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Do You Drive a Stick Shift? It May Help in Winter Driving!

54482224 - winter driving. view from inside vehicle, unrecognizable driverDo you drive a vehicle with a manual transmission?   While some think driving a stick shift may sound difficult, many seasoned manual drivers say driving a stick shirt makes it easier to navigate through difficult winter driving conditions.  Shifting manually can help in winter driving because of the added control the manual shifting provides. With the possibility of snow in the forecast and winter upon us, here’s some tips to help you drive safely!

Downshift Prior to Braking
By shifting into lower gears, you can progressively decrease speed by slowing the rotation of the tires. When you’re approaching traffic or an intersection on an icy road, shift from third down into second, and then into first. By slowing the rotation of the tires, you’re lowering the chances that your tires will slip, helping you to stay in control. Only brake when you’re down to around 10 miles per hour.

Avoid hills
Snowy or icy hills are a manual transmission car’s worst nightmare. If you’re already moving, chances are you won’t have any trouble. But, if you have to stop and start on a serious incline. . Manual cars can already slide backwards when they start on a hill from a standstill, and ice or snow makes this an even more serious concern. If you can avoid steep hills that require you to stop, do so, she suggests.

Use the snow
This last tip isn’t just for stick shifters, but it does come in handy. If you’re having trouble getting up a snowy hill, pull a little to the right – onto the snow that hasn’t been pushed down by other cars. When snow gets compacted by cars, some of it melts, making the snow even more slippery. The snow on the right side of the road won’t be as compacted, meaning that you can usually get a little bit more traction to help you get up that hill. The snow to your left might not be compacted either, but you don’t want to pull into oncoming traffic.

Is it easier or harder to drive through snowy weather with a stick shift? The jury’s still out. You get a little bit more control over your car, but without experience, you might be better off letting the car do the job. Either way, pay attention and drive safely!

Happy Holidays from your friends at Barrett Transmission!

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