How To Shift Car Gears Smoothly (Easy Guide)

How To Shift Car Gears Smoothly (Easy Guide)

When it comes to learning how to drive a manual transmission car, smooth gear changing, smooth steering, and clutch control are the three key skills you need to first acquire. There are lots of benefits attached to understanding how to shift gears correctly. First, it’ll let you have more control over your vehicle.

Not shifting your gear correctly could also cause a series of issues to your car engine. To avoid that, you need to learn how to shift gears smoothly.

In order to shift gears smoothly, begin by taking your foot away from the accelerator pedal. After that, use one hand on the steering wheel and place the other one on the gear to change it gently. Select the appropriate gear, slowly release the clutch pedal, and then gently press down the accelerator pedal.

What exactly is the proper way to shift gears when driving? How to shift gears smoothly? Is there a better way to shift gears quickly when driving? You’ll find answers to these questions as you read through the rest of this article.

What is The Proper Way to Shift Gears When Driving?

The importance of shifting gears properly can’t be overstressed for drivers. As earlier mentioned, one of the benefits of shifting your gears smoothly and correctly is that it’ll provide you with better control over your car.

Here’s the thing; when you drive with the right gear, you’ll be able to keep your car’s efficiency at an optimum level. It doesn’t end there; shifting your gears properly also enables you to deliver high-performance. That said, here’s a burning question; what is the proper way to shift gears when driving a manual transmission car?

Shifting Gears With Palming Method 

How To Shift Car Gears Smoothly (Easy Guide)

There are several ways to shift gears when driving. One of the most popular techniques is by utilizing the palming method. This gear shifting approach is what most driving instructors use to teach learner drivers.

Since many learner drivers often struggle to pick the right gear, instructors use the palming method to help them reduce wrong gearing. So, how does this technique work? Using the palming method for gear shifting requires you to first apply pressure to a side of the gear stick. After that, you’ll need to push the stick by only making use of your palm.

Double Declutching For Shifting Gears

Another method of shifting gears when driving a manual transmission car is double-declutching. 

For you to achieve double-declutching, you’ll need to first go into neutral before shifting the gear to the next level. One of the benefits of this approach is that it helps to reduce wear on your car transmission. You can follow the simple and direct steps below to properly shift gears using the double-declutching technique.

  • To use double-declutching for gear shifting, you need to start with braking.
  • After that, proceed by engaging the clutch. At this point, the output shaft of the engine is already rotating independently.
  • Now, shift into neutral to keep your car transmission and clutch rotating independently.
  • Next, keep the transmission neutral and release the clutch. At this point, your clutch and the output shaft will be rotating at the same speed.
  • Now, use the accelerator pedal to raise the RPM of your engine. After that, engage the clutch back, shifting the gear from neutral to lower gear. Finally, release the clutch.

Changing Gear Without Using Your Clutch

Another great way to properly shift gears when driving a car is by doing it without using the clutch. Yes, it’s called clutchless gear shifting. This method is only advisable for advanced drivers.

  • To upshift gears without the clutch, the first step is to keep your tachometer at a higher level than usual – to be precise, you can keep it at an RPM of 3,500.
  • After that, take your foot away from the gas pedal, shift the stick into neutral, and then to the next gear.

How to Shift Gears Smoothly

How To Shift Car Gears Smoothly (Easy Guide)

To change gears smoothly, there are a couple of things that you need to keep in mind. For instance, you need to keep your eyes on the road when trying to shift gears.

Furthermore, ensure you’re in a safe place before taking one of your hands off the steering to shift gears. The sound of the engine is another factor that could tell you the right time to shift your gear.

When you’re sure it’s time to change gears, you can follow the steps below to get the job done smoothly:

  • Start by taking your foot off the accelerator pedal. At the same time, meet your foot on the clutch pedal.
  • Next, remove one of your hands from the steering and place it around the gear stick. After that, gently push the stick lever from one gear position to the next one.
  • Now, return your hand to the steering, slowly release the clutch pedal, and gently apply power to the accelerator pedal.

How to Shift Gears Quickly

The best way to shift gears quickly is by using the heel-to-toe shifting technique. It’s worth noting that this is an advanced driving technique that’s often employed by racing drivers. One of its benefits is that it allows drivers to downshift smoothly.

Furthermore, most racing drivers use the heel-to-toe shifting technique when approaching corners. The technique allows a car to remain in optimal rev range when downshifting. That’s not all; it also provides the car with a quicker and smoother acceleration as it gets out of the corner.

Here’s how the heel-to-toe shifting technique works below:

  • The heel-to-toe shifting technique involves placing your right foot across both the accelerator pedal and the brake pedal.
  • After braking, the next thing you need is to engage your clutch using the other (left) foot.
  • Release the clutch pedal slowly and as you do that, swing your right foot’s heel and tap the accelerator. At the same time, shift the gear stick from its position, through neutral, and then into the lower gear.
  • Finally, release the clutch.

The heel-to-toe shifting technique is the best method to shift gears quickly. If done correctly, the process shouldn’t take more than 2 seconds.

Gui Hadlich

Hey there! I'm Gui. To be honest, I'm not really that interested in cars. But what I'm really, really not interest in is spending lots of money fixing my car up. Thankfully, I have a father-in-law who's obsessed with cars and a brother getting a PhD in internal combustion engines, so I get to learn about fixing cars. And with Fixing Engines, I hope to help you save a lot of money and take good care of your cars.

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