Learning how to shift gears properly is, no doubt, the first thing that every learner driver needs to understand. This is because doing that will allow you to have more control over your car. Apart from gear shifting, understanding the best gears for different driving situations is also important.
Furthermore, when it comes to shifting gears, one of the questions that drivers often ask is – is it okay to skip gears in manual cars?
You can always skip gears when driving your manual cars. However, you need to understand that making this move depends on a couple of factors. For instance, you can skip gears when uplifting or downshifting. But when doing that, ensure you rev-match and not go above the engine redline for the gear.
Is it possible to damage your manual transmission car when you skip gears? Is it okay to skip gears in a manual car? Can you skip gears when downshifting? These and more are the frequently asked questions you’ll find answers to as you read through the rest of this post.
Does Skipping Gears Damage Your Manual Transmission Car?
Manual transmission cars are vehicles that allow drivers to utilize stick shifts to change the gears manually when accelerating or decelerating. In manual automobiles, the shift lever is often connected by a linkage to the car transmission.
Generally, changing of gears requires the driver to press down the clutch, shift the gear to the desired position, and then releasing the clutch to enable the engine power to go to the transmission. Furthermore, the ideal way to shift gears is by rowing through all five gears, or six, depending on your manual car. However, there are cases where drivers skip gears, uplifting from, let’s say, the first gear to the fourth gear, or downshifting from the fifth gear to the 2nd gear.
That said, here’s a burning question – is it okay to skip gears, or does the driving technique damage manual transmission cars?
To answer the question, I’ll start by saying that skipping gears can always damage your manual transmission car. However, this will mostly happen when you don’t shift the gears the right way. What does that mean?
In the automobile industry, upshifting refers to the shifting of a car’s transmission from one gear to a higher one. Ideally, upshifting involves shifting in sequential order from, let’s say the 1st gear to the 2nd gear.
When upshifting, skipping of gears is acceptable and will most likely not damage your vehicle. However, you need to make sure you do it the right way.
Here’s an example, let’s say you’re driving in second and trying to skip the 3rd gear and shift to the 4th. You’ll certainly not encounter any issue when you press the clutch in and allow the rev to drop. However, when you press the clutch in and quickly release it, the RPM will not match the engine redline – this is where problems can surface for your manual car.
An unmatched uplifting can always introduce several different issues to a manual transmission car. First, skipping gears and exceeding the engine redline will certainly cause your vehicle to judder, upsetting the balance of the car. Apart from that, taking the move can also cause slight clutch wear.
When you’re driving a car, downshifting simply means changing from a higher gear to a lower one. In case you don’t know, downshifting on itself can always damage a vehicle if not done the right way. Furthermore, you’ll certainly hurt your manual transmission car when you skip gears when downshifting, especially if you fail to do it the right way.
Here’s a quick example; let’s say you’re driving in 4th gear and are interested in skipping the third and second and shifting to the first gear. This move is pretty much safe and okay as long as you rev match.
Rev matching, also called blipping the throttle, is the process of changing gears smoothly without upsetting the balance of a car. It involves matching the speed of the engine to that of the transmission.
Since you’re downshifting from the 4th to the first gear, you need to make sure you balance the speed of the engine to that of the transmission of the first gear. If you exceed the engine redline, you’ll end up hurting your vehicle.
Rough shifting and clutch wear are some of the issues that you’ll encounter when you fail to rev-match when downshifting and skipping gears. That’s not all; you might also end up locking up your vehicle’s wheels.
Is it Okay to Skip Gears in a Manual Car?
Of course, you can always skip gears when driving your manual transmission car. However, failing to do it the right way may introduce an issue to the car.
As earlier mentioned, when upshifting or downshifting, rev-matching is essential to change your gears smoothly. Failing to rev-match or match the engine speed with the speed of the transmission, there’ll be disruption to the car’s balance. You’ll also end up wearing out the clutch.
The bottom line is it’s okay to skip gears in a manual transmission car. But when doing that, ensure to bring the rev to the exact RPM of the gear position to avoid harming the vehicle.
Is it Okay to Skip Gears When Downshifting?
Of course, it’s pretty much okay to skip gears when downshifting. This move is totally fine as long as you rev match. That said, the best way to skip gears when downshifting is to apply your throttle to bring the engine rev to the exact RPM of your desired gear position.
Here’s a quick illustration; let’s say you’re trying to downshift from fourth gear to the first. To avoid disrupting the balance of your vehicle and wearing out the clutch, ensure you apply the throttle to match the engine rev to the RPM of the first gear.