How To Drive A Stick Shift In Ten Easy Steps

Want to learn how to drive a a stick shift?Want to learn how to drive a manual transmission vehicle?  It’s easy.  Call Ron Westphal Chevrolet’s Customer Care Team at 630-898-9630.  Visit our website anytime to find your perfect stick-shift Chevy.

Step One: Know Your Way Around

A manual transmission requires the driver to shift the gears themselves. Most cars have four or five forward speeds, as well as reverse. In order to master the process, you need to know the following:

  • The clutch pedal is located at the far left and is used when moving up or down from one gear to another. The clutch is disengaged when the pedal is pushed to the floor.
  • Neutral is not a gear; actually, it is the absence of gear. When the engine is running in neutral, you can rev up the engine, but you won’t go anywhere. You’ll also be able to wiggle the shifter back and forth – which you can’t do when engaged in any gear.</li.
  • For most cars, second gear is the workhorse. It will get you up (and down) steep hills as well as through congested downtown.
  • Reverse gear is somewhat different from the others: it’s got more range than, say, first gear, but doesn’t like going for too long or too fast. So, don’t back up around the block to pass the time.
  • The gas pedal (at far right) works with the gears to give the engine power at different levels. As mentioned before, if you press on the gas pedal while out of gear, you will only rev the car up: this is how young men impress women. But if you over-accelerate with the clutch partially engaged, you’ll eventually wear it out.

Step Two: Learn The Gears

Learn the location of and feel of passing through the gears. First learn to shift the gears without the car running (pushing the clutch in each time). Then, from the passenger seat, try it with someone else driving the car and operating the clutch. Be sure to place the stick all the way into gear—until it won’t go any more—but don’t force it. If you stop halfway, you will hear an incredibly unpleasant grinding sound which means your car is not in gear.

Eventually, you will know when to shift by feel, but early on you’ll have to act deliberately. Even if you’ve never been in a car before, you can tell when a car is in the appropriate gear: the car’s not making a coughing and chugging sound (gear too high) but it’s not making a high-revving sound either (gear too low). If you have a tachometer, shift around “3″ (3000 RPM) on each gear or every 15 miles per hour (1st gear 1-15 MPH, 2nd 15-30, 3rd 30-45, etc.). This is only a general rule, of course, and higher-powered autos will deviate from this. Shift before you hear that loud revving sound.

Step Three: Starting The Car

Put the car in neutral before starting, or you will jump and stall the car. This is bad. Keep in mind that most new cars will not start without the clutch pressed down. Leave the shifter into neutral while the car warms up. Alternately, start the car in gear with the clutch pedal pushed to the floor, then shift into neutral, release the clutch pedal, and let the car warm up.

Step Four: Using The Clutch

The clutch is the mechanism that allows the gears to transition back and forth smoothly. If you pull the car in or out of gear without using the clutch, or release the clutch only halfway into gear, you will hear an amazingly unpleasant sound. Avoid this.

The clutch is the pedal on the left. The brake is in the middle and the gas on the right. Use your left foot on the clutch and your right foot on the brake and gas, just like with an automatic.

It’s difficult to avoid some sort of wear and tear on the clutch when learning how to drive a stick shift. If you go slowly at first and pay close attention, you can feel (in your feet) where the clutch engages and disengages. If you learn that well, you’ll put less strain on your car. You’ll also be able to drive any stick shift more smoothly from the get-go.

Avoid needless acceleration when the clutch is partially engaged. When at a stoplight, don’t get in the habit of holding the clutch in for more than a few seconds or you will have other problems down the line. Instead, put the car in neutral while stopped for any period of time.

Popping the clutch: Invariably, you will miss your gear (or release the clutch too quickly) and the car will lurch ahead. Often at the outset, you will pop the clutch too quickly and stall the car. Don’t worry, it happens to everyone. Just get those exercises out of the way before you find yourself in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Step Five: Upshifting

Here we are at the most important junction of the stick shift world: the door to acceleration. Driving a stick shift is all about that magical place where the clutch comes up and the gas pedal goes down. It’s that seamless place where the gears are shifted and the car accelerates. Let’s take first to second on a flat road as an example: First gear going steady, clutch in as you come off the gas quickly, then off the clutch slowly while pressing in the gas.

That place in the middle where the clutch pedal is to the floor and you’re off the gas is where you take the shifter from first to second. Get those feet and hands used to working together.

Here we go once more:

  • Revving high (around 3000 RPM or at 15 mph).
  • Clutch in and gas off.
  • Move the shifter smoothly from first to second.
  • Slowly off the clutch while pushing on the gas.
  • Completely let your foot off the clutch and gas it up.
  • Same thing next gear

Step Six: Downshifting

Downshifting is the act of moving appropriately to lower gears while slowing down. This is the essential difference between the operation of an automatic transmission and one of manual persuasion: downshifting not only helps you slow the car, but it also puts you in the right gear for the speed. Downshifting is your friend – especially in bad weather or on hills, where immediate braking can be dangerous.

Keep in mind that you may shift down only one gear or simply apply the brakes. Again, knowing your range in each gear will help determine what’s needed.

While downshifting, move from clutch to brake while in gear. This will help you slow down without revving too high between gears.

If you are driving 45 mph in fourth gear and come upon a stop sign ahead:

  • Push in the clutch and shift down to third while using the brake.
  • Let the clutch out slowly to avoid high revs.
  • Next, do it again into second before you stop.
  • Don’t downshift into first!

Step Seven: Reverse

Be very careful in backing up. The reverse gear is very quick and can jump out at you. To get into reverse, sometimes you need lift collar on the shift lever or push it down. Only do this while at a complete stop.

The clutch is key while going in reverse. Since reverse is so quick, let out the clutch slowly and push it back in while using the brake if necessary; you will likely be able to back out of any spot with this simple measure. If you need to, only push the gas pedal in a little bit.

Step Eight: Starting On A Hill

Find a hill with little traffic. Use your emergency brake when coming to a stop. When the light turns green to go, shift into first, start to accelerate slowly as you release the clutch pedal, then release the emergency brake just as you feel the car engage the gear. This way you are using the brake to keep you from rolling back. If you stall, put on your brake and start again.

Step Nine: Parking

It is important to note that the emergency brake is very important when parking a stick shift car, because there exists no “park” gear to keep the car from rolling. Some rely only on the pull-up emergency brake, usually sufficient in most situations. But for extra safety, leave the car in gear AND use the emergency brake.

Step Ten: Practice!

All of this is going to seem overwhelming at first, but it all become natural with practice. Start off in a big empty parking lot, then progress to quiet roads when you feel comfortable doing so. Even if it’s frustrating, keep at it and you’ll be rewarded with far more control over your car, better performance, better fuel economy, a valuable life skill and the ability to drive any four-wheeled vehicle on the planet.

Source: How To Drive A Stick Shift In Ten Easy Steps

Takata airbag recall

At General Motors, we’re committed to your safety. As part of that commitment, this website can help you understand the Takata airbag recall and what you should do if your vehicle is affected.

There have been a number of recalls initiated by GM and other manufacturers relating to Takata airbag inflators. Takata has advised the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the vehicle manufacturers that without a chemical drying agent, prolonged exposure to heat and humidity can degrade the chemical propellant used in the airbag inflators. In time, if the propellant degrades to a certain level, the inflator may rupture when the airbag deploys during a crash event.

GM has announced various Safety Recalls involving Takata airbag inflators in a number of GM vehicles. Reference the charts below to see if your vehicle is involved in the Takata airbag recall. Call Ron Westphal Chevrolet service department at 630-898-9630.  You can also call GM at 1-866-467-9700 if you have any questions. We’re here to help!

Tire price match guarantee

tire price match guaranteetire price match guarantee


Your tires are your vehicle’s only contact with the road; your vehicle’s performance relies on them. With our Tire Price Match Guarantee, you can get great tire prices to help keep your vehicle moving forward.

Tire price match guarantee at Ron Westphal Chevrolet in Aurora, IL. Find your perfect set of tires with our convenient tire-finder.



$100 mail-in rebate†† on Bridgestone, Continental, Goodyear, Hankook, and Pirelli
$70 mail-in rebate†† on BFGoodrich and Michelin
$50 mail-in rebate†† on Dunlop, Firestone, and General
$40 mail-in rebate†† on Uniroyal


Get instantly approved‡‡ when you apply for a BuyPower Card® at your dealership. You could qualify for a one-time statement credit in the amount of your first dealership purchase, up to $100.ΔΔΔ 


Provide us with a better price at the time of purchase and we’ll match it. Find a better price within 30 days of the purchase, and we’ll refund the difference.

Eligible Tire Brands: BFGoodrich, Bridgestone, Continental, Dunlop, Firestone, General, Goodyear, Hankook, Kelly, Michelin, Pirelli, and Uniroyal.

Looking for a new or pre-owned ride?  Call our Customer Care Team now at 630-898-9630 or visit our website anytime.

Want to know if you need new tires?  Read This

Source: Tire Finder: Find New Tires For Any Vehicle | Certified Service

2017 Chevrolet Tahoe | In-Depth Model Review

Read our most comprehensive review of the 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe’s standard features, trim levels, and available options.

The 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe arrived long before the current crossover craze, and its continued popularity proves that big is still in. But this beefy SUV is more than a blockish brute.

Looking for a 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe?  Look no further than Ron Westphal Chevrolet in Aurora, IL.  Call us now at 630-898-9630 or visit our website today.

The Tahoe can tow up to 8600 pounds, and its cabin provides quiet, comfortable refuge. A 355-hp V-8 and six-speed automatic transmission is the sole power train, available with rear- or all-wheel drive. Poor fuel economy and a tight third row are drawbacks, but the Tahoe’s standard infotainment system is superb. While the hefty Chevy costs a pretty penny, its pickup-truck capabilities and undeniable presence solidify its favorable spot on the family-hauler food chain.

Trims and Options We’d Choose

The entry-level Tahoe LS starts at $48,510 and has plenty of pleasing standard features such as remote start, rear parking sensors, tri-zone climate control, and an 8.0-inch MyLink infotainment system with a 4G LTE mobile hotspot, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. Adding all-wheel drive to any model costs $3000 and boosts the LS’s price to $51,510. We prefer the mid-level LT, which adds premium features including:

• Active safety features (lane-keeping assist, automatic high-beam headlights, and forward-collision alert)
• Heated front bucket seats with memory settings
• Leather-appointed first- and second-row seats
• Power liftgate with programmable opening height
• Bose premium sound system

On top of that, we’d add the Z71 Off-Road package ($1850). This setup lets us tame the trails with rugged all-terrain tires, underbody protection (skid plates), and hill-descent control. It looks cooler, too, with black tubular assist steps and painted 18-inch wheels. The final price of our all-wheel-drive Tahoe LT Z71 is $58,600.

You may also enjoy this article about the 2018 Traverse

Source: 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe | In-Depth Model Review | Car and Driver

Chevrolet sweeps NASCAR Xfinity Series championship roster | Autoweek

nascar xfinity series championship roster


William Byron, Elliott Sadler, Justin Allgaier and Daniel Hemric will race for title in Miami

NOVEMBER 11, 2017

It came down to the final lap but Daniel Hemric passed Cole Custer and raced his way into the NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship 4 on Saturday at Phoenix Raceway.

Looking for your own street legal race car?  Look no further than Ron Westphal Chevrolet in Aurora, IL or visit our website today.
Hemric entered the weekend 18 points out of a championship race playoff berth but was aided by a first stage crash involving Brennan Poole, who was five points up on Matt Tifft before the race. Hemric leapfrogged both Tifft and Custer with finishes of fourth and third in the first stages.He sealed the deal with an overall fifth-place finish.”We never really talked about it much until 20 laps to go,” Hemric said. “About five laps before that last caution, I was told that we needed to stay ahead of (Custer) so I needed to take care of it.

“We lost the balance a little bit of that last longer run, and we had been so strong on long runs all day. So I didn’t know what to do.”

He pitted for tires, while Custer took four. Custer was able to pass Hemric off the restart, but Hemric was able to clear Custer at the line for the final spot — just two points to the good.

“Hats off to him for racing me clean there. We did everything we could when our seasons were on the line, it all led to one lap and one moment. It’s about rising to the occasion and that’s what we did today.”

Meanwhile, William Byron advanced after the first stage on points and cemented it with his fourth victory of the season. Two other JR Motorsports drivers will join him in racing for a championship in the form of Elliott Sadler and Justin Allgaier.

Each of the final four are Chevrolets — the just crowned manufacturers champion in the Xfinity Series.

“Chevrolet is honored to win the 2017 Bill France Performance Cup in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for the 18th time,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. Vice President of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “This manufacturer championship is a result of dedication by all of the Chevy team owners, drivers, crew chiefs, engineers and team members.”

Thanks for reading about the nascar xfinity series championship roster.

Source: Chevrolet sweeps NASCAR Xfinity Series championship roster | Autoweek

Luke Bryan Suburban concept at Sema

Luke Bryan Suburban concept at Sema
Luke Bryan Suburban concept at Sema

Luke Bryan Suburban concept at Sema with 22 inch wheels

Country music star Luke Bryan knows a thing or two about the great outdoors. That’s why he teamed up with Chevy to create the ultimate Suburban concept — one that fits right in with his “Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day” state of mind. It’ll be standing tall on the SEMA show floor with large, 22-inch Chevrolet Accessories concept wheels.

  • 6-inch lift suspension
  • Exhaust with dual tips
  • Lower skid plate extension
  • Hunter Bronze exterior with Dark Carbon accents
  • Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day exterior badges
  • Camouflage graphics
  • Looking for your own Huntin’, Fishin’, Lovin’ Every Day vehicle?   Visit Ron Westphal Chevrolet in Aurora, IL or call our Customer Care Team now at 630-898-9630.

Source: SEMA: Lineup at the 2017 SEMA Show | Chevrolet

Camaro Hot Wheels Edition | Chevrolet

Celebrate 50 years of Hot Wheels with the Camaro Hot Wheels Edition featuring unique badging and coloring.

Looking for your own fast ride?  Visit Ron Westphal Chevrolet in Aurora, IL or call our Customer Care Team now at 630-898-9630.camaro hot wheels editioncamaro hot wheels edition convertiblecamaro hot wheels edition passenger side camaro hot wheels edition side viewcamaro hot wheels edition wheelcamaro hot wheels edition orange leather interiorcamaro hot wheels edition dashboardcamaro hot wheels edition sill plate badgingcamaro hot wheels edition front and backcamaro hot wheels edition interior closeup

Source: Camaro Hot Wheels Edition | Chevrolet

Chevrolet celebrates Dale Jr. with a powerful TV spot that debuts during NASCAR Texas

Over the weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, Chevrolet will pay homage to Dale Earnhardt Jr. with a new TV spot that chronicles the career of NASCAR’s 14-time most popular driver.

The 30-second spot is called ‘What a Ride’ and will air Sunday afternoon during the AAA 500 on NBCSN. It features a collage of memories from Earnhardt’s career, including never-before-seen photos and footage from defining moments such as his two Daytona 500 victories and his 26 Cup Series race wins.

Looking for your own muscle car?  Visit Ron Westphal Chevrolet in Aurora, IL or call our Customer Care Team now at 630-898-9630.

“We have been so fortunate to have Dale Earnhardt Jr. as part of the Chevrolet family,” said Paul Edwards, U.S. vice president of Chevrolet Marketing. “His ‘never give up’ attitude and true passion for performance are the same qualities that drove Louis Chevrolet to race more than a hundred years ago, and still drive us today to innovate and win.”

Earlier this year, during his retirement speech, Earnhardt Jr. affirmed his loyalty to Chevrolet.

“It’s an honor to carry the Chevrolet bow tie on my cars,” Earnhardt said. “And I don’t just mean that on the race track — I’m Chevrolet for life.”

And now this is Chevy’s way of saying “thank you.”

 dale earnhardt jr

Source: Chevrolet celebrates Dale Jr. with a powerful TV spot that debuts during NASCAR Texas | Autoweek

2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV: minimal changes, same range and price

2018 Chevrolet Bolt ev

With sales of the Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car rising every month, shoppers are inevitably curious about any changes to the Bolt for the 2018 model year, its second.

Now the information is out, and buyers will find the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV is virtually the same car as the 2017 model—with two exceptions.

Looking for a Bolt?  Visit Ron Westphal Chevrolet in Aurora, IL or call our Customer Care Team now at 630-898-9630.

Chevy has changed the heated steering wheel and made a very, very minor change to the specifications of one trim level.

DON’T MISS: Chevrolet Bolt EV\Bolt 2017 Review

The 2018 Bolt EV remains a five-door hatchback that’s rated at 238 miles of range by the EPA, with a base price of $37,495 including the mandatory destination fee.

Its 60-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, housed under the cabin floor, powers a 150-kilowatt (200-horsepower) electric motor that drives the front wheels.

So, about those changes.

The first is that Chevy has replaced last year’s manually controlled heated steering wheel with one that is automatically switched on by the car, based on ambient cabin temperature and other factors.

The second is that the company has deleted the map pocket on the back of the front passenger seat from the intermediate 2LT trim level.

And that’s it. Every other spec and price remains the same.

Source: Green Car Reports