Car Controls

Setting the car up correctly is very important, as an experienced driver you can forget sometimes to explain these in the correct details.  Please take your time and make sure that you cover these points in full detail. People learning to drive tend to remember to do things when they understand why they are being asked to do them.

Cock Pit Drill

When you first get into the car you have to set it up for you.  Driving Instructors call this the cock pit drill, sometimes also called DSSSM which stands for Doors, Seat, Seat Belt, Steering, Mirrors.

Doors, the driver is responsible for the safety of the occupants of the vehicle. Have a look in the two side mirrors to make sure that yours doors are closed correctly. Modern cars also normally have a warning light on the dash to say that a door is open. Another clue can be if the interior light has remained on after you have started the engine.

Seat, you need to do the seat in three stages. The seat base needs to move forward until the clutch pedal can be fully pushed down by the left leg with the leg still having a bend in it.  The back of the seat needs to be tilted up right so the driver can hold the steering wheel at either the ten to two position or the quarter to three position (more on this later). The third part is the head restraint.  This must be set so that the top of the drivers ear is in the middle of the head restraint.

Seat Belt.  Now that the seat is set up you can put the seat belt on.  It must be on before the mirrors are set up. The reason for this is that the driver is now in there driving position.  It’s the drivers responsibility to make sure that there passengers are wearing the seat belts, legally with 14 year olds and under.  But morally for all of your passengers.

Steering Wheel.  Most cars give you the option of adjusting the steering wheel. The driver needs to be comfortable holding the steering wheel at either the ten to two position or the quarter to three position (more on this later).  The driver should also have a slit bend in there arm when holding the wheel.

Breaking Mirror set up

Breaking Mirror set up

Mirrors.  You only get the driver to set the mirrors up once you have done everything else so they are settled in there driving position.  You need to explain that the car has two types of mirrors. The interior mirror (breaking mirror) is made of flat glass so what you see in that mirror is a true reflection of what’s behind you.  The door mirrors are made of convex glass which gives a slitty more rounded view of the road but does make what you see appear slightly further away than it really is.

Left Mirror

Left Mirror

Right mirror

Right mirror

To set the mirrors up you start with the interior mirror, the driver needs to use there left hand and move the mirror until they have framed the back window in the mirror.  The door mirrors are moved until the driver can see a little bit of the side of the car and two thirds road and one third sky.

Hand Break

Hand Break

Hand Break/Parking Break

The hand break or parking break secures the car when it is parked.  It holds the car on two wheels and when put on does not activate the breaking lights.  The hand break has a button on the end and this must be pushed in and held in when the driver is taking it off to start moving the car forward. (See moving off and stopping section for more information on this). When applying the hand break after stopping the car the button at the end of the hand break must be pushed in and held in as the hand break is lifted until you feel it resisting against you, then let go of the button and then let go of the hand break.

Pedals

Pedals

The Foot Pedals

You have three foot pedals on a manual car.  Try to think of them as ABC, so from right to left its Accelerator, Break and Clutch.  The left foot only ever works the left pedal, the clutch. The right foot is positioned over the break pedal and the pivots over to the accelerator.

When using the accelerator it only takes light pressure to get the results you need.  

When using the beak pedal you start pushing the pedal gently until you feel the car starting to slow, then stop moving the pedal but keep the pressure on it.  This will slow you down but not to rapidly. When you push the break pedal this operates the breaking lights behind the car and is an indication to other road users that you will be slowing down.

The last pedal is the Clutch pedal. You use the clutch to change the gears both up and down.  To use the clutch you push it down all the way, them once you have selected the gear that you want you bring the clutch pedal up smoothly until your foot is totally off the pedal.

Indicator Stick

Indicator Stick

Directional Indicators, these are on one of the two sticks next to the steering wheel. Pushing it down is to indicate left and up is to indicate right.  More on when to use them in turning left and right.

Windscreen wiper stick

Windscreen wiper stick

Windscreen wipers.  These are on the other stick on the steering wheel column and control the windscreen wipers.  There are normally three settings, the first is for intermittent, the second is for regular and the third is for fast.