Cars with manual transmission have three foot pedals. From right to left these are the accelerator, the footbrake and the clutch pedal.

The pedal on the right is the accelerator or ‘gas’. It controls the rate at which fuel and air are supplied to the engine.

Pedal sensitivity

The accelerator is a sensitive pedal. Be aware of this when using it. The harder the pedal is pressed, the faster the engine will run and the more power is generated. You should press the pedal lightly, using gentle changes of pressure in normal driving. It takes practice and experience to know how much to press the pedal to make the car speed up.

Accelerator is a sensitive pedal speed up

Flooding the engine

Don’t press your accelerator before you’ve started the engine because it could flood it. This may mean that you may not be able to start the engine immediately.

Progressive acceleration

When you accelerate, it’s important that you use progressive acceleration. This means gradually increasing of pressure to make for smooth pulling away.

Effects on releasing the pedal

When you release your accelerator, the car will start to slow down – Unless you’re travelling down hill and are in a high gear. Releasing the accelerator pedal is the first part of slowing down.

Foot positioning

When using the accelerator, you must only use your right foot. To line it up correctly you must first press your footbrake and then keep your heel planted on the floor and roll your foot over. It’s important that your foot is ready to press the brake. Also, the accelerator is such a light pedal that you don’t need to have your heel directly beneath it.

You should be able to pivot your foot between accelerator and footbrake.

Foot between accelerator and footbrake