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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 52
    More: Stupid, CNN, manual transmissions, impromptu  
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5337 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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View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


Archived thread
2012-07-19 10:41:21 PM  
5 votes:
If you can't drive stick, you can't drive yet.

That's pretty much how it goes. Sure you can navigate an automatic passenger car from A to B without killing anyone, but you couldn't use a stick.

On the other hand someone who can drive stick can also drive automatic without so much as moment's hesitation. It's a superior skill. Literally it trumps the other kind of driving.
2012-07-19 10:47:49 PM  
4 votes:

kimwim: Not to mention mpg goes way up with a stick.


That might be a harder sell these days. Toyota and Honda peg their manual and auto models within 1mpg of each other, and those estimates are by a trained pro who knows exactly when and how to shift to keep the mileage up. I suspect real-world mileage might actually be a tad worse for the manuals. (especially since people who have a manual often *enjoy* driving, instead of simply tolerating it.)

But, hey, I tell everyone I drive a station wagon because of the excellent safety record and family-friendly roomy interior. The shrieking turbo and W-rated tires are just for... um... highway safety! help me out here...
2012-07-20 05:12:54 AM  
3 votes:
If nothing else, it gets you to pay attention more to the damn road and what you're doing instead of fiddling with your hair/radio/ipod/cell phone/GPS/whatever.

There are too many distractions in today's cars, and in automatic transmissions its easy to forget what's going on outside the vehicle. If nothing else, having a stick at least maintains that some of your undivided attention should be spent on what its supposed to be spent on: Driving.
2012-07-20 12:15:41 AM  
3 votes:

miss diminutive: One of my few regrets is that I never learned how to drive stick. An ex-bf tried to teach me once, but he got so pissy with me when I stalled it once that I just decided it wasn't worth the hassle.


Everyone stalls the first time. Your bf was a douche, good thing he's an ex.
2012-07-20 12:07:36 AM  
3 votes:

TommyymmoT: Knowing how to swim, cook perform CPR, do your own home repairs, fixing your own computer, etc isn't essential either, but wouldn't you rather know how?

I can't think of a single person who would regret knowing how to do those things.


maybe, but the barrier to entry for learning to drive a stick is fairly steep - not that many people are willing to let someone destroy their transmission in order to learn.
2012-07-20 02:32:14 PM  
2 votes:
Ah yes, this is the thread where people come out of the woodwork who attempt to justify laziness and ignorance as a virtue. Got it.
2012-07-20 12:08:42 PM  
2 votes:

fluffy2097: No, you don't drive an automatic. You tell it where to go.


Just shut up until you know how to DRIVE a Cugnot Steam Trolley. All other cars you just tell them where to go.

upload.wikimedia.org

Yes, that's how dumb you guys sound.
2012-07-20 11:53:35 AM  
2 votes:
The smug is strong in this thread.

You're shifting gears in a motor vehicle, not taking the space shuttle in for a dead-stick landing.

/get over yourselves
2012-07-20 05:11:11 AM  
2 votes:

Feed_The_Walrus: In the UK if you pass your test in an automatic you are only allowed to drive automatics (most pass in a manual),

How does it work over there?


There is no license for automatics or manuals.

I passed my drivers test in an automatic, got my license, then my dad taught me how to drive a stick. He gave me the basics, then said that we were going on a small little road trip and that I was driving. I asked how far, he said until the gas gauge hit the one quarter full mark. Then we were to gas up. Every time I stalled the truck I had to pay $1 towards the gas (this was back when gas was under a dollar a gallon). I paid for half the gas when we filled up. And this wasn't an easy get onto the freeway, get into fifth gear and stay there road trip. This was city and country driving, plenty of stop and go traffic, plenty of shifting up and down. Great experience.
2012-07-20 12:05:26 AM  
2 votes:
Knowing how to swim, cook perform CPR, do your own home repairs, fixing your own computer, etc isn't essential either, but wouldn't you rather know how?

I can't think of a single person who would regret knowing how to do those things.
2012-07-20 12:01:03 AM  
2 votes:
Road tests should be taken with a stick shift, because that's what you're applying for a license to drive.

On the plus side, at least I won't have any no driving skills retards asking to borrow my car, or jacking it.
2012-07-19 10:52:15 PM  
2 votes:

miss diminutive: One of my few regrets is that I never learned how to drive stick. An ex-bf tried to teach me once, but he got so pissy with me when I stalled it once that I just decided it wasn't worth the hassle.


You have to stall it a few times. That's just how it goes. Then it clicks and you're in. Give it another chance.
2012-07-19 10:20:32 PM  
2 votes:
This question might have raised an argument thirty years ago.

/today: meh
2012-07-19 10:06:45 PM  
2 votes:
hell no! but it's more fun when you have a fun stick shift car, e.g Mazda3!
2012-07-20 08:39:52 PM  
1 votes:

Smelly Pirate Hooker: "I drive stick" must be the vehicular version of having to be at the gym in 26 minutes.


...not really, dude. It's far more old school and far less douchey. It's practical.
2012-07-20 01:20:44 PM  
1 votes:

literaldeluxe: D-Liver: If you are a self respecting man, you should know how to drive stick.

You don't want to be the guy who says "oh, is it stick? Because I can't drive that".

Why? I've never understood that argument. What exactly am I supposed to be afraid of? Is it presumed that my friends are uneducated and intolerant, and that I'm insecure enough that I need them to tell me I'm a man? How exactly does my preference in automobile transmissions impact my ability to live my life? Is there a list of all the features I should and should not have in my car? Am I free to get a car with a sunroof, or only cars with a roof rack? Why aren't women also expected to be able to drive a manual transmission? Do you believe that they're not smart enough to do so? What are the rules for gay men? Are males with disabilities not "real" men if it impacts their ability to drive a manual transmission?

You don't want to be the guy who says "oh, is it automatic? Because I won't drive that".

/I'm not trolling, but perhaps you are.


Holy shiat did you put a lot of words into my mouth. Women? Gay men? What the fark are you talking about?

It's not a matter of 'Oh, this is what I only drive, neh neh neh". It's a matter of being able to operate any car if you're in a situation where it needs to be done. Going fishing and need to back the truck up to hitch the boat? Can't do that. Girlfriend' father asks you to move his car for him? Can't do that. Driver has a heart attack and you need to get to the hospital? Can't do that.

My last girlfriend was a master on the manual, and I have 2 close gay friends who are as well.

It's not bravado, it's about having a skill that may need to be called upon. Jackass.
2012-07-20 01:18:17 PM  
1 votes:
If you're not using one of these, you're not really doing calculations:
www.aerojockey.com

If you're not using one of these, you're not really writing:
www.aerojockey.com

If you're not using one of these, you're not really listening to music:
www.aerojockey.com
2012-07-20 01:14:00 PM  
1 votes:
Got 11 years and 108 thousand miles on the original clutch of my 01 prizm, but in all honesty, it's probably the last manual I'll buy.

Automatics have just gotten too good these days. MPG is pretty much equal, arguably better with the auto unless you drive the manual perfectly.

Durability too, you will burn out a clutch, eventually, no matter how well you drive it. A new, well-built automatic, maintained with modern synthetic ATF will last indefinitely.

Autos are even getting into the trucking industry
2012-07-20 01:01:03 PM  
1 votes:

Voiceofreason01: literaldeluxe: What exactly do you think the odds of that are? Given that the majority of cars in the country in which I live are automatic transmissions, it's not even statistically likely that if I were in a situation in which I had to drive a car not of my choosing it would be a manual. And, quite frankly, there is pretty much no chance of me ever having to drive a car not of my choosing. See, not only do car dealers have automatic transmissions, car rental companies do, too. I don't steal cars, and I don't live in a disaster-prone area (nor do I plan for ridiculously unlikely doomsday scenarios that would require me stealing cars). Whose car am I supposed to be driving, and why? While I'm sure there are some people that find themselves in such circumstances with regularity, I'm not one of them. Should I mock them for being unprepared for problems that I am more prepared to deal with, yet are unlikely to ever confront them?

"Always be prepared" is a logical absurdity. That's the whole joke of Batman: he's magically prepared for everything, even though that's impossible. "Always try to be reasonably prepared for situations that are beyond a certain threshold of likelihood" has less ring to it, but it's far less silly.

you sound fun at parties, hell you can come over and fark my sister

/bla bla bla, stuff sounds hard, why should I ever try or learn anything new


Most people don't drive a manual because they have no need to, not because it "sounds hard." Most people have no reason to invest their time and energy into something that will not improve their life, and isn't something they're passionate about. Many people just drive because they need to get from point A to point B, and it's the best option available, not because driving is their hobby or interest.

I'm not sure why you think not knowing how to drive a manual transmission is in any way related to whether or not someone is open to new things. Should everyone mock you for not taking up their hobbies? Have you tried every possible activity on Earth? How did you choose which ones to try? There are lots of amazing things that people can learn and explore; let everyone decide which ones they want to invest their time and energy into. Encouraging exploration is great, and most people need to broaden their horizons and skills, but forcing everyone to try the same things makes for a dull world.
2012-07-20 12:33:28 PM  
1 votes:

fluffy2097: literaldeluxe: Why? I've never understood that argument. What exactly am I supposed to be afraid of? Is it presumed that my friends are uneducated and intolerant, and that I'm insecure enough that I need them to tell me I'm a man? How exactly does my preference in automobile transmissions impact my ability to live my life?

Because someday, you might be in a situation where you will NEED to drive a stick shift.

If you can't when that day comes, you're going to be in trouble.

/always be prepared and such.


What exactly do you think the odds of that are? Given that the majority of cars in the country in which I live are automatic transmissions, it's not even statistically likely that if I were in a situation in which I had to drive a car not of my choosing it would be a manual. And, quite frankly, there is pretty much no chance of me ever having to drive a car not of my choosing. See, not only do car dealers have automatic transmissions, car rental companies do, too. I don't steal cars, and I don't live in a disaster-prone area (nor do I plan for ridiculously unlikely doomsday scenarios that would require me stealing cars). Whose car am I supposed to be driving, and why? While I'm sure there are some people that find themselves in such circumstances with regularity, I'm not one of them. Should I mock them for being unprepared for problems that I am more prepared to deal with, yet are unlikely to ever confront them?

"Always be prepared" is a logical absurdity. That's the whole joke of Batman: he's magically prepared for everything, even though that's impossible. "Always try to be reasonably prepared for situations that are beyond a certain threshold of likelihood" has less ring to it, but it's far less silly.
2012-07-20 11:42:46 AM  
1 votes:
Driving a stick
Writing cursive

Welcome to America's most useless tasks
2012-07-20 10:35:03 AM  
1 votes:
I love my manual. I like actually driving my car.

www.sacarfan.co.za

/GTI FTW
2012-07-20 10:15:20 AM  
1 votes:
This thread:

images.sodahead.com
BACK IN MY DAY, WE BAILED HAY THEN LEARNED STICK, BOTH WAYS IN THE SNOW, AND WE LIKED IT!
2012-07-20 09:48:01 AM  
1 votes:
I'm always gobsmacked over how smug Americans are when they can drive stick.

Everywhere else is the world it's just called "driving".
2012-07-20 09:29:08 AM  
1 votes:

pkellmey: kiwimoogle84: ArcadianRefugee: Only reason to learn to drive a stick is this: when the zombie apocalypse begins, you aren't going to wanna be searching for "just the right car", so it helps to know how to drive as many different types of vehicle as possible.

Beyond that: meh. Not knowing how to drive a stick is like no knowing how to write cursive -- you can live your whole life and never need the skill even once.

That's the mindset of why a lot of things fall by the wayside.

Why write thank you notes when an Egreeting works?

Why bother learning cursive, no one knows how anymore?

Why bother cooking when McDonalds is just up the street?

Why bother walking when I can just stuff my rolls into a Hoveround?

Mentalities like that are the death of society.

That's why I handwrite letters, know my neighbors, make my own marinara sauce and don't just open jars, and will ALWAYS drive a stick. I refuse to get what I consider to be lazy.

Plus, it sound like you have absolutely nothing else to do in your life, which must be nice.


It's not that I don't have anything better to do. I just refuse to take the lazy, cheater, easy way out. It's called multitasking. And it takes the same amount of time to handwrite a cursive letter to a family member as it takes you to level up your WOW characters, I'd wager. It's all about priorities.
2012-07-20 09:07:36 AM  
1 votes:

7FARK7: While the knuckle-dragging alpha assholes are whining about having to put ANOTHER clutch into their POS car because they were showing off their mad shifting skillz, me and my little auto will be out cruising around!


Their pos car that can out-corner, out-accellerate and generally just out-perform your automatic in every way? Somebody sounds jealous.
2012-07-20 08:35:28 AM  
1 votes:

doglover: If you can't drive stick, you can't drive yet.


Oh please, you think you can "drive" because you have a stick? I had the mechanic disable the power steering in my Jeep. Then I took off all the mirrors and pulled out the seats. If you can't work a stick and clutch while putting 30 lbs. of torque on the wheel and sitting backwards in a Jeep with no seats to change lanes, I say you can't drive yet.
2012-07-20 08:06:49 AM  
1 votes:
Only reason to learn to drive a stick is this: when the zombie apocalypse begins, you aren't going to wanna be searching for "just the right car", so it helps to know how to drive as many different types of vehicle as possible.

Beyond that: meh. Not knowing how to drive a stick is like no knowing how to write cursive -- you can live your whole life and never need the skill even once.
2012-07-20 07:49:22 AM  
1 votes:
Should I teach my son to use a rotary telephone, too?
2012-07-20 07:29:21 AM  
1 votes:

ReapTheChaos: I've never understood why people need to be "taught" how to drive a stick. You push in the clutch, put it in gear (they're clearly marked 1-4/5 and R) let out the clutch and go. When the engine starts sounding like its revving a little high, shift to the next gear. How simpler could it be?

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.


You have obviously never known any of my gf, any of the people I went to high school or college with, or most of the people I work with. It would appear simple, but hand-eye (or even hand-ear) coordination is a real problem for a significant portion of the population from my experience. Even with a lot of driving time, my neighbor ground the gears EVERY SINGLE SHIFT. It nearly killed me.
2012-07-20 07:28:08 AM  
1 votes:
No. If it was essential, it'd be part of the driving test.

A good thing to know, though? Yes. Like sewing, patching, cooking, firearms and basic carpentry, it's something that you should be familiar with at least the basic principles of just in case it's needed.

ReapTheChaos: I've never understood why people need to be "taught" how to drive a stick. You push in the clutch, put it in gear (they're clearly marked 1-4/5 and R) let out the clutch and go. When the engine starts sounding like its revving a little high, shift to the next gear. How simpler could it be?

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.


You just named the part that it's hard for most people to figure out without being told (i.e. taught). Also you need to make sure you memorize the layout before you start driving so you're not looking at the shifter every time you change gears, and you have to tell the driver when to switch (3000 rpm usually) and caution them to try to keep the revs in the 2-3000 range while changing.

But yeah, it's a matter of minutes to teach someone the process, the rest is practice. Well, unless you're driving something without synchromesh, in which case they'll need someone looking over their shoulder for a bit and probably a lot of practice off the roads.
2012-07-20 07:08:16 AM  
1 votes:
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
2012-07-20 06:13:17 AM  
1 votes:
Does anyone here actually think they'll sell manuals in ten years?

Hardly essential.

/yes, I've driven stick my whole life
//next car probably won't have it available with all the fancy computers and whatnot
2012-07-20 05:59:00 AM  
1 votes:

kimwim: Not to mention mpg goes way up with a stick.


Only if you do it perfectly, which few people do.
2012-07-20 05:42:37 AM  
1 votes:

doglover:
On the other hand someone who can drive stick can also drive automatic without so much as moment's hesitation.


Except that part where you try to hit the clutch that's not there.
2012-07-20 05:28:41 AM  
1 votes:
I drive stick right now. Frankly I'm not that crazy about and nothing about it has sold me on the whole cult of "dude-stick-is-so-much-better". My next car will be an automatic. I'm ready to go back.

I have a friend/co-worker who heard me say this and commented that I am "a part of the problem". He couldn't tell me what the "problem" is, however.
2012-07-20 05:27:08 AM  
1 votes:
I'm a blonde, overweight, middle-aged woman.

I take my car in to have the oil changed.

Mechanic gets done with it, and looks for the guy who had to have driven it in.

Because there's no way I'm driving a manual.

Right....

Even better is watching a young mechanic having to ask an older guy to drive my car because he can't.

(They also become very confused when I start asking intelligent questions about the insides of my car.)
2012-07-20 05:19:20 AM  
1 votes:
This thread is reminding me of something that really ticks me off. I bought a new Mercedes 'E' class diesel last December. The new 7 speed automatics are very nice compaired to the 2 and 3 speed autos I grew up with. But if I could have bought the true car of my dreams (that I could afford), 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.!

Apparently nice sedans with manual transmissions are pretty easy to get just about everywhere else but here. Last stick I drove was my 2005 Honda Accord, which had almost all the options but they wouldn't mate the V-6 to the manual trans, it had to be the 2.5 liter 4. I love my Mercedes but I'm finding myself jealous of a friend who just bought a Volkswagon Jetta diesel wagon with a stick.
2012-07-20 05:13:32 AM  
1 votes:
Do they even teach it anymore? My hubby wanted to learn because he wants to be able to drive in Europe (he only got his drivers' license when he was 37), but he couldn't find anyone who teaches it.
2012-07-20 05:02:31 AM  
1 votes:
In the UK if you pass your test in an automatic you are only allowed to drive automatics (most pass in a manual),

How does it work over there?
2012-07-20 05:01:27 AM  
1 votes:
I think that knowing how to drive a stick should be part of drivers ed (along with how to change a flat, that it is okay to drive a short distance off the freeway and to a parking lot on a flat/blow out instead of risking your life changing a flat on the side of a highway, that you don't have to come to a complete stop when turning into a parking lot, when the sign says that your exit is in 2 miles, move over now, not in 1.9999 miles, and a few other things).

I would happily own another stick, however, I lost the use of my right shoulder so I only drive stick when I absolutely have to. Last time was when I was shadowing a delivery driver for a job that I had gotten hired for. He stalled the deliver truck under an over pass and knowing about my bum shoulder, still had me drive the truck because his license was suspended and if a cop came by to see if we were in need of assistance he could be arrested for driving on that suspended license (Once we got back to the shop I quit).

Last month I trained to be a car salesmen and the trainer said that with the technology as advanced as it is, manual transmissions are becoming less and less. Kia, for example, only has two or three models that have stick options, and even those are hard to find. The first time I sold cars I was told that driving stick was required. Now it's not because there are so few being made any more. All the advantages with stick are now in automatics. Some cars will always have stick. It's next to impossible to imagine Ferrari going to all automatics. Chevy, Ford, Honda: yeah, they may completely phase out the manual transmission.

I have two nieces, ages 10 and 5. They very well may go through life not knowing that there ever was a manual option for cars.
2012-07-20 04:38:04 AM  
1 votes:
My daughter and friends went into town to watch latest Batman movie.

Came back and found they'd left lights on and battery flat.

Me: "Did you try push starting it?"

Her: 'WTF is that? How wd that work'

/yeah I know onions, belt, lawns
2012-07-20 04:36:40 AM  
1 votes:
Could have just asked these guys:

stblogs.motortrend.com

Or these:

www.blogcdn.com

No comment:

www.mediaspy.org
2012-07-20 02:30:57 AM  
1 votes:

miss diminutive: One of my few regrets is that I never learned how to drive stick. An ex-bf tried to teach me once, but he got so pissy with me when I stalled it once that I just decided it wasn't worth the hassle.


If you have the coordination to use a video game controller, you certainly have the coordination to drive stick. My car is a manual and I prefer it that way, but my town has very little congestion. If I was in stop-start traffic every day, I might just prefer an automatic. If I'm ever in the position to buy a performance car, I would insist on a manual, though.

Horses for courses, really.
2012-07-20 01:00:33 AM  
1 votes:
Why WOULDN'T you at least want to have that skillset? If nothing else, it at least opens up avenues for buying different vehicles.

Plus, hey, that's a skill that's transferable to riding a motorcycle.
2012-07-20 12:24:33 AM  
1 votes:
I drive a stick and ride a motorcycle. I'm a little bit of a control freak where shifting gears is concerned.
2012-07-20 12:10:30 AM  
1 votes:
I learned on a '71 Jeepster Commando. I also learned how to use the other PITA stick, and lock and unlock the hubs with a rock. I still have the Jeep.
2012-07-20 12:04:49 AM  
1 votes:

miss diminutive: One of my few regrets is that I never learned how to drive stick. An ex-bf tried to teach me once, but he got so pissy with me when I stalled it once that I just decided it wasn't worth the hassle.


It's incredibly worth it. You should try again with somebody who isn't an impatient sissy. Stalling out is just part of the deal when you're learning.
2012-07-19 10:48:18 PM  
1 votes:
If you have a manual transmission, it helps to know how to drive a stick.

What an idiotic, FARK ready article.

/CNN, the Children's Neato Network
2012-07-19 10:25:50 PM  
1 votes:
Not to mention mpg goes way up with a stick.
2012-07-19 10:21:01 PM  
1 votes:

miss diminutive: One of my few regrets is that I never learned how to drive stick. An ex-bf tried to teach me once, but he got so pissy with me when I stalled it once that I just decided it wasn't worth the hassle.


It is worth the hassle, get a couple lessons somehow, and learn how to drive a stick!
2012-07-19 10:18:52 PM  
1 votes:
One of my few regrets is that I never learned how to drive stick. An ex-bf tried to teach me once, but he got so pissy with me when I stalled it once that I just decided it wasn't worth the hassle.
 
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