Car Controls

Giving an explanation of all of the driving controls in a car

The cockpit drill is D S S S M

  • D = doors
  • S = seat
  • S = steering
  • S = seatbelt
  • M = mirrors

Once in the driver’s seat check you door is closed properly. Check the handbrake is on and applied sufficiently.

Order of the foot pedals

  • Left pedal: the Clutch pedal, that makes the car go.
  • Middle pedal: the Brake pedal, slows all four wheels at the same time.
  • Right pedal: the Gas pedal, the more you push it down the more it increases the fuel flow into the engine and the faster you go.

Adjusting the seat

You need to be able to reach the foot pedals comfortably without stretching. A slight bend in your leg is perfect when the clutch is fully depressed.

Your headrest helps reduce whiplash in an accident. Roughly the middle of your head should be in line with the middle of your headrest.

Steering

You should hold the wheel at either the 10 to 2 position or the 2:45 position, your arms should not be fully outstretched, you should still have a slight bend at your elbows.

Your instructor will explain the pull-push steering technique.

Seatbelt

It is the law you wear your seatbelt. Always make sure there are no twists in your seatbelt because it will press into you more in an accident.

Adjusting the mirrors

Your centre mirror is made of flat glass. This gives you the true image of what is behind you. The door mirrors are made of convex glass, they give you a wider field of vision but make things seem further away than they really are.

Adjusting your centre mirror: You need the best possible view of the road behind you.

Adjusting your door mirrors: You need the best possible view down both sides of the car. You can check for cyclists on your left or a motorcycle/over taking vehicle on your right.

Blind spots:  These are areas that you cannot see. Your instructor will give you a full explanation.

The ignition key and starting the car

The key is normally found on the right hand side of the steering column, some cars now have a push button start system. Your instructor will give you a full explanation.

The Handbrake

WHAT IS IT FOR?

You apply the handbrake once the car is stationary, this secures the vehicle.

HOW DO I USE IT?

To apply the handbrake you press or hold the button in and at the same time pull the handbrake up until it’s tight. Once tight, release the button and the hand brake is applied. The car should be secure, but if in doubt pull the handbrake up one click.

To release the handbrake, pull it up slightly then press the button in and push the handbrake down all the way. Make sure you keep the button pressed in until the hand brake is fully down.

WHEN DO I USE IT?

If you have stopped for more than a couple of seconds, apply the handbrake.

The Gear Lever

WHAT IS IT FOR?

Most modern cars have five or more forward gears and one reverse gear. As you build up your speed you change into a higher gear.

HOW DO I USE IT?

You always have to come off the gas and fully depress the clutch before you can move the gear lever and select another gear.

WHEN DO I USE IT?

You always move off from stationary in first gear. As you build up your speed you change into a higher gear.

Matching your gear to you speed is a good way of knowing when to change:

  • 0-10 mph use 1st gear
  • 10-20 mph use 2nd gear
  • 20-35 mph use 3rd gear
  • 35-55 mph use 4th gear
  • 55-70 mph use 5th gear

As your speed reduces you match your gear to your speed again:

  • Below 55mph back into 4th gear
  • Below 35 mph back into 3rd gear
  • Below 20 mph back into 2nd gear
  • Below 10 mph back into 1st gear

These are just rough guidelines and speeds may differ from car to car.

Your instructor will fully explain the gear layout in the car and how to change gear, as well as the advantages of block gear changes, changing down through the gears individually, engine braking and coasting.

The Foot Pedals

The Clutch Pedal (left pedal used by the left foot)

WHAT IS IT FOR?

The clutch is for moving off, stopping, changing gear and clutch control.

HOW DO I USE IT?

When you depress the clutch you disconnect the engine from the wheels. With the clutch down you can select a gear (1st for example). When you bring the clutch back up you connect the engine to the wheels again. we call this finding the biting point.

WHEN DO I USE IT?

You use the clutch for selecting a gear, moving off and stopping.

Your instructor will give you a full explanation of how the clutch works and how you find biting point.

The Brake Pedal (middle pedal used by the right foot)

WHAT IS IT FOR?

You use the foot brake for slowing down and stopping. Whilst braking, your brake lights warn following drivers that you’re slowing down. Your foot brake works all four wheels at the same time.

HOW AND WHEN DO I USE IT?

When you want to slow down, or slow down and stop, you only have to apply gentle pressure to the brake. Once you have started driving the car you will see how sensitive it is.

The Gas Pedal (right pedal used by the right foot)

WHAT IS IT FOR?

When you press the gas down it pumps more fuel into the engine.

HOW AND WHEN DO I USE IT?

You apply gentle pressure to the gas when you move off from stationary. Once you are moving, the more gas you apply the faster you go. It is the first pedal you come off when you want to slow down and the first to come off before you depress the clutch, if you want to change gear.

click here to Book
Lessons
Now
Quick contact
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.