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Car and Truck Manual Transmissions and Parts

For those who enjoy driving, there is nothing more enjoyable than a manual transmission. With the ability to select your own gear, the manual transmission gives the driver ultimate control over their car.

What are the components of a manual transmission?
  • Clutch - One of the key features that distinguishes a standard transmission is the presence of a manually actuated clutch. This connects the engine with the transmission. When you press the third pedal, the engine becomes completely disconnected from the transmission, allowing it to run independently. As you let go of the pedal, the engine links with the transmission, requiring them both to spin at the same rate.
  • Layshaft - This component connects the clutch to the manual transmission gears. It is essentially two sets of gears connected by a shaft. One gear connects to the clutch, and the other gear connects to the gears shifted by the gearbox.
  • Gearbox - This portion of the manual transmission contains the gears, which are linked to the engine via the layshaft. Each gear axis contains a collar, which is what is shifted when you use the shifter. The collar links to a gear, which causes it to engage.
  • Shifter - The shifter on a manual is the portion that is visible to and manipulated by the driver. Depending on the model of vehicle, the car or truck may have a column or a floor shift. These manipulate the collars that go around each gear, allowing the driver to switch between gears easily.
How do you drive a manual transmission vehicle?

Driving a manual is a distinct experience from driving an automatic car or truck.

  • Engage the clutch - To start a manual car, press the leftmost pedal and turn the key. Most vehicles require you to do this, and if you do not, you will immediately stall the engine.
  • Disengage the parking brake - When parked, manual transmission vehicles should have the parking brake engaged. Disengage this to allow for forward driving.
  • Put the car or truck in gear - With the clutch pedal depressed, slide the manual transmission into first gear.
  • Press the gas and release the clutch - Moving slowly, press the gas pedal with your right foot to increase the engine speed. As the speed rises, gradually release your foot from the clutch pedal. Once you do this, the car should move forward. Repeat this process to shift between gears.
  • Stop the vehicle - To stop the car without stalling, depress the clutch and apply the brakes simultaneously.