Hello from New Jersey!

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Junior Standardshifter
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2015 7:41 am
Cars: 2015 Mazda 3

Hello from New Jersey!

Post by DashboardSaint »


I’m new to the forum, new to a stick shift as well. I’ve wanted to learn stick for years, it’s one of those things I admire about someone who can do it, like knowing another language. Plus my fiancé drives a stick, so the only way I’m going to get my hands on his badass vehicle would be to learn. Knowing myself and how I learn, the only way to become proficient at it would be to drive a manual as my everyday car. So when my lease came up, I said goodbye to the automatic VW Beetle and said hello to a new Mazda 3. I wish I could say I took to it like a fish to water, but it was more like a fish to a stick shift vehicle. I did a lot of practicing around a parking lot and on an incline, then I spent my evenings for two weeks driving around the same block. Now I’ve been commuting with it for the past two weeks, and I love it. I’m no longer bored by my commute, I actually look forward to it. I know I still have a lot to learn, I’m still trying to find the best moments to shift. But I’m definitely better than when I started.

Also, I was SO happy to find this forum. I had to google a lot of my questions, and the best information always came not from the articles but from the comment sections because you get perspectives from real everyday drivers with all different vehicles. Unfortunately, you also get a lot people with an attitude of “what's the big deal, it’s so easy, I’ve been driving stick since I was born and I've never stalled in my life, blah blah blah…” – which is not helpful. It’s nice to find a place where I can get answers to questions that are clear, don’t use a lot of jargon (or at least will define the jargon) and without the holierthanthou attitude. Thanks for all the helpful info! :D
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Master Standardshifter
Posts: 3390
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:44 pm
Location: KY

Re: Hello from New Jersey!

Post by Squint »


The Mazda 3 is a fun little vehicle (I have a 2015 3 Hatch) with a nice 6 speed. Having a manual certainly makes you pay at least a little more attention while driving - which we should be doing anyway.

Practice makes (close to) perfect and it seems like you're off to a good start if you're confident enough to actually commute in the car. Don't worry about attempting perfection while driving - it can't happen. I've been driving a stick for ~5 years now and today on my morning commute (in my Fiesta) I got lazy with the clutch pedal press and ended up trying to push it into 4th causing a small grind because I didn't have the clutch pedal pushed down enough. :oops: :roll: :lol: When you make a mistake like that driving a manual, it wakes you up a little more! :lol: :lol:

Feel free to ask any questions!
'15 Mazda 3 iSport Hatch 6MT
'11 Ford Fiesta Hatchback SE 5MT
'14 Giant Escape City 24MT
'97 Honda Civic EX 4AT - Retired @ 184,001 mi

For Pony!
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Master Standardshifter
Posts: 7697
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2005 11:35 pm
Cars: '16 Forester XT
Location: Dutchess County

Re: Hello from New Jersey!

Post by potownrob »

Welcome aboard the SS, welcome to the dark side :) :mrgreen: :twisted:
ClutchFork wrote:...So I started carrying a stick of firewood with me and that became my parking brake.
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