Here is the ultimate guide on how to start a manual car in Kenya. Plus there is a video towards the end.
Today, automatic cars are growing in popularity. In fact, many Kenyans find it easy to drive an automatic transmission car rather than a manual one.
Well, I don’t really understand the reason, but it has to do with the learning curve and of course what you are used to.
I’ll tell you for sure, it gets a little bit harder coming from an automatic car to driving manual.
Where should you start, how do you shift the gears, or how do you stop a manual car?
We will answer these and many other questions about driving a manual car in Kenya.
How To Start A Manual Car In Kenya For Complete Beginners
Here is a quick overview if you are in hurry:
- First, make sure to find a flat, with no one around where you can practice especially the kids
- Understand where the gears are while the engine is off
- Step on the clutch, push in the key, and start the car engine
- While still pushing the clutch, move the gear stick to the first gear (Gear 1)
- Slowly remove your leg from the clutch until the car starts to move a little
- With your left foot still stepping on the clutch, give the car a little gas using your right foot until the tachometer starts moving
- Once you feel the gear is engaged, remove your left foot from the clutch while your right foot is still on the gas. With just the right balance of power (gas), the manual car will start moving forward.
In a nutshell, that is how to start a manual car in Kenya.
If you are looking for an in-depth guide, continue reading.
I can’t stress this enough:
If possible, make sure you are in a secluded place. This way you can accelerate at any speed without the risk of running into or over something.
Step #1: Adjust the mirrors
I know what you are thinking:
If I am alone, is it necessary to adjust the mirrors?
Well, if you are going to learn how to drive a manual car in Kenya, then we better learn the basics as well as the best practices.
Such ‘small’ things could be the difference between life and death.
With that said, you have two sets of mirrors: side and rear-view car mirrors.
Adjust them until you can see what is behind you and the other side.
Step #2: understand where the gears are
This is a very important step.
While the engine is off, familiarize yourself with the location of gears. Move the stick around.
The gears are arranged in an ‘H’ shape.
But here is something:
The location of the reverse gear varies in most manual cars.
As you can see in the image below, it is on right and down.
But in some cars, it is located to left and up. And that is why you need to understand where they are located, have a mental picture.
Like you can close your eyes and visualize how the gears are arranged.
#3: understanding the pedals
Time to learn about the pedals.
There is no pedal to your far right, designed to be your foot’s resting place while driving a manual car in Kenya.
- The clutch on your left foot
- Brakes in the center
- Gas on your right foot (far right)
Time to learn how to start a manual car in Kenya.
#4: make sure the car is in Neutral
Neutral is the horizontal part of the ‘H.’
If you are not sure whether the car is neutral or not, wiggle the gear stick back and forth, if it moves, you are on neutral, otherwise, put the car in neutral.
To start a manual car, do two things first:
- The car is in neutral
- Press the clutch all the way down
With the clutch still down, turn the key.
Now, you are just seated there, engine running, you doing nothing, and the car not moving.
You are on the right track.
#5: shift to the first gear
Time to move forward a little bit.
To do that, shift to the first gear:
- Press the clutch all the way in
- Move the stick to gear 1 slot (mostly to left and up).
Once done, do not release the clutch, or you will stall the car. But hey, it is bound to happen at some point, so don’t worry too much about stalling.
#6: Release the handbrake
With the engine running, disengage the emergency brake (handbrake). Do not worry, since you are in a flat place, the car won’t move anywhere.
Time to move.
#7: release the clutch slowly, and give the car some gas
With the first gear in place, release the clutch slowly until you feel the car start to move.
Press the gas pedal down slowly. The car will start rolling forward. That is how to drive a manual car in Kenya.
But here is the truth:
You aren’t going to get it right at the first attempt, the second, or the third. It’s going to take several trials and errors to get the hang of it.
Because this is the hardest part of learning how to start a manual car in Kenya. Here is why:
- If you give too little gas, you will stall the car
- Give too much gas the clutch will begin to burn
Be patient with yourself, and keep practicing.
#8: after the gears engage, completely release the clutch
By now, you are still pressing the clutch and giving the car some gas. Fully release the clutch once you feel the gears engage.
How will you know?
You will feel some vibration rocking your shoe sole. When you feel that, it is a sign that the gears are now engaged, and you should release the clutch.
Drive around without pressing the clutch.
You are now driving a manual car.
How to shift to higher gears
In a manual car, you move from gear 1 to 2, to 3, to 4, to 5, to 6, if you have up to gear 6.
Shifting to higher gears on a manual car is easier than starting.
Say you want to move from one to two, here are the steps
- Press the clutch way down, and then move the gear stick to gear two
- Release the clutch pedal slowly until you feel the gears engage (vibration), then give it some gas.
- Fully release the clutch and continue driving
The same thing applies to gear 3, 4, 5, and 6.
Here is a pointer:
For a smooth shift, balance the clutch and the gas.
How Do I Stop a Manual Car?
Here is a guide on how to stop a manual car:
- Press the clutch in every time you press the brakes pedal to slow the car down
- To fully stop a manual car, press the clutch down, release the gas, then shift to neutral
That is how to stop a manual car in Kenya.
You can watch this video to help you.