There are still people in this world who prefer to drive a manual transmission vehicle. These are vehicles which require the driver to shift gears manually as they’re driving and changing speeds.
Most new drivers like to drive automatic transmission vehicles because the gear shifting is automatically done for them. However, automatic cars are not as gas efficient and economical as manual cars. With gas prices on the rise, it might be better to go manual nowadays.
If you’re thinking about switching to a manual car, then you need to learn how to shift gears smoothly. Otherwise, you could end up damaging your transmission and engine if you don’t shift gears properly. That is why you need to educate yourself before ever attempting to drive a manual vehicle.
6 Simple Tips
Below are 5 tips on how to shift gears smoothly in a manual vehicle.
1) Use the Clutch Pedal Between Shifts
If you want your gear shifting to be as smooth as possible, then you need to use the clutch pedal between shifts. On the floor, you will see three pedals to choose from. The left pedal is the clutch pedal, the middle pedal is the brake pedal, and the right pedal is the gas pedal. You press the clutch pedal with your left foot prior to shifting gears. When you press the clutch pedal, it disconnects the engine from the gearbox. After you shift gears, you lift your foot off the pedal to reconnect the engine to the gearbox.
2) Second Gear for Steep Hills
If you’re driving on slow-moving roads, then you’ll want to use second gear. This would apply to crowded city or in-town roads where you’ll usually move at slower speeds. In addition, second gear is suitable for driving up steep hills as well as driving down steep hills.
3) Accelerate in Gear Only
You should only step on the gas pedal after you have switched gears and taken your foot off the clutch pedal. If your foot is still on the clutch just a little bit, don’t apply too much pressure to the gas pedal. Otherwise, any over acceleration will wear out the clutch. You need to relieve pressure slowly from the clutch pedal as you gradually apply pressure to the gas pedal; use your left foot and right foot, respectively at the same time.
4) Neutral for Stops
When you approach a stoplight or stop line where you need to stay idle for a length of time, you should totally disengage the clutch by taking your foot off it. You’ll have future problems if you fail to do this. It is better to keep the stick on neutral during prolonged idle periods.
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Accelerating the vehicle to go faster requires you to do something called upshifting. This is where you switch to a higher gear by following a few simple steps. First, you crank up the engine speed to about 3000 RPM. Apply pressure to the clutch while taking the pressure off the gas pedal. Switch from first gear to second gear with the stick. Gradually release your left foot from the clutch pedal as you gradually apply pressure to the gas pedal with your right foot. Your left foot should be totally off the clutch pedal now. Use your right foot to accelerate with the gas pedal as needed. When you’re ready to switch to a higher gear, then you go through this process again.
You’ll shift the stick to a lesser gear when you want to slow down your speed. You must shift one gear down at a time. To do this, put pressure on the clutch pedal and the brake pedal. Shift the gear down once. Slowly release the clutch to reduce the revolutions of the engine gradually. Wait a few seconds and then do this process again to get to the next gear down. Whatever you do, don’t shift from a high gear down to the first gear. That’ll destroy your transmission.