how to launch a manual car

March 6, 2023
how to launch a manual car

How to Launch a Manual Car

Learning to launch your manual transmission car from a stop can be tough, but it’s not impossible. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced driver, these steps will help you get off the line quickly, smoothly, and safely.

Preparation & Planning

  • Check your cars position – Make sure your car is in park or neutral, with the e-brake on.
  • Check the gear position – Put your car in first gear. All manual cars are different, so check your car’s owner manual if you’re unsure how to do this.
  • Have an empty road – Choose a road with no cars or traffic, this will prevent any collisions and give you more room to practice.
  • Test the brakes – Make sure your brakes are functioning properly, this will help prevent over-revving.

The Launch

  • Press the clutch & brake – Apply firm pressure to both the clutch and brakes simultaneously.
  • Gas and Clutch – While you gradually add gas, slowly release the clutch until it comes to its friction point. Now you’ll feel the car start to move forward.
  • Ease off the brake – Now press the accelerator to the desired speed, taking your foot off the brake and placing it on the accelerator.
  • Change gear – Once you’re satisfied with the speed and control you have, you can change gears accordingly.


With practice, launching a manual car will become second nature. Don’t be afraid to practice in an empty area and familiarise yourself with the process. Once you become comfortable making smooth launches, you’ll be able to keep up with the acceleration of any automatic car.

What is the proper procedure for starting a manual car?

1. Turn the key to the “On” position to engage the electrical system, but do not start the engine.

2. Press in the clutch pedal (this disengages the transmission from the engine).

3. Turn the key to the “Start” position and start the engine.

4. Release the key back to the “On” position.

5. Select the desired gear (usually first gear).

6. Gently release the clutch pedal while pressing on the gas pedal at the same time.

7. As the clutch engages, keep increasing the accelerator until the engine speed is slightly higher than the speed of the car.

8. Release the handbrake and begin to drive.

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