Date registered: Mar 2008
Vehicle: '94 C280 US Spec
Location: Central Europe
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Did you learn in an automatic?
Here in Europe, most schools teach in manual cars. They usually teach uphill stop-drive with the hand brake, which in my opinion is a bit complicated for new drivers.
I'll try to explain what to do in a few steps:
1) sit down, get comfortable, the parking brake should be pressed down
2) press the clutch pedal with your left foot, the regular brake pedal with your right and start the engine - some cars start only if the clutch is pressed
3) put the gear into neutral and slowly let go of the clutch (nothing should happen), also slowly let go of the brake pedal (should stand still)
4) now your engine should be at idle, car should be at a stand still due to the parking brake... try reving the gas pedal
5) if the gas pedal revs the engine, go to next step, otherwise something else is wrong
6) press the regular brake pedal firmly with your right foot again, release the parking brake with your left hand, you should keep standing in place
7) while still pressing the brake pedal with the right foot, press the clutch with your left foot all the way down, put the gear into 1st
8) slowly release the clutch until you feel it grabbing, there is a point where the clutch will hold the car even on a steep hill and at that moment, your right foot should go from brake pedal to gas pedal to add revs
9) press gas / release clutch accordingly to get going. It it dies, don't panic.
Go ahead and print this out and go out and test it a few times.
Don't feel humiliated or anything, you just need to get a hold of it and once you do, you'll get to love it. Manual cars are fun to drive (I personally drive both auto and manual).