Driving lessons 30 to 33

Lesson 30

Mr K is on leave today so I got a stand-in instructor Mr Lawrence Ng.

He was awesome!! Of the 5 Instructors I encountered, Mr Ng is the best. He’s patient and friendly, and quick to spot where my weak points are. Never hesitate to offer advice and tips on how to be a better driver. Really appreciate all that he taught me during today’s lesson.

We covered test routes 10 and 11, which are the toughest ones. My Ng immediately caught my weak points so we did drills to improve on them.

U-turns

My U-turns are super off because I always return my steering wheel too late and I end up in lane 1, often losing control of my car which is very dangerous. Mr Ng’s tip is just to use my own judgement instead of following exactly what instructors taught me. So my turn-back point is actually about 3/4. Meaning, the car is about 3/4 facing straight and I’ll return my steering wheel straight so that I will end up in lane 2.

Moving off from a slope

From the moment I exited CDC, Mr Ng could tell my slope subject is quite weak. Because there is a slight slope when you exit CDC and my car rolled back. He said this will cause me 2 points during my test day and I definitely do not want my points to be wasted on such minor blips.

The techniques of slope course doesn’t change. Read the step by step here. But Mr Ng said there is actually no need to be so technical when you are out and about driving on the road. So he brought me to a slope at one of the test routes to practise using the handbrake even when I’m outside (not only within the circuit).

Step by step of using handbrake on slope:

  1. Pull up handbrake. Slowly release footbrake, making sure that car doesn’t roll back.
  2. Rev the accelerator (don’t need to refer to the meter, just base on sound of the engine to estimate that you’re around 2000-3000 range).
  3. Release clutch to biting point. Once you reach biting point, the car will actually tilt forward. It is even more obvious if you release your clutch quickly. This shows that the car is ready to move off!
  4. Put down handbrake and car should move forward without rolling back.
  5. VERY IMPORTANT! Do not release clutch too high or your engine will stall. Which means 2 points to you as well. Release your clutch just until you see/ feel your car tilt slightly!

Parallel parking

I told Mr Ng that my parallel parking totally CMI. I think I tried about 6-8 times and none of the times I could successfully park and move off without intervention from instructors. He asked for my 3 turning points, to which I replied:

  • Back of left door handle align with first kerb
  • Once I see the black back kerb (through my right side mirror)
  • Right back wheel on top of the yellow line

He was puzzled because my 3 turning points are absolutely correct. There was no way I couldn’t park. Haha. So he asked me to demo 1 time and he will guide me accordingly.

I am so thankful!! Because Mr Ng picked up all my mistakes at first look. Wow!

Steps for parallel parking:

(Note: don’t use accelerator at all when doing parking! Control the speed of your car using the clutch! Clutch in to slow down, clutch out (until biting point) to move forward.)

  1. Engage 1st gear when going to parallel parking station.
  2. Stop when your left side mirror is align to prior number tag. Eg: if your station is 38, move forward and stop when your left side mirror is aligned to number tag 37.
  3. Signal left. Engage reverse gear. Do 360 degrees safety checks.
  4. From this point on, no need to use the accelerator. Just use clutch control to move your car.
  5. Once clear, reverse until the back half of left door handle is aligned to first kerb. View from left side mirror. Full lock steering wheel to the left. Continue reversing and check left side mirror, making sure left wheel can clear left kerb. Then, view right side mirror and reverse until you see the black kerb (which shows your car is in the middle of the lot). Straighten steering wheel. Brake.
  6. Adjust your right side mirror until it’s fully left and down (press left arrow button fully until it clicks, press down arrow button fully until it clicks).
  7. Continue reversing until right back wheel sits exactly on top of the yellow line. This is a crucial position so get it right! View through your adjusted right side mirror as you now have full view of the right back wheel.
  8. Full lock steering wheel to the right. Continue reversing until the back wheels are almost touching the back kerb. Your car should be somewhat straight now. Brake. Before your car hits the back kerb.
  9. Engage 1st gear. Return steering wheel straight as you move forward. IMPORTANT: Clutch out slowly but steer the wheel quickly!
  10. Once you are in the middle of the lot, stop the car. Neutral gear, handbrake up. This is to show tester you are done.

To move off:

(This is also where I had gone wrong because I always hit the kerb when I am moving off from parallel parking.)

  1. Signal right. Check right mirror and right blindspot. Clutch in. Engage reverse gear.
  2. Reverse until your back wheels are almost touching the kerb.
  3. Adjust right side mirror back to normal position.
  4. Engage 1st gear. Release clutch slowly!!
  5. Once your car move the slightest, quickly full lock steering wheel to the right. Your car should move out of the tight space perfectly.
  6. Return steering wheel straight. Remember to control the speed of your car by clutching in and out.

So yep, after all these tips and guide, I improved so much!! Thank you Mr Ng! πŸ˜€

Lesson 31

Completed the last 2 test routes today. Instructor said I’m doing quite well. Back to circuit and that’s where my flaws appear. More practise and less nervous! Aja aja! πŸ™‚

Lesson 32 and 33

Nothing much for these 2 lessons as well, other than to practise more test routes and circuits. Practise makes perfect ya!

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