Start Your Car on a Hill Quickly

This can be a valuable lesson for when you are first learning to drive a car with manual transmission (or "stick" shift). Hopefully, it will keep you from hitting the car behind you when you're starting on a steep hill. This can be applied to automatics as well.



  1. Remember that once you have stopped completely, pull up the emergency brake. Remove your foot off of the manual brake when you go to press the accelerator to keep your car from rolling backwards until you start moving.
  2. Press on the accelerator (and remove your other foot from the clutch) just as you would normally. The car will soon feel like it is wanting to move forward.
  3. Feel that the car is just about to move forward, keep accelerating slowly while at the same time removing the emergency brake. By removing the brake at the right time, your car will already have the power it needs from the accelerator to move up the hill without the emergency brake needing to be on to keep it from rolling backwards.


  1. Press the clutch down just enough to allow the engine to return to normal idle speed.

  2. Keep your right toes on the brake pedal, and turn your right foot inward so that your right heel is on the gas. By tilting your right foot in this position, you are able to depress the accelerator with your right heel while keeping the brake pedal engaged with your toes.
  3. Watch as the light changes, then press on the gas with your right heel and slowly let the clutch out. Shortly after beginning this maneuver, remove your right toes from the brake pedal.
  4. The engine will rev, and the vehicle will begin to move forward. Once you have some forward momentum, move your right foot so that it is in a natural position on the gas pedal. You may need to press the clutch back in momentarily at this point. With some practice, you should be able to work all three pedals with just two feet, reduce engine revs to a minimum, and avoid jerking the clutch.

Expert for steep slope

Here is a no panic method, requiring lots of practice.

  1. Press both the clutch and the brake pedal.
  2. Do not release the brakes. Release the clutch slowly halfway until you feel vibrations (namely, until you feel like the car is trying to move forward). Observe the tachometer rev; it goes somewhere below 1000.
  3. Hold the clutch in the same position. Release the brake pedal (the car does not move anywhere).
  4. Press the accelerator pedal. Release the clutch gradually and you'll be off.


  • Find an empty street, if you can, to practice. Practice particularly your timing on releasing the emergency brake while accelerating. Once you have the timing down, it is very easy!
  • The tachometer (RPM meter) can help you detect the biting point of the clutch. On a slope let clutch and foot brake be completely depressed. The RPM will be constant around say 600rpm. Slowly release only the clutch and you will notice a slight drop in rpm, say to 550 rpm. Now you can release the foot brake and the vehicle will not roll back.Be careful not to let rpm drop too much or the engine will stall.
  • Some people describe this "timing" as listening for the clutch to "catch". You may not be able to hear anything except for the subtle sound that the engine makes when it is revving up. Maybe that is what they mean. Anyway, if that is helpful, you can use this to help you time the release of the emergency brake correctly.


  • Make sure that your emergency brake is in good condition. For example, on normal roads, can you drive your car forward with the emergency brake up? If so, it's time to get it tightened. This is important, obviously, so that the emergency brake can be sure to hold the car in place when you have removed your foot from the manual brake. Otherwise, your car may slip a little on a steep hill, even with the emergency brake up while you are accelerating.
  • This can be really bad for your clutch and brake. Only do it if you really need to!

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