Car Advice

How to change gears and never miss another gear…

Ever selected fifth gear when you wanted third?  Had trouble getting second gear? Here are some tips you weren’t taught at driving school.

MANUAL GEARBOXES do vary from car to car.  Some are light and easy with short gearshifts, others have long shifters you just can’t rush. Regardless, it’s entirely possible to mis-select a gear, but you can minimise the chances with this tip.

Simply, the rule is:

  • First and second – apply sideways pressure to the left, then up and down.
  • Third and fourth – apply NO sideways pressure, let the stick self-centre, and then move up and down.
  • Fifth and sixth – apply sideways pressure to the right, then up and down. 

To make life easier, don’t hold the shifter knob at the top centre for gears 1,2 5 and 6, but cup your hand over the side of the shifter’s knob so you naturally start to apply the pressure. 

For gears 3 and 4 again cup your hand but over the top.

Here are the rules:

shifter2

And here’s what it looks like:

RMP_5915
Second gear. Notice the hand is cupped over the top right part of the shifter as we are moving the shifter left and then down.
RMP_5917
Third gear. Notice the hand is cupped centrally on the top right part of the shifter as we are moving the shifter straight upwards and there is no sideways pressure required.
RMP_5918
Fifth gear. Notice the hand is cupped over the bottom left part of the shifter as we are moving the shifter right and then up.

Other tips for changing gear can be found here -> How to Change Gears the Right Way.  And for fun, read this.

 


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Robert Pepper

Robert Pepper