A-Class Driving School's Online Driving Tutorial - Controls
The controls on a car are very similar to one another. Here are the basics.
Remember ABC. Accelerator, Brake, Clutch. But they are positioned the other way round.
The Accelerator is used for making the car go faster, it allows fuel to flow into the engine. The firmer you press it, more fuel enters the engine and the faster the car will go. Come off the accelerator and the car will reduce it's speed. The speedometer is the large dial on the dashboard and this informs you of your speed in miles per hour.
The Brake is the hardest pedal to use and is controlled with your right foot like the accelerator. The brakes work evenly on all four wheels and illuminates the rear brake lights (red lights) at the rear of the car once the pedal has been pressed. Braking should always be smooth and progressive. Gentle at first, getting firmer and then coming off the pedal as we come to a stand still.
The Clutch is the most difficult to understand. We use it to change gear and to stop the car from stalling. When depressed, the power coming from the engine is prevented from getting to the wheel, so basically the car would be free wheeling whilst in motion. It's when the clutch is depressed that the gear stick can be moved from one gear to the next. We use the clutch to get the car moving too. This is known as finding 'the bite'. This is when the clutch is released to a certain point that the engine noise dies, or the car starts to move. Inside the car, the engine is just about allowed to release some power to the wheels, but not all.
Most modern cars have gears 1 to 5 and will always be in the same place. Reverse on cars can be found in different places. Check the head of the gear stick to see where it is on your car. The clutch must be fully depressed in order to change gears. Different gears are needed to travel at different speeds. First gear to move away from a standing position. This gear offers the most power to get the car moving. Once the car is approaching 10mph, second gear is appropriate. When getting close to 20mph go into third gear and fourth gear is for anything above 30mph. Fifth gear would be used for larger, faster roads, generally above 40mph.
This is used to secure the car and is operated with the left hand. You need to firmly pull it up, whilst using your thumb to depress the button and then push it down to it's resting position. Once the handbrake has been used, return your hands immediately to the steering wheel. We use the handbrake on the roads when you feel as though the car is going to roll backwards, or when waiting for long periods at junctions.
The steering wheel is used to make the car change direction. The hands must feed the wheel using the 'push-pull' method. The top hand pushes, whilst the other hand pulls. The hands must not be allowed to cross one another whilst steering. Your hands should always be in the 10-2 position. If the steering wheel were a clock face, one hand rests at 10 o'clock whilst the other sits at 2 o'clock. This allows for better control of the car. You can practice this at home by turning a dinner through your hands in one direction a few times, then back the other way.
These are found on the stalk to the left of the steering wheel. Push down to turn left and push up to turn right.
These are the basic controls. Anything else you need to know, just ask.