The toughest part of driving any manual transmission car is starting on a hill, and the steeper the hill is, the more difficult it becomes. Especially in traffic, rolling backwards on a hill is sometimes simply not an option.

The simplest way to start on a hill without fear of rolling back is simply to use the parking brake. When you’re stopped on the hill, engage and hold the parking brake. This will allow you to safely transition your right foot over the gas pedal. When you decide to drive away, release the clutch to the engagement point where you feel the vehicle tense up and the engine bogs down slightly, apply some throttle and release the parking brake simultaneously. With a little practice, the vehicle will drive away smoothly every time without rolling back an inch.

This is essentially the same task that modern cars with “hill start assist” and similar features are performing for you, but you can do it just as easily for yourself with completely safe and predictable results.

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