For beginners, starting a car might look like a lot of work, but that’s the opposite. Knowing how to start a car is actually simple.
It’s a basic to driving your car, so starting it is the key for using it to drive. Here’s a simple step by step guide to learn how to start a car.
Starting a Car (Manual)
Let’s start with learning how to start a manual car. Although cars have the same purpose which is to take us to places, it has its own difference when it comes to transmission. There are two types: Manual and Automatic Transmission, and both are very much different.
Step 1 Have the car key inside the ignition.
Get the hang of putting the car key inside the ignition the right way. At this point, you don’t need to do anything. Just get used to yourself being able to swiftly put in the car key inside the ignition with pure confidence. Make it feel like it’s normal to do it and you’ve been doing it for a while now.
Step 2 Get familiar with how the three pedals work.
In manual transmission, you will see a total of three pedals to work on when driving. Those three are the clutch, brake and accelerator. It’s crucial that you know all these three types of pedals because it enables your car to start. It’s pretty much complex than automatic transmission. However if you become a pro with it, starting and driving a manual car is totally rewarding.
- Starting from your left side, count 1, 2 and 3. These numbers will represent the three pedals. The first pedal you see from the left is the clutch. The purpose of the clutch is to have the engine disconnect from the wheels while you are changing gears when driving. You need to manually maneuver it using your left foot.
- Then the second pedal next to the clutch, also known as the center pedal is the brake. You use this one to slow down or to make into a full stop. Don’t get confused by the clutch and brake. Most people incur accidents through this because of stepping into the brake to stop, they instead stepped on the clutch. To avoid this, remember to use your right foot for maneuvering.
- And the third pedal is the accelerator or also known as the gas. Also, maneuvered using the right foot, it is responsible for letting the car move slow or fast.
Make sure to remember all these different types of pedals so it will be easier for you to handle a manual car.
Step 3 Have the gear shifted to a neutral positioning.
- So the key is already inside the ignition, don’t twist it yet and check your gear if it’s neutral. First way to check and make sure if the car is in neutral by checking the stick shift. If it feels easy to touch where you can wiggle it around, it’s in neutral position. If it feels hard to maneuver around, it’s not in a neutral position. Correct this by stepping on your clutch all the way down and have the stick shift move to the center where it says neutral position.
- You can also check if the car is neutral by verifying the clutch. When in neutral position, the clutch is supposed to be all the way down, you can feel it as you step it using your left foot.
Step 4 Be ready to start the car.
- Now you’re ready to work on the car key to start the car. You can start the car in two ways. The first one is to turn the key in the ignition by having the stick shift into a neutral position. You should be hearing the car revving now and turning on.
- The second way is if your clutch was pressed all the way down when shifting it into a neutral position, you will need to hold it down as you turn the key to start. Failing to do this will result in your car moving forward.
Starting a Car (Automatic)
Step 1 Get familiar with the 4 settings.
When driving an automatic car, most people find it to be easy. However, just like manual transmission cars, you need to familiarize yourself properly and get used to the basics before you can do it naturally. Make sure to get familiar with the 4 gearboxes in an automatic car.
- First is park, this setting should be used when you are stopping the car and not using it. This automatically stops the transmission from moving it forward.
- Second is reverse. You can use this setting when you try to shift to drive going backwards.
- Third gearbox is the neutral. You need to use this when the car is stopping in a short period like, waiting for your drive through order or picking up someone in the street.
- The last one is drive, the sole purpose is to let the car move by going forward.
Step 2 Check if the car’s gear is in parking mode.
Before you start the car, it’s important that you check the gearbox if the stick is at a parking position. You’re not supposed to start it without doing so, if it’s not at park, just simply change the gearbox to park.
Step 3 Positioning your foot.
- Unlike manual transmission, automatic cars have only 2 pedals. The accelerator and brake. These two pedals are both controlled using the right foot while the left foot should be resting on the left side.
- Have your right foot step on the brake and hold it. Then, turn the ignition key and have the stick shift change into D for drive.
- As you lift your right food slowly, you’ll notice the car would slowly move without pushing the gas. This means that you were able to start the car.
Yes, driving is a necessity. Still remember to be careful when handling a car. If you don’t have a driver’s license or a beginner, have an expert driver to guide you on your first try.
David Nilsen is the former editor of Fourth & Sycamore. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. You can find more of his writing on his website at davidnilsenwriter.com and follow him on Twitter as @NilsenDavid.