How to Avoid Stalling a Car and React Efficiently When it Happens

by parker
YouTube video

Stalling a car can be quite frustrating and embarrassing, especially for new drivers. But the good news is that stalling can be easily avoided with the right techniques and a little bit of practice. In this article, we will discuss the two main reasons why cars stall, how to avoid stalling, and the best way to react when you do stall.

Reasons why cars stall

The first reason why cars stall is selecting the wrong gear. This happens when you try to move off in the wrong gear, such as selecting gear 3 instead of 1. The car will stall because it cannot handle the power and torque required to move off in the wrong gear. The second reason why cars stall is bringing the clutch pedal up too quickly. When the clutch pedal is released too abruptly, the engine loses momentum, causing the car to stall.

How to avoid stalling

The key to avoiding stalling is to have good clutch control. This skill can be developed through practice. Find an open road where you can safely practice clutch control. Start by releasing the handbrake and allowing the car to roll back slightly. This will help you understand the biting point of the clutch. Remember, every car is different, so you need to get used to the specific biting point of the car you are driving.

Practice clutch control without using the gas pedal. In a 1-liter petrol car, you can practice clutch control without gas. However, in some cars, you may need to use gas together with the clutch to avoid stalling. Once you have mastered clutch control without gas, you can move on to practicing clutch control with gas. Press the gas pedal lightly while bringing the clutch up slowly to the biting point. This will help you develop the coordination needed to smoothly move off without stalling.

The best way to react when stalling occurs

The way you react to stalling depends on the situation you are in. If you are in a situation where there is traffic behind you, it is important to quickly regain control of the vehicle. Some instructors teach their learners to use the handbrake and put the car in neutral every time they stall. However, this method can take too long and frustrate other drivers.

An alternative approach is to keep control of the vehicle by using the brake pedal instead of the handbrake. When you stall, press the brake pedal, restart the car, select the correct gear, find the biting point, and use the gas pedal to move off. This method allows you to quickly get back on the road without inconveniencing other drivers.

In certain situations, such as when you are on a steep incline, you may need to use the handbrake to prevent the car from rolling back. However, this method should only be used when absolutely necessary, as relying on the handbrake every time you stall can become a habit that is hard to break.

If you stall while going downhill and there is no traffic in front of you, there is no need to use the brake pedal. You can restart the car while the car is still rolling and continue driving. This is particularly useful in situations where hitting the brake unexpectedly could potentially cause an accident.


Stalling a car is a common occurrence, especially for new drivers. By understanding the reasons for stalling, practicing clutch control, and reacting efficiently when it happens, you can significantly reduce the chances of stalling and improve your overall driving experience. Remember to always prioritize safety and be considerate of other drivers on the road. With time and practice, stalling will become less of an issue, and you will feel more confident behind the wheel.

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