
To set a car in motion, drivers must disengage the parking brake while keeping the clutch pedal depressed. They must not accelerate at this point.
Now, drivers should start lifting the clutch pedal until they notice a drop in revs and clutch plates start coming in contact. This is also known as ‘bite point’. Individuals searching on how to drive a car, should note that disengaging the clutch further at this point will make the vehicle crawl ahead without any accelerator input.
Step 4: Upshift into Higher Gears
Now that the car is in motion, release the accelerator and push down on the clutch. Then by following the shift pattern, change the gear-lever to second gear. After upshifting, disengage the clutch and begin applying moderate throttle inputs for maintaining momentum.
Individuals looking for how to drive a manual car must note that this entire procedure of engaging and releasing the clutch, modulating throttle inputs, etc. needs to be synchronised in quick succession.
Step 5: Downshift to Lower Gears
A car tends to shudder when stuck in a traffic jam and starts slowing down. In such cases, drivers must downshift a certain number of gears by following the same procedure - release the accelerator, depress the clutch and shift down to a lower gear.
Step 6: Stop a Manual Car
To completely stop a manual car, disengage the accelerator and apply moderate force on the brake pedal to gradually downshift the gears to first gear. Once the vehicle is moving at a crawling speed, shift to neutral and allow it to freewheel without the involvement of any throttle input. Then allow the vehicle to come to a halt by engaging the clutch and depressing the brake completely.
Wondering what to do during an emergency situation?
While searching on how to drive a car, individuals must note that they can stop a vehicle in any gear during an emergency situation by pushing down on their vehicle’s clutch and shifting it to neutral.
Step 7: Reversing a Manual Car
Firstly, beginners having a search query on how to drive a car must ensure their vehicle is at a complete stop before shifting it to reverse gear. While reversing, they must check out that there is no vehicle or individual behind their vehicle before backing up.
Step 8: Parking a Manual Car
Unlike an automatic car, a manual one does not come with a ‘Park’ gear. Therefore, it is imperative to engage a parking or emergency brake every time while parking a vehicle. Alternatively, drivers can also shift their vehicle into the reverse or first gear to prevent it from moving or rolling.
How to Drive an Automatic Car for the First Time?
Follow these steps if you are wondering on how to drive an automatic car in India:
Step 1: Start a Car
Beginners looking for how to drive a car must first push down the brake pedal with their right foot, then insert the key and turn it clockwise for starting their car.
Step 2: Select Your Gear
Place a foot on the brake pedal and shift the gear lever into "Drive”, which is marked with a "D" on the display panel. The same will get highlighted when you select it.
For cases where shift levers are mounted on the steering column, pull the lever towards you, then move it up and down to select a gear. In cases where shift levers are mounted on the floor, a side button is usually present for unlocking the lever. You can then move it along its track into position.
Step 3: Release the Parking Brake
This either comes as a pedal on the far left side of the foot area or as a lever between the two front seats. There might be a button to push on the topside model or a release lever above the lower parking brake before one can disengage it.
Step 4: Set a Car in Motion
Release pressure from the brake pedal slowly, and the vehicle will slowly get moving. Next, take your foot off the brake and use it to press the gas pedal gently. This will lead the car to move faster.
Step 5: Use the Neutral Gear
Individuals must use the "neutral" gear only when there is no need for controlling the car’s speed, not while driving regularly. This includes situations when a car is being towed or pushed.
Step 6: Using Lower Gears
The gears denoted by "1," "2," and "3" are lower gears. These work as a kind of in-engine brake system when drivers need to save their vehicle’s actual brakes. The lower gears can come in handy while going down steep hills. Drivers must use first gear only when they want to travel very slowly. They need not stop while shifting between the lower gears and drive.
Step 7: Stop a Car
Apply brakes for slowing or stopping a car. Take your right foot off the accelerator pedal, place it on the brake, and apply gradual pressure so that you do not jerk to a halt.
Step 8: Drive in Reverse Gear
Individuals having a search query on how to drive a car backwards, must ensure that their car is at a complete stop before the gears change in or out of "reverse."
You can slide the gear shift for choosing the gear marked as "R" and look around for any possible obstructions. Then gently place your foot on the accelerator after removing it from the brake.
While turning in “reverse”, the vehicle turns in the same direction in which the wheel is turned.
Step 9: Park a Car
Apply gradual pressure to the brake pedal, and slide the shift lever back into the "P" position if you want to bring a car to a complete stop. Turn the key counter-clockwise to turn off the engine. Additionally, turn headlights off and apply the parking brake before you get out of your vehicle.
What Are Some Tips to Remember While Driving a Car in Traffic?
Individuals searching for answers on how to drive a car in traffic, must remember some additional facts. Some of these are listed below:
- Since a clutch is a significant wear and tear component of cars driven in traffic, one must go easy on it. Ideally, drivers must wait till the car ahead has moved a certain distance, shift to first gear, release the clutch fully and go forward. While stopping in traffic, press the clutch, shift to neutral and then release the clutch.
- Use the internal mirror and external rear view mirrors in city traffic. The mirror on the left side is particularly useful for spotting two-wheelers and others willing to overtake on that side.
- Individuals willing to take turns should plan in advance and use the indicators while shifting lanes.
- Do not panic brake, as the vehicle will get hit on its rear-end by an approaching car. Feather the brake when an approaching light on the rearview mirror changes to amber. This will ensure that brake lights come on and indicate to the following traffic that the car will stop.
- Individuals must use a GPS as it will let one know the route, and one does not have to stop and hold up traffic to ask for directions.
What Are the Safety Tips to Consider While Driving a Car?
Apart from the details mentioned above, individuals must be aware of these tips while learning how to drive a car for the first time:
- Drivers must avoid all sorts of distractions and stay alert throughout their driving.
- One must always use turn signals in advance to make a turning or lane change.
- Wearing a seat belt is a vital safety tip that every individual must follow while driving. Not wearing a seat belt will not only invite a fine for an individual but he or she can also get injured if an accident occurs.
- Beginners searching on how to drive a car must always obey traffic signs, traffic lights, and speed limits while driving.
- It is imperative to stay away from driving if one is under the influence of alcohol.
- Drivers must always use car horns and indicators correctly. One should refrain from the habit of honking at traffic signals and slow-moving traffic to indicate moving faster. Instead, they should only use horns for alerting other vehicles about one’s presence.
Hence, individuals searching on how to drive a car, must consider the various details mentioned above. Along with all these, one should always ensure to take proper care of their vehicle so that it delivers the best performance on the road.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the different types of automatic gearboxes?
Individuals who wish to know how to drive an automatic car must take note of the different kinds of automatic gearboxes - Automated manual gearboxes, Conventional automatic gearboxes, Dual-clutch automatics, and Continuously variable transmissions (CVT).
What are the basic driving modes commonly found in automatic cars?
All those willing to know how to drive a car must note the various driving modes found in most automatic cars - P (Park), R(Reverse), N (Neutral), and D (Drive).