: How to explain gear changes to my girlfriend



MattHatlee
06-06-13, 01:25 PM
Okay so I have been trying to teach my girlfriend how to drive a standard car, but we don't make it far into the lesson because every time I tell her anything she immediately asks "why?". For example we were driving down the road and I was explaining that when you reach a certain RPM you need to change gears. Of course her response was "why?" I looked at her and tried to explain it (using the analogy of riding a bike) this just confused her. How else do I explain why you need to change gears in a car to someone who doesn't know anything about cars?

RippyPartsDept
06-06-13, 01:33 PM
http://www.howstuffworks.com/transmission.htm
see if you can get her to read/watch this and understand it

EcSTSatic
06-06-13, 02:15 PM
And she doesn't understand the bike example? I would put her on a 10-speed and let her try to ride it in one gear. Tell her she is the engine and explain why she has to shift to make it easier to ride. Don't try to get into gear ratios, power curves etc. :noidea:

The-Dullahan
06-06-13, 03:05 PM
Get a new girlfriend.

Aztec ETC ECS
06-06-13, 03:30 PM
I've taught many girls many things over the years but driving a stick is not one of them.
It will probably result in clutch/trans damage. Not just because it's a girl, either. Most people will never learn.
I do compliment you on knowing how at 16, though.
Get her an automatic.


Get a new girlfriend.
^Or this.

Ranger
06-06-13, 03:56 PM
:yeah:

Get her an automatic.

CTSCHICK
06-06-13, 04:34 PM
Since she is asking you questions I have to assume she is thinking enough about it to care about learning so I am going to side with the g.f.

She probably needs some one else to teach her that knows more about it and can explain her questions to her so that she can understand things.

The-Dullahan
06-06-13, 04:41 PM
I think everyone should be taught to drive standard.

Hoosier Daddy
06-06-13, 04:48 PM
She probably needs some one else to teach her that knows more about it and can explain her questions to her so that she can understand things.
Oh snap! You can't say something like that to a guy!

But don't worry MattHatlee, your GF is probably otherwise perfectly happy with the size of your brain.

CTSCHICK
06-06-13, 06:01 PM
Lol it wasnt meant that way

Aztec ETC ECS
06-06-13, 06:02 PM
Since she is asking you questions I have to assume she is thinking enough about it to care about learning so I am going to side with the g.f.

She probably needs some one else to teach her that knows more about it and can explain her questions to her so that she can understand things.
Are you volunteering?

orconn
06-06-13, 06:37 PM
Oh, come on, my chauvinist piglet, Forums friends! You act like teaching on of the opposite sex to drive stick shift is tantamount to a major break through in feminine accomplishment. Let me just say that I have taught three young ladies how to drive a car equipped with a manual transmission. The first accomplished the "daunting " task on a 1958 Jaguar XK 150 drop head coupe ((for those not familiar with four speed Moss boxes, they are equipped with a synchronized first gear (and, oh my, neither is reverse), only 2nd, 3rd and fourth are synchronized)). This famous gear box has given many a man difficulties over the years!

The second mastered the five speed manual on our 1983 VW Scirocco (it had all synchronized gears) and enjoyed manual gear shift driving so much she chose to use the car for her 45 mile (each way) daily commute, in L.A. traffic, for over a year.

The third was a bit slower on the uptake but nevertheless mastered a six speed Mercedes all synchro box (not one of the smoothest, easiest units) and while not really enjoying the effort could drive it passably in a pinch.

All three caught to the fact and concept that the clutch was used to disconnect the engine from the transmission thus allowing a smooth movement of the gear lever from neutral to the desired gear. They also quickly caught on the idea that releasing the clutch (by easing pressure on same) the engine was again connected to the transmission and the drive wheels. The co-ordination to accomplish these mechanizations was also quickly accomplished as through trial and error they learned to add gas as the they released the clutch.

I realize that for a few generations, now, the skilled use of a manual transmission has eluded many a male, and thus the teaching of this minor skill to females may prove difficult. Just remember your grandmother drove a stick shift car for decades before you were born and managed this feat while raising your relatives!

CadillacLuke24
06-06-13, 06:49 PM
Tell her in woman speak. If she doesn't that fries the engine and trans, and NO SHOPPING FOR HER!

Seriously though, the bike riding idea is good.

CTSCHICK
06-06-13, 07:02 PM
Are you volunteering?

If they were closer I might or I know some one that could :)

MoistCabbage
06-06-13, 07:17 PM
Here's how I've explained/demonstrated it to my friends:

After using the bicycle analogy to explain that an engine, like your legs, can only turn so fast, and doesn't have infinite power, I get in the car with them, put it in first, and accelerate. When first accelerating, I jab the throttle for a second a couple of times, and explain that "first gear is great for acceleration, buuuut..." then continue to accelerate to ~20-30 MPH. With the engine revving pretty quickly, I point out that "this is about as fast as you can go in first. The engine can't go any faster, it's spinning that fast for no reason, and that'll not only cause wear and damage, but you'd go through gas like crazy." Then I shift into second or third, and point out that the RPMs are in an acceptable range, and the car can maintain speed, and even still accelerate.

Then I slow back down to ~5-10 MPH, shift to a high gear, and try to accelerate. Obviously, not much acceleration is going on, and the engine might even have trouble holding the current speed. I explain, "now the engine's turning too slowly to make enough power to accelerate".

You don't have to demonstrate each gear individually, just show each end of the spectrum (high speeds in low gear, and low speeds in high gear), and show that shifting into the next gear as RPMs increase, allows speed to increase, but keeps the RPMs in about the same range (use whatever wording you see fit to explain). Usually they get the idea after that.

Demonstrating that the clutch connects/disconnects the engine and transmission is easy. Just come to a stop in gear with the clutch down. Wheels stopped - engine turning. Then come to a stop again, in gear, clutch up. Obviously, it will stall. Wheels stopped - engine stopped.

Once the basic concept is understood, you can give a simple explanation of power band. "The engine makes more power as RPM increases... to a point. Since it takes less power to maintain speed than it does to accelerate, you can keep the RPMs lower when cruising, and when you want to accelerate quicker, downshift so the RPMs are higher"

talismandave
06-06-13, 08:16 PM
Get a new girlfriend.


I've taught many girls many things over the years but driving a stick is not one of them.
It will probably result in clutch/trans damage. Not just because it's a girl, either. Most people will never learn.
I do compliment you on knowing how at 16, though.
Get her an automatic.


^Or this.


:yeah:

Get her an automatic.


Since she is asking you questions I have to assume she is thinking enough about it to care about learning so I am going to side with the g.f.

She probably needs some one else to teach her that knows more about it and can explain her questions to her so that she can understand things.


Oh snap! You can't say something like that to a guy!

But don't worry MattHatlee, your GF is probably otherwise perfectly happy with the size of your brain.


Tell her in woman speak. If she doesn't that fries the engine and trans, and NO SHOPPING FOR HER!

Seriously though, the bike riding idea is good.

....I see this thread ending up in a bad place.....:tisk::lol:

Aztec ETC ECS
06-06-13, 08:23 PM
....I see this thread ending up in a bad place.....:tisk::lol:
I thought I was quite diplomatic.

talismandave
06-06-13, 08:25 PM
I thought I was quite diplomatic.

I just know you guys enough to see through your "diplomacy".....

The-Dullahan
06-06-13, 09:23 PM
I've never taught anyone to drive an automatic. Maybe that is the problem. Go have THAT person fix their own mess.

No, I am with CTSCHICK on this. Maybe have someone else teach her.

Anyone turning this into a gender thing is absurd.

Of everyone I have ever taught to drive (too many to count), none of them learned in an automatic. However, every single one of them was a girl. Women are no worse at learning this than men are.

My little sister got her license only thirty minutes after her first and ONLY driving lesson. The entire lesson was 15 minutes. Today, she has no problem driving an automatic or standard and has even raced in several track cars and my adoptive sister's Lamborghini. Likewise, she ia probably the safest driver I will ever meet.

Gender is irrelevant. It comes down to the teacher and the student.

MrHolland
06-06-13, 09:26 PM
Should be ok as long as the girlfriend doesn't wander through here. If she does, we could have another Ralsworth type of situation on our hands....

Nah,,,,,this thread was pretty mild in relation.

The-Dullahan
06-06-13, 09:31 PM
Who is this "Ralsworth" and why does everyone keep talking about them?

MrHolland
06-06-13, 09:39 PM
This should be required reading for all new members -
http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/community-lounge-introductions-general-discussion/260511-hello.html

Sorry to hijack!!

MattHatlee
06-06-13, 10:10 PM
Since she is asking you questions I have to assume she is thinking enough about it to care about learning so I am going to side with the g.f.

She isn't asking. She hates the idea that she has to actually put work into driving haha. I'm getting another car somewhat soon and it's going to be manual. And instead of her learning on my future car minds well teach her on a beater (the car that I learned on as well)

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I think everyone should be taught to drive standard.

I couldn't agree more.

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I think I should add that my girlfriend isn't the type who likes to learn new things. She doesn't like to learn about things that she doesn't have to do frequently. If it weren't for me she probably wouldn't even know how to put windshield wiper fluid in a car. Haha. So she wasn't to excited to begin learning how to drive standard. So with that said I could assure you my knowledge on how to drive standard is not the problem. I have taught 4 people how to drive standard. All picked it up within the first few hours. But I have probably spent a good hour and a half just explaining to my girlfriend the point of driving a manual car. I think she is scared to break something. Even though the car I'm teaching her on is a beater I do still drive it around for fun sometimes just because my daily driver isn't manual and I miss it sometimes. So maybe my best bet would be to go on Craigslist or something and buy a $500 piece of junk and teach her on that. And after she learns ill turn the thing into a rally car :thumbsup:

CTSCHICK
06-06-13, 11:36 PM
Doesn't sound like she a car chick then and you can't force that on to a chick.
Dunno why it is a priority for her to have to know how to drive your car when she can always get her own car with an automatic.

EcSTSatic
06-07-13, 09:30 AM
She isn't asking. She hates the idea that she has to actually put work into driving haha. I'm getting another car somewhat soon and it's going to be manual. And instead of her learning on my future car minds well teach her on a beater (the car that I learned on as well)

----------



I couldn't agree more.

----------

I think I should add that my girlfriend isn't the type who likes to learn new things. She doesn't like to learn about things that she doesn't have to do frequently. If it weren't for me she probably wouldn't even know how to put windshield wiper fluid in a car. Haha. So she wasn't to excited to begin learning how to drive standard. So with that said I could assure you my knowledge on how to drive standard is not the problem. I have taught 4 people how to drive standard. All picked it up within the first few hours. But I have probably spent a good hour and a half just explaining to my girlfriend the point of driving a manual car. I think she is scared to break something. Even though the car I'm teaching her on is a beater I do still drive it around for fun sometimes just because my daily driver isn't manual and I miss it sometimes. So maybe my best bet would be to go on Craigslist or something and buy a $500 piece of junk and teach her on that. And after she learns ill turn the thing into a rally car :thumbsup:

I would be concerned about the future of anyone that doesn't want to put work into anything and doesn't want to learn new things. How does she feel about flipping burgers her entire life? I'm not being mean, at my age I've seen the results of attitudes like that. Hopefully she will grow out of it.

Ranger
06-07-13, 11:33 AM
I just know you guys enough to see through your "diplomacy".....
:hide:

Good thing I thought twice and edited my first post. :)

drewsdeville
06-07-13, 12:09 PM
I would be concerned about the future of anyone that doesn't want to put work into anything and doesn't want to learn new things. How does she feel about flipping burgers her entire life? I'm not being mean, at my age I've seen the results of attitudes like that. Hopefully she will grow out of it. there are MANY people MUCH more successful than you that never cared to learn to drive a manual trans, bro. Apparently they made a good decision when they determined they had better, more influential and important things to do.

MattHatlee
06-07-13, 01:11 PM
Doesn't sound like she a car chick then and you can't force that on to a chick.
Dunno why it is a priority for her to have to know how to drive your car when she can always get her own car with an automatic.

She needs to know how to drive my car because she doesn't have one of her own. Her mom won't let her get one :/

EcSTSatic
06-07-13, 01:44 PM
there are MANY people MUCH more successful than you that never cared to learn to drive a manual trans, bro. Apparently they made a good decision when they determined they had better, more influential and important things to do.

I totally agree. My post mentions nothing about driving a manual. it's about attitude.

drewsdeville
06-07-13, 01:50 PM
Exactly. The attitude is my point - she doesn't want to put effort into an unnecessary extracurricular that she obviously doesn't feel she'll benefit from. Sounds reasonable to me. Not sure how we can determine she has a poor work ethic based on this.

EcSTSatic
06-07-13, 02:31 PM
Exactly. The attitude is my point - she doesn't want to put effort into an unnecessary extracurricular that she obviously doesn't feel she'll benefit from. Sounds reasonable to me. Not sure how we can determine she has a poor work ethic based on this.

Read the OP's whole post again and see if you still think that way. It doesn't mention "unnecessary extracurricular", he says "I think I should add that my girlfriend isn't the type who likes to learn new things. She doesn't like to learn about things that she doesn't have to do frequently.". That's a big difference. He may be misrepresenting her, I hope he is.

As we say around here; "I could agree with you but then we'd both be wrong" :)

drewsdeville
06-07-13, 02:45 PM
Less outgoing and more reserved people are often very productive in the workplace... perhaps they are very selective in what they expose themselves to outside of that, but that doesn't mean they'll easily sacrifice their employers needs for the sake of their comfort. Do you think a reserved plumber or sewer worker does his job because he lays around in his own s*** at home and doesn't want to try anything else?

Submariner409
06-07-13, 03:21 PM
Over the years I taught 2 sisters, 3 daughters and 2 stepdaughters - people ranging in mechanical abilities from almost gearhead to complete airhead - how to drive stick everything from Jaguars to Corvairs to Chevelles to Volvos to Ford Mustang 302 GT. No problems - and NONE of them ride the clutch today.

Gear changes - A mechanical system of keeping engine power output within a mechanically safe usable band in order to accelerate a heavy car from a stop to some desired cruising speed.

or - "Give me a lever long enough and strong enough and a place to stand on and I will move the earth."

talismandave
06-07-13, 06:32 PM
Exactly. The attitude is my point - she doesn't want to put effort into an unnecessary extracurricular that she obviously doesn't feel she'll benefit from. Sounds reasonable to me. Not sure how we can determine she has a poor work ethic based on this.


She needs to know how to drive my car because she doesn't have one of her own. Her mom won't let her get one :/

....sounds like quite a benefit to me.....:hmm:

Submariner409
06-07-13, 06:40 PM
Ask her to grind you a pound ............... :bigroll:

EChas3
06-07-13, 09:38 PM
People can have a good relationship and still have some interactions that are like a tyro on a clutch. If the OP teaches by rote and his partner has to understand every detail, a professional instructor may make sense. Very few people are compatible in every way.

No sense messing up a good relationship. Be happy.

PS: My wife's first car was a stick. We met a dozen years later.

PPS: Mine was, too.

drewsdeville
06-08-13, 02:24 AM
....sounds like quite a benefit to me.....:hmm:to you, but obviously not to her, else we wouldn't be having this discussion! What could suddenly be motivating her to value this car she's supposed to learn to drive? She's been getting around just fine for XX years without it - why should she suddenly care one way or another now?! --- If she doesn't need it, then she doesn't want it, hence she doesn't care to learn it. No rocket science here. That's the ticket, OP. If you have to get her to learn, you have to convince her that she needs it. You'll never succeed until you've done that.

thebigjimsho
06-08-13, 09:29 AM
Doesn't sound like she a car chick then and you can't force that on to a chick.
Dunno why it is a priority for her to have to know how to drive your car when she can always get her own car with an automatic.

Do you know how many poor schmucks in the V forum have to buy automatics because their wives may have to drive them on only rare occasions?

My father married my mother because she could drive a manual. And motorcycles, for that matter. And well, too...

Ranger
06-08-13, 11:55 AM
If I had a manual shift car I'd be more inclined to marry a woman who COULDN'T drive one.

Jesda
06-08-13, 12:25 PM
It's more fun once learned.
Depending on the car, it can improve fuel economy.
It prevents theft.
It prevents theft.
It prevents theft.
It prevents theft.
It prevents theft.


If she's practical, sell her on the latter.

CTSCHICK
06-08-13, 08:16 PM
Do you know how many poor schmucks in the V forum have to buy automatics because their wives may have to drive them on only rare occasions?

lol Pu$$y whipped

That would never happen with my b.f. he would say if I can't drive his cars and drive them properly that is my problem and I wouldn't be able to drive them.
Me personally I have had to if I wanted to drive a cool car

orconn
06-08-13, 08:53 PM
Do you know how many poor schmucks in the V forum have to buy automatics because their wives may have to drive them on only rare occasions?

My father married my mother because she could drive a manual. And motorcycles, for that matter. And well, too...

^^^ So I guess all the chest beating and macho posturing we see and hear in the CTS-V forum is just so much compensation for an inability to stand up to the wifey?