How to Drive a Stick Shift in a Mazda 3
Just about any driving enthusiast will tell you that there’s no better way to enjoy the Mazda experience than with a manual transmission. If you’ve decided to try this for yourself, but have no experience with operating one, we’re here to help. By showing you how to drive a stick shift in a Mazda 3, you should be able to have a better understanding of how a manual transmission works and how to use it properly.
That said, this certainly isn’t a complete training guide to driving with a manual transmission. Though we will offer some helpful tips, if you’re unsure, it’s best to check out additional resources or have someone who is comfortable operating manual transmission vehicles help you.
[Looking at an automatic transmission with manual-shift mode? Learn how to use it here]
- Once your car is turned on, place one foot on the clutch (and one foot on the brake when shifting from a stop into 1st gear). Be sure the clutch pedal is pressed all the way down before shifting.
- Move the shifter into the 1st gear position.
- Remove your foot from the brake (does not need to be applied when you start shifting into higher gears) while keeping the other foot applied to the clutch.
- Then, you can start to slowly lift your foot off the clutch. This may allow the vehicle start to slowly rolling forward.
- Finally, you’ll need to slowly engage the accelerator while at the same time slowly letting your other foot off the clutch.
Like we said, the best thing you can do is to find someone to help you out in person. Reading these steps is certainly no replacement for getting a feel for shifting gears. When you park the vehicle, you should leave the shift level in 1 or R with the parking brake set. When stopped at a stop sign or red light, you should be in neutral.
How to Know When to Shift Gears in Your Mazda
Paying close attention to your vehicle’s tachometer should help you know when to shift gears. You should avoid reaching the tachometer’s red line, but apart from that, Mazda does have its own recommendations based on vehicle speed. Below, you’ll find suggested shift points for normal acceleration and for cruising.
Although this is not a complete guide for learning how to drive a stick shift in a Mazda 3, it is a good starting point for those just beginning to learn the basics. Like we said, consult some other resources and get some help from someone who knows how to drive a manual transmission vehicle already, or contact us with your questions. This is the best way to learn and to get a feel for the vehicle. As always, stay safe and take time to practice before taking the vehicle out into traffic.