Learn to drive a stick!

Announcer: Go behind the wheel, under the hood and beyond with Car Stuff from howstuffworks.com.

Scott Benjamin: Welcome to the podcast. I'm Scott Benjamin, the auto editor here at howstuffworks.com.

Ben Bowlin: And my name is Ben Bowlin. This week I have been teaching everyone to break dance at howstuffworks.com.

Scott Benjamin: That was so unexpected.

Ben Bowlin: Thanks, man.

Scott Benjamin: Very good, very good.

Ben Bowlin: Wait until I show you the robot.

Scott Benjamin: Are you gonna work on me? Because it's gonna require overtime.

Ben Bowlin: I think I'm gonna have to take it one step at a time. No offense, man. It would be kind of a project.

Scott Benjamin: It's easier to herd cats.

Ben Bowlin: You said herd. I thought you said hurt cats.

Scott Benjamin: Well, it might be easier to do that.

Ben Bowlin: That's the dark side of Scott Benjamin.

Scott Benjamin: No, no, no; herd cats. There you go.

Ben Bowlin: Hey man, we have an interesting situation today, huh?

Scott Benjamin: What's that?

Ben Bowlin: Well, we're one of a number of fleets, if you will, of podcasts and we have a great job situation here. We get along so well with all of our other podcasters and we're actually pretty good buddies with Chris and Jonathon, right?

Scott Benjamin: Correct.

Ben Bowlin: Who, some people may recognize from the show, Tech Stuff or just recognize from the awesome articles and blogs.

Scott Benjamin: Or just around town.

Ben Bowlin: Or just around town. They're men of renown. How about that?

Scott Benjamin: Sure.

Ben Bowlin: That's good. And they actually have a letter that a listener had written in to asking them to help. And Chris and Jonathan thought, "This is a little bit car-y for us. This is a little bit automotive."

Scott Benjamin: Car-y?

Ben Bowlin: Cary. Yeah. You like that one?

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, I do.

Ben Bowlin: I think cary is actually the word, but I don't know what it means. So I'm just gonna read real quick this letter from Wes from the internet. Wes says, "Hello. I am 13 and I was wondering about cars because my dad bought a new Ferrari," and he has a link to it at the bottom, "and it has a manual transmission. So my dad had to press this pedal - I think it's called the clutch to remove some plates and change some gears. I thought it would be a good podcast idea if you talked about transmissions and automatic and manual cars."

Scott Benjamin: Dad bought a Ferrari.

Ben Bowlin: I know. Congratulations, Wes and Wes' dad.

Scott Benjamin: Pretty awesome.

Ben Bowlin: That is pretty awesome. I gotta say, little jealous.

Scott Benjamin: Well, he's only got about three more years and he'll be behind the wheel, so that's a pretty good purchase for him, I think.

Ben Bowlin: That's true, man. And I don't wanna call you out, but I don't wanna ask how long it's been since you were 13, but if you will recall, those three years are like 20 regular people years. They are three really long years.

Scott Benjamin: You're right because you're just staring at the keys to the car wishing that they were yours.

Ben Bowlin: I stole my dad's car one time.

Scott Benjamin: Oh, Ben.

Ben Bowlin: I just drove it around the street and then I drove it back. I thought I was cool, man. I was like Indiana Jones.

Scott Benjamin: That's a bad idea.

Ben Bowlin: That's a bad idea. Don't do it. And do not do that. I'm sorry, I forgot; yeah. Don't -

Scott Benjamin: I think, at some point or another, most parents take the kids out a little early and teach them in a parking lot so they don't get behind the wheel for the first time ever when they go to driver's ed. They're with them. Not most, but a lot of times that happens.

Ben Bowlin: Yeah, that's what - when I say I stole a car, I'm kinda joking because my dad knew and everything and it's not a good idea otherwise.

Scott Benjamin: Back-pedaling.

Ben Bowlin: I'm back-pedaling.

Scott Benjamin: You're back-pedaling.

Ben Bowlin: I'm in reverse.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, you're back-pedaling; yeah.

Ben Bowlin: I'm in reverse. It's a car show.

Ben Bowlin: But no, people do go out in the parking lot and stuff. That's what my dad did. That's actually where I learned to drive a stick shift.

Scott Benjamin: Same here.

Ben Bowlin: Oh yeah?

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, Silver Dome parking lot.

Ben Bowlin: Silver Dome? That's pretty cool.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, Silver Dome in Pontiac, Michigan.

Ben Bowlin: My - I was in the parking lot of the school that my mother teaches at on the weekend because we knew everybody who could possibly be there, but I think it's sort of - at least in the states, it's sort of a tradition where you have Mom or Dad take you out to a parking lot and say, "Okay, sit behind the wheel. I'm gonna sit in the shotgun seat incredibly nervous. Don't get in a wreck."

Scott Benjamin: Yeah. And my first experience behind the wheel, I was in a stadium parking lot that had a capacity - that thing had a capacity of like 100,000 people or something, so I was in this wide open area. There were no cars around. Even the light poles were spaced out far enough that there was very little danger of hitting anything; being able to - parents would be able to intervene and stop if anything was going on unusual, but you're in control the whole time. It's not terribly difficult.

Ben Bowlin: We're not going to condone doing that on the air, of course.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, we're kind of going down the wrong road here.

Ben Bowlin: Yeah, Scott, maybe you're right. Maybe we got wrapped up in our checkered pasts for a little bit.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, exactly.

Ben Bowlin: But the point is the only reason that I'm bringing up this idea of the parking lot stuff and the whole idea here that Chris and Jonathon and Wes were getting at goes back to transmissions. Automatic transmissions happen a lot more in the states than they do in some other countries, some other places. And I'm surprised all the time. I'm surprised by how many people don't know how to drive a manual transmission.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, I've run across many people that have no idea how to drive a manual transmission. It's not - there's not anything terribly wrong with that, but I'm saying that you're better off if you do know how to drive a manual transmission.

Ben Bowlin: Sure.

Scott Benjamin: And there's a lot of reasons for that. We've got - rather than us teaching you how to drive a stick, which is impossible over the podcast waves.

Ben Bowlin: It'd be really weird.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, it really would be. It sounds so awkward to go through the mechanics of it. You push in the clutch and you let off on the gas. It's just - it doesn't work. So what we're saying here in this podcast is here are some of the benefits. Here are the reasons why it might be a good idea to learn how to drive a stick because you may think, "Well, I don't own a manual transmission car. I don't drive a stick shift, so why would I ever need to learn?" There's a lot of reasons why you may wanna consider it anyway.

Ben Bowlin: And you're never too old.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, even if it's not for you and you may never use that ability. You may use it all the time. You never know.

Ben Bowlin: You may all of a sudden realize what you've been missing because let me tell you, if you like - I'm sorry, I'm a little bit militant about this. If you like high performance vehicles and you ever see yourself driving one, you need to drive manual transmission.

Scott Benjamin: I agree, and they have ways around that now. They've got Tiptronic or whatever it was from Audi and all the automatic cars that have shifting abilities where you don't really use a clutch, you just pull the gearshift or the paddles on the wheel. Sure, they still require a fair amount of skill to drive, but nothing like when you're manually shifting the gears and you're using the clutch and you're using the gas and you're do ing a little dance on the three pedals on the ground there. It's totally different and really, I'm like you, Ben; I feel you get the most out of a performance vehicle for sure - out of any vehicle really when they have a manual transmission.

Ben Bowlin: I totally jumped ahead and listed one of the reasons.

Scott Benjamin: You did?

Ben Bowlin: I did accidentally, which is just my hobby horse is driving the high performance. But one thing that we should explain to people who would say, "What's the difference between an automatic and a manual?" if we gave them - what's the quick, 75 cent answer?

Scott Benjamin: What's the difference between them?

Ben Bowlin: Yeah.

Scott Benjamin: Well, the automatic, I guess, is the one where you just select drive and that's it. You put your hands on the wheel, and you've got a brake and gas and that's all.

Ben Bowlin: And the car automatically - the transmission automatically shifts.

Scott Benjamin: Automatically determines what gear you're in: first, second, third, fourth or even fifth in some cases or even more. And then as you come to a stoplight or you slow down on the highway or whatever it is, the transmission automatically shifts itself back down to the appropriate gear. So no matter when you hit the gas, when you hit the break, you're in the appropriate gear for that speed. And it's mindless; you don't have to think about it one bit until you put the car in park when you finish wherever you're going.

Ben Bowlin: Sure.

Scott Benjamin: That's it. And a manual transmission, on the other hand, you're determining everything about how that vehicle moves. It's - you determine how long you're in first gear, how long you're in second gear. If you wanna shift for performance, if you wanna hang onto that gear a little bit longer, it can get up into the power band of the engine. And that's one thing. See, I'm going through a couple of the benefits here already. But you're far more in control of the vehicle when you've got a manual transmission. And some people just can't seem to get by without it now because I'm one who I think I - I don't know if I could ever have a car that's not.

Ben Bowlin: Are you one of those guys when you're driving an automatic, do you find your left foot hitting for that ghost pedal?

Scott Benjamin: I find myself reaching for the center area of the car to shift. I do, but I don't - you know what's weird? I do that more often than lift up my left foot to hit the clutch, but I've heard of people doing that too, like putting their foot through the floor.

Ben Bowlin: The Monte Carlo is - and I feel it's okay for me to mention it in this podcast. The Monte Carlo is an automatic, and a lot of times, you see the bigger cars, those road boats - a lot of times, those tend to be automatic nowadays.

Scott Benjamin: Tend to be.

Ben Bowlin: Tend to be, but there are of course, a lot of larger manual transmission vehicles -

Scott Benjamin: Um-hum. Yeah, there are some exceptions. They may have a need to tow a heavy load, like another vehicle behind it or a boat or a camper or something like that. And if you're traveling through the mountains or you're traveling up boat ramps or whatever, you wanna be able to select the gear that's appropriate for whatever the load is that you're towing. So it makes sense. And I know there are automatics that are more than capable of doing that, but some people prefer the control. They prefer controlling everything about it and I agree.

Ben Bowlin: Yeah, there's - let's go into the benefits. Can we?

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, sure because we've just got a few here and if you want - have you got a couple? Or do you want me to just list them and we can just talk about them?

Ben Bowlin: Yeah, let's do that.

Scott Benjamin: Okay, because I'll just go through them real quick, but there are a few. You can find these all over the place. You look it up online, you can find several of them here and there and people have their own opinions about these too because someone may disagree with what I'm gonna say here. Others may say, "It's definitely more fun for me to drive an automatic because then I can balance my drink or something."

Ben Bowlin: Yeah, I can do more. I can -

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, exactly.

Ben Bowlin: - play with the radio or something.

Scott Benjamin: Exactly, yeah. Okay, ready?

Ben Bowlin: I am ready, Scott.

Scott Benjamin: Let's go through this real quick here. So I think maybe one of the biggest advantages is fun. We talked about that already.

Ben Bowlin: Yeah.

Scott Benjamin: Just for me, if you're driving a car, you can wring every little bit of performance out of that car if you have a manual transmission versus an automatic where you're kinda stuck with the programming that the factory has set up for you. And that kind of - well, we might as well just say this one now too because - so you can hold the gears longer. You get more power versus an automatic vehicle if you hold it into the power band which is usually a higher rev. In my car it is anyway. And when you get the - when you get an automatic transmission, a lot of times, you'll find that they are programmed for shift points with efficiency in mind, fuel efficiency.

Ben Bowlin: Yes, not performance.

Scott Benjamin: Not performance and that's the downfall of them for a lot of people. They say, "Well yeah, it's more efficient to drive this way," but a lot of people will say, "Also, if you choose your shift points, a manual is more efficient." And I think you'll see that in some of the EPA numbers, that if you go to fueleconomy.gov, you'll find that manual transmissions are actually more fuel efficient than automatics.

Ben Bowlin: Absolutely.

Scott Benjamin: Which is really strange because -

Ben Bowlin: It makes sense, Scott. It's just driving style. It goes down to a driving style.

Scott Benjamin: So at best, if you get a manual transmission in a performance - or, rather an automatic transmission in a performance oriented vehicle, which I don't know why you'd dot that, but you may get a compromise between fuel economy and performance. And they may even have a button that switches over to performance mode or something like that, but you're still accepting the factory programmed shift points for that vehicle whereas, if you have a manual transmission, you've got complete control over that. So I don't know; I just am extremely biased towards it as well.

Ben Bowlin: Yeah, I think that's a point that we definitely should spend some time on and people should really think about. If you - one of the reasons that learning a manual transmission is so worth it is because it's not that hard and it really does allow you - Scott, when you're saying more control over the vehicle, you're not just talking about being able to pop the clutch at a crazy power banded time and then go into a super accelerated mode or something.

Scott Benjamin: No, no. I'm talking about control that you can decide that I wanna dramatically slow the car down without slamming on my brakes before I get to this next turn. You can downshift if you know - I guess you'd have to understand the way the engine and transmission work together in your own vehicle. You have to understand what's going on before you know what it's capable of - or so you know what it's capable of before you get yourself into that position. But it seems like you just have more ability to control the vehicle on slippery surfaces like if you're in the rain or snow or mud, or if you're on that boat ramp that has moss growing on it. You may not want to take off in first gear. You may wanna start in third gear so it's a little less torque to the wheels and you're able to pull yourself out easily, less wheel slippage.

Ben Bowlin: We should tell people the gears - what - in the order - not going through and naming each one, but what changes as the gears go to like the sixth gear or the fifth gear.

Scott Benjamin: Oh, your - the gear ratio changes so that it's working not quite as hard. It lowers the revolutions per minute on your engine. So in first gear you can take it all the way up to 6,000 revs, whatever. You shift into second gear: it's back down to two-and-a-half and then it slowly climbs back up. And you hear the engine - it peaks and then lowers, and then it peaks and then lowers as you're shifting through the gears. And it's really a lot of feeling and listening to what your car is doing.

Ben Bowlin: That's exactly what - I don't wanna snap my fingers because I'm sure it sounds weird in the microphones, but that's exactly what I wanted to get at. Driving stick brings you closer to your car.

Scott Benjamin: Oh, agreed.

Ben Bowlin: Everyone who drives - everyone I know who drives a manual transmission vehicle: they are more on top of anything that's irregular about their car.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, because you know what sounds to listen for.

Ben Bowlin: You can feel it too.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, you can feel it. So we're getting closer to my own personal No. 1 reason. So I'll just go through these kinda quickly here because we're getting off a little bit. You can start a car with a dead battery just by push starting it, which is another great benefit. On an automatic you can't do that, but in a manual transmission you can. So let's say you've got a dead battery. You come back, your headlights are on, car won't start; you can bump start the car just by putting it in gear, popping the clutch after you get rolling and you're on your way. So that's another quick benefit. Hopefully, that one doesn't happen too often.

Ben Bowlin: Hope not.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah. Cheaper to fix and maintain is often one that people mention because just inherent, the costs are, I guess, a little bit steeper for an automatic transmission because you're dealing with electronics and fluid flow. And there's just - it's a completely different setup on the inside there. And we're not gonna get into the mechanics of both of them, but a manual transmission relatively speaking, is - and see, someone's gonna complain about this or say that I'm not right, but it's easier to work on than an automatic transmission or at least troubleshoot and figure out what's going on. And don't gloss over that and say that's the way it is in every case.

Ben Bowlin: It's not.

Scott Benjamin: It's not. No, but as a general rule of thumb, manual transmissions: they cost a little bit less than an automatic transmission. That even goes for the purchase of a new vehicle. You'll pay less for a manual version of a car versus the automatic version of a car, maybe as much as $1,000 or more when you get up to the luxury vehicles, I suppose.

Ben Bowlin: Which is money you can use for aftermarket modifications.

Scott Benjamin: Exactly, yeah. So there's - again, advantage, disadvantages as far as maintenance and costs go. We talked about control already. One thing about the - we mentioned this earlier about downshifting and brakes and all of that. You can use the engine to engine break. You can downshift and select what gear you're in so that the car slows itself down versus you hitting the brakes. So what's more expensive: brakes or a clutch? Probably the clutch, but a lot of people use the gears to slow the car down and I do that all the time.

Ben Bowlin: You do that?

Scott Benjamin: I do that all the time, but my brakes last an exceptionally long time.

Ben Bowlin: I hope so.

Scott Benjamin: They really do, yeah.

Ben Bowlin: I hope you're saving for that clutch.

Scott Benjamin: That's kinda what I'm doing, yeah. I don't know. I guess we're down to maybe my last one really.

Ben Bowlin: Is this your favorite?

Scott Benjamin: This is my favorite advantage. And then, I've got one - well, tell you what: before I get to my favorite advantage because that one kind of - let's just leave that to cap everything.

Ben Bowlin: That's the big ticket.

Scott Benjamin: That's the big one, I think, because there's one disadvantage. And the only disadvantage I can think of is really city driving, stop-and-go driving if you're in traffic because we -

Ben Bowlin: Especially if you're in a place with a lot of hills and you're at an intersection. That's my least favorite is the uphill intersection where you've gotta kind of ride the gears just to make sure you don't roll back.

Scott Benjamin: Yep, allow the clutch to slip just a bit more than you normally would. It's a bad situation when you're in stop-and-go traffic. It's not terrible. I live with it.

Ben Bowlin: It's not ideal, but it's tolerable.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, it can get tiring after a while. Let's say you're in an hour long backup or a two-hour long backup in a big city; that can get tiring.

Ben Bowlin: Or just in Atlanta during the afternoon.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, just trying to get home. Ten miles or whatever it is, but -

Ben Bowlin: Don't go to the big advantage yet because I've got some advantages that we should talk about.

Scott Benjamin: Oh great, yeah.

Ben Bowlin: Okay, one is when you know how to drive a manual transmission, your life as an owner and a driver becomes dramatically easier. Your dreams of being a valet that you had thrown to the ashcan, they're back. You're back in business.

Scott Benjamin: Is that right?

Ben Bowlin: Yeah. Rental cars: it is usually - depending on where you go, you can work something out if you're able to drive any vehicle they have. And in some places - and you were telling me this, Scott, remember like in Western Europe?

Scott Benjamin: In Europe in general.

Ben Bowlin: Okay.

Scott Benjamin: Anywhere in Europe in general a lot of the rental cars or rental car companies offer manual transmission cars, which you don't find here in the United States unless you specifically ask for that or search for that. You may be surprised when you go to Europe by, "Well, that was what we gave you because that's the standard transmission." You have to ask specifically for an automatic transmission versus having to ask for a manual transmission like you would here in the states.

Ben Bowlin: So you're able to - and first, if you need to imagine, if you need to drive someone else's car for some reason, you don't want to be in a situation where there's an emergency or something and you go, "Oh, let me look at my cell phone. Who do I know that drives manual?" And also, there is something to be said about the way it works. See, I think a lot of people forget that automatic transmissions are prev alent in the US, but they're not the normal thing everywhere else. Automatic transmissions are like free refills. It seems normal because it's everywhere here.

Scott Benjamin: I like that.

Ben Bowlin: It's true, man. If you go outside - if you go to a lot of other places, they're not gonna let you just mosey back up there with your cup.

Scott Benjamin: Very good.

Ben Bowlin: It's a weird analogy.

Scott Benjamin: No, I know what you mean.

Ben Bowlin: I've had a tough week.

Scott Benjamin: I get a great satisfaction out - I honestly think about this a few times a week that I'm completely in charge of making that car move forward at the rate it moves forward and reverse - I like the different sound that reverse makes versus the forward gears. I like everything about driving a manual transmission. I just really, really enjoy it a lot and I think I would miss it if I had an automatic. You ready to hear my top one? And you've kind of skirted this already.

Ben Bowlin: This is the one, yeah. I just wanted to put in that one point. So what's your big one?

Scott Benjamin: And you've already kinda said this.

Ben Bowlin: Did I?

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, but that's okay. But when I put it out this way, I'm gonna just plainly state it so that you understand that when you can drive a manual transmission car, you can drive anything in the world. You can drive any car on the road, any truck on the road. Maybe that's a better way to say it that you can drive any car on the road, any truck on the road because you're able to drive an automatic, of course; you're able to drive a manual transmission. There's nothing else. There's nothing else out there. That's - can't think of anything else other than maybe like a jet powered car or something like that, but that's not legal on the road unless you have a Chrysler Turbine or something like that.

Ben Bowlin: Yeah, I was like the turbine powered truck.

Scott Benjamin: But then again, that was set up as an automatic transmission, I believe, so there you go. You're all set. You drive a manual: you're able to drive every single car on the road. Enjoy it.

Ben Bowlin: There's disadvantage to learning it.

Scott Benjamin: No. No, none at all and I just encourage everybody that I know to try. I've had some resistance from people that say, "I don't really need to; why would I wanna do that? I'll just buy an automatic." Well, that doesn't cover every situation. So I think it's just a great skill to learn. And the earlier you learn the better because you won't forget. You won't forget how to drive the car.

Ben Bowlin: It's muscle memory.

Scott Benjamin: Exactly, muscle memory; just repetitive motion. And like myself, I don't think about every shift I make anymore. When I first started driving, you better believe I thought about every shift. I couldn't have anybody talking to me while I was driving because you're thinking like, "Okay, I'm going 17; I should be in second gear" or whatever it was. It was like - it was a very formulaic thing for me at that time. And then once you get the feel for it and the rhythm for it, I don't think twice about it now. I don't consciously think about what I'm doing. It just happens.

Ben Bowlin: And I gotta say, man, I completely agree. I wasn't converted to stick full on after - until a few years after I learned to drive it, but historically, for me at least, and please, everybody listening, I'm not saying this is the case with your vehicles, but for me historically, I have had more problems with automatic transmissions in vehicles that I've driven or owned.

Scott Benjamin: I'm in the same boat.

Ben Bowlin: For real?

Scott Benjamin: Yeah.

Ben Bowlin: Maybe that's why we're so hardcore about this.

Scott Benjamin: Well, the clutch is just normal wear and - the clutch - you can look at the clutch like it's a wear material because it slowly wears away. It's like that - you look at it like brakes or tires or something like that. Of course you're gonna wear through that. It's something that you expect -

Ben Bowlin: It's a [inaudible].

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, you expect that. So when you say, "I've gotta go in with - my clutch is out" that's not really saying you have a transmission problem. That's simply you've got - your clutch is worn out. That happens. And then with an automatic transmission, if you go in for an automatic transmission repair, that means something usually is up inside there and it's gonna cost you more than a clutch repair would.

Ben Bowlin: Don't even tell me. You know how you're saving up for a clutch? I'm saving up for a transmission. I'm hoping it doesn't turn out to being me saving up for a different vehicle.

Scott Benjamin: No, I couldn't see you in something other than the Monte Carlo.

Ben Bowlin: I can't either. I guess I'll just -

Scott Benjamin: A custom van.

Ben Bowlin: A custom van. There you go.

Scott Benjamin: You can finally get the custom van that you've been talking about with an airbrushed shark on the side or something like that.

Ben Bowlin: Dude that would be cool. What does our producer think? Yeah, he's nodding. Matt gave us the nod.

Scott Benjamin: Awesome.

Ben Bowlin: I think if we've got Matt giving us the nod, then we can't end on a better point than that, right?

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, I think he's telling us to wrap up.

Ben Bowlin: He's telling us to wrap up, huh? All right, so let's see. The things that we always say at the end of the podcast now: Facebook, yes?

Scott Benjamin: Yes.

Ben Bowlin: Carstuff.

Scott Benjamin: Yes.

Ben Bowlin: Twitter: also Carstuff.

Scott Benjamin: Yes.

Ben Bowlin: And then - wow, this is like the fastest interview ever. There is some guy on the website who's been writing this blog.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, he's been writing the Car Stuff blog recently. High Speed at first, but now it's Car Stuff. And also, we've got a bunch of articles on our site on howstuffworks.com, and you can find just all kinds of information about anything you want to really. Of course, car related. We're talking about that, but really there's everything there.

Ben Bowlin: And, if you're looking for something that you have not found, never fear. We're always hanging out here on the internet for you. So send us an e-mail with suggestions for future episodes, maybe some photos of cool break dancing moves - brought it back - and anything else that catches your interest.

Scott Benjamin: Hey, one thing: you will not find any photos of me break dancing on the site. So go ahead and come onto the site. I'm not gonna subject you to that.

Ben Bowlin: Scott did make us take those clips down. I thought you were finding your stride.

Scott Benjamin: I'm the king of the worm.

Ben Bowlin: Okay, we gotta go. What's that e-mail?

Scott Benjamin: That e-mail is carstuff@howstuffworks.com.

Announcer: For more on this and thousands of other topics, visit howstuffworks.com. Let us know what you think: send an e-mail to podcast@howstuffworks.com.