The ability to drive a manual transmission vehicle (or "driving stick" if you will) is becoming a dying art, but there are many reasons why modern drivers prefer to have a manual transmission. Fuel economy can be better. The overall cost of ownership is usually less. Repairs are often less complicated without the extra automatic transmission components like the torque converter.
Driving around San Francisco can be extra tough on a manual transmission because of the steep hills and a lot of stop-and-go traffic in and around this bustling city. San Francisco Automotive Solutions has compiled this list of simple tips you can follow to keep your manual transmission running as well as possible.
1. Don't Ride the Clutch
It can be difficult because you'll have to use the clutch a lot to shift up and down as you drive around San Francisco. However, make sure your foot is all the way off the clutch pedal when you are not shifting. If you abuse it, you can wear it out more quickly.
2. Completely Depress the Clutch Pedal
Again, when you are using the clutch so much, it is easy to fall into the bad habit of only pushing the pedal down part of the way when shifting. You may hear the gears grind when you do this and that's always a bad sound to hear. You can damage the clutch, gear box and other transmission components if you are shifting between gears too harshly.
3. Use Your Parking Brake on Hills
San Francisco is the hilliest major city in the country. Put your parking brake to good use. When parked on a hill, make sure the parking brake is engaged (and remember to turn your wheels toward the curb). This not only helps keep the car from rolling away. It helps take added strain off the transmission. Likewise, when you are stopped at a light while driving uphill, engage the parking brake to help keep you from rolling backward as you start in first gear. This can help prevent stalling out the engine and takes some stress off the transmission. Just remember to release the brake immediately once you start moving forward.
4. Regular Transmission Maintenance
Like any vehicle, you want to have your transmission inspected and serviced periodically. This includes checking the clutch and the transmission alignment, as well as replacing the transmission fluid and filter at factory recommended intervals.
With proper maintenance and driver care, your manual transmission and the key components such as the clutch and gears will last longer. In a city like San Francisco, you have to take extra care of your transmission, so remember these simple tips.
If you need transmission repair or transmission service, call San Francisco Automotive Solutions (formerly All American Automotive) today at (415) 523-0515 or schedule a service appointment online.