New stick shift

I’ve heard that it’s a bad idea to learn to drive a stick shift on a new car. I’M planning to purchase a new car (a jeep wrangler). And since I’m planning to get a jeep I was thinking of getting a manual transmission but I’m worried that learning on a new car could cause long term damage. Any thoughts?

This is a really bad idea.

Why would you buy a car you don’t know how to drive? What if you end up not liking it? You won’t even be able to test drive the Wrangler before you buy it for goodness sake!

Learn on a rental car if you can find one with a manual transmission.

Why buy a car with an outdated transmission? Automatics have been available since 1939.

I don’t think the OP asked for a debate about which is better.

Nonetheless, if automatics have been around since 1939, both types are outdated.

I would suggest checking with local driving schools to see if they have a stick shift car and what the cost of a few lessons would be. A Jeep Wrangler has a pretty low 1st gear and should be a pretty easy car to master driving a stick shift. Taking lessons first will miniimize damage to your new car because you’ll learn proper technique and get over the hardest part of the learning curve on the instructor’s car.

Car sales are slow, especially at the Chrysler dealer. Tell 'em you’re only buying if you can “test drive” a different manual transmission car.

Although, I will mention that automatics are far better for off-roading, if that’s what you’re thinking.

EDIT: Also, if you have someone who knows what they’re doing to teach you, learning to drive a stick is a pretty quick process that won’t significantly hasten the demise of your clutch. What leads to quickly burnt clutches is when someone teaches themselves or doesn’t really get adequate instruction and ends up driving a bunch of miles with bad habits.

Take a motorcycle class through MSF (motorcycle safety foundation). You’ll learn a bunch of needless stuff for driving a Jeep, but that’s as close to manual transmission as you can get. I know $260 is not exactly cheap but think of it as insurance for protecting your car against any misconceptions that you may have now. If you’re in southern California, check out ADD (advanced driving dynamics). They’ll teach you driving manual, parallel parking, and skid recovery all in one day.

Take a friend or family member who knows how to operate a manual properly when you make your purchase. Decline if your product specialist offers to show you how to drive one. They just want you to get out there with a new Chrysler product and will likely show you how to get a car going in the easiest, yet most abusive method.

I barely knew how to get a manual trans car moving when I bought mine. I’m still on my original clutch after 120k miles, and that’s with some San Francisco hills in the mix.

Chances are, the clutch replacement will be the least of your worries. Frequent back adjustments are more in order for these things. Unless you’re doing off roading, get an automatic. You can hang onto the wheel with two hands when you hit bumps.

Good for you! I like a stick shift; two of our three cars have them.

Practice in your mind, the procedure to operate a stick shift; the coordination of clutching, throttle application and gear selector movement. It would not hurt to sit in a vehicle with a stick shift with the motor off and then go through the procedure, both upshifting and returning to first gear to go again.

Don’t use the transmission to slow the car; use the brakes for that.

One thing to keep in mind, release the clutch slowly while making a little throttle application. When the clutch begins to engage, this is where many panic a little. Don’t panic, just let it continue to slip a little while you continue with what you have in process.

“Dry driving” may sound silly but that’s what I did as kid and when I drove my first stick shift, I took off a little roughly but I did go without killing the engine. I already knew how to drive, having learned with an automatic.

No you will not damage the vehicle. Turn it over to a 16 year old kid for that, even one who knows how to drive a stick shift!

I did it…First car I bought was a standard…I had only driven a standard maybe 3 times before that.

Needed a new clutch at 30k miles…Next clutch lasted me 90k.

If you wore out a clutch in 30k miles even being new to stick shifts, I suggest that there was something else going on.

Typical clutch friction disk life now is at least 150K miles and over 200k is not unusual for a moderate driver. I have replaced at least 5 friction disks and TO bearings but never a pressure plate or flywheel nor had a flywheel machined.

Tell the auto store you want to buy the car and you do not know how to drive a stick and do they have someone that could teach you (preferably not on your car), the chances of damage imho fall into 3 categories.

  1. Engine problems due to repeated kills (slim)
  2. Throwout bearing failure due to not engaging or disengaging the clutch (probable)
  3. Total misunderstanding of shifting and going 45 in first gear because the pedal will not go down any farther(slim)
    Your spelling is good, only a capitol M in I’M, your spelling seems fine but capitalization presents a a problem as Jeep and Wrangler should be capitalized, final review you have the skills necessary to drive a stick shift given proper training. No long term damage foreseen:)

I would not recommend you buy a stick shift until after you learn to drive one. You may not like it. Driving stick is not all that difficult. If my mother could lean to drive stick (1955) anyone can. I really like the driving school idea.

Note: You did not tell us why you want a stick shift, so I would guess you are going to get quite a few comments on that part of your question, even if you did not ask.

Good Luck