Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Driving Stick

I am sorry my posts have been hit and miss this past week or so... I've been a little busy... a lot busy in fact... you see, I kinda lost my mind a little... No, not Christmas shopping... though shopping was involved. And before anyone jumps to conclusions, no, I did not buy a horse... well... actually I kind of did, I bought 120 horses....

I bought a Honda!

Civic that is!

I have spent most of all my computer time lost in the infinite universe of craigslist and used car sites and then traveling around looking at cars. I wanted something that was super good on gas, very clean (inside and out), had good resale value and build quality and that was high on the practicality scale (though maybe not so hot on the sex appeal scale.... but not ugly either.) I need a car that could get me from point a to point be as safely, reliably and cheaply as possible.... In the end a 2003, four door, five speed, Honda civic fit the bill nicely. I got it home late last night and spent this afternoon driving around town trying to remember how to drive a stick shift again, (stop start on hills, keep first gear smooth in parking lots and over speed bumps etc....) It's coming back to me now but wasnt without a few hickups.

Anyways, my question of the day is...

Do you know how to drive a five speed? If so, when did you learn?

My Poppie had my sister driving his 5spd truck down logging roads by the time we could reach the pedals! Okay... to tell you the truth we might have ventured out on to the streets before we were legal too... it's a bit of a family tradition:)


  1. Yup, I know how to drive a stick shift - learned as a teenager - my first car was a stick shift. I've even taught others to drive one. My daughter has a Civic and is very happy with it - good choice!

  2. My relationship with a stick shift is an interesting one. The only cars my family had when I was a kid was a ginormous truck and a stick jetta, I wasn't too confident so even though I'd learned how to drive a standard, I avoided it as much as possible.

    Then my SO got a car, also a standard, I learned to drive that too, but avoided it as much as possible. I also moved to a large city, and not having driven much, I wasn't comfortable driving there.

    Suddenly, it's four years later and I still am not comfortable driving. So this winter break I'm planning on returning to my tiny little town to master the standard once and for all. I'm going to drive every single day in the one stop light village until it's second nature to me.

    Congrats on the new car!

  3. I learned when I was in my 20s — a Subaru station wagon that I drove so I could haul my Great Pyrenees.

    In my mid-late 30s, I bought a Nissan 280ZX that I absolutely loved until my crazy ex totaled it.

    A few years ago, we got a really great deal on a Ford Explorer 5-speed. I drove it for a couple months, but had to give it up. My middle-aged knees couldn't handle the clutch. I'm done with it, unless someone wants to let me take their 'vette for a spin around the neighborhood.

  4. When I was 15, my boyfriend taught me to drive a stick shift. It was a 3 speed on the column, 1966 Ford Galaxy, if I recall. I've had a few stick shifts over the years. I do enjoy driving one now & again. I can even drive my husband's dump truck with is a stick. Every woman should learn.

    Had a 2005 Honda Civic for a 4 year lease. Got me through those terrible gas prices last year, but it was totally not me. When the lease was up, I turned it in and came home with a Dodge Durango with a hemi! To hell with gas prices! I've got power under me in this thing! We've had over a foot of snow with drifts that has been hanging around for weeks. The Dodge just plows thru it like it isn't there. :)

    My husband has a 1988 Honda Civic as a work car. Still going strong with 200,000+ miles. Sounds like a sewing machine though! LOL.

  5. I learned how to drive on the old country roads driving the old stick shift trucks. In my adult life I've owned 2 stick vehicles, love them!

  6. My first car was a standard & I'm so glad I learned early (my mom still doesn't know how to drive one!). But I've had an automatic for a couple years now, so I understand how easy it is to forget & look like a newbie again when starting out (ask Fel, I drove her car home from the grocery store last time they were out & it was kind of rough to say the least - we were howling by the time we got home!!). Congratulations on your new car!! I swear by Honda's, they are so dependable, used to drive a Civic hatchback & now I've got an Accord & have nothing but good to say about them :)


  7. Congrats Chel, I am soooo happy for you! Enjoy :)

  8. No I can not and I am very embarrassed about that fact. It is something I would really like to learn though! Good pick on the car, Civics are great!

  9. I learned to drive a stick as my first car in 1978. Toyota corrolla.

    I have never owned an automatic. You do the math. lol

  10. I learned to drive stick when I was 15 in empty school parking lots and private gravel roads in rural, planned communities. I even taught my ex-husband to drive stick when he was 17. To this day, he gets very angry if I randomly say "shift". But, that's what happens when you don't listen to the engine and learn when you need to shift, right?

    I love driving stick, though I don't always find it very practical. I can't see myself driving a manual if I lived in Anchorage. Or, at least not in the winter. It's bad enough having to concentrate on the ice, especially slicked up sheet ice, that I wouldn't want to even try to drive a manual there. But, those are my only conditions.

    My husband had a '03 Passat that was a manual when we met. Of course, it had turbo as well. And I loved, loved, loved driving it! Speed limit? What's that? That car could have gotten me into a lot of trouble! Unfortunately, there were big issues with that car, so we ended up getting rid of it.

    My truck is an automatic. I don't regret it at all. But Frank (my truck), will need to be replaced in the next 12 months. He's got almost 200k miles on his Ford self and hauling any real weight with hills involved has become a struggle.

  11. Hahahaha. I learned to drive stick on a 1980's banana yellow Saab hatchback. It was the first car my parents brought brand-new! I thought it was the coolest thing and man, did it hug those curves. Funny thing, the clutch on it was so bad, when I drove newer stick-shifts, I sucked at it. Ah, memories. I really miss that car.

  12. Love my five speed-diesel VW:D
    First car I bought! ( my mom has the exact same car...and my fiance has a Jetta...Diesel..we are a VW diesel family...)

    I think another thing every driver should do is learn to drive an 18-wheeler. 13 speed! Its not as complicated as I once thought!

  13. Oooh, I have an 02 Civic 4 door...automatic. I love that car. Other than usual stuff like oil changes not one thing has gone wrong with it. Funny enough it's in the shop today - finally decided to replace the original battery and we cracked a shock 2 years ago on a massive pothole (good 'ol Toronto), it hasn't given us any trouble but decided to finally fix that too.

    I learned how to drive a stick on my neuropsych prof's car! I used to dog sit for him a lot and didn't have my own car at the time. Lucky me it was a pretty old car and had the dummy shift - a little light that said "shift up" lol. He lived in a really hilly area too, good thing it was always in the summer!

  14. omgosh, good choice! a 2003 civic, i'm jealous! we just got a 2004 prius, but i secretly (not secretly) wanted a civic.

    my dear, dear civic back in the states, what a car! black and slick, an EX model, fast as can be, and never, ever broke.

    i am fully convinced that hondas are the best cars.

    i had an accord before my civic, and it was nice, luxurious, but too much car, really, for me.

    the little black EX was the best. when i met my husband from germany, i gave the key over to him immediately, and he had so much fun driving it around seattle's hills.

    and up into canada!

    and oregon.

    in fact, i had never driven a stick before, i mean like 18 years driving automatics, i had to learn on this civic. and it was hard, it had a very sensitive clutch. but i got it. finally!

    it was so hard for me to leave it. in fact, you'd laugh, i asked my step dad to sell it for me, and he knew how important it was to me that it had a good home. and ask you know ganstas love these cars, to modify them. when a low pants guy showed up to test my car, my step dad sent him right hom. no. no way was lytha gonna be happy sellng to you.

    finally my car went away to someone who would appreciate how i cared for it (i washed it every week) and i am satisfied.

    now, in germany, every time i see a civic (not often, they are rare here), i stop and stare and wait a while, hoping the owner will show up, so i can say, "nice car. can i sit in it?"

    not something i'd do in america.

    a civic won't let you down.


  15. When I learned to drive it was on a stick. I've always been very appreciative of the fact that I learned it and am not limited in what my vehicle choices may be.

    Kind of a funny story. A guy I had recently met and was getting to know walked me home from work one day and commented on the car parked in the driveway. I told him it was mine and he said "nice!" (it was a sporty little black Toyota)
    My car keys were on the same ring as my house keys so I unlocked it and let him look at it.
    As he sat behind the driver's seat he took a look at the gear shift and said "Its a standard? You can know how to drive stick!?!"
    I answered a little dryly "No. I bought the car because it looked good next to the house."

    Why are guys so surprised when we females know how to drive stick??

  16. I learned to drive through the regular "school of driving" and needed a vehicle so my step dad found me a trucka nd i was so excited till i seen it was super old and a stick shift, which I had to teach myself to drive. I dont mind them but now own a automatic for the last 4 vehicles and not sure i would go back, even our 3/4 ton is auto

  17. Girl, I drive a van! Ha ha ha! Congrats on the new car. Wanna know something? I can't drive a stick!! Yep, I have no clue how to do it.

  18. I learned to drive a stick when I was 14/15. It was "3 on a tree" I have had sticks and automatics. I find that I look for the clutch sometimes when I drive the automatics. Which is what I have now. I miss the stick shift in winter as it helps when you're stuck and need to do that back and forth rocking movement. And it's nice to be able to "pop" the clutch when you left the lights on and have a dead car.

  19. Congrats on the new car! :) I had manuals when I was second car, a Jetta, was a stick so I had to learn. So was my 3rd and 4th...and the one I have now was my first automatic (other than my first car ever, a $300 Datsun junker.) I haven't driven a stick in years...wonder if I still could? I love having an automatic, since I am in traffic a fair amount, it's nice!

  20. Congrats! I love love love my Honda. It's 10 years old now, with 165,000 miles and it's just a trooper. Best car I ever had. But no, unfortunately, I can't drive a stick. It's on my list of things to do, but I've never had the opportunity to learn.

  21. I started driving when I was about 8y/o...with a stick. Dad started us out on the little Ford 8N and the Ferguson tractors we had and grandpa graduated us to his pickup, also a Ford and also a stick.

    Not sure how I turned into a Chevy girl, when the family was Ford oriented. My first pickup was a 76' Chevy shortbox, stick. It came with a 400 big block. Which my step-dad promptly removed under the guise it was too powerful and guzzled too much gas. In went a 302(?..anyway it was a small block), which I hated. Not enough power and it still got the same gas mileage.

    I still regret selling that pickup though. As much as I loved the brand new 89', automatic with air conditioning I bought, Little Red should have been kept and returned to it's hot-rod status.

    I owned a Toyota Supra for awhile too. LOVED that car. It was a stick and had the in-line 6 motor. Made for racing. When I moved to AZ, I had my mom sell it and got more than I had paid for it. It lasted that guy years before he cracked a head. Probably had 400,000 on the engine.

    I have to say, the new dually gives me the best of both worlds in terms of hauling ease. It is an auto, with the manual option. It is amazing for hauling horses over the mountain passes. Whoever designed that was a genius.

  22. Ironically, I can only drive the farm truck versions of a stick. You know sticky and hard. I've never drove a car stick - bit scared to! I can drive a tractor though - don't know if that counts...

  23. :D
    A tractor is where I learned basically-that any my dads old ford farm truck-didn't even NEED to clutch(so does that count???LOL!)

    You can dooo it!

    Isnt that "new car" feeling nice?