Cartok: To learn to drive a stick shift, you may need a teacher shift

Dear Car Talk:

My husband has a 2012 Ford Focus with a manual transmission. I tried to drive this car, but not only I’m not very good at it, but he also doesn’t have the patience for me to drive it (or learn to make it work).

Every time I stall, scream, or hit the engine, part of him dies. I offered to buy a new automatic car, but he doesn’t want to get rid of this car until it breaks down.

Please tell me a safe way I can “collapse” it so that we can continue to live and marry. Thank you. thank you! — Mary

If you don’t want to be detected, you can buy an oil filter wrench for $ 10 and then loosen the filter about half a turn. It causes a slow oil leak and grabs the engine in a few weeks. Or, if you don’t care too much about the subtleties, there is always a fire.

In fact, ruining a perfectly good car is wasteful and cannot be conscientiously recommended. The real problem here is your husband’s impatience.

I remember teaching my teenage son to drive a stick shift in a large empty parking lot. He was lurking and stuck, and I would have sighed and said, “Do this, do it, no, do it.”

Finally, he stopped the car and said, “Get out.”

So I went out and he sat down for about 30 minutes and stalled, and by the time I got home he knew it.

I think you need another teacher. It’s hard to find a driving school on a stick shift car these days, but there’s a Craigslist.

So, post an ad that says, “Married women will teach you to drive a stick in a car in search of a smart, skilled, patient individual. A long walk on the beach is optional.”

Somewhere, someone wants to share their skill set with you. The family abandoned their skill sets and adopted automatic transmissions, waiting for years to see such ads.

And since your teacher has nothing to do with you, you will feel much more relaxed and can make the mistakes of a normal beginner while you learn, without the sighing contempt of your husband. increase.

And I predict you won’t take too long to get it done very well, Mary.

And when shifts are the second nature to you, you can surprise your husband by saying “I drive, Hong”. And when he asked why he was good at driving a stick, “My friend James gave me a lesson near his beach house. At his Porsche.”

Do you have a question about a car? Write a letter to Cartok Write a letter to Ray, who takes care of King Features, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, Florida 32803, or visit the Cartalk website at and email.

Cartok: To learn to drive a stick shift, you may need a teacher shift

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