Driving a manual transmission car

How To Reverse A Car With Manual Transmission

Nidhi Nangia
By Nidhi Nangia. July 5, 2018
How To Reverse A Car With Manual Transmission

Reversing a car using manual transmission one of the most intimidating tasks not only for novice drivers, but for this with experience as well. When you drive forward, vision is clear and you can easily move ahead using one of the provided gears. But when you need to drive backwards, the wheels are not in front of you, and your vision is also blocked by the vehicle. If you don't have an automatic car, oneHOWTO will tell you how to reverse a car with manual transmission.

You may also be interested in: How to Understand Automatic Car Gears

Step by Step Instructions

As a disclaimer, we need to point out that this is how to reverse in a manual shift car. Depending on where you live and what type of license you have, you may not be eligible to drive stick if you have only learned on an automatic car. Check with your local authority, especially if you are making a longer trip. To get an idea of how it's done, however, here are the instructions:

  • First of all, check your car 360°. Turn your shoulders and head to have a look at the surroundings of your car in complete circle. Before you start your car to back up, you need to ensure that there are no animals, children, people or other obstacles in your path. You need to use your mirrors to ensure that you have not missed anything.
  • Start the car, press down the clutch pedal using your left foot. While the clutch is still engaged, move the gear lever into reverse. In a standard manual transmission car with five gears, you can shift your gear into reverse by dragging the gear lever all the way to the left, and then pressing it backward. In a manual transmission 6-speed car, you can put it into reverse by pressing the lever all the way to the left, and then up. In some cars, reverse can be accessed by pressing down the shift level or pressing a release. Most car models have an ‘R' written near the gear box, showing directions to put the car into reverse. You can check your owner’s manual if you are not sure how to put the car into reverse gear. Keeping the clutch pedal fully depressed with the left foot, put your right foot on the accelerator without applying any pressure yet.
  • Put your left hand on top middle of the car’s steering wheel, turn around to see the back of your vehicle. For support, you can place your right hand behind the headrest of your passenger seat. This is the correct position to start the vehicle in reverse gear.
  • Release the clutch from your left foot slowly and at the same time press the accelerator using your right foot. The timing and the amount of pressure you should apply on your pedals is same as you would apply in any other gear. Inexperienced drivers often face too much spin of the wheel, or their car stalls. So, you need to keep practicing until you become perfect in other gears of the car. After that you should try your hands at reversing a car with manual transmission, and practice driving the car in reverse for longer distances.
  • While using your left hand, keep steering the vehicle in reverse. Remember, while you are reversing the vehicle to right side, its nose will move not to the right, but to the left. Managing the car in this manner is a bit harder for novice drivers, but with practice, their brain becomes accustomed to this type of direction change. Keep checking your blind spots and mirrors to see what’s happening around your car, if someone is standing or passing by or if you are going to hit another car or an object on the way.
  • Do not turn your head to the front until you have brought your car to a full halt. Leave the accelerator that you were pressing with your right foot. At the same time, while pressing the clutch with your left foot, press the brake using your right foot. Once you finish the sequence and the car stops moving completely, only then you can turn back to the front. If you don’t develop this habit, your car will keep moving backwards while you are looking forward. This can be a dangerous situation for you, your car, as well as for other people who might be passing by the back of your vehicle.
  • While pressing the brake pedal, take out the shift lever from gear to put it in neutral. Pull on the handle or press down the pedal to apply the parking brake (hand brake).
How To Reverse A Car With Manual Transmission - Step by Step Instructions

Tips for Reversing a Car with Manual Transmission

  • The system of driving the car in reverse gear is a little different than that of driving it forward. The wheels that you want to turn are situated at the front of your car, and you need to turn them in the direction you want to turn the back of your car. While backing up, you will need to turn the wheel to make little adjustments as needed. If you turning the wheel left, the back of your car will also go left, and vice versa. Immediately stop the car if it goes in the direction you don’t desire. Set of again and try to regain control.
  • While reversing your car, you need to keep a look on the front end of your vehicle too. While you turn the car, the front will go in the opposite direction of the direction in which you are turning your car’s back. Because you have to keep your eyes on the back as well as the front of car, you should go slowly while reversing your car. You may stand a chance to hit something with the wheels in your front too.
  • If you are reversing the car up on a slope, then you will need to occasionally use the accelerator as well. Once you leave the brake, you have to hit the accelerator. You have to slowly press the accelerator in order to control the speed of your car as you back up. You should apply pressure to the accelerator only by making small adjustments at a time.
  • If an obstacle is coming in your way while reversing the car, you may need to use both your hands to steer. You can only turn the wheel up to 90° using one hand, but if you need to make a steep turn, you will need help of both your hands. But when you turn forward to move the steering wheel with both your hands, do it slowly while paying attention to what’s going on at the back and front. Remember, you should never cross hands over each other while moving the steering wheel. You should always put it with one hand and pull with the other.
  • Never drive your car faster than you can handle. Reversing a car is somewhat different than maneuvering it forward. Your view is restricted because of the back of your car and the small size of rear window. Never hurry yourself when you reverse your car. Instead, take as much time as you want to prevent any accident. If you are unsure, feel free to take a minute and regain your confidence.
  • Don’t hesitate to take help from a friend to help you reversing your car. Since your visibility is limited while reversing the car, they can get out of the car and give you instructions to move your car left or right. They will also ask you to stop if you are about to hit something. Watch your friend closely and follow their signals to reverse the car with their help.

Of course, nothing will beat taking lessons from an experienced driving instructor. This way you can learn how to drive properly and even investigate advanced driving course if you want to learn how to drive a variety of vehicles.

If you want to read similar articles to How To Reverse A Car With Manual Transmission, we recommend you visit our Cars category.

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How To Reverse A Car With Manual Transmission