‘Gas, then Bite’ to Pull Away Smoothly | Learn to drive: Car control skills

Gas, then bite – or bite, then gas? We hear a lot of debate about which method is best for pulling away; pressing the accelerator, before finding the clutch bite point – or the other way round? In this video, we will show which method is  officially recommended to new drivers, and explain why the other method can lead to unnecessary stalling and frustration. Before we start, make sure you subscribe to our channel and click the bell so you are alerted when we upload a new video. Also, we love to read your comments – so  please scroll down and let us know what you think! In Great Britain, the Driver and Vehicle  Standards Agency (or DVSA) set the standards for safe driving, and carry out the driving tests that everyone must pass to get their full driving license.

 In their ‘Official Guide to Driving’, they offer advice for all drivers – and this is their recommended method to move off: Press the accelerator slightly and hold it steady  Let up the clutch pedal until the  clutch is at the biting point.  Release the parking brake, and then  let the clutch pedal up a little more.  Depress the accelerator for more speed  and let the clutch come up smoothly. For a more thorough explanation of this process,   Please click the link above to watch our  separate video ‘How to drive a manual car’. Let’s stop the car and watch that again. The reason that we increase the engine speed  before biting the clutch is that this provides   a little more power, ensuring there is enough  to drive the car forward. Also, the extra engine   speed reduces the chance of a stall, even if the  driver engages a little too much clutch bite. At the end of this road, it’s hard  to see on camera but the Give Way   line is on an uphill gradient. We’ll  watch the technique one more time. The reason ‘gas, then bite’ is the  recommended method for moving off,   is that it is very reliable.

It works with all  drivers, in all cars, and in all situations. We’ll stop the car and switch  to the clutch first method. Some drivers with really good clutch  control might be able to move off by   using only the clutch biting point, and  then adding gas afterwards to accelerate.   One disadvantage with this method is  that it takes longer to get the car   up to speed – not ideal at a busy junction. The other disadvantage with this method  is that it is easy to accidentally engage   too much biting point – which will make  the car judder or stall completely.   For a new driver still  developing their clutch control,   this would be very easy to do – especially  when trying to pull away quickly. Going back to the ‘gas, then bite’ method,   the extra engine power will ensure that even  if we lift the clutch pedal a little quickly   the car will still pull away.

It is more  likely to spin the wheels a little, than stall. Even if we are just manoeuvring the car, setting  the gas before using the clutch bite to move the   car ensures there is always enough power available  – especially handy if we need to reverse uphill. There are a few other factors to consider  when choosing which technique to use. The car being driven will also make  a difference – in a modern car,   especially one with a diesel engine the engine  management will help the driver move away.   In an older car without this function, or with a  less powerful engine there will not be any help   from the car and the engine will be far easier  to stall.  Watch how the car recognises we are   biting the clutch and automatically increases the  engine idle speed – this is called ‘anti-stall’! 
The situation the driver finds themselves in may  also require the extra engine power that ‘setting   the gas’ gives. Pulling away gently in a quiet  area might be possible without much engine power,   but try doing that at a busy junction or  roundabout could easily result in a stall.   Instead, setting the gas will  ensure there is enough engine power   to pull away confidently  and get the car up to speed.   Other situations that could cause problems  would be steep hill starts, or when driving   a car fully loaded with passengers – in both  cases extra engine power will be needed.  Once a driver has enough experience of using the  technique, it can be done smoothly and quickly.   The accelerator pedal only needs to be pushed  a fraction of a second before the clutch pedal   is lifted, and the car is ready to move away.

This  technique can then be used in all cars and driving   situations safely. 
  One aspect of using this method is that we  must be careful not to damage our clutch.   The DVSA even mention that we should avoid waiting  unduly with the clutch at the biting point.   The reason for this is that the clutch could  overheat, which will reduce its lifespan. However,   a modern clutch is very durable, and ours  normally last at least 100,000 miles.   Considering the hard life of a driving school  car we think that is more than acceptable   and proof that the ‘gas then bite’ method doesn’t  decrease the life of the clutch too much.    
 On the driving test,   the examiner will not mind which method you use to  move away, so long as it is smooth and effective.   There will be no faults given for using the  ‘bite, then gas’ method – but if you misjudge   anything and the car stalls there will likely  be a fault awarded.

Many drivers feel a little   nervous at the start of their test, and this might  affect their clutch control and result in a stall.   We would suggest the recommended ‘gas,  then bite’ method gives a little more   room for error and will be a more reliable way  to move away at the start of the driving test. If you found this video interesting, then  please visit our channel as there are over 100   more tutorial videos to help you improve  your driving. If you would like to help us   make new videos, then please consider becoming  a member of our channel.

Thanks for watching!.