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This is my first post here, although I first found this site about a year ago and have been reading the forum off and on since then. (More frequently in recent weeks.) I figured I've been lurking in the background long enough. I saw my first Solstice at the Columbus, OH auto show.

A little background info: I am not what you would call technically saavy when it comes to automobiles. (I have leaned a lot from just reading this site, though...) I generally drive what I think looks good and then hope for the best!!! My very first car was a 1986 Fiero. (Before that, my brother and I had to share a 72 Cutlass Supreme, nice!) I bought the Fiero in 1991 and drove it for over 5 years. I loved that car! I was too young and uninformed for my enjoyment of the car to be dampened by its negative publicity. (I think I still am! :D ) My second car was a 93 Saturn SL2 and my current car is a 2000 Mitsubishi Mirage. (Out of the 3, my fav has been the Fiero.)

I won't be running out and buy the first Solstice because I've never driven a manual trans and I don't think the Solstice would be the car to practice on! Anyway, my wife only drives an automatic, too and she would definitely want to drive the Sol! I am eagerly waiting for news of an automatic Sol. I know that will be a while.
 

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welcome! try to learn to drive a stick, it's easy! And, in a roadter, a stick feels like you'e driving a race car, real fun! automatics will not have as much punch either, so you'll definately be missing out. But, it is not required, just highly recommended!
 

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Welcome to the forum! Don't be too scared about manuals, or learning to drive one on your new car. Most people can pick it up how to drive it well enough to get around within and hour or less, and in that time you are not likely to go and do any significant damage to it. It should be able to handle some abuse anyway. It is a sports car! Plus, having the stick shift will be that much more fun!! :cheers
 

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Welcome aboard!!!

I actually taught my wife to drive manual the other day, took about 2 hours and she had it down prety well. Couple more practice/refresher sessions and she should be good to go.
 

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brentil said:
Welcome aboard!!!

I actually taught my wife to drive manual the other day, took about 2 hours and she had it down prety well. Couple more practice/refresher sessions and she should be good to go.
what car did you teach her in, just curious.
 

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RODEO said:
what car did you teach her in, just curious.
My ford ZX2 S/R. It's 145 HP with a very short clutch release, and a very strong clutch grab. It makes it extremely easy to learn on because it grabs very well. You can easily get the car moving without actually using the gas, so it helps before they've mastered the see-saw motion of gas to clutch movement.

From the several people I've taught the hardest part is always the fear of grinding or stalling for them. It usually complately freaks someone out.
 

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brentil said:
My ford ZX2 S/R. It's 145 HP with a very short clutch release, and a very strong clutch grab. It makes it extremely easy to learn on because it grabs very well. You can easily get the car moving without actually using the gas, so it helps before they've mastered the see-saw motion of gas to clutch movement.

From the several people I've taught the hardest part is always the fear of grinding or stalling for them. It usually complately freaks someone out.
Nice, I almost bought a fully loaded one of those a few years ago, had upgraded everything, some kind of limtd edition, or dealer package, looked real good with all the upgrades. Couldn't justify the expense at the time though!

Hope the wife does well with the stick!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the warm welcomes! I must admit that you have my curiosity piqued about driving a stick. I don't think I would have too much trouble, uncoordinated as I am. One thing I was worried about, as someone mentioned, is the grinding and stalling that would inevitably occur. (I would feel like I was abusing my baby!) I also worry about teaching my wife to drive manually. I've never given it much thought before because we just always had automatics.

I think a trusted teacher, a large, empty parking lot, and two or three hours just might be the answer.
 

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greener said:
I think a trusted teacher, a large, empty parking lot, and two or three hours just might be the answer.
And stay away from up hill starts for a while...that's the toughest thing (just take the flat way home for a while).
 

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mceb said:
And stay away from up hill starts for a while...that's the toughest thing (just take the flat way home for a while).
hehehe, yeah exactly. The trick to it until you learn to use the brake/clutch/gas correctly is use the parking brake to hold you in place while you just use your feet for the gas and clutch then let the parking brake go.

Funny story about teaching my wife involving that though. After the two hours of learning she drove us home. We got to our driveway, which is slightly inclined and it stalled right out on her. She tried to get up the hill a couple times and she just put it in nuetral and got out and walked into the house and said "it's all yours."
 

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So you'll have to replace the clutch earlier than expected. :cool Let it slide it'll come to you like a pro after a while. :cheers Welcome Greener
 

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brentil said:
hehehe, yeah exactly. The trick to it until you learn to use the brake/clutch/gas correctly is use the parking brake to hold you in place while you just use your feet for the gas and clutch then let the parking brake go.

Funny story about teaching my wife involving that though. After the two hours of learning she drove us home. We got to our driveway, which is slightly inclined and it stalled right out on her. She tried to get up the hill a couple times and she just put it in nuetral and got out and walked into the house and said "it's all yours."
Hmm, with a leaving comment like that I suspect you won't have to worry about your car being "borrowed" too frequently! :glol
 

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Fformula88 said:
Hmm, with a leaving comment like that I suspect you won't have to worry about your car being "borrowed" too frequently! :glol
hehehehe nope. :D

The main reason she wanted to learn was incase we were out somewhere, or something happened and she needed to drive my car. It was inspired in no way by her wanting to use my car on a regular basis. Her car is better then mine anyways. :smile
 

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brentil said:
Welcome aboard!!!

I actually taught my wife to drive manual the other day, took about 2 hours and she had it down prety well. Couple more practice/refresher sessions and she should be good to go.
My wife refuses to learn a stick shift. Years ago she had a bad learning experience with her father and she is so paranoid. Hopefully I will be able to teach my daughter how to drive a stick from the start.
 

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I tried to teach my 2 daughters when they were teenagers, but after a couple of times they gave up. The biggest frustartion is stalling the car.
 

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That really was the hardest part was getting her over the fear of stalling. I just had to keep re-assuring her she really wasn't hurting the car that much. Nothing compared to how I've abused it over time. :D People are always so afraid they're doing major damage too it.

With every person I've helped that's the main part of making it a good experience. Make sure they know what they're doing is ok, they're not going to destroy the car, give them encouragement when they do things correctly, or better then before.
 

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LatinVenom said:
I tried to teach my 2 daughters when they were teenagers, but after a couple of times they gave up. The biggest frustartion is stalling the car.
I think the key is whether a person wants to really really really drive the car that has the stick. My wife has always said she would drive nothing but an automatic but that she would learn if she had an MGTD of her own. I want the Solstice for myself in stick and if she loved it enough to want to sit on the left side then she would learn, although she probably given a choice would take auto.
 

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I think what really scares people when they stall it is when it starts bucking as it stalls. When the car begins to jerk violently and quits on a new driver, it can be traumatic. First time I stalled a manual and it jerked like that when I was learning it scared the pants off of me! Its not really bad, but it sure seems like your ripping the guts out of the drivetrain.
 

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Fformula88 said:
I think what really scares people when they stall it is when it starts bucking as it stalls. When the car begins to jerk violently and quits on a new driver, it can be traumatic. First time I stalled a manual and it jerked like that when I was learning it scared the pants off of me! Its not really bad, but it sure seems like your ripping the guts out of the drivetrain.
I found the best way to negate these feelings with new drivers is to first have them watch me drive. Then when we get to where we're going to practice while I'm still driving I'll stall it for them. Let them see it's ok cause I'm doing it and it's my car. That way they feel it happen without having it happen the first time as being their fault.
 
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