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(CNN)   CNN asks the tough question no other site would dare to cover: Is knowing how to drive stick in America still essential?   (cnn.com) divider line 392
    More: Stupid, CNN, manual transmissions, impromptu  
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5339 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Jul 2012 at 4:31 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-20 10:31:11 PM  
Learned to drive on a standard and loved it. Eventually learned to drive an 18 wheeler with a 13 speed tranny which was hard but fun. Hardest was a 10 wheeler that had two shifters, one for the first 4 gears and the other to go through those gears to shift up to the next 4 gears. Think it was called a quad box. You'd end up steering with your arm passed through the steering wheel around turns at times.
 
2012-07-20 10:36:32 PM  

kiwimoogle84: And may I just say...

Having JUST watched Batman Begins...

Batman asks commissioner Gordon if he can drive a stick.

If you don't know how, you wouldn't be able to drive the Batmobile.

If that ain't fire enough under yo' nerdy asses to learn, nothing is.

/end scene
//loves being right


I keep saying that "one day you'll be faced with a chance to drive a really cool car and being afraid of 3 pedals is going to keep you from driving it" but none of them will listen.

I guess none of them want to drive the Goddamn Batmobile.

"nooo stick shift is for morons. I'm gonna take the silver surfers surf board instead! shiat! I CANT SURF EITHER! OR SWIM!"
 
2012-07-20 10:40:54 PM  
No one with three working legs drives a car with only two pedals.
 
2012-07-20 10:45:10 PM  

fluffy2097: kiwimoogle84: And may I just say...

Having JUST watched Batman Begins...

Batman asks commissioner Gordon if he can drive a stick.

If you don't know how, you wouldn't be able to drive the Batmobile.

If that ain't fire enough under yo' nerdy asses to learn, nothing is.

/end scene
//loves being right

I keep saying that "one day you'll be faced with a chance to drive a really cool car and being afraid of 3 pedals is going to keep you from driving it" but none of them will listen.

I guess none of them want to drive the Goddamn Batmobile.

"nooo stick shift is for morons. I'm gonna take the silver surfers surf board instead! shiat! I CANT SURF EITHER! OR SWIM!"


Right?!? THE BATMOBILE IS MANUAL.

Everyone else's arguments are invalid.
 
2012-07-20 10:50:15 PM  

Gyrfalcon: MaudlinMutantMollusk: I learned how to drive on a manual column shift

/with overdrive
//leavest thou my greensward

The last person I knew who could handle a three-on-the-tree was a WWII veteran.

Dost thou have a root vegetable upon thy halberd?


All of us old farts started there and drove them for years. My first floor stick was a 67 Cougar.
 
2012-07-20 10:52:16 PM  

jimmyjackfunk: even funner than learning to drive a stick, driving a semi and not using the clutch like you would be accustomed to in a regular manual transmission.

/that and 13 or more gears you get to shift through to get up to speed.


Double clutching? Did that with the 58 Chevy pick up. It was the easiest way to not grind gears.
 
2012-07-20 11:04:01 PM  

Onkel Buck: I learned to drive stick in 1979 Opel Ascona while stationed in Germany in 1999. Driving a manual is fun if your not stuck in heavy traffic


Depends on the traffic. I sometimes get stuck in traffic on the freeway and just use the lower gears to maintain a steady speed rather than starting and stopping. In the city is it is much different but I don't mind. I have no problems starting on steep hills and have never rolled back and hit anyone.

But then I have been driving stick most of my life.
 
2012-07-20 11:07:17 PM  

ReapTheChaos: The hardest part is learning how to slowly let out the clutch from a full stop, but it should only take you 5 or 6 tries to get the hang of that.


I taught my daughter how to drive a stick. After she played with it for a bit she got it pretty fast. Then I showed her how I could get it going without touching the gas pedal. She was impressed with that. She now owns a stick.
 
2012-07-20 11:09:40 PM  

Badfysh: Try holding the car stationary on an incline using only the clutch and accelerator for practice.


Bad bad idea. That is how you learn what a burning clutch smells like. Once they burn they glaze. Bye bye clutch.
 
2012-07-21 12:54:35 AM  
Woman driver here, and it's all stick shift all the time for me. I know of exactly 3 other women who can drive a manual transmission car: My mother, and TFettes Kasira and Zarkin Frood.

Last year I attended the Charlotte, NC Fark party along with the above mentioned TFettes, among many awesome others. Zarkin Frood picked Kasira and I up from the airport, in a manual shift transmission car mind you, and the three of us hit the town, ultimately landing at The Flying Saucer Pub. I felt like I was in rare and wonderful company that night... Chicks who can drive a stick are hot.

I consider it a mandatory skill, personally.

/for navigation purposes, not for hotness
 
2012-07-21 02:06:45 AM  

fluffy2097: I keep saying that "one day you'll be faced with a chance to drive a really cool car and being afraid of 3 pedals is going to keep you from driving it" but none of them will listen.


It's because nobody but a de-evolved Pavlovian trogdolyte would get upset if they couldn't drive a car.

(Never minding the fact that having a manual in the 21st century automatically disqualifies a car from being cool.)
 
2012-07-21 03:38:55 AM  

392Zaphod: You can eat and shift. You can use your phone and shift. You can get into just as many accidents and shift. Hell, just look at the comments above, people say they are shifting without even noticing.


That is what you do when you drive one for many years. It becomes a natural reflex. I don't notice it; I just do it. It is what it is.


All I see in this thread is people yelling at clouds at how in the good old days they had to learn.. this new fangled technology is just dumb! TV will make people dumb! Computers will make people obsolete and lazy! You are all going to die without onions on your belts.

I have YET to see ONE argument as to WHY manuals are better. I know how to drive both, but would rather enjoy my autostick. The only real answer is that Manuals are cheaper than Automatics.


I can't say why it is better because it probably isn't. I have only owned one auto in my life (and I have onions on my belt and get off my lawn, etc.) There is no real reason for it except for the sports cars I have owned they were more fun to drive and in the 4WD truck I now own I find I have the control I need off road by choosing my gearing.

Each to his or her own but it is not a bad skill to have. One of these days it may be needed. If you don't want to learn a simple skill such as this then woe be to you if you ever need it.

I am glad to know the friends I off road with can get me out if I break my leg on a hike or some such accident.
 
2012-07-21 03:46:11 AM  
The bottom line here, folks, is it is a good skill to have and not hard to learn.
 
2012-07-21 03:55:42 AM  

verbaltoxin: That's because I don't have to know that crap because my car has an automatic. I can spend more time paying attention to the road.


Those of us with a stick don't pay any less attention to the road. Once you do it for some time you don't really notice the shifting. It becomes reflex. If you have never driven one then you may not understand how this works.

I doubt stickers are in any more accidents than autos.
 
2012-07-21 04:18:18 AM  

fluffy2097: don't like to coast in neutral, but I most certainly don't sit around at lights with my foot on the clutch. That's just a waste of friction material.


Why is this a waste of friction material? The clutch is disengaged and you are on the throwout bearing.

Now some would say this is bad and you should be in neutral at a light but the bearing always seems to outlast the clutch and supposedly you're are ready to run if you see someone coming up fast in the rear view.

I am never in neutral. Habit, I guess.
 
2012-07-21 04:32:18 AM  

Prattle Assassin: As for that law, if you were idling in neutral with your foot on the brake and got rear-ended, you might be pushed further into traffic than otherwise. Admittedly it's a pain to keep the clutch pressed in for several minutes behind a slow intersection. If I'm boxed in, I break that law.


Why would it matter? If you are in neutral and not in gear a fully disengaged clutch would make no difference at all. The way I hear it is you can try to get out of the way of a rear ender faster if you see it coming and are in front. Otherwise it makes no difference at all.
 
2012-07-21 04:37:15 AM  

fluffy2097: Give me one and the manual. I'll take you out for lunch with it in an hour or so.


I'll do it without the manual. In ten minutes.

/have driven so many different vehicles I lost count
//never drove a train though. that would be cool
 
2012-07-21 04:50:42 AM  

Chimpasaurus: Learning stick makes you a better driver. It means you have to pay attention to what you are doing. Automatic allows you to put on cruise control, park in the left lane and do a sudoku puzzle while your brats watch sponge bob in the back. Everyone I know who knows stick is a WAAY better driver than those who don't.


Uh, once you are up to speed in the left lane you don't need to shift anymore. You can put it in cruise control and it is no different than an automatic.

Just sayin'

A stick will not make you a better driver. I don't know why people keep saying this. It is just an alternative way of shifting. It does not make you "one" with the car. It does give you a bit more control of when to shift but that is about it.
 
2012-07-21 04:52:34 AM  

Chimpasaurus: The first car I bought was a stick, and I didn't know how to drive it. My husband (boyfriend at the time) had to drive it home for me. But it took me about 2 days to learn.


My daughter learned in about an hour.
 
2012-07-21 04:56:21 AM  

MoronLessOff: kiwimoogle84: EVERYONE should know how to change a tire, because someday you might see a tiny old lady smoking hot college girl with a flat on the side of the road and you might be able to help her out

Fixed this for me.


Watch out for her boyfriend with the tire iron hiding behind the car.

/it happens
 
2012-07-21 07:14:34 AM  

aerojockey: It's because nobody but a de-evolved Pavlovian trogdolyte would get upset if they couldn't drive a car.

(Never minding the fact that having a manual in the 21st century automatically disqualifies a car from being cool.)


Or someone being chased by a rapist. Or mugger, or Verbaltoxin.

A man with your hat and college, has no right to talk about cool. (I put on my wizard hat and Virginia Tech farm robe)
 
2012-07-21 08:27:34 AM  

saturn badger: and not hard to learn


"Not hard to learn" in the direct learning sense? Presumably not... most drivers on Earth can. "Not hard to learn" in the sense of "asking everyone I've known with a manual car for the last 18 years, and still haven't touched a clutch pedal"? It's actually surprisingly hard to learn in 21st-century US/Canada.
 
2012-07-21 08:29:09 AM  

territ: Woman driver here, and it's all stick shift all the time for me. I know of exactly 3 other women who can drive a manual transmission car: My mother, and TFettes Kasira and Zarkin Frood.

Last year I attended the Charlotte, NC Fark party along with the above mentioned TFettes, among many awesome others. Zarkin Frood picked Kasira and I up from the airport, in a manual shift transmission car mind you, and the three of us hit the town, ultimately landing at The Flying Saucer Pub. I felt like I was in rare and wonderful company that night... Chicks who can drive a stick are hot.

I consider it a mandatory skill, personally.

/for navigation purposes, not for hotness


*waves*
 
2012-07-21 10:00:42 AM  

kiwimoogle84: And may I just say...

Having JUST watched Batman Begins...

Batman asks commissioner Gordon if he can drive a stick.

If you don't know how, you wouldn't be able to drive the Batmobile.

If that ain't fire enough under yo' nerdy asses to learn, nothing is.

/end scene
//loves being right


Kiwi wins the thread!
 
2012-07-21 01:15:22 PM  

saturn badger: h, once you are up to speed in the left lane you don't need to shift anymore.

You can put it in cruise control and it is no different than an automatic.

You don't ususally need to shift, but you need to be aware of your surroundings in case you do need to shift. I almost never use cruise control--that seems like a recipe for zoning out while the car "drives itself."

saturn badger: My daughter learned in about an hour.


I misspoke. I learned the fundamentals in an hour, but I wasn't brave enough to drive 50 miles to work by myself until after 2 days of practicing.
 
2012-07-21 03:25:20 PM  

djkutch: I have a stick. I'm over it. I can't talk on the phone or shave.


You cant? I can drive a stick while texting. I just cant text and eat while I am driving like I can in an auto.
 
2012-07-21 03:29:23 PM  
Probably not, but hand of your man card if I you cant. And if you are a woman its ok. Men need a way to keep the wife from driving our cars.
 
2012-07-21 03:33:38 PM  

star_owl: it would have been the 'E' class 4 cylinder diesel with the 6 speed manual that they sell Everywhere Else In The Farking World But The U.S.!


Blame environmentalists and big oil. Those puppies get about 50-60 mpg if you treat them right. Emissions apparently are bad.
 
2012-07-21 05:15:30 PM  

Aikidogamer: Blame environmentalists


Yes, how dare those people want to not fark up our planet and home with pollution. Air pollution be damned, we want gas mileage! If everywhere looked like California did 40 years ago it would be fine as long as we all got 50 mpg.

/Some people.
 
2012-07-21 05:30:36 PM  

Aikidogamer: You cant? I can drive a stick while texting. I just cant text and eat while I am driving like I can in an auto.


I find I have to put the soda down occasionally when driving stick. The phone can be held in either hand and just hung onto during the gearshifts. A large Cola is harder to do that with. I don't eat burgers, but I assume they pose even more problems due to their desire to drip.
 
2012-07-21 05:35:14 PM  

fluffy2097: Aikidogamer: You cant? I can drive a stick while texting. I just cant text and eat while I am driving like I can in an auto.

I find I have to put the soda down occasionally when driving stick. The phone can be held in either hand and just hung onto during the gearshifts. A large Cola is harder to do that with. I don't eat burgers, but I assume they pose even more problems due to their desire to drip.


Keep the veggies off of it and your cool. Meat and cheese do nit usually drip. And a little ketchup goes along way.
 
2012-07-21 05:39:09 PM  

CtrlAltDestroy: Aikidogamer: Blame environmentalists

Yes, how dare those people want to not fark up our planet and home with pollution. Air pollution be damned, we want gas mileage! If everywhere looked like California did 40 years ago it would be fine as long as we all got 50 mpg.

/Some people.


I am just saying, Europe can take those cars no problem why does the us have to be special. I question the effectiveness of the controls that's all. Besides a modern deisel =\= 1970s car in emissions.
 
2012-07-21 07:55:54 PM  

Aikidogamer: I am just saying, Europe can take those cars no problem why does the us have to be special. I question the effectiveness of the controls that's all. Besides a modern deisel =\= 1970s car in emissions.


Fair enough. But I wonder why you think we should have to lessen our standards. Why not strive to be the best that we can? Why look to someone else who allows for more pollution and wish to lower ourselves to those standards? I don't understand your point about the 70's car and today's cars. Obviously the cars of the 70's would not meet the emission standards to today. But there are diesels today that do. It is possible to have diesel engines that meet US standards. What is your point?

Automakers will have to redesign their engines a bit. That's on them. It's no different than if their cars lacked seat belts. Want to sell in a certain market? Need to play by that market's rules.

And besides all of that, the automakers will have to convince people to buy more expensive diesel engines that run on a fuel that's often more expensive. They'll also have to break the stigma of diesels in the US. Both the redesigning to sell here and marketing costs to convince people that it's a good idea to buy it are squarely on the automakers. They don't want to spend the money or take the risk.

But someone needs to. Look at Toyota. They found a way to make hybrid cars, through R&D and marketing, stylish and accepted. Someone needs to be the Toyota of diesels in the US.

Earlier than that Honda walked in and biatch slapped the market that was held by Harley. They took a chance, broke the stigma, and turned the market around. They changed the image of the motorcycle lifestyle by taking the risk and spending the money.

It's happened before, it just happened recently, and it can happen again. Blame the lazy and cheap automakers, not the people who want you to have clean air to breath.
 
2012-07-21 09:48:05 PM  
Z06 Corvettes (last I checked) are only produced with manual transmissions.

That alone should be reason to learn.....
 
2012-07-22 02:28:54 PM  

CtrlAltDestroy: Aikidogamer: I am just saying, Europe can take those cars no problem why does the us have to be special. I question the effectiveness of the controls that's all. Besides a modern deisel =\= 1970s car in emissions.

Fair enough. But I wonder why you think we should have to lessen our standards. Why not strive to be the best that we can? Why look to someone else who allows for more pollution and wish to lower ourselves to those standards? I don't understand your point about the 70's car and today's cars. Obviously the cars of the 70's would not meet the emission standards to today. But there are diesels today that do. It is possible to have diesel engines that meet US standards. What is your point?

Automakers will have to redesign their engines a bit. That's on them. It's no different than if their cars lacked seat belts. Want to sell in a certain market? Need to play by that market's rules.

And besides all of that, the automakers will have to convince people to buy more expensive diesel engines that run on a fuel that's often more expensive. They'll also have to break the stigma of diesels in the US. Both the redesigning to sell here and marketing costs to convince people that it's a good idea to buy it are squarely on the automakers. They don't want to spend the money or take the risk.

But someone needs to. Look at Toyota. They found a way to make hybrid cars, through R&D and marketing, stylish and accepted. Someone needs to be the Toyota of diesels in the US.

Earlier than that Honda walked in and biatch slapped the market that was held by Harley. They took a chance, broke the stigma, and turned the market around. They changed the image of the motorcycle lifestyle by taking the risk and spending the money.

It's happened before, it just happened recently, and it can happen again. Blame the lazy and cheap automakers, not the people who want you to have clean air to breath.


fark you, toyotas are never stylish
 
2012-07-22 03:19:27 PM  

blackz06vette: Z06 Corvettes (last I checked) are only produced with manual transmissions.

That alone should be reason to learn.....


Darn, now I won't be able to drive a car with 3 times more power than I need, an absurd top speed I'll never get to see, and that's really uncomfortable to drive on a regular road. I guess I'll just have to live with driving something cheaper and more enjoyable...oh the sacrifices we make.
 
2012-07-22 04:35:10 PM  

blackz06vette: Z06 Corvettes (last I checked) are only produced with manual transmissions.

That alone should be reason to learn.....


Unfortunately, no, they are produced with flappy paddle gearboxes on some models. Thankfully, mine's a stick. Wouldn't have it any other way.
 
2012-07-22 04:36:25 PM  

Virtuoso80: blackz06vette: Z06 Corvettes (last I checked) are only produced with manual transmissions.

That alone should be reason to learn.....

Darn, now I won't be able to drive a car with 3 times more power than I need, an absurd top speed I'll never get to see, and that's really uncomfortable to drive on a regular road. I guess I'll just have to live with driving something cheaper and more enjoyable...oh the sacrifices we make.


Why would you buy a Z06 for a daily driver? It's awful for that. However, it's great for this:

PIR 2008 Z06
 
2012-07-22 08:01:13 PM  

neilbradley: Virtuoso80: blackz06vette: Z06 Corvettes (last I checked) are only produced with manual transmissions.

That alone should be reason to learn.....

Darn, now I won't be able to drive a car with 3 times more power than I need, an absurd top speed I'll never get to see, and that's really uncomfortable to drive on a regular road. I guess I'll just have to live with driving something cheaper and more enjoyable...oh the sacrifices we make.

Why would you buy a Z06 for a daily driver? It's awful for that. However, it's great for this:

PIR 2008 Z06


Yeah, those places don't exist anywhere near me I don't think. Just curved roads and tons of traffic on Long Island. I do have a question though: It seems like enthusiasts prefer the Z06 to the ZR1, any reason why? Is the Z06 more modifiable because it's simpler and naturally aspirated? Just more of a bargain, or what?
 
2012-07-22 10:06:38 PM  

Virtuoso80: neilbradley: Virtuoso80: blackz06vette: Z06 Corvettes (last I checked) are only produced with manual transmissions.

That alone should be reason to learn.....

Darn, now I won't be able to drive a car with 3 times more power than I need, an absurd top speed I'll never get to see, and that's really uncomfortable to drive on a regular road. I guess I'll just have to live with driving something cheaper and more enjoyable...oh the sacrifices we make.

Why would you buy a Z06 for a daily driver? It's awful for that. However, it's great for this:

PIR 2008 Z06

Yeah, those places don't exist anywhere near me I don't think. Just curved roads and tons of traffic on Long Island. I do have a question though: It seems like enthusiasts prefer the Z06 to the ZR1, any reason why? Is the Z06 more modifiable because it's simpler and naturally aspirated? Just more of a bargain, or what?


I can tell you why I didn't buy a ZR1 for another $45K:

1) Only an additional 133HP
2) Less torque
3) Supercharged

Yes, you get the 20" wheels instead of the 18/19" that's on the Z06, but for about $13K, I can put a supercharger on the Z06 and have ~700HP, and add a ceramic brake set (about $13K), so for about $19K less, I can have a more powerful car with better brakes (and is lighter by ~200 pounds).
 
2012-07-23 12:32:05 AM  

Virtuoso80: neilbradley: Virtuoso80: blackz06vette: Z06 Corvettes (last I checked) are only produced with manual transmissions.

That alone should be reason to learn.....

Darn, now I won't be able to drive a car with 3 times more power than I need, an absurd top speed I'll never get to see, and that's really uncomfortable to drive on a regular road. I guess I'll just have to live with driving something cheaper and more enjoyable...oh the sacrifices we make.

Why would you buy a Z06 for a daily driver? It's awful for that. However, it's great for this:

PIR 2008 Z06

Yeah, those places don't exist anywhere near me I don't think. Just curved roads and tons of traffic on Long Island. I do have a question though: It seems like enthusiasts prefer the Z06 to the ZR1, any reason why? Is the Z06 more modifiable because it's simpler and naturally aspirated? Just more of a bargain, or what?


In my case, I purchased it as a Christmas present to myself in 2000 (2001 model year). So there were no ZR1s at the time. It is also a daily driver (more or less). It's not my only vehicle, but it takes me to work at least twice a week.

Keeping with the point of the article, all of my vehicles (motorcycles and cars) are manual.
 
2012-07-23 10:26:11 AM  

saturn badger: Prattle Assassin: As for that law, if you were idling in neutral with your foot on the brake and got rear-ended, you might be pushed further into traffic than otherwise. Admittedly it's a pain to keep the clutch pressed in for several minutes behind a slow intersection. If I'm boxed in, I break that law.

Why would it matter? If you are in neutral and not in gear a fully disengaged clutch would make no difference at all. The way I hear it is you can try to get out of the way of a rear ender faster if you see it coming and are in front. Otherwise it makes no difference at all.


I shoulda explained: keeping the clutch in is when you're observing the law by having it in gear.
 
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