To Start Car ”Low Speed. After the Motor has been started and is running smoothly, release the emergency brake, put your foot on clutch pedal and push as far forward as possible. Then move the gear shifting lever sidewise from von and back into the slow speed position. Now engage the clutch gently by raising left foot slowly, at the same time pressing with the right foot on the accelerator pedal to increase the speed of the Motor sufficiently to take care of the load. Do not rate the Motor when clutch is disengaged.
Intermediate Speed. After getting under motion an the low speed, release pressure an the accelerator, press down an the clutch pedal, taking care not to set the brakes, push gear lever sidewise towards you and forward. Gradually engage clutch, at the same time pressing the accelerator pedal. In making this shift the side pressure towards you should be sufficient to avoid the possibility of going straight forward into reverse, as this would injure the gears.
High Speed. ”To shift from the intermediate to high speed, push forward on the clutch pedal, pull straight back on the gear shifting lever into high speed position, and as before, allow clutch to take hold slowly while the accelerator is pressed to meet the load. The car will now be on the high speed gear. And its speed is controlled by the position of the spark lever and throttle or accelerator, giving more or less power to the motor.
To Reverse- With car standing still and gear shifting lever in neutral position, disengage clutch and push gear shifting lever away from you and forward. Accelerate the motor slightly as clutch is engaged. To Stop. ”Retard spark and throttle levers. Apply the Service brake which disengages the clutch. Before releasing clutch pedal, bring gear shifting lever into neutral position.
Starting Button. ”Do not hold the foot on starting button any longer than necessary to start the motor.
Ignition Switch Do not leave ignition switch on either "B" or "M" when motor is not running. If you do it will run down the storage battery very quickly and you will not be able to start the car without re-charging the storage battery. Always place switch in central Position when motor is not running.
Motor Speed. ”it is not necessary to open the throttle wide or put on the full power of the motor when starting on the low gear, except in very deep sand or mud. The motor speed should always be kept as low as possible when starting, or when the clutch is disconnected.
Low to Intermediate (caution. ”In shifting gears from low position to intermediate position, be very careful not to go straight ahead from low to reverse. You will be liable to break something if you do.
Brakes. ”It will be found that the brakes are quite powerful on this car. Should you find yourself in a dangerous position and desire to stop quickly apply both brakes by pushing foot levers as far forward as possible, at the same time pressing forward with the toe on the upper part of the pedal, thereby engaging the ratchets and locking the brakes.
Spark and Gas Levers. ”Experience alone will teach the correct position of the spark and gas levers, but it may be stated generally that the spark lever should be advanced to as great a distance as the engine will bear without showing signs of pounding, and the gas or throttle lever should be kept retarded as much as possible. We do not mean that you should go to the extreme in this matter of manipulating the spark and throttle levers, but the most economical way of driving is as given above.
Ascending Grades. If, in ascending long grades, the motor commences to knock or shows signs of distress. Advance the gas lever and retard spark. It the car loses headway, shift into the intermediate or low gears before the motor is stalled. Don't try to force the motor to do all its work on the high gear.
Descending Grades. In descending ordinary grades leave the control lever in high gear position; retard the spark and throttle levers, and the motor will, to a certain extent, act as a brake and retard the motion of the car. If the motor does not offer sufficient resistance to slow down to the desired speed. Throw out the clutch and apply the brakes gradually. In descending hills of any great length, the switch may be turned off entirely, thus causing the motor to act more powerfully as a brake, also allowing it to cool off.
Stopping Car Never throw the brakes on suddenly, as it has a bad effect on tires and transmission mechanism. Endeavor to reduce your speed gradually as you approach your stopping place, so that only a light pressure on the foot pedal will be required to bring the car to a stop. Make the motor act as a brake as much as possible.
Foot Accelerator The use of a foot accelerator will be found especially convenient when starting the car or whenever gear shifting is necessary. It is good practice to regulate the throttle lever for a car speed of eight to ten miles per hour on direct drive. Then by releasing the accelerator pedal at any speed, the car automatically slows down to throttle speed.
source: 1918 Reo owners manual, 95 pages